"Like the Impressionist painters, the Pictorialists reveled in the effect of atmosphere, or conveyed the wistful emotion of an ethereal young beauty caught in a delicate reverie," wrote a reviewer of the exhibition "Truth Beauty: Pictorialism and the Photograph as Art." Above, "Three Women."
"When I think of the suppression of free thought in areas like global warming or children who are suspended for their political beliefs, I wonder how future generations will ever learn how to figure out truth from fiction," writes Dr. Helen, reinforcing what she already knows about nature and human nature in rereading Hayek's timeless The Road to Serfdom:
One of my favorite chapters in the book is one entitled, "The End of Truth," where Hayek discusses propaganda and its role in a totalitarian society. He argues that intellectual freedom is important because it leads to intellectual progress:
… So long as dissent in not suppressed, there will always be some who will query the ideas ruling their contemporaries and put new ideas to the test of argument and propaganda …
The tragedy of collectivist thought is that, while it starts out to make reason supreme, it ends by destroying reason because it misconceives the process on which the growth of reason depends.
Enter stage right Thomas Sowell, whose concise, terse, pithy prose — as ever informed by equal parts profound scholarship and old-fashioned common sense — cuts through the nuanced underbrush of leftist logorrhea:
Even if every conclusion with which students are indoctrinated were true, unless those students develop their own ability to weigh opposing arguments, these conclusions will become obsolete as new issues arise in the years ahead.
These "educated" people will have developed no ability to analyze opposing sides of issues. Students are getting half an education at inflated prices and learning only how to label, dismiss and demonize ideas that differ from what they have been led to believe. Their "educated" ignorance is a danger to the future of this country.
As we wrote quite awhile back — half a decade, fergosake! — in one of our all-time fave posts, "Bloggers are 'cracking, popping, drilling and peeling their victims open'":
The leftist utopian dream was doomed from the start because it denied the economic logic of nature and human nature. The long-repressed voices of opposition in a free society, now ringing loud and clear through talk radio, cable TV and — of course — the blogosphere, will force the left to rethink its arguments or go extinct.
Looks like our heart was too soon made glad. A lot of smoke and mirrors dazzled a lot of our fellow Americans between then and now, but in the fullness of time, things are trending there. Witness the cosmic convergence of two of the top 50 political bloggers this very day. "Is he an outlier, or a leading indicator?" Glenn Reynolds asked rhetorically last week, "in his own three levels of blogging way":
I’ve never seen Dan Riehl this angry … The Dems had better hope it's the former.
Well it ain't the former. It's the latter, a leading indicator, as the Instapundit himself affirms it in a brilliant Washington Examiner analysis today of the overloaded circuits at the central breaker box of the once Shining City Upon a Hill:
Unsurprisingly, the political class — which talks mostly to itself — thinks that it is far more popular, and legitimate, in the eyes of the country than is in fact the case. In this, as in so many things, America's political class is out of touch with reality …
The political class sold its legitimacy off in drips and drabs. As "smart politics" has come over the past decades to mean not persuasion but the practice of legerdemain, the use of political deals, cover from a friendly press apparat and taking advantage of voters' rational ignorance, the governing classes have managed to achieve things that would surely have failed had the people known what was going on.
Rahm Emanuel, call your office. As Dan Riehl says in a follow-up:
Why of potentially even more concern? Because if I often represent passion in political discourse, Reynolds just as often represents prudence. And if he's seeing the writing on the wall as glaringly as I am and thinks it worthy of giving voice to, then we are indeed in a precarious state in this sense.
But not to worry. The social networkers are on the case, disintermediating the powers that be via the internet, and "It's morning in the American blogosphere, my friends," writes Dan:
Based on Wikio's rankings, if Andrew Sullivan and Leftist blogs are doing anything today, they are going down as regards their influence, while the Right is on the rise.
We were astonished to see our own blog ranked 455 in Wikio's general category. Golly gee. It apparently has to do with the ranking of those who link you. It must be the company we keep.
Update: Dan Riehl links with a twist:
Cooking the Left's goose with Sissy, Sowell and Dr. Helen. Or is it goosing the Left with an onion? Inquiring minds …
Update: Retriever links (Thanks, dear friend):
Sissy Willis on the PC brainwashing of our children and young people. I'd like to say that the homeschooling many friends around here and in the blogosphere recommend is the answer, but the real pressure is applied in college (don't ask how I know, don't want to get mad all over again)
Lots of good stuff. Check 'em out. This one caught our eye: