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The Free Speech Crisis on Campus Is Worse than People Think

Last month Samuel Abrams, a politics professor at Sarah Lawrence College, published an op-ed in the New York Times titled, “Think Professors Are Liberal? Try School Administrators.Abrams, who describes himself as conservative leaning, pointed to the titles of some recent events put on by his campus’s Office of Student Affairs: Stay Healthy, Stay Woke,” “Understanding White Privilege,and Microaggressions.He described these events as politically lopsided and noted that this kind of highly politicized socialization of college students is occurring throughout the country. A lot of campus critics have pointed to the left-wing political skew of faculty, he said, and have worried about indoctrination in the classroom. But indoctrination is much more likely at campus events outside the classroom, and the political skew of administrators in charge of student life is even greater than that of faculty. (He surveyed a representative sample of 900 “student-facing administrators” and found a ratio of 12 liberals for every conservative, compared to 6 to 1 for academic faculty.)

Remember, Abrams is a tenured professor commenting about a widely discussed issue and writing about his research in the New York Times—America’s pre-eminent newspaper, hardly some right-wing rag. And what was the reaction at Sarah Lawrence College? Campus activists, after apparently trying to break into Abrams’s office, vandalized the office door, taking away the items he had put up, including a picture of his newborn son, and putting up signs with statements such as “Quit” and “Our Right to Exist Is Not ‘Ideological’ Asshole.” The student senate held an emergency meeting to discuss the offending op-ed, and the college president, Cristle Collins Judd, suggested to Abrams that he had created a hostile work environment and asked him whether he thought it was acceptable to write op-eds without her approval. She also asked him if he was on the job market, perhaps as a suggestion that he should be.

A new moral culture

If you were a time traveler from 10 years ago—maybe even five years ago—you’d probably have trouble following some of that. What’s a microaggression? What’s woke? And how could a New York Times op-ed lead to that kind of uproar on campus? But if you’ve been around, and if you’ve been following the happenings on American college campuses, you’re familiar by now with conflicts like this and the new moral terminology guiding the campus activists. In the last few years we’ve seen professors such as Nicholas Christakis at Yale and Brett Weinstein at Evergreen State College surrounded by angry, cursing students, with Christakis and his wife, Erika Christakis, soon leaving their positions as the masters of one of Yale’s residential colleges and Weinstein and his wife, Heather Heying, leaving Evergreen entirely. We’ve heard about microaggressions, said to be small slights that over time do great harm to disadvantaged groups; trigger warnings, which some students demand before they are exposed to course material that might be disturbing; and safe spaces, where people can go to be free of ideas that challenge leftist identity politics. We’ve heard claims that speech that offends campus activists is actually violence, and we’ve seen activists use actual violence to stop it —and to defend this as self-defense—when administrators fail to do so.

These are all signs of a new moral culture. In our book The Rise of Victimhood Culture: Microaggressions, Safe Spaces, and the New Culture Wars, Jason Manning and I discuss how a new culture of victimhood differs from cultures of honor and dignity, and we discuss how the new culture threatens the mission of the university.

In honor cultures men want to appear formidable. A reputation for bravery, for being willing and capable of handling conflicts through violence, is important. In a society like the pre-Civil War American South, for example, a gentleman who allowed himself or his family members to be injured or insulted might be thought a coward, someone with no honor, and lose his social standing. To avoid this, men sometimes fought duels. In honor cultures men are sensitive even to minor slights, but they handle such offenses themselves, possibly with violence.

In dignity cultures, though, people have worth regardless of their reputations. Because an insult doesn’t take away your worth, your dignity, you can ignore others’ insults. For serious injuries you can go to the police or use the courts. In dignity cultures, then, people aren’t as sensitive to slights—they’re encouraged to have thick skins—and they’re not as likely to handle offenses themselves, certainly not violently—they’re encouraged to appeal to the proper authorities.

But the new culture of victimhood combines sensitivity to slight with appeal to authority. Those who embrace it see themselves as fighting oppression, and even minor offenses can be worthy of attention and action. Slights, insults, and sometimes even arguments or evidence might further victimize an oppressed group, and authorities must deal with them. You could call this social justice culture since those who embrace it are pursuing a vision of social justice. But we call it victimhood culture because being recognized as a victim of oppression now confers a kind of moral status, in much the same way that being recognized for bravery did in honor cultures.

What victimhood culture is not

Events like those at Sarah Lawrence College and elsewhere are driven by victimhood culture, and the debate over them by the clash between dignity and victimhood. Dignity culture is still dominant, so students and administrators don’t shut down speakers or drive professors off campuses without controversy. But as victimhood culture advances, it’s important, especially for those of us who wish to stop it, to understand what it is and what it is not.

Victimhood culture is a new moral culture, not simply a variant of dignity culture. Its adherents and defenders still use much of the language of dignity, as when writer Regina Rini describes the goal of microaggression reporting as “a culture in which no one is denied full moral recognition.” This sounds like dignity culture, except that the implication is that even minor and unintentional slights deny people full moral recognition. The break with dignity culture is more fundamental, though. Dignity culture fights oppression by appealing to what we all have in common. Our status as human beings is what’s most important about us. But victimhood culture conceives of people as victims or oppressors, and maintains that where we fall on this dimension is what’s most important about us, even in our everyday relationships and interactions. And this means that victimhood culture is ultimately incompatible with the goals of the university. Pursuing truth in an environment of vigorous debate will always involve causing offense—and one of the shibboleths of victimhood culture is that it’s okay to offend the oppressors but not the oppressed. Many campus activists, realizing this, have attacked the ideals of free speech and academic freedom. One of these visions will have to prevail—either dignity culture and the notion of the university as a place to pursue truth, or victimhood culture and the notion of the university as a place to pursue social justice. 

Like dignity culture, though, victimhood culture is a moral culture. Moral concerns and moral emotions inspire the campus activists. Their behaviors might appear immoral to those who don’t share their moral assumptions, but it would be a mistake to think the activists see it that way, or to think they’re in some way hypocritical or insincere. Recognizing their moral concerns helps us understand better what Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt call vindictive protectiveness, whereby activists are simultaneously protective toward some people and vindictive toward others. This is not a contradiction, but rather a consequence of seeing the world through the lens of oppression. Just as in an honor culture people show respect for the honorable and disdain toward the cowardly, in a victimhood culture people have empathy for victims of oppression and wrath toward their oppressors.

Victimhood culture is a moral culture, and the activists who embrace it are moral actors, not part of a “snowflake generation” that can’t cope with disagreement. Nor are they engaging in “political theater,” as John McWhorter has suggested. “It’s one thing to find views repugnant,” McWhorter says. “It’s another to claim that—to hear them constitute[s] a kind of injury that no reasonable person should be expected to stand up to. That’s theatrical because it’s not true.” It might not be true, but the activists believe it. It’s a departure from the values of dignity culture, so it can be hard for those immersed in dignity culture to believe the activists are sincere, but there’s no reason to believe they aren’t.

