March 05, 2015

The conservative war on reason

A good posting that touches upon why liberals love Spock and Obama. Namely, because they're calm and rational--unlike such cowboy characters as John Wayne, Ronald Reagan, and George W. Bush.

It’s worse than Scott Walker and Ted Cruz: Secrets of conservatives’ decades-long war on truth

The right knows that facts and reason have a liberal bent. That's why their decades-long strategy is to lie

By Heather Cox Richardson
Enlightenment ideals prompted America’s founding and reigned for generations as Americans searched for the best ways to manage the economy, changing demographics and international conflict. But in the 1950s, the idea of progress through reason presented a problem for wealthy businessmen. They hated New Deal legislation because it regulated business and protected workers. The boom years of the 1920s had been good ones for them, and they believed that the continued success of their enterprises depended on their complete control over their businesses and the workers they employed. They believed that government meddling in their affairs would disrupt natural economic laws. And with their downfall would come the downfall of the entire American economy, and with it, the nation.

But the problem was that the New Deal was extraordinarily popular. After an economic free-for-all of the 1920s that had pitched the nation into the Great Depression, Americans embraced the government regulation that reined in shady business dealings and protected workers. How could businessmen make inroads against such a popular program?

In 1951, a young William F. Buckley, Jr. articulated a strategy for opposing the consensus that supported New Deal policies. Buckley’s “God and Man at Yale: The Superstitions of ‘Academic Freedom’” was a sophomoric diatribe by the Catholic son of a wealthy oil magnate, published by the small right-wing Henry Regnery Press. In it, Buckley rejected the principles that had enabled social progress for centuries and laid out a mind-boggling premise: The Enlightenment, the intellectual basis of Western Civilization, was wrong.

Rational argument supported by facts did not lead to sound societal decisions, Buckley claimed; it led people astray. Christianity and an economy based on untrammeled individualism were truths that should not be questioned. Impartial debate based in empirical facts was dangerous because it led people toward secularism and collectivism—both bad by definition, according to Buckley. Instead of engaging in rational argument, Buckley insisted, thinkers must stand firm on what he called a new “value orthodoxy” that indoctrinated people to understand that Christianity and economic individualism were absolute truths. Maintaining that faith in reasoned debate was a worse “superstition” than the Enlightenment had set out to replace, Buckley launched an intellectual war to replace the principle of academic inquiry with a Christian and individualist ideology.
Comment:  Christianity as an absolute truth...that's why we killed Indians and enslaved Africans. That's why we continue to oppress women and minorities. It's all about maintaining white male Christian supremacy. That's been the case since the fall of Rome and the beginning of the "Dark Ages," if not before.

For more on the subject, see Conservatives Want to Brainwash Kids and What the Crusades Controversy Is About.

Below:  Liberal heroes:

Conservative heroes:

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