Thursday 19 May 2022

Why has our civilization of 'specialists' failed to preserve the excellence of specialist activities?

About a century ago; many leading thinkers and writers expressed an intense and focused appreciation of 'the good things of life'. 

As part of secularization - the 'specialist' was given a distinctive role. Each class of specialist was expected to put his specialty first, and to guard and develop its work. 

For instance, scientists understood that truth-seeking and truth-speaking was the essential basis of their work. There were hordes of nature writers who pointed out unnoticed beauties of landscape, and urged their preservation. Secular moralists regarded themselves of accepting, adding-to, building-upon existing Christian morality - by advocating a more expanded and sensitive awareness of human suffering. Art-for-art's-sake (art as the most important value in the artist's life) was the usual attitude of artists and critics - who strove single-mindedly for more exquisite and elaborate forms. Economists regarded sufficient and increasing production of shelter, food, transport, capability as priority; and its 'fair' mechanism of 'distribution' a subordinate question...

Yet none of these have, in fact, been preserved; but all have-been/ are-being destroyed - indeed purposively, actively and increasingly destroyed - with evidence of intent. 

And the specialists have gone-along-with, have supported and assisted, the destruction of their own specialty! 

Every focused and serious secular project has ended by doing almost the opposite; and this trend accelerates. 

The strategy is ultimately sustained by evil-intent, which lies behind the hegemonic atheistic, anti-Christian, leftist ideology - in particular its coordinated 'latest thing' global campaigns. 

The proximate mechanism of implementation is the linked-Global System of bureaucracies, backed by the monolithic international mass media. 

All this became clear in early 2020, when it was evident that there had been an international totalitarian coup. The world now had one ruling group, a group that spoke with one voice - and it immediately began to eliminate and suppress all other voices. 

Whatever one's specialty; in the 2020 birdemic; nothing mattered except the birdemic. 

All morality, religion, aesthetics, art, science, education, policing, transport, commerce, the economy etc was sacrificed to whatever some official said everybody must now do "because of the birdemic". Consequences be damned (or denied). 

All those things that our civilization, our specialists, had - and not all that much earlier! - regarded as necessary to preserve - were discarded (without stated end-point) for as long as the birdemic-problem was officially/by-media deemed to continue. 

This was imposed by top-down, by literal diktat (i.e. in the UK, 'law' was enacted simply via the verbal or written command of an official - disseminated by national media)

And what did the specialists do when their specialty was closed 'because of the birdemic', activities suspended, rules implemented (distancing, testing, 'quarantining' etc) that crippled its function? 

They complied eagerly!

What did specialists do when it was proposed that they be repurposed into agencies for antiracism, to promote the sexual revolution, 'climate change' imperatives, anti-Fire Nation policies etc. (i.e. whatever dominates among the current Litmus Test issues). 

They complied eagerly!

(And indeed often begged for more self-destruction.) 

But this has been an increasing part of leftism - i.e. the 'New' culturally-focused Left, contrasted with the 'Old' - communistic - Left, which focused on economics - since about the middle 1960s. 

New Leftism has progressively and incrementally become normal in academia for specialists - in technology, medicine, the sciences and mathematics as well as the arts and social sciences. Across the board, academics are working to re-purpose their subjects in line with leftist goals

Indeed, in many academic subjects there is almost nothing except leftist politics! - merely re-expressed in terms of the distinctive specialist jargon of the subject.  

This is a very interesting phenomenon to me! I mean specialists colluding in the destruction of their specialism - specialists, en masse, assisting the destruction of exactly that which ultimately gives them status and income. 

The proximate reasons are obvious to anyone who has worked in an institution over the past few decades: that it is immediately, short-term career-expedient to go-along-with destroying one's specialty. To make the most of such trends. 

Destruction is The growth industry within the modern institution, corporation, organization... There is funding to do this, jobs and promotions designated to do it - kudos from doing it...  

Yet, this expediency itself requires explanation. The fact that there are entire specialties whose 'function' is to destroy their function and replace it with leftism is a quite extraordinary situation in world-historical terms! 

In the past, specialist groups - e.g. trades, guilds, professions - would cooperate tenaciously to preserve their long-term security. Indeed, they often took this too-far ("the doctors/ lawyers/ trades unionists always stick-together"), and were often blamed for it!

This was regarded as natural and normal - whereas Now we regard it as natural and normal for a successful specialist to get short-term career advantage from bad-mouthing, dismantling and re-purposing his specialty; and completely ignoring (or denying) the inevitably destructive consequences. 

What has changed?  

What has changed is something very deep and pervasive - which is why it is largely unnoticed. 

It is the spread a general incapacity for coherent thinking deriving from the mental disability that is a consequence of deleting religion as the primary motivator of Men.

It is this 'sickness' - almost universal in our secular society - that has made possible the national (indeed global) coerced implementation of lies; such as the counter-factual, contradicted-by-experience, evil-nonsense of the transagenda - which serves as a stark exemplar of the depths to which we have descended. 

Once the populace have reached such a point of corruption and degradation that they officially accept and 'believe' transagenda assertions that sex change is possible and desirable - any incoherence, arbitrary assertion, or obvious-Lie can and will be accepted as normal, necessary and morally Good.  

