No Debate, No Hope


TRUTH IS NOT A LOW HANGING FRUIT…

New York Times: Leader of Prestigious Yale Program Resigns, Citing Donor Pressure

The historian Beverly Gage, who has run the Grand Strategy course since 2017, says the university failed to stand up for academic freedom amid inappropriate efforts to influence the curriculum.

Big ideas are on the run, and have to try to hide: such is the present sad state of affairs. 

Have the full history, let alone lessons of Twentieth Century history been drawn? Not yet, by a very long shot. The center has been held, because it has not been seen. Yet.

Have those hidden forces, not yet exposed, stopped influencing the world? Even less so. They would have to be exposed first, and those who professionally inquire, academics in the universities have been careful to avoid having truly inquiring minds, lest they finish as the case of professor Gage… Some Great Powers have profited immensely in the last few generations… From their grand strategies… And it is probably not just accidental, nor subconscious, but because of forces which have not been exposed in the public space. Yet. (Not for want of yours truly trying real hard…)

Such is the state of the increasing plutocracy we suffer from: big ideas tend to be called “conspiracy theories”, or be outright censored. Yet, out there, the biggest ideas ever have to be revealed, and should be more in demand than ever… As the entire biosphere is in difficulty, as it has not been for 66 million years… And this from human activity directed by a small, entangled worldwide oligarchy.

An idea, bigger than all other, is that our species is a debating species. What is going on, then? Why is debate, just when it is more necessary than ever, be shunned? Could it be that the powers that be want no debate?

It has become, for technological reasons, easier to “cancel” ideas and individuals, more than ever. So the temptation has been, for the powers that be, the oligarchies presently in command, to exert this new found power, and reach everywhere and cancel anything they find inconvenient.

Unfortunately, many of those on the left who should have been thinking, instead of embracing debate, as used to be found in academia, have embraced the idea of censorship… Not realizing that the right would welcome that, and give them crumbs, as if they were pigeons. 

The sanctity of debate has to be embraced again, and, as there is an obvious need, should be imposed by law. One human should not just mean one vote, but also one opinion, for all to hear and ponder.

And academia should show the way, insisting that even hostile points of view be heard and debated, be it only to learn how to overcome them. 

***

Robert from Los Angeles replied:

@Patrice Ayme Very good points.

What you call the “sanctity of debate” is definitely gone today. The main reason, as I see it, is that one side – Republicans – bases its position on the Big Lie, the outlandish claim (which predates the election!) that Biden stole the election. 

While the Big Lie is not the only lie affecting debate, it is certainly the most outrageous and pernicious one. It communicates to the rest of the world that, as far as Republicans are concerned, democracy no longer serves their purposes. That they are ready and willing to abandon it.

When one side in a debate abandons the most basic rules of engagement, the debate is, for all intents and purposes, over. The debaters have become combatants, figuratively speaking and, sometimes, in actuality.

***

@Robert Thanks for your reply. There is plenty of blame to go around, and it’s not only a question of left versus right. Trump used to be a “Democrat” and even Trump ran against Reagan when the O’Neil Congress of “Democrats” was passing the laws of his good friend fellow “Irishman” the Republican president Reagan…

The real blame is that isegoria and parrhesia have not been presented as the pillars of democracy they truly are. At this point all the media is either owned outright or influenced (public media, through “sponsorship” and hope of future employment), by the world’s wealthiest individuals.. Who clearly have a vested interest, their positions at the top of the world command and control. 

Parrhesia is candor or frankness in speaking the truth… as in the Franks…

Isegoria is having an equal right to address the assemblies.

The result is that isegoria and parrhesia are completely ignored, and most voters with aspirations to real democracy do not even know what they are, and, a fortiori, they do not know that democracy is impossible without them. They do not even realize that anybody addressing them with information is plutocracy certified, employed and approved.

We have seen the left on the attack, say after 1918 in Italy and Germany. We also saw, then, and in many other cases, that the right tends to do fascism better. That’s why it’s a bad idea for the left to engage in it first, believing with shattering naivety that it will get stronger that way…

Debate, especially with opponents, has to be brought back, as the most humanistic endeavor.

The truly wise say: “You are my enemy in debate, I enjoy showing you how wrong you are, that makes you very precious.”

Patrice Ayme 

The Brady-Johnson Program in Grand Strategy is one of Yale University’s most celebrated and prestigious programs. Over the course of a year, it allows a select group of about two dozen students to immerse themselves in classic texts of history and statecraft, while also rubbing shoulders with guest instructors drawn from the worlds of government, politics, military affairs and the media.

