Sometimes it is instructive to view the current situation through an entirely different prism. How about from the frame of reference of a genius prophet of the scene, who came of age in fin-de-siècle Vienna?
Karl Kraus (1874-1936) was a brilliant Austrian journalist, critic, lecturer, playwright, and poet. He was the founder, editor, and from 1911 until his death, the sole author of Die Fackel (“The Torch”), through which he achieved fame as a scathing critic of Austrian society. I have no doubt that he would have relished taking on the liberal media of today, much as he took on the Viennese press and Austrian middle class. Kraus greatly enjoyed poking fun, for example, at the faux moralism of the local newspapers, that mercilessly attacked prostitutes, all the while accepting their advertising orders.
Despite the incredible workload of Die Fackel, he still found time to write the massive drama Die letzten Tage der Menschheit (1918; published 1922) (“The Last Days of Mankind”), a visionary condemnation of the futility of World War I.
We’ll use three quotations from Kraus as stepping off points.
“The devil is an optimist if he thinks he can make people worse than they are.”
The first quote might seem pessimistic, but to this veteran of high school reunions, it really hits the mark. People seldom change for the better. In fact, the guys who were jerks back then are still jerks now, albeit with a bald spot and a big gut. The girls who were bitchy then, if anything, are more so, and can’t hide behind their looks decades later.
On the political side, you would think after such bellwethers as the fall of Communism, the legacy of the sexual revolution, the failure of years of social programs, and 9/11, there would have been some conversions. And you would have been right, except that what happened was that those true believers became even more hard Left and anti-American, which brings us to the second precept.
“Education is a crutch with which the foolish attack the wise to prove that they are not idiots.”
Even though our entire world is based on technology, a strangely disproportionate amount of what goes on in academia is well outside the realm of science. While this is not bad in itself, it does tend to skew the concepts of truth, reality, and the like. Any useful scientific theory must be tested to be valid. Failing this empirical test, it is discarded like so much useless baggage.
In the liberal arts, however, what we see is merely “informed opinion” being force-fed to an increasingly non-critical, bored, and intimidated crop of so-called students, and sycophant peers. Harvard University’s very emblem says “Veritas,” but truth is hard to come by if not a single faculty member stands up to the prevailing execrable Leftist orthodoxy. And since the Ivies—especially the most prestigious Ivy—set the tone for the rest of the lockstep academic simpletons, it’s surprisingly easy for the idiot virus to spread across all college campuses.
In this constant masquerade of the dull over-schooled trying to appear bright, one of the most proven methods is to adopt a gritty anti-Americanism, coupled with a cocksure atheism, and a rigidly conformist counter-culture posture, that takes fastidious care to maintain an ethnic sensibility, so long as those ethnics know their place.
Within this concentration camp of pseudo-intellectualism lies the School of Journalism, training ground for all the would-be Woodwards, Bernsteins, and Katie Courics, but emphatically not Karl Krauses. As they graduate, they will be propelled into modestly paying intern jobs (if they can get them), that will prepare them for modestly paying local beat jobs—all the time surrounded by like-minded robots. Then the few, the happy few, will become syndicated, but as newspapers keep losing circulation and ad revenue, and there is no market for Leftie talk show hosts, this “few” will become vanishingly small. So, for our final quote…
“Journalist: a person without any ideas but with an ability to express them; a writer whose skill is improved by a deadline: the more time he has, the worse he writes.”