Thursday, April 10, 2014

Comment on the Belmont Club:
"The Indefinite Man"

Belmont Club » The Indefinite Man

Brandeis' Core Value is "take the money." People take at face value self identified Jewish institutions and then add a set of preconceptions based on that. 

In New York we will soon have the Israel Day parade sponsored by the United Jewish Appeal and the American Jewish Committee. These are two old mainstream organizations that have raised millions of dollars over many decades from the Jewish community. Their present leadership have endorsed and advanced the Boycott Divest and Sanction (BDS) movement targeting Israel. Organizations that support BDS, such as J Street, have been invited to participate in the parade.

There is a tension between the need for certainty in the face of corruption and the need for doubt in the face of complexity. Without certainty there are no standards to be held to. Without doubt there is no need to inquire test and innovate. 

We need both 
"Hier stehe ich, ich kann nicht anders."
and
"I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken."

Those whose vision of purity admits of no imperfections, and therefor of no mercy of change can only rejoice at the death of their near rivals, as Luther did of Zwingli's, even over those of their avowed enemies. The Irish should be grateful that they only had a Congregational Calvinist to deal with.

The universities are now far down the path of pursuing money at the expense of free thought. Eisenhower was concerned by the effects of big government on academia. He was right but by considering the simple interests of the National Security State of his time the whole of the problem he did not consider the future vulnerabilities and stages involved. The universities became addicted to big projects and sponsorships, not only from government engineering and science but then also from Area Studies in the Social Sciences and Humanities. That inflated budgets and costs and bloated administration at the expense of teaching. It reduced the dependence on students and cut the bonds between faculty and the public as alumni, parents, and students. The hunt for money to keep feeding the swollen system made the universities open to influence from private foundations and foreign governments. Those interests then had a mechanism to penetrate first the universities and then the government administration and other segments of society. That is the Gramscian March.

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