That victimhood culture is a moral culture, driven by ideas about right and wrong, also means it’s not driven by general concerns about safety. In their otherwise superb new book, The Coddling of the American Mind, Lukianoff and Haidt wrongly describe the new campus culture as part of a “safety culture.” But it’s not that campus activists are afraid of taking risks; rather, they’re outraged by what they see as injustice. An example from the book’s first chapter actually highlights the difference. In the 1990s, parents began following medical advice to keep their young children away from peanuts. Peanut allergies were very rare at the time, but they could be deadly. The strange thing was, peanut allergies began to skyrocket after that. We now know this was precisely because children were no longer being exposed to peanuts. It turns out that early exposure to peanuts is good for most children’s immune systems.

What Lukianoff and Haidt say, correctly, is that this illustrates the principle of antifragility. As with the immune system, various kinds of adversity often strengthen us. Campus activists, like the parents protecting their children from peanuts, often embrace a myth of fragility. They believe people need protection from microaggressions and conservative speakers, lest they cause them harm.

But the parents in the 1990s weren’t fighting oppression, and the campus activists aren’t fighting peanut allergies. The 1990s parents were following medical advice that could have been correct. Now that the evidence shows it’s not, parenting practices will presumably change.

To be sure, this makes for a good parable about how trying to avoid harm can cause more harm. But when the campus activists talk about harm and safety, they’re talking about the harm caused by oppression. Their concerns are moral ones, and because “morality binds and blinds,” as Haidt has told us, they won’t be easily persuaded by evidence against their beliefs. They’ve embraced a moral program that binds them to a community of fellow activists, and one that blinds them to alternative ways of viewing things. Abandoning it would require something akin to a loss of faith. 

The failure to understand the new moral culture for what it is leads to an unwarranted optimism about the future of the university. This is true of many of those who are mostly sympathetic to the new culture, those who are mostly hostile to it, and those who fall somewhere inbetween.

Three kinds of optimists

First are those who support the new culture and its various moral claims. These optimistic embracers err in their confidence that the microaggression program, trigger warnings, and the idea of speech as violence will actually achieve what they’re intended to. The optimistic embracers include not only the campus activists themselves, but also the faculty members and journalists writing to defend their ideas — including Regina Rini, mentioned earlier, a philosophy professor who wrote in the Los Angeles Times defending the microaggression program and the new activist culture she calls solidarity culture; Kate Manne, a philosophy professor who wrote in the Times defending trigger warnings; and Lisa Feldman Barrett, a psychology professor who wrote, also in the Times, defending the idea of speech as violence.

These high profile defenses of aspects of victimhood culture should give pause to another kind of optimist, the optimistic deniers who, while not supportive of victimhood culture or its manifestations, tend to treat events like the attacks on Abrams, Weinstein, or the Christakises as isolated events. They may support free speech and academic freedom while denying these things are under attack. They may dismiss campus activists as radicals who can be ignored, and the new moral concepts as passing fads.

Jesse Singal, for example, writing in 2015 about the microaggression guide used by the University of California and others, said that some administrators had simply “flown off the rails a bit in their understanding of the concept,” and he went on to dismiss the idea that microaggression complaints involved new kinds of moral claims.

Another who might fall into this category is Noah Smith, who in a long Twitter thread, denied that the attacks on free speech and academic freedom on college campuses are a serious problem, concluding that “this issue is overblown, and a distraction from more important things.”

The third type of optimist, the optimistic critic, has a much better grasp of what’s happening and why. These are people who have been observing campus trends and who understand the threat they pose. They tend to be advocates for the ideals of dignity, and they may even be actively involved in trying to save the university. Here the error is less in their diagnosis of the present than in their prognosis for the future.

Consider James Lindsay, who along with Helen Pluckrose and Peter Boghossian, recently illustrated how entrenched victimhood culture is in some fields by hoaxing a number of journals. They targeted fields like gender studies and ethnic studies, which they believe have become little more than “grievance studies” because of their “goal of problematizing aspects of culture in minute detail in order to attempt diagnoses of power imbalances and oppression rooted in identity.” They were successful in getting papers published in a number of journals in these fields, including one on rape culture at a dog park that concluded men should be trained more like dogs.

The study exposed the rot in some fields, but will it help? Lindsay thinks it will, writing on Twitter that he’s “virtually certain the wind has changed.” He went on: “I see the wall starting to crack. I hear the whispers. People’s quiet reactions to our project and the lack of being able to bully it out of existence are huge clues.” 

Consider also Jonathan Haidt, who has done perhaps more than anyone to highlight the problems on campus. In 2015, he coauthored a journal article with five other psychologists about the problems in the field of social psychology that result from a lack of political diversity. The same year he helped start Heterodox Academy, whose goal was to promote viewpoint diversity on campuses, and with Greg Lukianoff he coauthored the Atlantic article “The Coddling of the American Mind,” which argued that the concepts of microaggressions, trigger warnings, and safe spaces were likely causing psychological harm to the very people they were intended to help. And Lukianoff and Haidt later expanded the argument into this year’s book of the same title, mentioned above.

Haidt wrote at the end of 2017 that he believed “2018 will be the year things begin to turn around and many more university leaders stand up and assert the values of viewpoint diversity.” 

The problem with optimism

The optimistic critics are right about a lot, but their optimism seems like wishful thinking. The “grievance studies” that Lindsay, Pluckrose, and Boghossian targeted are still entrenched in the universities, and those sympathetic to the fields simply dismissed the hoax as pointing to the vulnerabilities of peer review generally. The idea is that the hoaxers “could have run this sting on almost any empirical discipline and returned the same result.” Jason Manning points out that the hoax probably gave these fields’ practitioners some “momentary embarrassment, but what is that,” he asks, “against tenure, travel money, professional status, and the ability to spread your politics to the young?”

Meanwhile, people come up with novel ways to undermine the norms of scholarship in the name of social justice. A professor writing recently in the Chronicle of Higher Education, for example, discusses what she sees as a dilemma: how to avoid citing the work of men who are harassers or jerks. She even concludes that the best thing to do might be to submit revised articles according to an editor’s instructions to cite certain works, and then quietly remove those citations before publication.

And what about free speech and academic freedom? The recent attacks on Abrams at Sarah Lawrence College, and the initial failure of the college president to condemn them and support Abrams, are as egregious as any of the others, especially considering the actual content of his op-ed.

What about microaggressions? The term has continued to spread. Just in 2018 are some of the ways administrators have continued to fly off the rails a bit:

  • The National Science Foundation gave a grant to researchers at Iowa State University to study microaggressions in engineering programs.
  • The University of Utah placed posters of microaggression statements around campus to raise awareness.
  • At the University of Buffalo, microaggressions were the theme of the bullying prevention center’s annual conference.
  • At Harvard University’s School of Public Health, students are now asked on course evaluation forms about microaggressions. Last Spring, in 43 of the 138 courses evaluated, at least one student reported hearing “verbal or nonverbal slights/insults.” Administrators said they were investigating the seven professors whose courses received three or more such reports.

And even while activists and administrators concern themselves with possible minor slights against those they perceive as victims, they engage in or tolerate insults and hate speech directed toward those they perceive as oppressors. There was the professor who said that a white college student tortured and killed by the North Koreans for allegedly stealing a poster “got what he deserved,” and that he was just like the other “young, white, clueless, rich males” she teaches. Another professor from Rutgers wrote on Facebook, “I now hate white people.” And after a group of Stanford students put “no crackers” on their community’s residential bus, a staff member defended them, saying, “I hope we have no crackers here.”

