Phillip Jerome Chesser, a contributor of articles to the Freedom Pub, in his essay “Sophormorism or Arrested Intellectual Development” he gives us his analysis of the liberal’s mind-set. How times have conservative bloggers, myself included, lamented that we can’t understand how the mind of a liberal works or how they can believe the things that they do. If one wants to try to understand why liberals are the way they are, this article may be a good place to start. You may not agree with everything Mr. Chesser says but that’s okay. I think we can build on his ground-work.
I’m going to share with you some excerpts from this article and add my comments. What does Mr. Chesser mean by “sophormorism”? Here is his explanation:
It’s a set of shallow intellectual attitudes and beliefs that I will describe as this piece continues and which is very common in baby boomers and their progeny. It begins when young men and women leave home to attend college, where, for the first time in their lives, they are free of the traditions they have learned from their parents, their extended families, and their religious teaching.
After two years of college they have encountered specialized, systematic curricula at a higher level, a new experience for most of them. They have had “their eyes opened” by provocative professors who challenge traditional ways of thinking. For example, in comparative religion courses they learn moral relativism, that is, that all religions are pretty much the same, and furthermore, that all religions are human inventions. Then in biology, or better still in specialized courses like comparative anatomy, they learn Darwin (Darwin was presented in high school but they paid little attention), which is taught as unchallengeable dogma. What happens then? They become atheists. After all, all the smart people are atheists.
The author goes to discuss at length what young people are taught and what they are not taught in areas such as Keynesian economic theory and a distorted version history and Americas role in history. Then he has this to say:
One of the more annoying things about sophomorism is its cloying sense of concern about the less fortunate, which began with the civil rights movement and has gotten so ridiculous over the years that many people are afraid to speak frankly about certain issues for fear of being called racist, sexist, homophobic, or insensitive. Oozing sophomoric concern began when misguided adults convinced many baby boomers that they were the smartest generation ever. This made them think that no other generation before theirs thought as carefully or understood as deeply as they. They believed (and still believe) that before their time America was a wretched place. They saw their duty as rescuing the rest of us from our dishonorable past.
This learned behavior has been a very powerful weapon for the liberals against conservatives. The liberals are quick to grab the moral high ground making statements like ” so you want to leave the homeless in the streets to die a horrible death?” or “you think unwed mothers should be left to fend for themselves and for their babies?” and ” you would prefer to see all these people out of a job rather than save this company from bankruptcy?” Yea, We are all selfish capitalist pigs. They always seem to be able to put us on the defensive.
There is much more to Mr. Chesser’s explanation of sophormorism, which you can read, but here is how he sums up:
Sophomorism then is not a coherent or rigorously developed system of thinking but rather an example of arrested intellectual development, a shallow catechism learned first in college and then reinforced in big city wine and cheese parlors, on the pages of big city newspapers (the few that are left), on television network news, in television dramas (Law and Order, for example) and in fashionable, politically correct urban neighborhoods. Unfortunately, it now dominates much of American culture and is rapidly destroying it.
I think what Mr. Chesser says is true but I would go further. Not all liberals have gone to college. I believe that Hollywood and MSM have played a much bigger role than just reinforcing what is taught in our universities. Television and newspapers have played a major role in shaping the attitudes of our youth and adults as well. Where do people learn about the merits of free market capitalism? Where do they learn about the benefits of businesses in the community? Almost everything they see on television and what they read in the news papers is negative toward capitalism and business.
We all know what we have to do about our education system in America. We can’t change it overnight but we can change it if we have the will. But what can we do about Hollywood and MSM? I don’t know short of boycotting the movies, turning off the television to drive their ratings down and stop buying their news papers and do support what conservative media that may exist.
What are your thoughts?