To start with, the short Harvard Mag piece tries hard to explain why anyone should care about Gardner. Apparently it's mostly because of his 1983 theory of "multiple intelligences." This theory holds that humanity has different types of intelligences, that an IQ test cannot measure a person's intelligence effectively, and that our different kinds of intelligence (I've heard it called "genius") is often hard to quantify. Some have a genius in dealing with people, some have their ability in music, some in mathematics, etc. Everyone's great ability is different than the next fellow's. That this particular theory seemed innovative or groundbreaking proves that the only "genius" that people in academia have is that of stating the obvious and pompously proclaiming it to be of great insight.
One of the amusing lines in the Harvard piece, if one completely lacking even a touch of introspection, came with their brief attempt to explain the good doctor's theory.
Intelligence, he posits, isn’t a single faculty that can be measured with a standard IQ test. Instead, humans have several forms of this commodity, some of which show up in nonacademic pursuits—music-making, for instance.Obviously it is entirely shocking to the denizens of Harvard -- current or past -- that there could possibly be any "intelligence" outside academic pursuits. So shocking, in fact, that they felt it incumbent upon themselves to delineate the fact that any "intelligence" could exist outside academia.
With their piece, Harvard Magazine is dutifully trying to help this professor of cognition and education flog his new socialist themed book, Five Minds for the Future, that proscribes that no one be allowed to keep their income and that the government should confiscate any inheritances that people would wish to leave their children.
What we have here is just another boring, extreme leftist who imagines he is smarter than the rest of us and that he is the only one able to determine what you or I should do with the fruits of our labor. Apparently, Gardner imagines his "genius" is in being God over the rest of us.
But his prosaic socialist ideas notwithstanding the most amusing quote from this self-appointed messiah concerns how he imagines that we eeevil right wingers have ruined his country.
“It makes sense to be moderate politically only if there are two sides willing to engage,” he says. “The right wing isn’t just taking over the country, it’s shanghaiing all our values. If there’s a Republican administration after the next election, I would join in efforts for some sort of secession. It’s not the same country anymore.”I would imagine that "moderate" to this pointey-headed intellectual would be closer to Marx than to any middle road, more like a "third road" than an American ideal.
But, don't you feel sorry for this out-of-the-mainstream goof? His country isn't the same anymore, he laments? Of course, the reason this malcontent feels that way is because sometime in the 1980's normal, conservative Americans finally decided to take their country back from the FDR, New Deal socialists who led this country astray and they finally began to assert their principles and expecting their politicians to hew closer to true American ideals.
The far, far left, hiding their communism behind FDR's Constitution destroying meddling, have been losing influence since the Reagan revolution and our culture has been fitfully returning to the center right ideals that made America great. And this man was left out of that return to American ideals because he ascribes to none of them.
...and it is killing him.
This is just one more little sign that we are at least holding our own against the anti-American left, those like professor Gardner. Certainly we haven't won the culture war and many battles will be waged, battles like those we bring to you on a daily basis here. But we are not necessarily losing, either. If extremists like Gardner imagine his country "isn't the same anymore" then we can take that as a sign that our efforts to bring America back to its senses haven't entirely failed.
But we mustn't slacken and rest on our laurels. There are people like Gardner everywhere out there lurking about just waiting for us to let down our guard and begin to imagine his ideas "just might work." There are those who claim socialism and communism have never really been tried right and they will not rest from attempting to press their ideas on unsuspecting people (like our students) whether by lies and subterfuge, or bold faced and straight forward.
I, for one, am glad this so-called intellectual feels his side is losing. Let's help him feel ever worse.
And the fact that Harvard Magazine imagines Gardner is something to celebrate shows how far from the American mainstream one of our highest Universities truly is.