Institutional Gate Keepers and Modern Philosophy Definition

Ah, the gods….gate keepers to the institutions of control.  The ones who cast the light upon the wall that create the shadows we all see.  I had been thinking recently that as much as many people crave freedom, they often act contrary to that freedom, but cleave to the shackles that bind them because they are safe.  What provoked this thought was that I had a discussion with a group of “smart” people that proclaimed that philosophy was something that had to be learned in a college. 

For one to be trained in philosophy and to discredit one who is not is to say that the value is proportional to the established way of thinking, which is to also say that corruption of the elementary idea is present.  How do we ever advance if we never challenge the established way of thinking?  If a thought is simply learned, then taught within a place of learning and passed on like a baton in a relay race? 

Original thinkers routinely have to step outside the establishment in order to bring something new to society. 

I’m thinking of the Twin War Gods of Navajo legend, where their village was being plagued by monsters they couldn’t destroy, and the weapon they needed was outside of the village.  And of course the members of the village told them not to go outside the village because it is dangerous and unknown.  And that is exactly where the Twin War Gods had to go, on a search for their father, in order to save their village.  

I will always be very skeptical of an idea created and evolved within an institution.  I would be more likely to trust a rambling half-conscious street dweller, because the ramblings are authenticated by their unique experience. 

But that’s just me.  However, sometimes it is tempting to take perfection and make something imperfect in a quest for knowledge.  This happens all the time, where young people that are loved and cared for find themselves knocking on the door of the Gods for entry into their palace and the pursuit of financial security.  But that is assuming that the God’s know more than the philosopher that is already on the outside, doing their unique work.

The institution is like candy, it promises sweet taste, and comes in a flashy wrapper, but it ultimately makes you fat and rots you from the inside out.  Such a metaphor is directly applicable to real life.  And institutions will not produce great philosophers, just one’s that learn how to do what they’re told and therefore get good grades.  And such a person is not one that I’d call a philosopher.

Rich Hoffman

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