James Kunstler has a a fine rant about the Thought Police infesting universities today. Anything ideas contrary to their belief set is deemed to be a “trigger warning”, somehow injurious, and must be Resolutely Opposed. Injurious Thought and Ideas must be banished! Debate and conversations about such ideas are not allowed.
Kunstler ran into our modern-day Stalinists after giving a talk at Boston College. They thought his ideas unworthy and that he and them should be banished, with a strong statement from the college denouncing them. Further, they ignored him when he offered to return and debate what he said with anyone. That’s the really troubling part about our University Taliban. They don’t want discussion of issues, free inquiry into ideas, or disagreements. Nope, they already have the Inside Truth and if someone intrudes on their fantasy world, they scream “trigger warning.”
America’s own cultural revolution has worked differently. It was mostly limited to the hermetically-sealed hot-house world of the universities, where new species of hierophants and mystagogues were busy constructing a crypto-political dogma aimed at redefining status arrangements among the various diverse ethnic and sexual “multi-cultures” of the land.
There is no American Mao, but there are millions of good little Maoists all over America bent on persecuting anyone who departs from a party line that now dominates the bubble of campus life. It’s a weird home-grown mixture of Puritan witch-hunting, racial paranoia, and sexual hysteria, and it comes loaded with a lexicon of jargon — “micro-aggression,” “trigger warnings,” “speech codes,” etc — designed to enforce uniformity in thinking, and to punish departures from it.
At a moment in history when the US is beset by epochal problems of economy, energy, ecology, and foreign relations, campus life is preoccupied with handwringing over the hurt feelings of every imaginable ethnic and sexual group and just as earnestly with the suppression of ideological trespassers who don’t go along with the program of exorcisms.
Kuntsler said African-Americans need to learn White English because it will help them get ahead in the world, which is certainly worth thinking about. Aren’t universities are supposed to encourage critical thought, not censor it? Isn’t that the whole point of education?