From Ed Driscoll: ‘Interview: David Gelernter on America-Lite’

Full interview here.

Gelernter, a professor of computer science at Yale, laments the loss of what he sees as America’s popular identity as a Judeo-Christian nation, an exceptional nation, and an openly patriotic nation (all once popular even in academia according to his book). He claims it has since been replaced with ‘America Lite.’

Throughout the interview, he traces the rise of ‘imperial academia,’ which he argues has dismantled the previous WASP culture and replaced it with something lesser which has trickled down and become American culture, helping to produce the Obamacrats. He traces these changes through the radicalism of the 1960’s and the rise of the New Left, drifting to where we are today, about which he is not happy.

I will say that one can’t be complacent if one’s guiding ideals and principles aren’t in power, and conservatism is not enjoying success in academia at the moment. There’s also a lot of populist anger amongst conservatives, often directed at the mainstreaming and institutionalization of the 60’s generation in academia and government. This includes the rise of feminism and multiculturalism, moral relativism, an often flabby but sometimes militant atheism, and the more radical individualism and continental collectivism that seem to be ascendant now and likely into the foreseeable future. Where are we headed?

Has Gelernter made the case that if we follow the right principles, ideas and beliefs, maybe America can regain the exceptionalism and patriotism of the past, but it can build the present for the future?

If you’ve read the book, please drop a line.

Chronicle Of Higher Ed Review here. I can’t imagine the secular humanists would like it.

Commentary review here. National Review here.

Related On This Site: Ever more inclusion until we can’t any longer. On this site, see: Louis Menand At The New Yorker: ‘Live And Learn: Why We Have College’..

Once you take apart the old structure, you have to criticize the meritocracy you’ve helped create: David Brooks At The NY Times: ‘Why Our Elites Stink’

The anti-intellectual’s intellectual: Repost-Via Youtube: Eric Hoffer-’The Passionate State Of Mind’

Leo Strauss:From Darwinian Conservatism By Larry Arnhart: “Surfing Strauss’s Third Wave of Modernity”

A deeper look at what education “ought” to be, which is remarkably like it is now: A Review Of Martha Nussbaum’s ‘Cultivating Humanity: A Classical Defense of Reform in Liberal Education.

How dare he?: Repost-Revisting Larry Summers: What Did He Say Again?From The Harvard Educational Review-

Still reliving the 60′s?: A Few Thoughts On Robert Bork’s “Slouching Towards Gomorrah”

The classical liberal tradition…looking for classical liberals in the postmodern wilderness: Isaiah Berlin’s negative liberty: A Few Thoughts On Isaiah Berlin’s “Two Concepts Of Liberty”From George Monbiot: ‘How Freedom Became Tyranny’…Looking to supplant religion as moral source for the laws: From The Reason Archives: ‘Discussing Disgust’ Julian Sanchez Interviews Martha Nussbaum.New liberty away from Hobbes?: From Public Reason: A Discussion Of Gerald Gaus’s Book ‘The Order of Public Reason: A Theory of Freedom And Morality In A Diverse And Bounded World’…Richard Rorty tried to tie postmodernism and trendy leftist solidarity to liberalism, but wasn’t exactly classically liberal: Repost: Another Take On J.S. Mill From “Liberal England”

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One thought on “From Ed Driscoll: ‘Interview: David Gelernter on America-Lite’

  1. The inclusion of “fascist discourse” — what these worthies actually said — is one of the best features of the book. A connection here has been noted but seldom pursued by the academic sheep. The “genealogy” ought to interest some of those earnest Foucauldians out there. Hugh Thomas and A. James Gregor consider fascism “a heresy of the Left,” but the Left has never found this idea very fetching. Similarly, the wonderful affinities between American pragmatic liberalism and fascism await, as far as I know, their Homer and Virgil. (Critics as different as M. Stanton Evans and Murray Rothbard have noted the resemblance.) Marxism and fascism, whatever their family quarrels, owe a great deal to the same sources, and the question arises whether a load of nineteenth-century German idealism, French social engineering, and faulty Ricardian economics properly composes a “materialist” theory of anything. (Marx just picked up the word at the lost-and-found, and the real owners can’t get it back.) Further investigation, no doubt, would reveal a lot of incest in the family lines of Comte, Hegel, Marx, and (sometimes) Nietzsche, with the odd bastard like John Dewey and Paul DeMan perhaps traceable to cross-cousin fornication.

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