Hence, when one calls for a “policy shift” or a “paradigm shift” in policy, this entails a shift from a policy predicated upon empire and hegemony towards one predicated upon “reform in the West and understanding with the East.” Why reform is necessary can be explained by the urgency of prolonging the lifespan of democracy and democratic living in the West, but particularly in the United States. As John Dewey noted, democracy is an “associated form of living” which is sustained by social reforms, with the two most important social reforms being the broadening of the public’s access to education and the expansion of press freedoms.
Limiting one’s press options to just CNN or Fox News while having our phones tracked and then subjecting the public to the mainstream’s horrific disregard and silence towards the displacement of an entire population as well as towards the insult added to the injury through the demolishing and seizure of people’s homes in Palestine can lead to severe headaches and “subluxations” of the spine. How one can consider themselves enlightened, modern, and sophisticated while allowing the barbaric, backward, and inhumane displacement of people and then the insult added to the injury by demolishing and seizing their homes is beyond anyone’s comprehension. Perhaps sinecure and undeserved salaries for cognitively dissonant bureaucrats and the dark money and taxpayer money which sticks to Jennifer Granholm’s pockets and in turn enables these cognitively dissonant bureaucrats to eat at rat-infested restaurants in Washington while enabling Nancy Pelosi’s stupid smile and hand-clapping are few of the reasons behind this monstrosity and travesty.
And perhaps even on a higher level, the barriers to accessing education, the costs of education, the limitations on press freedom, and the whitewashing of the epistemological and ontological status of higher education and pedagogy is a greater social ill and malady than the economic downturns and political dysfunctions we witness on a societal level. ‘Epistemological Anarchism’ – which is the fundamental principle upon which higher education and pedagogy should be organized and operated – is replaced by the enforcement of empirical flimsiness through armchair and ivory tower intellectualism acting as the standard bearer of knowledge and intellectuality in American society.
One of the major reasons – if not the most important reason – why ‘Epistemological Anarchism’ should prevail over empirical flimsiness and the reduction of such a broad social reality to just a whitewashed empirical or “rational model” is because concepts and knowledge are largely a priori to the human intellect and the human mind. On the contrary, an empirical or “rational” weltanschauung would argue and contend that concepts and knowledge are a posteriori to the human intellect and human mind.
Thus, the role of an educator or professor in Washington is not to challenge or shape the worldview of a student and then flunk them. Rather, the role of an educator or professor in Washington is to receive and perhaps even learn from the views of the student and then polish and incorporate the student’s views into the broader mosaic or patchwork of a priori knowledge that largely resides in the “collective consciousness.” More on this complex subject will come in a later blog post.