What’s more, victimhood culture is already spreading beyond the universities, making the case for pessimism even stronger. Corporations and government agencies, even NASA, have begun doing their own microaggression training. In Multnomah County, Oregon, a recent contract between the county and the municipal workers union guaranteed that “the County and union won’t tolerate any form of ‘microaggression.’” And the Times recently hired Sarah Jeong to its editorial board despite her history of tweeting slurs against whites and men—things like “#CancelWhitePeople” and “White men are bullshit,” the kind of things that are common among campus activists but were not previously part of the mainstream. And while the Times did distance itself from the tweets, writers at Vox and other left-of-center outlets defended them. Ezra Klein, for example, said tweets like “#CancelWhitePeople” are simply calls for people to challenge the dominant power structure. And Zack Beauchamp says that “White men are bullshit” is a way of pointing out the existence of a power structure favoring white men.

The rise of a new moral culture may be hard to arrest. Articles and books won’t do it, but even an organization like Heterodox Academy seems to have been ineffective in its goal of increasing political diversity at universities. And maybe there’s no way it could have succeeded. John Wright discusses “the problems that inevitably accompany efforts at elevating heterodox thinking within the academy,” including the fact that liberals so greatly outnumber conservatives: “The Left virtually owns the institution and a fair number of professors in the humanities and social sciences view conservatives with open contempt.” But under these circumstances how can Heterodox Academy appeal to the Left without compromising its mission? Wright points out that at Heterodox Academy’s recent meeting in New York last summer, 25 of the 28 panelists were leftofcenter. And it showed: Among other shortcomings, “there was no mention of the rise of ‘victims’ programs rooted in intersectional grievances. No mention of the impact postmodernism has had on the academy. No mention of biased research areas produced by the ideological dominance of the Left, or the fact that what now counts as research in some fields is so embarrassing that Twitter accounts mock it because faculty can’t or won’t.”

These aren’t things that can be ignored while trying to fix the university’s problems. It may be that these things can’t be dealt with in the circumstances, but that also means any reform efforts are doomed. The obstacles Heterodox Academy faces may be insurmountable, but if so that leaves us little reason for optimism.

And if this is true—that Heterodox Academy and other reform efforts are likely to fail—too much optimism might be naïve. But it might also be harmful if it leads to complacency—to ignoring many of the real and difficult problems.

The problem with despair

Of course, the danger of pessimism is that it leads to despair, which isn’t really warranted either. For one thing, none of us have a crystal ball. The critical optimists could be right. Maybe things will turn around. Or maybe our efforts are ultimately doomed, but are helping preserve the academy for a little while longer. For all the problems with universities, they’re still doing a lot of good. The natural sciences continue on, not yet wholly captured by the identitarian Left, and as bad as the attacks on scholarship and free speech are in the social sciences and humanities, they aren’t all pervasive. The randomness of the attacks is part of the problem, making them difficult to avoid even if one tries to comply with the latest leftist orthodoxy. But the randomness also means that even the most maverick thinkers aren’t attacked as a matter of course. Part of what’s strange about the Abrams incident is that he’s been writing similar things for some time without incident. At universities all over the country, people are discussing and debating ideas with more trepidation, perhaps, but it’s usually still possible to do so. If there’s any chance of preserving that, even temporarily, we should do so. We’re unlikely to be successful, but it makes sense to try.

The strength of victimhood culture

As we try, though, we need to recognize what we’re up against. Misunderstanding victimhood culture has led critics of its various manifestations to underestimate its strength.

One reason victimhood culture is strong is that those who embrace it are sincere and zealous. If you’re shocked by events like those at Sarah Lawrence College, you probably have a moral framework very different from that of the activists. Whether you’re hostile to the activists, believing they’re loathsome or ridiculous, or sympathetic to them, believing they’re well-meaning but misguided, you’re failing to grasp this important shift.

Simply condemning them, or worse, calling them names or trying to trigger them, won’t help anything. Neither will simply ignoring them until things get out of hand, as at Sarah Lawrence University. If you want to save the academy, you’ll need to start by offering an alternative moral vision.

Feature photo by Andy Ngo.

Bradley Campbell is an associate professor of sociology at California State University, Los Angeles. Follow him on Twitter 


  1. TarsTarkas says

    True Believers are the mightiest of acolytes. They never stop believing and never stop trying.

    • Hamrang says

      Once you drink from the blood of Kali, you become a true believer, Dr. Jones.

      • Giselle P. says

        I would disagree with the author’s characterization of Victimhood Culture as something new.

        I would say victimhood culture predates the other two, a reemergence of a primitive moral system.

        The Old and New Testaments concern themselves to a great degree with how to handle the human spiritual and moral problems of victimhood and sacrifice. Protestant Christian morality informed profoundly what the author calls dignity culture. The gospel authors place cultivation of virtue through refraining from conflict escalation at the center of the Christian moral universe (“turn the other cheek”).

        Perhaps victimhood culture grows from what Nietzsche characterized as feasting on the corpses of our Christian forefathers? We have been existing on the scraps of Christian morality from the past, taking for granted that it would always be there, that dignity culture was humanity’s natural state, rather than a learned discipline in need of constant practice and revitalization.

        Now that the corpse is picked clean, the Old Ways are coming back for another go round, as the West lapses back into a mind frame obsessed with victims, victimhood, and a cycle of pagan-like blood sacrifice and atonement. Makes me wonder if WB Yeats was talking about just that in “The Second Coming”:

        The darkness drops again; but now I know
        That twenty centuries of stony sleep
        Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
        And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
        Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

        Wouldn’t that be something if we once again saw the sacrifice of virgins and children?

        Or are we there already in a metaphorical way, through our fascination with butchered young women in horror movies, abortion of children, and the mass shooting of adolescents in their schools by self-immolating shooters, who somehow think they will set the world in balance by destroying innocents and themselves in a conflagration of gore?

        If shootings are sacrificial in nature, they work very well. Sacrifices are supposed to draw a community together and align them. That’s just what happens after a shooting: the community grieves, lets their emotions pour out. They draw together, set aside trivia and differences, deify the victims, and make the shooter into a monster, an incomprehensible force of nature.

        If so, we haven’t seen anything yet.

    • The Punisher ? says

      “Simply condemning them, or worse, calling them names or trying to trigger them, won’t help anything.”

      Oh won’t it?

      Maybe you aren’t a strategic thinker, Sr. Campbell. That’s not a criticism. You’re an academic, so you don’t do battle in the world the way some of us do. There’s something you may not understand:

      Sometimes, one cannot repair a system or turn it around. Sometimes, thinking and talking and studying the phenomenon don’t work.

      When your truck keeps breaking down; and you can’t make your deliveries on time; but the stupid, skinflint manager won’t replace the truck until the thing just can’t be repaired anymore; and it keeps limping along, ruining your ability to do your job … what do you do?

      You break the bitch. On purpose. You let the oil run low and pin the gas pedal until the engine seizes. Then you tell your manager the engine finally gave out, and he has to replace it. Then you get back to making deliveries and making money for the company.

