The Neo-Barbarians

Cancel culture continues – and there seems little or no distinctions in the collective mind in what they will destroy, annihilate, obliterate. We use the singular ‘mind’, for independent thought seems to be vanishing faster than statues of colonial white men, in what Mark Steyn has dubbed the ‘march of the morons‘. They are defacing and toppling monuments not only of those who espoused what would now be considered racists views, but also those who did not speak out loudly enough, as well as those who fought racism, even those who were of oppressed races. Churchill? Lincoln? Nelson? Mandela or Horatio? Napoleon? Luther? It is iconoclasm on a grand scale, anarchy, and it’s all gotta go – and the modern colonialists – the term is ominously vague – must ‘take the knee’, bowing to a spirit that is also ominously vague.

A ‘moron’ literally means one who is slow, used metaphorically in the educational domain, in the sense of one who has yet to catch up, who has but begun his journey towards knowledge and truth. Hence, those in their second year of post-secondary education are called ‘sophomores’ – or ‘wise fools’, since they realize they have learned something, but also that they have a lot left to learn – indeed, that there no end to learning, which that being ‘wise’ includes the capacity to place oneself in the mindset of others, and that there mysteries to life, and things we will never know.

The marchers, stomping on all and sundry, seem never even to have reached that stage, and we are reaping what we have sown in modern academia. The mobs are the students of our universities, and what passes for whatever education they receive is mostly in the wrong things. They see history down the opposite end of the telescope, everything not only in the stunted present tense, but even from a purely solipsistic sense – it’s all about one’s own vanishing-point present perspective.

The barbarians were called so by the Greeks since their language sounded like that to the refined Hellenic ear – bar, bar, bar. Plus, they couldn’t read. Father George Rutler has an excellent piece on the effects of such modern cultural illiteracy.

As Saint John Henry Newman put it, a true education should allow one to see people, things, events, epochs, from a universal point of view, the small in the context of the great, and vice versa – hence, university. We have done almost the opposite, so that our places of learning – and we may use that term advisedly – now narrow the mind. The graduates, such as they are, are not even aware of what they don’t know, and should know – the ever definition of ‘ignorance’ – and they don’t seem to care. They seem, au contraire, to revel in blithe unawareness, which does not absolve them, nor their anarchy and anger.

To know one’s place in the cosmos, in the ‘order’ of God’s providence, is the key to humility, to charity, to peace. If a little learning is a dangerous thing, it’s even more dangerous when one knows not how little it is, and how little one is.