A hundred fifty years ago, at least some Americans recognized that all serious discourse depended on the use of the faculty called Reason.
Formal debate, science, and law all flowed from that source. The source could be bent, twisted, and deployed in devious ways—but then people would know that. They would be able to point out where the arguer had gone wrong.
A common bond existed in some schools of the day. The student was expected to learn how Reason operates, and for that he was taught the only subject which could lay out, as on a long table, the visible principles: Logic.
This was accepted.
But now, this bond is gone.
The independence engendered by the disciplined study of logic is no longer a desired quality in students.
The classroom, at best, has taken on the appearance of a fact-memorization factory; and we should express grave doubts about the relevance and truth of many of those facts.
A mind trained no farther than rote parroting—regardless of how neat and precise it may look—is a listless mind with no center. It reaches out for vagaries and abrupt spectacular lies, hoping to find what it is missing. But the search produces nothing of value, because to discover logic, one must learn the whole subject as a branch of knowledge, not as a flicker of common sense sparking here and there in the landscape.
A society filled with people who float in the drift of non-logic is a society that declines. And in its decline, it accepts preposterous leaders and bizarre, self-sabotaging programs.
Ideologies that deny individual freedom and independence are welcomed with open arms, because they mirror a muddled people’s desire to confirm that failure is the inevitable fate of all of us.
When education becomes so degraded that young students are no longer taught to reason clearly, private citizens have the obligation rebuild that system so that the great contribution to Western civilization—logic—is reinstated in its rightful place.
Logic, the key by which true political discourse, science, and law were, in fact, originally developed, must be unearthed.
Logic and reasoning, the capacity to think, the ability to analyze ideas—an ability which has been forgotten, which has been a surpassing virtue in every shadow of a free civilization—must be restored.