      It’s the same sort of thinking that has made generals down through history burn the boats or bridges behind their men, so that everyone knows they don’t have a choice but to run into the guns. Such leaders ENGINEER A CRISIS.

      The Right has lacked competent strategic thinkers for a while, until Donald John Trump came along. The flaming genius brain under that ridiculous combover and spray tan realized a long time ago that political correctness in America–including in the academy–cannot be turned around by slow and steady effort and reasonable talk. America will just keep patching the truck with duct tape and rationalizations, avoiding confrontation with the zealots, limping along and destroying the country and its universities in the process.

      So he’s breaking the bitch. On purpose. He’s pinning the accelerator and antagonizing the bejesus out of the Left with name calling and serial political arson, whipping them into a frenzy that sometimes breaks into violence, screaming obscenities, declarations of anti-white and anti-male bigotry, and flagrantly contradictory behavior (“Believe all women! Unless the woman is accusing Keith Ellison! Or is a conservative! Or …”).

      Trump’s engineering a crisis to seize the pistons and force those in the political Center to make a choice: “Do you want to take your chances with these frothing lunatics over here who mob up and threaten physical harm to mild-mannered professors and women in restaurants; or do you want to support me and let me politically kick their asses and set this country straight?”

      Yes, it’s very risky. Yes, it’s manipulative and grimy. Yes, it seems immature and un-nice and not at all the way things are done at Hahvud. Yes, people get hurt feelings and some may even die. But outside the ivy covered walls, this is what leaders sometimes must do, or watch their country slowly burn to the ground and leave everyone with nothing.

      So I would contradict you: calling the hordes living in victimhood culture names and triggering their oversensitive and insane moral degeneracy will help immensely. The students and the professors who manipulate them like little woke soldiers need to be driven to extremes. They need to be antagonized until they set buildings on fire and beat dissenting students and professors like Weinstein and Christakis bloody. They need to be driven to shutting whole universities down with their antics. At that point, lawmakers and political Centrists will have no boats or bridges left to flee to. They will have to cut off the money and reconstitute the institutions.

      To those who disagree … I have no frucks left to give. Here is a hammer:


      Here is sand:


      Pound #1 on #2 until your lungs explode. From now on, the more you bicker and remonstrate, the better it works for me. THAT’S anti-fragility for you.

      I don’t work in a university, but I work with people in the academy, and I’m DONE with this horse skit. I have been applying patience and reason with the opposing viewpoint for far longer than I should have. As far as I’m concerned, the gates are locked, and one gladiator isn’t going home tonight. ?

      • js cantrell says

        “The Right has lacked competent strategic thinkers for a while, until Donald John Trump came along. The flaming genius brain under that ridiculous combover and spray tan realized a long time ago that political correctness in America–including in the academy–cannot be turned around by slow and steady effort and reasonable talk.”
        –The Punisher

        Your post shows an interesting perspective about “breaking things” to achieve positive change, but your quote above is way off-base. Trump is NOT a strategic thinker. He is a reactive narcissist who’s only strategy is to do what narcissist do, enhance their own self-image, and attack those who threaten it. Period.

        • turnright says

          Disagree! The Prez IS a strategic thinker. He’s an applied theoretician. He knows, both intuitively and analytically, that with 30MM illegals already in the country… mostly from Messico, and a streaming video of them vaulting the border every day… our days as an exceptional nation are numbered.

          With IQs dropping and a cartel presence accelerating upwardly along with the number of influxing souls who have never ever had a history involving English Law, but only of subjugation to ruling families, the die is cast. We shall be a banana republic before your grandchildren have grandchildren.

          And as a banana republic we will be just as powerless as Venezuela to stop China or Russia or izlam from taking over completely whatever pieces of the world that they want, but have been denied because of American Exceptionalism. To common sense’s shame, it is the beachhead that marxism has gained among the nations of the West, which has allowed Russia and China to crush their neighbors and export their promise of a bogus utopia to the world’s gullibles.

          It is the Left in the West who have not exhibited strategic thought, the kind that we need to survive.

          • js cantrell says

            “He knows, both intuitively and analytically, that with 30MM illegals already in the country… mostly from Messico, and a streaming video of them vaulting the border every day… our days as an exceptional nation are numbered. “

            I have been for a “wall” (i.e. we let in exactly who we choose to with super strict control of borders, airports, and visas —think Switzerland) for years before Trump came on the illegal immigration scene. I’m old. And see my post from two days ago below in this thread on Israel and the Middle East. So don’t waste your display of your conservative bona fides on me.

            But this is a site which seems to refreshingly be about psychology and philosophy more than politics, so Trumps motives, intent, and yes, his psychology, and philosophy are subject to scrutiny, and that’s what I’m doing. That Trump is correct about some things does not make him correct about most things, nor a strategic thinker. He is NOT a strategic thinker. He may have narrowly strategic advisors around him, but it’s very hard for totally self-absorbed people to be consistently and effectively strategic about any issue other than themselves. And Trump proves this, despite his advisors. He is a demagogue, so he’s obviously gonna gravitate towards popular issues like immigration or terrorism and get some things correct.

            Anyway “Messico” and “izlam” seem to be intentional on your part, so your credibility with me is quite diminished. So I won’t bother defining “strategic” at this point. I still seek to talk to Punisher — instead of hammering sand — who seems to have some philosophy, although harsh, in his spirit. I actually may have something to say beyond politics.

          • js cantrell says

            “He is NOT a strategic thinker.”
            -js cantrell

            Nor is he a genius, as the Punisher says.

      • Gul Abul says

        An interesting rebuttal and one with which I fully agree. I have been thinking similar thoughts I just couldn’t put them together in the form of a conclusion until your comment.
        Well said sir, and thanks.

      • Doug Deeper says

        Bravo to The Punisher for speaking forthrightly. At this point in history, it is irrelevant if Trump is a narcissist or a demigod. His actions are the actions of someone standing up to insanity. He alone, perhaps due in part to his narcissism, stands where others crumble. I have watched the feckless anti-Trumper types crumple before the intolerant, often tyrannical left for 50 years.

        So call him what you will, but he is the terribly flawed one standing between us and what appears to be an almost inevitable march to the destruction of the Judeo-Christian ethic that created the most tolerant culture in human history, the Western World.

  2. Is victimhood “a new moral culture”? It might be, but in terms of effects, I don’t think it matters. We should examine the phenomenon by looking instead at victimhood’s culture effect on social cohesion, at its mechanism of propagation, and at its potential routes of mutation. That is, we should adopt an epidemiological perspective. Victimhood culture is a memetic virus of the sort that attacks affluent and comfortable societies. It’s not the first and won’t be the last.

    Victimhood culture reminds me a lot of early Christianity. Both were mass movements that spread rapidly due to an all-consuming sincere zealotry. Both began spreading in times of unprecedented peace and prosperity. Both provided a moral framework in which the faithful are heroes. Both required the acceptance of beliefs that are both facially absurd and internally inconsistent. (The movement is stronger for making adherents accept untruths.) Both movements created a complete social environment for their adherents. Both replaced a functioning social fabric with a pathological version oriented around spreading the memetic virus instead of human flourishing. Eerily, both movements fetishized martyrdom.