That is exactly where we are; in all major institutions (and specialties) and over much of the world. 

Our Western civilization was rooted-in Christianity (of various types) - that was the bottom-line, the source of coherence. And when Christianity  was deleted from the culture of The West; there was at first a brief period (a few decades?) during which the specialist ruled supreme - and specialist activities continued to attain high levels of functional excellence.

(Especially in science and technology - but there was a brief and hyper-specialist growth-era of 'modernism' in the arts; characterized by geniuses - albeit net-evil geniuses! - such as Stravinsky, Schoenberg, Picasso, James Joyce and the like. But modernism proved to be the final flare of a firework consuming itself.)  

But the cultural lack of religion from minds in which religion was the essential and core personal motivator and explainer, led inevitably to a culture-wide prevalence of incoherent thinking. 

Effective human motivation cannot be rooted in the standard modern belief of a meaningless, purposeless and dead universe - because such a 'reality' offers zero possible basis for coherence. 

There is now very little remaining of Western Civilization - and all of its elements are under active and destructive attack from the ruling Establishment assisted by the specialists themselves.

A specialist's time-horizon has shrunk from looking ahead to future generations (so that one's son could continue in a father's craft, trade or profession); all the way down to doing whatever is expedient today, regardless of what was expedient last week, and of the consequences. 

Our civilization has moved from a cult of the expert specialist; through indifference to the long-term interests of specialist activities; to the active destruction of specialist functionality driven by the ideological necessity of leftist totalitarian 'convergence'. 

This is the world we live-in; and nothing substantive can be done about it until after Men become religious again: which necessarily means Christianity; since Christianity is The Truth - and in these demon-ruled End Times, nothing less than The Truth will suffice. 


Stephen Macdonald said...

One wonders how much of all of this is due in part to genetic collapse as in the Mouse Utopia. How does such a phenomenon interact with the cultural deletion of Christianity?

William Wildblood said...

There are some permitted commentators who are allowed to speak out against certain aspects of the System while remaining firmly within it. JP in Canada, DM in England and others. All of them only scratch the surface of what you have revealed here which is why they are allowed. In a certain way, they actually support the System because it can say "See how we let people criticise us? We are fair and honest and accept different points of view."

Destruction is the new growth industry made me smile. It's so true.

Bruce Charlton said...

@SM - As I have said elsewhere (Genius Famine, I think) decline in intelligence or more sickness is not sufficient to explain purposive value-*inversion*. There have been plenty of societies in history where most people were sick most of their lives - but they were not value inverted.

William - I'm glad you spotted that! - the phrase also made me chuckle (inwardly) when I thought of it (although I will not have been the first).

Karl said...

My old university is now hiring students to work at "decolonising" the Theology department and its curriculum for £10 an hour. It's quite amazing to see this wilful, lemming-like self-destruction.

Bane said...

Specialization is boring. So they get bored and burn it down.

Bruce Charlton said...

@B - "Specialization is boring."

Unless you are a hunter gatherer - you are a specialist (and, even then, men and women specialize to a degree).

Whether it is boring, or immensely satisfying is partly a question of motivation and partly of degree. But the generation of craftsmen, scholars, scientists and doctors at work fifty-plus years ago, mostly did Not find their work boring - and it was difficult to get them to retire.

R.J.Cavazos said...

The inability to sublimate and the drive to make work fun contribute to this. "Work" has become about many things the least of which is actual productivity. Its about "community" "engagement", "empowerment". Decades ago, Peter Drucker noted that the U.S. Post office would become worse as it abandoned its mission of delivering the mail and focusing on redressing social issues. Similarly, he also noted that once a firm no longer focuses on maximizing shareholder value things would deteriorate rapidly. Many specialist organizations are now headed by persons solely trained in "management" so the crapification of things advances apace. Now with the abandonment of standards, entrance exams and diluting mathematics there will be less and less quality specialists.

Jonathan said...

This is a good post, but I think you've buried the lede, because the great part of this post is the part beginning with "What has changed is something very deep and pervasive", and ending with "such a 'reality' offers zero possible basis for coherence."

I know that section revisits themes you've expressed before, but I find this particular expression of them particularly compelling, packing so many great observations into 11 concise sentences.

mapster68 said...

I've been thinking quite a bit about how hyper-specialization has contributed to the decline of the West. At one time the mark of an educated man was his general knowledge on a number of different fields that gave the person the ability to think coherently as you put it. Of course Christianity was originally at the heart of this type of approach to develop a person's thinking ability.

But now there is no time for that. Hyper-specialization and hyper-credentialization means that one's entire education and training must be focused to an extremely narrow degree. In my case, I studied engineering, then a particular field of engineering, then a particular specialization within that field, and even a more narrow specialization within that! Of course there are all kinds of licenses and certifications that must be maintained. This creates highly trained people that are smart in their own narrow field but incredibly ignorant of the world at large.

Bruce Charlton said...

@m - I would argue that the problem of over-specialism cuts much deeper, and in the end actually destroys the possibility of real science (even *within* specialisms) - see the section on micro-specialization in my book about the corruption of science: