January 10, 2005

by Reb Yudel
When smart maskilim have stupid descendants

Does anyone remember Isaac Ha-Levi Satanow? From the Jewish Encylopedia:
Scholar and poet; born at Satanow, Poland, 1733; died in Berlin, Germany, Dec. 25, 1805. In early manhood he left his native country and went to the Prussian capital in search of learning. There he became the protégé of Isaac Daniel and David Friedländer, who procured for him employment as a teacher in some prominent families.

Satanow represents a peculiar type. Like Byron, he was, both physically and mentally, a conglomeration of contrasts. He dressed in the garb of the Polish Jew of the period, yet was a thorough German in his actions and habits. Though Orthodox in his beliefs, he nevertheless favored Reform in practise. He was one of the greatest authorities on Jewish tradition and lore, yet he was one of the most free-thinking of philosophers. He was a shrewd physicist and an inspired poet; a realist and an idealist. While writing his "Mishle Asaf," a work in which the noblest thoughts are expressed in the choicest diction, he did not disdain at the same time to write a treatise on how to drill holes through three hundred pearls in one day and how to mix successfully different kinds of liquors. Even in the most earnest and solemn of his writings there can always be detected an undercurrent of the most playful humor.

Smart guy. His great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandson? Not so smart, as Jon Stewart would say.

Dr. Jeffrey Satinover, it turns out, is one of those medical types who puts his medical degree in service of the political.

According to Wired.com, where I first ran across this character, reports that he recently testified at the Congressional hearing on "The Science Behind Pornography Addiction" that pornography "causes masturbation." His testimony also expressed concern that

Prolonged exposure to pornography fosters increased estimates of the incidence of pre- and extramarital sexual activity, as well as increased assessments of male and female promiscuity.
Hmm. That's funny. They say the same thing about Fox News and assessments of weapons of mass destruction.

But don't take my word for it. I'm a liberal, and the good doctor has a diagnosis for that too: As he quotes one of his admirers as writing:

What it comes down to is that liberalism causes brain damage. Liberals are not just unwilling to engage in rational thought, they are, after just so long, incapable of it. Of course, young liberals sometimes recover—in youth, the development of the brain is still a flexible process and bad mental habits can still be unlearned, something I, as a recovered liberal, am in a position to know. But it has been my observation that middle-aged and elderly liberals are pretty much lost causes—the brain damage is probably irreversible (maybe neurosurgeons will come up with some kind of procedure for it, though).

Of course, it doesn’t stop at the level of the individual brain—this process metastasizes to the population, through the media and the educational system. Psychologists have long suspected that when a child’s mind is not stimulated early in life, or not stimulated in the right ways, the child’s brain simply does not develop as it should. Yet our liberal-dominated schools today do very little to develop in children habits of clear, rational, analytic thought while the equally liberal-dominated media do a great deal to inculcate habits of seeking immediate gratification, forming opinions on the basis of feelings rather than reason, etc. For many years now liberal educators have laughed at the idea that certain kinds of educational disciplines, things like formal logic and Latin grammar, could in effect exercise the brain, but now the science of neurology is telling us that this is probably exactly what happens.

This dumbing-down does not just result in adults who are ignorant but might somehow be educated. It leads to adults with brain damage. It is in fact quite likely that, of the roughly 70% of the population who approve of, say, Bill Clinton, a substantial portion are in fact borderline mentally retarded as a result of liberal influence on the schools and the media. And that situation is incompatible with the existence of a republic. We are in deep trouble.

I wonder when he'll be summoned before a Congressional committee investigating the problems of liberalism.... TrackBack
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