Peggy Noonan makes a good point: The Barak Obama phenomenon may be another symptom of the deep confusion of our age. (He does not represent any particular social trend; he does not espouse any particularly original ideas; he does not advance any particular new political agenda. But we are desperate for somebody new and nice and different, and he is able to give the impression that he may be "it.")
Paper Clippings The Blog of The Crossroads Cultural Center
Paper Clippings, more than a classical blog, is a service providing valuable reading material in order to help readers reach a judgment about current affairs. Comments and discussion are more than welcome.
Speaking of college curricula, the first part of this essay by Peter Berkowitz is worth reading because it describes extremely well the current situation. The second part is unconvincing, because the ideas of John Stuart Mill are precisely what originated today's content-less education: teachers should not take sides but only present multiple points of view, promoting "skeptical eclepticism" etc. But SKEPTICAL ECLEPTICISM is precisely the shared philosophy of modern college education, and the reason for its collapse! How can an intelligent man like Berkowitz miss such an obvious connection?
It is a fact that authoritarian right-wing dictators will kill people in the thousands, whereas left-wing regimes will kill them in the millions and utterly destroy their countries. The reason is not some difference in morality between the two: it is that left-wingers are by definition ideological, while right-wingers are usually just reactionary (with exceptions: see Hitler or Khomeini, who were non-Marxist revolutionaries.)
Interesting paradox: democracy in Turkey is being endangered by the EU's insistence on civilian control over the military. This confirms a basic truth: that the foundation of democracy is the education of a people, not formal mechanisms. E.g. it is not the brilliant checks and balances of the US constitution; it is the kind of people who wrote it. Not understanding this is the tragedy of contemporary liberalism.