Do you begin to understand the mischief that self-uncritical democratist opinionizing has wrought, all across the cultural universe? NONE of our political rhetoric and religious and moral and other usages can afford to be taken at face value; all deserve to be scrutinized, to be hammered and tested as heartlessly as is rationally possible. The hard labors that our whole culture has NOT done in self-testing itself for us, WE must do as self-critical and acute individuals. Just as with our genome, so too with our noosphere: there is an overwhelming mass of non-functional or dysfunctional genetic detritus cluttering up our so-called minds. The "discriminating" intelligence by which this stuff might have gotten screened has been given a bad name (elitist, if not racist and sexist) by the psycho-social pressure groups that define the "politics of identity" (i.e. which particular segment of self-enclosing idiotists do you most immediately identify with).
Bear in mind that everything that traditionally passed as "religion" would modernly be interpreted as a form of sadism or masochism, i.e. humans deliberately spoiling their own and others' this-worldly happiness by taking a more cosmic or eternalist perspective on things; and the same holds true with the illusion- and delusion-bursting iconoclastics of philosophy, education, culture, etc. Insofar as no kind of higher culture takes root and grows except by rupturing the lower "certainties" (dogmatics, faith, visceral tribalisms, etc.) that necessarily militate against such insights, all spirituality and rationality seem like forms of self-immiseration to idiotes.
But for the Jews this moral-spiritual issue raises the same societal problem it does for the Greeks: how can a man have the "right" to make himself spiritually or rationally destitute or retarded when this corrupts the whole quality of the culture that we all together need and depend on? If anyone wants a cloistered and closed-minded life, an anti-aristic life, let him either go off and live among the wolves--or else join the community of like-minded idiots that (alas) compose and define the basic terms of modern society.
How many students who make it into the liberal arts and into philosophy classes still only manage to comprehend the content of these courses dogmatically, as simplisms to "believe"? Instead of grasping principles and values and an aristic ethos of clarity, they still only hear what pleases and flatters them: they grasp in Socrates or Plato the "countercultural" overtones that enable them to shower abuse on the diseased culture of their parents or peers, but they don't grasp at all the overwhelming obligation for themselves not to lie in orthodoxy's bed of sloth. They substitute, as opinionizers and slaves will do, one orthodoxy for another, imagining that the processes of "enlightenment" will change only the matter they think about and not the form of their own activity in reasoning.
Myth is not what we most readily-most facilely, and typically abstractly-take it to be: "exotic stories" from cultures unlike ours. Myth is a mode of culture itself, which precipitated those stories and gave them their power and form over the mode of mentality or personality to which it is a historical-psychological correlate. Myth is a way of being, a mode or dimension of subjectivity, an organic system of concretely grasped value-principles concentrating the meaning of human life into a pre-philosophical metaphor, a nuclear parable or potent allegory: we recognize it in primitive or premodern peoples, we see it-briefly-in the sparkling imagination and spiritual life of children, before our distinctive modern culture crushes their morale and introduces them to the prison of compulsively literalizing ways of seeing things, the prevailing prosaic, banal, fact-ridden existence to which literalized and abstractivized mentalities can of course see no alternative. Moderns know myth, as they know anything, only as what they have dissected it into, what they have "scienced" or intellectualized.
America is woven of many strands; I would recognize them and let it so remain. It's 'winner take nothing' that is the great truth of our country or of any country. Life is to be lived, not controlled; and humanity is won by continuing to play in face of certain defeat. Our fate is to become one, and yet many -- This in not prophecy, but description.
So successful has the ideological-political-cultural purge been executed that it is hard indeed to find vigorous liberals, and no energetic, coherent and cogent leftists at all can find expression in our controlled media and educational systems. Forget about wholesale culture- or civilization-critics like Marxists. Universities have to be purged of any "radicalism" that can see through to the roots of issues and pathologies, for the same reasons that workers have to have nascent unions aborted among them and contrarian newspapers and media have to be starved of advertising.
Employees, the key is what motivates people. And they are not gonna be motivated about maximizing shareholder value. I can tell you that. You can make them all shareholders, and that will help. But they're—only gonna be motivated about a sense of purpose.
Source: PBS: Interview with Bill George: http://www.pbs.org/now/transcript/311.html