In the West, universities are the preferential domain of induction into a particular type of mass ideological possession. One might also call it an “delusion”, because it never reaches the coherence of an organized ideology. The “domain” represents absolute control over a specific area and the purpose of induction is the creation of more inductors of the delusion. In America the delusion is sometimes dismissively called “safe space culture”, but it’s effect is significantly more powerful than many realize, and it extends into every discipline of liberal arts and across all fields of political and social expertise. Increasingly, this delusion even extends into the hard sciences. Charles Murray warns of a coming revolution in genetic understanding that will prove most of the assertions of social psychology completely erroneous. Let us hope it comes soon.
At first the idea of mass delusion sounds extreme, but there is reason to believe that large systems experience mass delusion almost all the time. Gustave Le Bon is responsible for some of the earliest work on mob psychology, and he demonstrates that group-formed consensus is irrational at best. Most often, we simply do not notice mob irrationality when it occurs. As Chesterton wrote: “Anything can be invisible, provided that it’s large enough.” When such delusions are scaled down, we can point to them. It can be extreme or subtle, violent or indirect.
In situations where the induction process is not hidden, this seems as a matter-of-fact: the effectiveness of mass delusion is on full view in North Korea, who uses a less subtle and more violent method of controlling information domains. The Communist government may be nihilistic and absurdist, but this does nothing to weaken its power in the domain it controls. North Korea is effectively the world’s biggest unbroken safe-space for the induction of a particular Maoist delusion managed by the Kim family and their closest allies.
We call this type of induction “brainwashing”, and we’re quick to respond that our control of the information domains does nothing of the kind. North Korea has the all-encompassing religion of the State, but here we have secular universities, we have the Ivy League, and we are relatively certain that no “mass delusion” is happening on campuses proud to foster free thinking, individualism, and teach only the Truth.
Berkeley protesters turned to rioters at the mere presence of Milo Yiannopoulos and set part of their campus on fire. In Canada students de-platformed Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who escaped both a theocratic regime and assassins to come to the West. Canadian students accused her of “Islamophobia”. At Middlebury, clinical researcher Charles Murray was threatened with violence for speaking of the scientific reality of racial differences, and another professor who intervened was put in a neck brace. Richard Spencer was initially shut down with a bomb threat and had to go to court.
What are we witnessing here? Is this not a mass delusion?
We live in a Western culture with proud traditions of the Greco-Roman “Logos”, that is (at least in part, for it is a word with many meanings): true, self-directed speech and will, manifested into being by careful attention to Nature or Order. Yet this principle of true speech and honest pursuit does not seem welcome on many university campuses.
Apologists counter that some words are freer than others, and hate speech isn’t free at all. What is hate speech? The US Supreme Court ruled that it has no recognized legal definition. It doesn’t exist, legally speaking. But within the university domain, it’s whatever happens to violate the induction Kim’s regime. Or the managerial regime. It’s everything outside of the “safe-space”. What is a safe-space? A place where “Only the Truth” is allowed to be spoken, and where Public Policy — that is, instructions to the managerial classes, is created. Every level of managers in society, both public and private sectors, go through the university system, and they receive the same induction. Unlike the corporate managerial class that exists by creating artificial consumption, the academic managerial class exists by creating the brittle and artificial — safe-space friendly — representation of Truth, then disseminates it across the rest of the university system. Identity is Selective. Equality is Science. Diversity is Strength.
When an unorthodox person is invited, protest is raised, and then the person quickly uninvited. Universities respond with something to this effect: the philistine is always asking for it. The “academic denier”, the spigot of “hate speech”, the intellectual philistine. He is always causing trouble and it is the duty of the students, the faithful, not to allow deniers to spread their “hate facts”. What is a hate fact? A hate fact is any scientific claim with statistical evidence that is not bolstered by the prevailing academic ideology.
Herein we have the mass delusion laid bare: what is the ideology of the universities bolstered by? Not by reason, evidence, or even an organizing principle, but pure sophistry; that is, arguments that are most pleasing to the greatest number. The pathologizing of post-industrial “avoid suffering at all costs.” The universities, their experts and their students are certain that they are in possession of scientific facts, but vociferously deny all empirical data that runs contrary to their particular ideological possession and delusion. They are the cult of Wilson, or perhaps Marx: theocratic secularists, and they are ideologues at heart.
