The Death Knell of Academia

Posted: April 26, 2017 in Political Correctness/Censorship

In the wake of the ANTIFA bullcrap that’s been showing its ugly head at universities all over the States and most likely soon if hasn’t already also in the UK. It seems inevitable that my next piece of writing would not be on the dire state of Academia but instead how we are watching the death of intellectual pursuit and even to some degree rationality. Apparently, it’s a ‘masculinity’ thing. And we all know how toxic masculinity is right? Totally not sounding like a bigot when you say that. But what do I know as a filthy straight white male in this day and age?

That paragraph may come across as a bit blunter than what you usually find here but at the end of the day, I’ve taken a long break from writing about my issues with social justice activism. But inevitably I reached the end of my tether and here I am once again to discuss the hypocrisy that is rotting its core as well as currently polluting young minds with a dangerously destructive world view that denigrates everyone into categories and practically worships everything that’s come from Identity politics. Remember folks treat people by how they look on the surface. Yeah, they do have a brain but that’s just there for aesthetic reasons.

You might ask what could possibly have led me to write the two paragraphs above. Well if you’ve ready anything previously on here related to ‘No-Platforming‘ then you probably already know what my stance is on it. I hate it. It directly contradicts why anyone would bother going to University. Especially since most students, I like to imagine aren’t being held at gunpoint to attend these monstrous seminars with the literally Hitler speakers that were invited to have a thing that once meant something. A discussion. God fucking forbid you to allow people the free will to listen to someone that is on the right side of the spectrum.

So you can imagine how many tables I flipped when I read this idiot’s defence of ‘No-Platforming’. This is how the article begins:

‘As graduation season approaches, colleges across the country are locking down commencement speakers to address the class of 2017. Harvard got Mark Zuckerberg (a Harvard dropout). Hillary Clinton is speaking at Wellesley, Bernie Sanders at Brooklyn College. Joe Biden will speak to my seniors at Colby. But if this year is anything like last, other invitees will prove more controversial, sparking another round of debates over “no-platforming”: the practice of opposing campus speakers.’

It’s interesting is it not that the author immediately paints University as some left-wing bastion and that the idea that a conservative would attend University let alone want to hear a discussion that at least supports their views is obviously a complete myth. So what I gather is it’s okay for left wing politician to preach their bullshit to students but call the fucking police when the right wingers show up to have a nice chat with a handful of students that actually remembered that there are always two sides to an argument. Oh, wait this is Moral Supremacists we are talking about. To oppose any aspect of the SJW mindset will automatically put you in the crosshairs of the label brigade. And even that is like a game of bingo to see how many words in the English language can be rendered meaningless!

Although it is somewhat reassuring that Bernie Sanders the man sold up the shit creek by his own party no less has some sane views on the matter. The author of this shit piece quotes his interview in the Huffington Post;

“Obviously Ann Coulter’s outrageous—to my mind, off the wall,” Sanders told The Huffington Post last week. “But you know, people have a right to give their two-cents-worth, give a speech, without fear of violence and intimidation.” He said that it was “a sign of intellectual weakness” to “boo, or shut her down, or prevent her from coming,” adding, “What are you afraid of—her ideas? Ask her the hard questions. Confront her intellectually.”

The author further adds that ‘Barack Obama and Alice Walker are among many speakers the right has attempted to disinvite‘. However, after going over his link, note you will have to possibly open up the page properly as it is archived. I could only find Joe Biden as particularly significant someone who the right tried and failed to disinvite. Although there are a few people they have tried to disinvite and often failed with only some successful attempts. It is, however, awfully telling how often left wingers to try to get someone disinvited and in most cases actually succeed in cancelling the event. The excuse this shit piece makes for all this is very interesting I think; ‘Rejecting campus speakers is not an assault on free speech. Rather, like so many other decisions made every day by college students, teachers, and administrators, it’s a value judgement’.