    Our prognosis is grim. The Romans weren’t idiots. They realized the danger that Christianity posed to their society. They tried every possible cure: intellectually debunking, economic ostracism, cloning Christianity’s trappings, and in the end, murder — yet nothing worked. The progress of early Christianity was unstoppable and let to a thousand-year pause in human development.

    Over centuries, the sincere zealotry of the early Christians dissipated, and harsh and inflexible dogma lost out to a kind of metaphorical and nuanced interpretation of doctrine that allowed thought to resume and that return the west to its long-term trend. You have to let these things run their course.

    Eventually, social justice will soften in the same way. The trouble is that social justice will first have to achieve total victory and that it will take a very long time for its energy to dissipate. In the meantime, we’re in for social dysfunction. Knowing that our civilization will eventually develop an immunity to this memetic infection doesn’t comfort us now.

    • MagnusMino says

      I agree: Christians, Jews, Hindus, the GOP, everybody plays the victim card when it suits them, to rationalize their misdeeds and deflect the weak-minded.

      Persecuted Christians bleat on about a war on Christmas, when it’s taken over November now, not just December. And forget about the penultimate professional victims: zionists, who simply “cannot even” to anyone taking exception to their ongoing atrocities without smearing them as racists, literally pulling handles on the gas chambers for asking why it’s ok for them to use snipers to shoot medics and call it self-defense, or fire missiles from drones at kids playing soccer on the beach.

      Identity politics is being used by the left on campus, definitely, it’s idiotic and self-defeating and hypocritical, racist and sexist in origin. But it’s biggest use is by the right: the war mongers. How DARE you question the Troops! How DARE you side with the terrorists!

      These days the biggest proponents of “resistance movement” are neoconservatives, responsible for the deaths of 2.4 million Iraqis and counting.

      “Fighting” Trump’s agenda, which they 100% support, annexing Jerusalem, most recently. Thinking that only idiotic twits on campus use identity politics to “win” debates when they can’t win by the merits of their arguments alone, is absurd. I can point to any group out there that claim persecution status when it suits them:

      “Take my country back”.
      “Stop the war on Christmas”
      “You have no right to even question why we are massacring defenseless civilians in concentration camps using your F-16s! If you do, you’re an ignorant racist, an anti-semite, a tool of islamofascists”

      I see these types of comments all the time here on Quillette. The original biology and evolution deniers are the religionists. The new left has just recently started attacking evolution because it contradicts the victimhood persecution complex, but right-wing Christians have been whining ever since Darwin and Galileo proved humans aren’t the center of the universe.

      The only people who believe in evolution less than the new left, is the old right. And they’ve been attacking the teaching of biology in the south for centuries now. This entire article is true, except for the idea that victimhood is a “new phenomenom”. It’s not.

      Being a martyr is in Christianity’s DNA, and the righteous victim is quite literally their messiah.

      • Peter from Oz says


        Yours is a very confused comment, riddled with whataboutery, but containing some sense.

        Have you ever thought that today’s leftist puritans are really just a new breed of religious zealots? They would rail against religion, but use all the same tactics that religious zealots have used down the ages.

        • MagnusMino says

          Yes, I agree, the nutjobs protesting against any non-Gender Studies Approved idiocy, such as neuroscience, for scientists being able to share and publish their research freely, or even denying invited quests to speak at Universities by using the Heckler’s Veto, are a bunch of cowards and should be kicked out of school for un-scholarly behavior.

          Protesting outside is fine, but shouting over an invited speaker is something else. And calling for tenured professors to be fired is common now. Tenure isn’t what it used to be.

          However, the biggest scandal against free speech on college campuses today is by outside zionist funding influencing administrators preventing pro-Palestinian advocacy on campus. It exists there despite these efforts, but many professors and invited guests have suffered the brunt of this extreme victimhood narrative.

          Thus, the main “safe space” that needs to be maintained at all costs, is the one that prevents Zionist college students from being exposed to opposition and resistance against Israel’s disgusting treatment of its underclass (untermenschen) and ongoing war crimes.

          The players involved here are __actual__ religious (or quasi-religious) zealots, fighting an illegal and immoral war of ideas to benefit a racist theocracy, whose main ongoing project is ethnic cleansing and land theft.

          So I find this comparison a bit silly. Feminists couldn’t keep Brett Kavanaugh off the Supreme Court, meanwhile Obama had to literally lobby for the Iran Nuke deal inside Israel to get it passed. Israel has a near veto-proof control over all branches of the US government now. The idea that these two groups (Gender Studies morons and Zionists) are anywhere close in power and influence, on campus or anywhere else in public life, is laughable.

          If you call Mexicans rapists, you get to be President with 33% of the Hispanic vote. But if Trump said anything against the Jews, he would not be President. All Presidential and Senate, and most House candidates know that if you speak out against Israeli war crimes, you are done for. If you want to know who rules over you, ask yourself who you can’t criticize.

          This is why I find this site rather quaint. It’s so close to understanding, in principle, the injustice that the Pro-Palestine movement experiences in terms of harassment and pressure and identity politics type perpetual-victimhood attacks, but just can’t take that last step and open the cave door. Because the site is run by ideologically blinkered pro-Zionists, it’s the only explanation. Most of the IDW is. Which is sad because they say a lot of good things about freedom of thought otherwise. The editors and authors here simply cannot make that last leap of understanding who the biggest enemies of free speech are in the US, and globally.

          Have feminists managed to make it illegal to criticize feminism? That would be anti-1A, right? But there are anti-BDS laws on the books now. Literally, laws that state you cannot boycott a foreign country. And Quillette ignores it, completely. As a web rag supposedly devoted to heterodox thinking, this blind spot is conspicuous. This is a deliberate omission, and thus complicit.

          • @MagnusMino

            You make some good points in your three separate comments, but you could make them more effectively if you didn’t constantly resort to hyperbole, and did some fact checking. I don’t know what your age is, but you sound like a university student who has only fairly recently had his “eyes opened” about the evil Zionists. You come off as more callow than anything else. And you get some basic facts wrong along the way. Some of them are nit-picky, and so I’ll leave them alone, but others are not.

            That being said, I wholeheartedly agree with you about the proposed anti-BDS legislation in the US Congress: The infringement on (broadly-defined) speech that this represents exceeds most of what we’re seeing coming from the left on US campuses, precisely because the bad actor in this case is not some nutty professor or crazed SJW but the US government. The proposed law should be criticized, and, to my knowledge, it hasn’t been in any of the articles published in Quillette. (Somebody correct me if I am wrong about this.)

            I also agree that Israel –- or “the Zionists,” as you prefer -– have committed war crimes, but the frequency (although not the magnitude) of these pale in comparison to Hamas — which in the last few days alone has rained down over 200 missiles on Israel, deliberately aiming, as always, for civilians (something Israel rarely deliberately does).

