12 December 2012

Book Review: The KinderGarden of Eden by Evan Sayet

Evan Sayet wrote an extended essay entitled The KinderGarden of Eden– How the Modern Liberal Thinks And Why He’s Convinced That Ignorance Is Bliss (2012).  This serious pensee of political philosophy was written by a stand up comedian originally championed by David Letterman and who cut his teeth in Hollywood by contributing to the successful Arsenio Hall Show and Politically Incorrect. Despite his comedic credentials, Sayet can be a serious political thinker.

Sayet based the book on his speech before the Heritage Foundation in 2007. The late Andrew Breitbart considered  "Regurgitating the Apple: How The Modern Liberal 'Thinks’” to be “[o]ne of the five greatest conservative speeches ever given.”

 Since then, Sayet’s speech is a viral video which has received over 700,000 hits, which is quite remarkable for a 43 minute talk on political philosophy.

Evan Sayet 
Sayet labels himself a 9-13 Republican, as the self described New York Jew was appalled that liberals embraced the concept that America “deserved” to be attacked on 9-11.  This prompted Sayet to recognize that: “[L]iberals- were not only taking the side of evil, but they were often making the most objectively false and evil anti-American arguments in order to do so.”  Sayet concluded that the Modern Liberalisms blueprint for Utopia is to totally regress humanity to Adam and Eve.  Since progressives would shudder at such a non-secular metaphor, they would want everything to be like a five-year-old in a garden paradise–hence The KinderGarden of Eden.

The KinderGarden of Eden is  careful not to condemn liberals with a broad brush. In fact, Sayet points out that a classical liberal would be alienated from the Modern Liberal.   President John F. Kennedy who espoused “Ask not what you can do for your country, but what your country can do for you.” is in sharp contrast to the Modern Liberals inclination to be a Citizen of the World who expects the country to do everything for you.

Sayet’s Unified Field of Liberalism theory posits that Modern Liberals believe that it is imperative to totally reject the intellectual process.  However Modern Liberals’ indiscriminateness leads to the lesser over the better, the wrong over the right, and good over evil.  Sayet posits that Modern Liberal policies occur in tandem so each effort on behalf of the lesser is met with an opposite campaign against the better.  Lastly, there is a Wonderland effect where Modern Liberal will ascribe to the better the negative qualities associated with the lesser and vice-versa.

Sayet wrote a wonderful succinct summary of how we intellectually got to where we are.  Sayet showed how thinkers until the Enlightenment esteemed both science and the extra-scientific (such as morality, love, beauty, justice and mercy).  The Enlightenment rejected any qualities that could not be quantified. This impetus for emperical authority  lead to Rousseau’s push-back which sought to replace science with innate passions.  Sayet claims that Dawinian extension of the “survival of the fittest” was epitomized in the Holocaust, which led Modern Liberalism to reject both God and science.  So Sayet contends that the Modern Liberal prize indiscriminateness, which presumably is reflected in deconstructionism and amorality.

Sayet is forthright with his readers that The KinderGarden of Eden is a work in progress which he intended to publish next year.  However, Sayet was convinced to publish volume one now just after the 2012 election so that his work was it is considered a timely pensee on political philosophy rather than as a political polemic.

I look forward to reading Sayet’s extended exposition as the ideas in  The KinderGarden of Eden were influential but not always quotable in this extended essay.

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