Monday, November 18, 2013

Earth, Air, Fire, Water: The Four States of Matter in Modern Robes

“Many philosophies and world views have a set of classical elements believed to reflect the simplest essential parts and principles of which anything consists or upon which the constitution and fundamental powers of anything are based. Most frequently, classical elements, dating from pre-Socratic Greece, refer to ancient beliefs inspired by natural observation of the phases of matter; with the classical elements: earth is equivalent to solid, water is equivalent to liquid, air is equivalent to gas, and fire is equivalent to plasma.”  (From Wikipedia)

Search the websites of most colleges and universities in the United States and you will discover five fundamental principles that suffuse academic life, and which permeate every aspect of American culture.

The ordering of the five may change over time, but the list is universal, as if it was inscribed on a third stone tablet numbering the 11th through 15th commandments.

1.   Equality.  This requires poverty reduction, growth with equity, redistribution of income, and ever-increasing taxes on the rich and wealthy.

2.  Sustainability.  This requires stopping global warming that is causing climate change.  Man-made greenhouse-gas emissions must be reduced and should be taxed to save the planet.    Renewable energy sources, such as wind, solar, and biomass, must replace fossil fuels, regardless of cost.

3.  Diversity.  No matter how many words have been written demonstrating that statistical disparities do not imply discrimination (e.g., Thomas Sowell’s 17 books and countless articles), diversity must be expanded until underrepresented groups achieve or exceed proportional parity in every walk of life.

4.  Democracy.  The attempt to impose Western-style democracy, especially in the Middle East, has cost several trillion  dollars and more than a million lives and casualties.  Nevertheless, universities press ahead promoting democracy around the globe.

5.  Sensitivity.  Neither students nor scholars dare utter words that are considered insensitive to offended groups.  Criticism of Barack Obama’s policies is met with charges of racism.  Defense of traditional families and Christianity is called sexist and homophobic.  If you can’t say it, it’s only a matter of time till you dare not think it.  Linda: You’re Absolutely fantastic.

Student tour guides at universities used to tell prospective students that “At our university we teach you how to think, not what to think.”  Now they tell them “Welcome to your Brave New World.