            You write: “Try to speak out against zionist war crimes at the office, in public, on campus, anywhere without being called… a racist. The charge of ‘Anti-semite!’ is thrown about constantly, to anyone who even asks why villages are being levelled using our tax dollars.” I agree with you that some people conflate anti-Israeli statements with anti-Semitism, sometimes ridiculously, but the fact is that the vast majority of people who raise their voices against Israeli policies in the US and Europe do so without incident, especially on campus.

            You write: “What I find rather telling, is how little self-reflection there is on Quillette,… [whose readers] absolutely love to get BDS supporters fired and pass laws restricting their speech, on campuses and elsewhere, merely for stating incontrovertible facts.” You’re over-reaching here, and, frankly, you don’t have much of a leg to stand on. If there are a few noisy pro-Israel conservatives in the comments at Quillette who might want to see BDS supporters fired for their views, it would be an excruciatingly tiny minority, and none of the articles ever published here have ever supported such an idea. I’ve been reading Quillette from the beginning, and I’m telling you that your claim is nonsense.

            You wrote: “’Israel’ is an Arab-majority country.” Sorry, you’re not even close. Arabs are only 21 percent of the total population of Israel proper. Even if you included all the Arabs living in the Palestinian Territories, Jews would still be the majority of the population.

            You wrote: “[Arabs are] literally second-class citizens by law now. Jews lived safely and were well-treated in Muslim countries for centuries.” Jews were second-class citizens in Muslim countries throughout history, too. Different laws and tax rates applied to them. Read your history.

            You wrote: “And there are millions of Jews in Iran.. and they are doing just fine.” There are only a few thousand Jews left in Iran. There have never been millions.

            You wrote: “Arabs in the territories are eventually going to get the right to vote.” They had the right to vote, but it keeps getting suspended by their autocratic leaders.

            Finally, this: “[T]he biggest scandal against free speech on college campuses today is by outside zionist funding influencing administrators preventing pro-Palestinian advocacy on campus.” Unfortunately, this last statement of yours is confirmation, in case anyone needed it, that you are driven more by emotion than anything else.

          • Northern Observer says

            Anti BDS came about because of how the pro Palestenian student organizations behaved. It’s very hard to keep such a movement controlled so that it doesnt spiral into a simple anti jewish movement, violating the civil rights of jewish students on Campus. This leads me to wonder if there Is any national cause movement appropritate on campus. I mean if we had croats and serbians disrupting University life constantly to give their respective chavinisms legitimacy would we be wrong to control it? The whole premise here is that we “know” the arabs are right and therefore they should not be controlled on campus and their jewish adversaries are “abusing” their, what would you call it, position in society. I think the university is not a place for national causes outside of drinking, dancing and funny costumes. If you want to conduct propaganda operations and resistance do it in your private life and let me get on with my education. It is arrogant and disrespectful to bring campus life to a halt for your casue and this goes for all the intersectional causes as well, the moral arrogance and self importance is disproportional to the audience. It may make you feel good but youre being a jackass.

          • “However, the biggest scandal against free speech on college campuses today is by outside zionist funding influencing administrators preventing pro-Palestinian advocacy on campus. ”

            Ah. Much is explained.

          • Yeah, well, the comment sections on too numerous to count websites cover the evil ‘Jooos’ well enough. Your comments are case in point. Submit an article to Quillette if you think Jew hating articles are underrepresented here.

          • Andio says

            You say “However, the biggest scandal against free speech on college campuses today is by outside zionist funding influencing administrators preventing pro-Palestinian advocacy on campus”

            Can you site any examples of this?

            You say this “This is why I find this site rather quaint. It’s so close to understanding, in principle, the injustice that the Pro-Palestine movement experiences in terms of harassment and pressure and identity politics type perpetual-victimhood attacks, but just can’t take that last step and open the cave door.”

            Can you site any examples of “the injustice that the Pro-Palestine movement experiences in terms of harassment and pressure and identity politics type perpetual-victimhood attacks”?

          • CA Monk says

            However, the biggest scandal against free speech on college campuses today is by outside zionist funding influencing administrators preventing pro-Palestinian advocacy on campus.” Dead right. As a former faculty member at SOAS I can attest to the fact that any anti-Zionist posters on campus were torn down within hours. It seems that there are zealous groups all over the widespread campus who are encharged with removing any anti-Israeli notices, any my, they are efficient. I saw this consistently over my ten years at the university.

          • @MagnusMino
            While I’m more on the centrist / center right political spectrum and nominally support Israel or at least I don’t really have opposition or even really care about the whole debate one way or another (the whole Israel/Palestinian issue really bores the heck out of me, I know, shallow American here) I have to say your entire rant actually makes sense to me.

            We’re all incentivized to be victims in order to appeal to the larger culture. America loves the underdog so we all vie for that position (at least superficially).
            The Christians (I’m kind of a non-practicing one) are more defending their terf but framing it in the victim narrative to get more cultural capital. And you’re totally right about the troop thing. But, seriously, what else does the right have? They’re literally down to the Constitution, the Family and Christianity, what other political weapons do they have to try and guilt-trip the left. Not that any of it works nor should they even try.

            The anti-bds law is a first amendment travesty. Don’t get me wrong, I think that boycot is vicious and wrong but the boycott law is direct Israeli influence on our government and should be resisted as much as Russia.

          • @MagnusMino
            One more thing bugging me about your whole anti-Israel rant, it seems to be putting a halo on the Palestinians. Just another version of the “noble savage”. It’s like once the Jews finally stood up and decided to fight back and put a flag on some land and to not be eternal victims (as ALL OTHER PEOPLE HAVE DONE TRHOUGHOUT HISTORY) and declared for themselves a freaking country and proceeded to defend it then they’re suddenly the oppressors. As harsh as it seems, the West would have never progressed as a civilization had we not fought for land and “colonized” far off places. Humans have been fighting and killing for territory since the beginning. Just because the left has now decided that it’s all been a horrible mistake doesn’t make it true.

            The Israeli’s just had the misfortune of planting their flag in the age of mass communication. Late to the game and all that. As for being “professional” victims, why shouldn’t they use all the modern tools at their disposal? And if I were a Jew or an Israeli citizen the last thing I would do is appologize to anyone anywhere! Just sayin’!

        • Reality Checker says

          The Western intellectual tradition is in the process of committing mass suicide. If you think it’s bad in the US, take a look at what’s going on in England at Oxford and Cambridge and trickling down from there! Academics, lemming-like, are disempowering THEMSELVES in the name of some imaginary “fairness,” and the elephant in the room is their headlong flight to IRRELEVANCY.

          The minute the government starts funding study at vocational schools with a direct school-to-work pathway, these idiots who’ve been “educated” beyond their intelligence will die a natural institutional death.

          For what parent is going to spend tens of thousands for their kids to be programmed with irrational claptrap that’s actually inhibiting their desirability as future employees? Does any manager want to hire troublemakers who come with chip-on-shoulder firmly attached?

          Time all of the self-proclaimed “identities” got off the victim train and stopped trying to blame their misfortunes on anyone but themselves. Stop trying to rewrite history, biology and physics while you’re at it!

      • dellingdog says

        @Magnus, I completely agree. The knee-jerk right-wing commenters on this site have a massive blind spot: they don’t recognize that they’re the mirror image of intolerant, illiberal, overgeneralizing SJWs. In today’s political climate, I think the regressive right is a bigger threat than the regressive left. Both should be criticized, but I’m more concerned with reactionaries who have real political power than with academics who are trying to enforce a new “woke” orthodoxy on elite campuses.