Why Auburn? Because Auburn represents a legal victory and precedent in forcing the university mass-delusion to allow the presence of a total disruptor, a philistine, among their protected “Enlightened”. The court ruling states that Auburn was invoking a “heckler’s veto” and putting unreasonable demands on the exercise of free speech. This will be a precedent for others going forward. Whether it’s Yiannopoulos, Invictus, Coulter, Hirsi Ali, Peterson, or even Spencer — all of them are guilty of the same crime in the eyes of the university ideology and their deluded faithful: the crime of blasphemy, of disrupting the safe-space by speaking “hate” — that is, any challenge to the self-possessive university-orthodoxy itself.
Why this battle of Logos versus the Safe Spaces? Because the final argument from the universities is that there can be no higher values that contradicts the highest comfort of humanity, even if it is Truth itself. This contains within it the nested assumption that potential suffering is the greatest evil in the world and countering it is thereby the greatest virtue. The identity that terrifies the university is the one that lies outside their domain, the one that cannot be manipulated by suffering: the spiritual aesthetic, identified by being true to one’s principium individuationis.
The modern dictum is that nothing but human suffering matters, the logical conclusion of all materialism. But aesthetics, which are the immutable identities of things naturally perceived — are above the material and represent values more significant than material. It represents the positing of an ideal form that is more significant than even one’s suffering and ought therefore be strived for. Truth is one such eternal striving; never a possession, but always a seeking. Pursuing Logos is the conviction that suffering is not the world’s highest meaning, and that there are intrinsic values worth being sacrificed for that may even increase suffering, and that this too is worth it.
The response to this challenge to the universities and their safe-spaces has revealed their true form: not purveyors of wisdom, not professors, but snake charmers and basilisk tamers, who can at a moment and with a single intonation, rally a thousand little snakes and more than a few lumbering basilisks with fangs bared. Chanting their mindless slogans: Diversity is Strength. Hate is Offensive. No One Is Illegal. The venom these reptiles carry is of a special form: it liquefies the insides, while appearing to leave the skin unmolested. Thus does one’s life melt away when poisoned by one of these creatures – job, family, future. By controlling public policy, the university’s control public opinion and reaction.
The fangs are bared now. The basilisks are out. How does one fight? By holding a mirror to the face of the enemy. By reflecting back on it the self-same glare. A profound wisdom lurking in the belly of our mythology. By becoming like Mithridates and inoculating ourselves to the poison of snakes. With a thousand little doses we become immune to venom. This is how we take the ground against the managerial viper’s nests we call universities: become immune, and bring a mirror.
But even this alone is not enough, for after we defeat the snake’s venom and the basilisk’s glare, we must still storm the walled citadels and enter their protected spaces. We must become venom-proof followers of the Cynic Diogenes and try to wake men up. Like Diogenes, we must be willing not only to argue and fight, but also to shit on the floor if that what it takes to wake men up.
We must be willing, in short, not only to remind men of their animal nature, and of the eternal Logos found in paying attention to biological and aesthetic principles, but also to remind them that man is by far the softest and weakest of all the animals. If he will rise above, he must become a rolling stone: hard, unstoppable, breaker of walls.
By thus becoming hard, poison-immune dog philosophers, we can fight them in their safe spaces and force the Cathedrals, these “universities”, to retreat with all their followers. Auburn proves that it can be done! We can wield fire, for Heraclitus says Logos is most akin to fire, and then we are reminded that we are descendants of Prometheus. With fire we can sanctify the ground and erect our permanent challenge to snake-charming sophistry: the Anti-Versity, the organic manifestation of Principles of Order, composed in speeches, essays, blogs and vlogs, through which we educate ourselves and to which we send our children, starving the basilisks, and above the virtual door erect the words: Let None But Those Who Do Not Fear the Arsonist’s Punishment Enter Here!