So I said that I wasn’t sure, and now I remember why.

  • “you can’t selectively historicize.”-bill

[You can’t selectively historicize] if you’re going to approach a wide range of thought. And since it seems best to use history to give context to thought, rather than to explain thought, and since it seems wise to approach thought and history both separately and apart, it is “safe” to largely ignore history for the duration of a 4-year education. Some people will take the wrong cue, I think, and conclude that a study of history can be dispensed with entirely, since it seems superficially that thought can be solely guided by supposedly universal considerations, but whatever. They grow up or they don’t.

  • “I’m glad I’ve met at least one person who was an open monarchist, instead of all the crypto-monarchists” -bill

Further, as rb points outs, it may be a necessary condition for rigorous thinking about democracy and politics that one flirt with monarchism and antidemocratic thought for a time. I do think that you have to eventually learn to love democracy out of a respect for justice, rather than out of a rather coldhearted acquiescence to historical forces. Also, as bill points out, intellectual honesty in discussion and a true, rather than ironic, commitment to democracy seem to go together.

  • “it’s best for the freed minds to return to their own time outside of St. John’s’ classes” -hb

On the wisdom of this, I might be convinced that the senior year program overreaches, although I’ll have you know I like Wittgenstein. Actually, I’m not sure that we get that much out of Heidegger…

  • ”“monarchism” at St. John’s is a non-entity” -rp

[Monarchism at St. John’s is a non-entity] as a substantial sect, although I believe that anyone from the outside would perceive a, like, patina of antidemocratic sentiment, especially toward the end of senior year, that would have to be described as something like monarchism. I should also mention that the idea of “monarchism” as a coherent political position in America amuses me, which is why I keep bringing it up.

  • “Johnnies leave about as heterogenous as they come in”-rb

Your point is well-taken, especially about objectivists and Mabel. It could even be argued that the degree of genuine intellectual diversity, as compared to some imagined university, is exceptional. It spans a political spectrum, includes religionists and atheists, and folds in various subcultures. Yeah, amongst the melee kids, the stoners, the ravers, the hiphoppers, the waltzers, the cape people, the gym rats, the math kids, the objectivists, the environmentalists, the protestants, the catholics, etcetera, etcetera, there are some dyed-in-the-wool monarchists, no joke, but again, whatever.

More, later.