Allan Bloom and Homogenizing Nature


I offer a paragraph from Allan Bloom’s The Closing of the American Mind (1989) for consideration, or perhaps to allow us to be shocked afresh.   This passage comes as Bloom lamented a shift in the American educational project from “the education of democratic man to the education of democratic personality.”  The first, which he describes below, is noble, the latter leads to nihilism.

“The old view (education of democratic man) was that, by recognizing and accepting man’s natural rights, men found a fundamental basis of unity and sameness.  Class, race, religion, national origin or culture all disappear or become dim when bathed in the light of natural rights, which give men common interests and make them truly brothers.  The immigrant had to put behind him the claims of the Old World in favor of a new and easily acquired education.  This did not necessarily mean abandoning old daily habits or religions, but it did mean subordinating them to new principles.  There was a tendency, if not a necessity, to homogenize nature itself.” (p. 27, italics added)

How say those on the Porch about the desirability of homogenizing nature?  What about the PoMo’s?

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