[Notice the euphemistic concept of “rubbing shoulders”, not very distant from together-breathe, in other words, con-spirare… to conspire…]

“But now, a program created to train future leaders how to steer through the turbulent waters of history is facing a crisis of its own.

Beverly Gage, a historian of 20th-century politics who has led the program since 2017, has resigned, saying the university failed to stand up for academic freedom amid inappropriate efforts by its donors to influence its curriculum and faculty hiring.

The donors, both prominent and deep-pocketed, are Nicholas F. Brady, a former U.S. Treasury secretary under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, and Charles B. Johnson, a mutual fund billionaire and leading Republican donor who in 2013 made a $250 million donation to Yale — the largest gift in its history

[Charles Johnson is the second largest shareholder in Franklin Resources, an investment management firm partly founded by the late Templeton, a sort of Christian celebrating world peace and Croesus. Johnson became CEO at age 24 in 1957, a decade after his father, Rupert Johnson Sr., founded the company.]

The Grand Strategy program was founded in 2000 by the Yale historians John Lewis Gaddis, a leading scholar of the Cold War, and Paul Kennedy, the author of “The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers,” along with the diplomat Charles Hill, a former aide and adviser to George P. Shultz and Mr. Kissinger.

The idea was to teach leadership through an eclectic curriculum of classic texts, case-studies and crisis simulations, incorporating thinkers and topics from Thucydides, Sun Tzu, and Machiavelli to the Cold War.

Grand Strategy” is a capacious but slippery concept, one that has generated continuing debates about its meaning. In his 2018 book “On Grand Strategy,” Professor Gaddis defined it as “the alignment of unlimited aspirations with necessarily limited capabilities. In recent years, scholars have extended the concept to business, global public health, party politics and other areas.

Professor Gage, 49, has incorporated social movement strategy into the course. (In a recent essay, she described herself as someone who “was as likely to be a protester as a policymaker.”)…

…she wasn’t teaching Grand Strategy “the way Henry Kissinger would.”

“I said, ‘That’s absolutely right. I am not teaching Grand Strategy the way Henry Kissinger would,’” she said.

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5 Responses to “No Debate, No Hope”

  1. benign Says:

    It is always amusing to see a Democrat (disc: I am Indie) talk about “the big lie.” You were too kind.

    Elections should be subject to audit. Just like government books (no longer possible FASB 56). Just like the Fed (never been done).

    The elites’ pathetic media and institutions have decided that they are the arbiters of every type of reality, including yours and mine, once they get their gen-mod “vaccines” into our systems.

    The Democrats want to turn the country into Communist China, where there is no debate about anything.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      What’s an “Indie” exactly?
      I have to be too kind when I address the New York Times, because it censors my comments at the slightest pretext… Besides censoring them for big ideas adverse to their very existence…The essay was derived from comments…

      The elites’ pathetic lies work well with the youth, that’s the horrible part. Where I live, Berkeley, we used to have “Question Authority” signs all over… Now we have not one such sign in sight. Instead we have masked youth getting into their fossil fueled powered electric cars past their “Black Lives Matter” signs on their lawns, carefully planted by their racist parents celebrating the “progress” made under governor Newsom (twice the homelessness!).

      Then they go jog with their COVID swamp masks on… And then accuse my perfectly behaving dog to be off leash… where he has the perfect legal right to be off leash… Next stage they will ask the dog to wear a mask… Then they complain anonymously to authorities… All this with transparent envelopes for voting, and “vote harvesting”.

      As Hitler used to boast: “Adults can complain all they want, we own the youth…”

      The analogy with China is NOT accidental. Gates of Hell is helping…
      https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2021/01/18/is-xis-china-a-danger-or-is-it-as-usual-us-plutocracy/

      Like

  2. brodix Says:

    The basic dynamics of nature are synchronization, which is centripetal and harmonization, which is centrifugal. Consequently we have nodes and networks, organisms and ecosystems, particles and fields.
    The problem is that having evolved civilization around the assumption of the spiritual absolute as an ideal from which we fell, rather than the essence from which we rise, there is a very strong tendency to align with the totem at the center and ignore the broader context, until everything goes spiraling into the abyss.

    Like

  3. Don Says:

    Dialogue is a foundation stone of western civilization. Western civilization is under siege, of course, and its future is rather bleak.
    “You don’t know what you got till it’s gone.” -Joni Mitchell

    Like

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