Have we killed Homer for good? Stephen Blackwood and historian-farmer Victor Davis Hanson examine the state of the contemporary West by returning to its ancient Greek origins. They explore the richness of its first principles, including self-critique, the elevation of rational understanding, the democratization of learning, and the unification of thought and action. They also bring to light our current cultural crisis: the uncritical rejection of the inherited past, an intellectualism divorced from reality, and a surrender to relativism at the cost of true self-reflection. They close by reflecting on the lateness of the hour, and offer a vital call to seek and speak truth, to ignite the fire of independence of mind, and to remember that while we may know more than those who came before, they are, as T.S. Eliot said, that which we know.

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  1. Paul Stinchfield Member
    Paul Stinchfield
    @PaulStinchfield

    At five minutes into the podcast the interviewer mentions the book that gives the title to this podcast: Who Killed Homer: The Demise of Classical Education and the Recovery of Greek Wisdom, by Victor Davis Hanson and John Heath.

    From the interviewer’s introductory words:

    “One of the things he and I discuss in this conversation is the catastrophic remove of academics from the consequences of the ideas they espouse. Most academics today have very little skin in the game. Most have never made anything, run let alone started a business, grown any food, fought any fires, driven a truck, slaughtered an animal, defended the country, or provided any of the essential services on which their own lives depend. And yet many of them frequently and openly advocate for ideas that would seriously affect all of these domains. This is, it needs to be said, highly anomalous from a historical perspective. The widespread divorce between doing and thinking is a relatively new phenomenon. People like Thomas Jefferson, for example, were inventors, farmers, statesmen, as well as conceptual philosophical thinkers at a high level. The irony of our knowledge economy is that our knowledge workers know less about how things work than scholars at any time in history, who were never or at least rarely as distant from the real world as many intellectuals are today.”

    Thomas Sowell has, by the way, written at length about the disastrous consequences of insulating intellectuals from the consequences of their ideas.

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