Insular Publications – The Enemies of Tradition and Culture

by | Mar 30, 2022 |

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Readers today are bombarded by tendentious, pompous, shallow, and self-congratulatory articles that have no end in sight; politically expedient writing that intimidates the casual reader more than it incites excitement to read further. Readability is often not the main purpose of the people who pen these articles. The smug propagation of leftist, albeit opportunistic ideology of the smart-set, gives away the true aim of such publications.

This is an apt description of publications the likes of The Atlantic, Harper’s, The New Yorker, and The New York Times, among many others.

Why are there so many insular publications? 

Magazines and Websites that only publish their “senior contributors” protect themselves from writers and thinkers who are considered outsiders – a threat to their desired narrative. Try as one may to find writers who do not tow the party-line in such publications, nepotism and ideological affinity remain the de facto twin pillars of these publications. 

The recent exodus of writers who have left or been fired from The New York Times for not covering up the true numbers of Covid-19 deaths and the effects of the vaccines is a fine example of the weaponization of journalism. 

The indiscretion committed by the people who run such publications, what are otherwise tightly protected cliques – a good old boy (and girl) network of people who pat each other on the back – is that they are not interested in ideas and intellectual honesty. Instead, these publications resemble someone padding a résumé.

Parochial Conservative Magazines and Websites

One of the problems with conservative magazines and websites is that many of them are as insular as the leftist ideological ones. 

While leftism operates on a groupthink, one-party mentality, conservatives bicker and eat their own – perhaps unconsciously – but definitively unnecessarily, especially if they truly understood the dire implications of what is at stake.

The people who operate insular magazines and websites have no clue what totalitarian regimes do to unimaginative, ineffective, and lazy conservatives who are only interested in promoting friends, self-referential publications that convey no message to outsiders, and running conferences that serve as filler for the résumé of careerists. 

In this regard, hapless and insular conservative magazines and websites have taken a page from leftism’s groupthink and the academy.

Safeguarding Life-Affirming Values in the Open Society

What is called for instead in conservative magazines and websites – I am referring to the ones that embrace convictions, not merely rationalize their raison d’être – is perspective about safeguarding life-affirming values in the open society.

In an epoch when reason and science have been gutted by the praxis of Marxist ideology, classical education has been vanquished from higher education, and the humanities bankrupted as bearers of knowledge and truth, keeping a proper perspective of life-affirming values is timelier than splitting hairs over doctrinal minutiae that have little or no bearing on human reality.

Consider Søren Kierkegaard’s idea of convictions. He writes in his diary, “If I truly have a conviction (and that we know, is an inner determination in the direction of spirit), my conviction to me is always stronger than reasons; actually, conviction is what supports the reasons, not the other way round.”

The Enemies of Tradition and Culture

The lack of perspective and foresight about the importance of safeguarding life-affirming values that many conservative magazines and websites currently display enable the enemies of tradition and culture to isolate writers and thinkers they consider enemies; people who can otherwise contribute to the wellbeing of individual human persons, without the affectation of embracing fashionable causes.

Perspective about the role of life-affirming values in the open society breeds deference for human reality.

The absence of perspective about life-affirming values has destroyed tradition and culture in Western civilization. The latter has emboldened relativism. This has been achieved by ever-advancing corrosive aberrations that are couched in the emotional language that moral/spiritual Lilliputians have created in order to protect themselves. Remember the adage, safety in numbers? 

This is one reason why Lucifer has his legions of demons.

It is in plain sight for thoughtful people to recognize that Western civilization has been abandoned to barbarians. The encroachment of destructive moral aberrations destroys people’s ability to think for themselves. In turn, this means that responsible individuals who should exercise free will lose their ability to cultivate a healthy perspective about the demands of human reality.

Perspective enables people of good will and temperance to recognize that it is foolish to pass off canned meat as caviar, the corruption of innocence and beauty as alleged progress.

The practice of temperance requires courage, one of the virtues that alleged conservatives in postmodernity lack most. As a result, those who should know better kick the can down the road of perdition in order not to rock the boat.

Ultimately, we pay together as sinners regardless of who corrupted innocence and beauty, and those responsible for destroying man’s capacity to exercise free will in a culture of death that promotes self-loathing.

Postmodern life continues to slide into anarchy that will undoubtedly culminate in untold tyranny, suffering and violence – the resentful form of violence that is currently being unleashed on people of good will by self-possessed social engineers who think of themselves as the guardians of progress and innovators of human nature.

Dr. Pedro Blas González

Pedro Blas González is Professor of Philosophy at Barry University, Miami Shores, Florida. 

He earned his doctoral degree in Philosophy at DePaul University in 1995. Dr. González has published extensively on leading Spanish philosophers, such as Ortega y Gasset and Unamuno. His books include Human Existence as Radical Reality: Ortega’s Philosophy of SubjectivityUnamuno: A Lyrical Essay; Ortega’s ‘Revolt of the Masses’ and the Triumph of the New Man; Fragments: Essays in Subjectivity, Individuality and Autonomy;Dreaming in the Cathedral and Fantasia: A Novel.

He published a translation and introduction of José Ortega y Gasset’s last work to appear in English, “Medio siglo de Filosofia” (1951) in Philosophy Today Vol. 42 Issue 2 (Summer 1998). 

His book Philosophical Perspective on Cinema will be published by Lexington Books in May 2022.

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Rickey H
Rickey H
1 month ago

Life is short and there is little idle time to waste on reading literary garbage from the mainstream media.

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