        • MagnusMino says

          I think both left and right ideologies are wrong in some ways, so I disavow blind allegiance to either, and favor a piecemeal approach, guided by facts and rationalism and fairness.

          But I agree, it’s probably more detrimental to the survival of the human race to be a climate change denier (typically right-wingers), but as a male in this society, the new left’s idea that presumption of innocence and due process for men should be erased is shocking.

          It’s partly historical myopia, partly stupidity on their part, not realizing perhaps that 94% of the prison population is male and many of them are black, so wanting there to be even more innocent men put in prison on the whim of some spiteful white lady’s fantasy thirty years later, is about as scary as anything Kafka could have conjured up in The Trial. There was literally just a movie about Thurgood Marshall, where he defended a black man falsely accused of rape on the testimony of a white woman who was afraid of her husband, and the new left doesn’t care that the biggest victims of rescinding due process, evidentiary standards, and presumption of innocence, will be black men. This is why I say they are not only stupid, but dangerous.

          Let me go a bit deeper into my thinking on this. I think feminism has devolved into female supremacy, just like Judaism evolving into Zionism became a kind of an insular blood cult of racial supremacists. I laugh when the left riots against 3000 KKK members still being alive in the US, meanwhile zionist racial supremacists control virtually every single aspect of their lives: All branches of government, Facebook, Google, all the major news networks, newspapers, the NYT of course, Saddam has WMDs!! so let’s kill 2.4 million Iraqis and spent 4 trillion dollars of taxpayer money for Israel to expand its borders to Eretz Israel via the Yinon Plan, moving on to Iran next. Bombs away! And instead of worrying about many millions of people in the bullseye, and tons of their hard-earned taxes being spent to prop up a country where interracial marriage is illegal, Democrats are claiming that Putin’s master plan involved McCaskill losing her Senate seat. It’s all a bunch of propaganda. And this site is really contributing to the mass stupidity, by focusing on relatively small things.

          Quillette should try talking a bit more about big picture things: war (and war propaganda), climate change (=fact!), fleecing the middle class to pay for billionaire’s helicopter pads. It’s really sad, seeing otherwise intelligent people like Peterson, fall for idiotic right-wing memes like climate change is fake news. He really is a moron 50% of the time. The other 50% I agree with a lot of what he says, except the quasi-religious stuff which is rather weak apologia for internally contradictory Christian doctrine. He’s right that men and women are different, though, and that boys and men are suffering and that our suffering is invisible due to the gynocentrism of society, and that trans-genderism is a contradiction in terms (you can’t be “trans” your chosen gender identity, by definition).

          My point is: there’s lots of ideological stupidity on both sides, so a pox on both houses. Conservatives can’t claim to be pro-free-speech though, they love banning books, especially things Darwin wrote about. Or criminalizing boycotting racist countries. The IDW is full of zionists who hold their fingers crossed behind their backs when it comes to supporting free speech. Only when it either benefits their cause, or has nothing to do with it. If it’s critical, the knives come out. The blacklists. The threats to cut funding, media smear campaigns, etc.

          • Well into “Mein Kampf” , then? Or is your root text “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion”? First time a contribution to Quillette has made my flesh creep.
            You perhaps don’t know that there are fewer Jews in the whole world than there are Australians in Australia; and at the same time, three times as many people in Florida as in Australia. So it’s a little hard to see your “insular blood cult of racial supremacists ” – sheesh! You do know that was called National Socialism? – controlling many aspects of anyone’s lives.
            All praise to Quillette for allowing you to post. But your “piecemeal approach ” is related to “facts, rationalism and fairness” as a cancer is related to its host tissue.

          • Suaningi says

            Oh My Goodness!!! Your comment: “Conservatives can’t claim to be pro-free-speech though, they love banning books, especially things Darwin wrote about. Or criminalizing boycotting racist countries.” Which books have “conservatives” banned? (including Darwin). Cite your sources please. Then criminalizing the boycott of racist counties? Because of your apparent hatred of Israel, I assume you think someone has criminalized those who support divestment, Again citation please. You are long on hyperbole and short on facts.

          • Andio says

            You say this “The IDW is full of zionists who hold their fingers crossed behind their backs when it comes to supporting free speech. Only when it either benefits their cause, or has nothing to do with it. If it’s critical, the knives come out. The blacklists. The threats to cut funding, media smear campaigns, etc.”

            Examples please.

          • whatpriceloberty says

            “How DARE you question the Troops! How DARE you side with the terrorists!” This is not the same as Identity politics. I think this might be the biggest misunderstanding btw the right and the left. TO question the troops is to question defending the principals America was founded upon, and those principals protect all races and identities. So it’s not identity politics – it’s the politics of patriotism. Same goes for your example about terrorists. Conservatives are purporting there is an ideological battle happening . You mat disagree with the idea that there is an ideological battle – but that battle is about ideas not identity. People misunderstand the Enlightenment ideas regarding individuality so much now because it seems like it is not taught in school at all anymore. Young malleable minds are taking in the information of identity politics and then its solidifying there into completely inflexible thinking. Everyone thought PC was innocent “politeness”. No, it was persecution of the working class, it was thought control and compelled speech. This is dangerous so it Erupted into the election of Donald Trump and ushered in Populist movements around the globe. Even the way you talk about black guys in prison and the possible damage the metoo movement could have on black men shows you are a victim of this culture. Black men would be in Grave danger as would all men. The paranoid idea that the Left has that the Right operates via overt racism is not true. Racism is a human trait which both the left and the right can have – and the extreme versions of it are very ugly to see. Two things help a person get over the human natural tendency toward tribalism which can result in certain racist tendencies. Those things are a belief in a higher power and/or Ideas (such as the enlightenment). The left always tries to manipulate, control and Use actual tendencies of human nature to Moralize and to control people. It ends in violence. This is playing out now, not only in MeTOO as you mentioned – which does damage to due process and civilization VIA Denying certain aspects of Nature – such as the real way that men and women relate to each other. Similarly – The Human Natural tendency toward a mere possibility of racism – has been Hugely warped, manipulate and blown out of proportion by the left – into fear mongering. Ultimately it is a goebbles – esq technique to dismantle the right. The news will tell the lie enough – so that eventually everyone believes anyone who is a conservative is a racist. This will open the door for fascist tactics such as censorship to be used in the name of fighting racism. Meanwhile – the Truth is that the Left has no more or less proclivity toward racism than the Right. So again – to conflate “not questioning the troops” w/ identity politics simply doesn’t work because it Is actually apples and oranges. The Right always avoids Identity politics at all costs as one of their many tenants. Other tenants of the Right are smaller, more local govt, a tendency to try to preserve aspects of systems that have worked well in teh past etc. Even for example – with the New Blexit movement – black people leaving the Dem party – people on the right have pointed out that since that is identity politics it’s bound to be discredited at some point. On that I happen to disagree – I am fully behind Candace Owens. Because I think the democratic party has created so much unfair internal and peer pressure on black people Through Their Identity politics – that an answer rooted in identity politics was needed – in this one case. We will see how it plays out.

