Thus, ignorance of one’s intellectual tradition leads to cultural chaos. He gives examples of this cultural chaos, including the refusal of high school and college teachers to tell students what constitutes good literature and why, instead telling students there is no way of knowing.That's also long been my theme, although I am more provocative.
Here's why trendy thinking is hazardous.
He says a “virus has come among us,” a virus in the form of the idea that “the things in the past have been superseded, they’re not valuable, they’re obsolete.” While this may be true of some things, particularly technological advancements, he says this is not true of many things, particularly truths about human nature that over time Western culture has uncovered and handed down.Sometimes, the loss of the past ideas appears innocuous. For the past few weeks, I've tuned out much of the clutter of the news channels and social media, and worked on other projects, to the accompaniment of seasonal music on a Music Choice channel. But I'm struck by the way contemporary artists cover the sacred tunes. Consider Stille Nacht, in the pop versions of Silent Night. Everybody likes that "sleep in heavenly peace," sometimes enough to graft it onto a modified third stanza, but "Jesus, Lord at Thy birth" generally doesn't make the cut, let alone those quaking shepherds of the second stanza. In Joy to the World, I can excuse the omission of the counterpoints symbolizing Heaven, then Nature, singing and repeating the sounding joy: maybe that's too much for pop audiences to follow. But then such covers also leave out the third stanza totally. Sins, sorrows, thorns, curses. To a secular view, that's such a downer, although the whole point of Christmas as a religious event is in seeing off the sins, sorrows, thorns, and curses. Perhaps, though, I'm overthinking things. Many of the covers, including the famous Bruce Springsteen version, omit the elephants, boats, and kiddie cars from Santa Claus is Coming.
Save your pouting, dear reader, for the more serious consequences of denying coherent beliefs.
“There needs to be a revival of learning,” [Arnn] says in the Q&A with Hillsdale journalism professor John Miller, a National Review contributor. “We are in the midst of great movements in America. There’s a crisis, and what that means is, soon enough, not necessarily this year but soon enough, we’re going to have to pick how we govern ourselves. Because we’re sort of doing it both ways now and we’re running out of money… That choice, however can only be well-made by somebody who has a thorough understanding of the two alternatives, either this progressive-bureaucratic form or the constitutional form that has governed America for most of its history.”Wishing these things away as "hegemonic" or "triggering" or what have you isn't likely to turn out well.
For several generations now, he says, this broad and deep knowledge that is key to America’s survival as a singular nation that preserves citizens’ natural liberties has been eroded. Western civilization’s centuries of dialogue between Athens and Jerusalem — two historic cities that represent reason and faith, respectively — establish universals about human nature that Americans once again need to draw upon to make key decisions about our future. This is why the college has put this lecture series, and many others, online.
“There’s a truth to by found by reason for every human being and a truth to be found by faith for every human being,” Arnn says. “…There are things to know that are lovely and ennobling to know.”