The author is forgetting that none of these talks is probably mandatory. How many times will I have to say this I wonder? You have a choice. If a right winger is invited to talk at your university then do something else that day. You have no fucking right to interrupt the learning of your fellow student. I consider that disrespectful not to the speaker but to the student. Because how dare they listen to a view you disagree with, right? If anything you could learn a lot from the fact they are rather open minded on most things. They probably aren’t perfect but at least they are trying to hear from an alternative perspective. That they may even want to debate. Shock. Horror.

The author surmises that No-Platforming is a value judgement and further states; ‘This has always meant deciding what people needed to know, but also what they don’t need to know—or at least which knowledge and skills deserved priority in one’s formal education‘.

To which I ask why should you dictate what is and what isn’t discussed on campus. It sounds awfully authoritarian to me personally. The author’s excuse is amusing, to say the least;

‘Though the knowledge and skills we deem essential have changed over the years, the practice of curating and prioritising them is still crucial to the mission of a classically liberal education. No-platforming may look like censorship from certain angles, but from others, it’s a consequence of a challenging, never-ending process occurring at virtually all levels of the university: deciding what educational material to present to our students, and what to leave out. In this sense, de-platforming isn’t censorship; it’s a product of free expression and the foundational aims of a classically liberal education.’

Because you can’t have students daring to question if you are in fact wrong. By deciding what they can or can’t know you might as well open up the door to room 101. He further goes on to state;

‘For my “Age of Revolution” course I have 14 weeks to cover the English Civil Wars, the American War of Independence, the French Revolution, and the Haitian Revolution, which means it’s incumbent upon me—and every other professor—to think very carefully about what students need to know, and thus what to prioritize and what to leave out. In making that decision, I consult other scholars in the field and review other syllabi. I consider my research strengths, as well as the gaps or needs in the broader curriculum. If I end up leaving off James Madison in favour of Edmund Burke, I’m hardly “censoring” Madison.’

This is apples to oranges in my opinion. It’s obviously not possible to cover every person or event in a lesson, let alone such a topic of revolution considering how many revolutions have come about in human history. Furthermore, one speaker attending for a few hours isn’t going to kill someone. It’s also not like you can schedule another speaker for another day and allow those students to hear from someone they want to listen to. It’s not rocket science but the process of deciding what to focus on in a lecture is very different from usually far more flexible seminar that follows. Especially if that seminar involves a speaker from outside of the university. After all, they don’t have to take the time out of their day to speak to you. It’s not their time being wasted. It’s yours. You who decided that your fellow student can’t handle a controversial opinion.

‘To treat the open forum of the classroom or the campus like just another town square—and thus to explain value judgement and knowledge prioritisation on campus in terms of censorship or “shutting down” speech—is misguided. No one really thinks Coulter’s ideas are “shut down” if she doesn’t get a chance to talk to Berkeley students.’

The truth is though, she is being shut down. A speech on campus is a unique chance to gain the insight you may not have a chance to access otherwise. I doubt it’s every day you get to hear let alone possible meet Ann Coulter. The author further goes on to state;

‘Obviously, students can read, watch, and hear professional provocateurs like Coulter without an institution of higher education hosting her speech. An education opens minds and expands horizons by introducing students to people and ideas they otherwise won’t find trending on Twitter over the latest monetized controversy.’

Clearly, this person is living on cloud nine, since all education teaches now is that you have to conform or be cast into oblivion there’s no in between. Students on campus put simply. Are not allowed a voice because some idiot will protest, silence and try to suppress that voice.

This is the final point I will leave you all with; ‘Students and protesters need to eschew violence and disruption and focus instead on the many viable arguments for why low-value speakers like Coulter don’t deserve a campus platform‘.

To which Mr Hanlon I ask what you makes you the arbiter of what is or is not a low-value speaker. Because what’s to stop me saying the same about you. It goes both ways is all I’m saying. It’s why I will oppose silencing any speaker because the only way to judge their views is to actually hear them first hand. That’s all that needs to be said really.

(Extended Note: This style is little more informal than my usual approach if anyone has the time, let me know what you think of the writing and is this format is preferred over my usual formal approach)

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