        • Have to disagree with you there, dellingdog.

          I don’t see anyone on the Right calling for censorship — particularly on campuses — or demanding that we use certain words. Likewise, I can’t go listen to Nigel Farage here in Melbourne without being verbally abused or seeing people shoved and pushed around. This continually happens all across the West: Leftists demand that they control who gets to speak, under what circumstances, and if a response is warranted.

          I doubt this occurs at the socialist meetups here in Melbourne. I’m sure it’s quite peaceful.

          I see people such as Count Dankula getting fined for “hate speech” for a joke. I see people getting fired from their jobs for saying that there are two genders. I could go on and on, mate, but my point is that this isn’t being caused by anyone on the Right.

          Both sides should be held in check; however, right now, the radical left is far more dangerous. How many people turned up to Unite the Right this year? Twenty?

          • dellingdog says

            @Mark, I think you’re defining “the Right” much more narrowly than I am. I agree that white nationalists and neo-Nazis are marginal and mostly inconsequential, but I’m far more concerned about right-wing theocrats like Mike Pence and conspiracy-minded Tea Partiers who provide carte blanche support for Donald Trump. Policies which (for example) threaten to deprive millions of Americans of health care coverage seem far more significant than obnoxious protesters and deplatformed speakers. Perhaps the situation in Australia is different, but I think it’s rather alarmist to call the radical left “dangerous.” In the 1970s leftist revolutionaries like the Weathermen and the Red Brigade plotted and committed terrorist attacks in the U.S. and Europe on a regular basis; the West survived. Antifa tactics have been condemned by the vast majority of progressives on both principled and pragmatic grounds — they do NOT represent the mainstream. The same is true of right-wing extremists, but in the U.S. the latter have caused far more damage than left-wing terrorists.


          • dellingdog says

            If you’re referring to Dr David Mackereth, I think it’s wrong that he was fired but I also find it strange that he was willing to give up his job because of pronouns. If someone is more comfortable being called “he” than “she,” I think we should err on the side of being considerate. I sincerely don’t understand why there’s such a moral panic over the .5% of the population who don’t identify with their biological sex. I suspect some of the hysteria derives from being on the losing side of the “culture wars” for so many years. That said, liberals are not helping by hectoring people who have trouble adapting to social change. If we all practiced the principle of charity instead of assuming the worst about people with whom we disagree, discussions would be far more civil and constructive.

        • Daniel says

          dellingdog, you mentioned being more concerned with reactionaries who have real political power…

          What is your concern? What are you afraid will happen?

          My own concern is not that we have moved from a place of tolerance and liberality (liberalism?) to the madness we have now. My concern is that we’ve had a simplistic, deliberately anti-intellectual and anti-common sense definition of tolerance and liberalism. This undiscerning value system has opened the door to the madness of the SJWs.

          • dellingdog says

            @Daniel, I’m afraid that conservatives will occupy an alternative universe defined by Fox News and right-wing radio and will elect an unprincipled and unqualified ignoramus to govern the most powerful country in the world. Which has, of course, already happened. Insofar as SJWs played a role in Trump’s election by contributing to the anti-elitist backlash on the part of his supporters, they’re part of the problem. I think they should be resisted and support the efforts of traditional liberals like Sam Harris and Bill Maher to call them out on their B.S. However, I’m far from convinced that they pose an existential threat to the future of Western culture.

        • Farris says

          “Magnus, that was parody, right?”

          Or classic victim culture thinking. He rages against the injustices committed against his favored victimized group. He sees a great conspiracy denying justice. There are no other options. He sees two types of conspirators: the evil corrupt powerful persons pulling the strings and the ignorant dupes who are too blind to see. Only he sees the real truth. Only he has all the answers. He was born intellectually superior in a stupid world.

          • dellingdog says

            I see a lot of conservatives engaging in “classic victim culture thinking” by fixating on a “conspiracy” of SJWs who are “denying justice.” Only *they* see the real truth; only *they* have all the answers. It takes two sides to be polarized. Unfortunately, extremists on both ends of the spectrum lack the insight to recognize that they’re part of the problem.

      • Saw file says

        @ magnus…in you’re little ”victim card” list of ‘conservative’ type idiologies/religioun’s who “, when it suits them, to rationalize their misdeeds and deflect the weak-minded”. That included Hindu, but not Sikh (?). Strange…
        I also found it MOST interesting, that you also didn’t include Islam, and the rise of Islamism?
        Is anyone going to try to tell me (without laughing), that Muslim (islamist) activists in the West aren’t wringing that card for all it’s worth?
        BTW…doing a “bleat” with, ”
        so let’s kill 2.4 (nonsense number) million Iraqis”, without explaining the Muslim sectarian violence involved within the country is simply simple simpleton ‘rationalization’.

      • peterschaeffer says

        MM, Neocons hate Trump’s agenda (mostly). See Max Boot’s (the Neocons Neocon) recent denunciation of Trump. Note that Jennifer Rubin and David Frum (of “Axis of Evil” fame) are all ferociously anti-Trump. Typical articles on the subject include “Trump Is Not a Neoconservative and Never Will Be” and “Why neocons really hate Trump: He’s hastening the decline of American empire
        Trump’s neoconservative critics have liberal fans now, but their real cause is saving American imperialism”.

        • MagnusMino says

          “Neocons hate Trump’s agenda (mostly)”

          At most, that is internecine squabbling among friends, meant to pressure him to go even more right-wing than he already is. It is a ruse to disarm any chance of “resist” being mistaken for genuine resistance to his pro-Israel, pro-War foreign policy, which has overwhelming bipartisan support. Look at all the votes he gets for war funding. Democrats are complicit and his firm allies, and both parties’ FP are strictly neoconservative. It’s important to understand where the neocon movement came from.

          Neoconservatism’s core tenet, “pre-emptive war” for “self-defense”, was invented as a marketing ploy in the lead up to the ’67 war, by Israelis, as a pretext to expand their borders through illegal acquisition by force, something which the Nazis were hanged for after WWII.

          Taking land by force is punishable by the Nuremberg treatment. Most neocons are zionists, and acting on Israel’s behalf, actually virtually all of them are. They are also mostly Jewish Zionists, not by coincidence, and that’s just a fact. Just look at a list of their names. The US government is 100% Israeli Occupied Territory.

          Do any of these neocons disagree with Trump moving the US embassy to Jerusalem?

          Not at all. Chuck Schumer and Feinstein and Pelosi all love it too. Bill Clinton literally signed off on it, and it’s actually a war crime for them to annex it, unilaterally like this. It is not legally theirs to annex. It’s 100% illegal.

          Hillary egged Trump on invade Syria, which is also a core policy goal of the neocons and has been since the Yinon Plan in the 80s. That plan is about establishing Eretz Israel, by destroying all Israel’s neighbours through military invasions, done by the US, of course, on its behalf, and under the umbrella of its protection.

          Does David Frum generally dislike Trump’s warlike, pro-Israel-do-anything-you-want policy? Not at all. Trump has a 60% favorability rating in Israel, the highest anywhere on the planet, and 20% higher than the US. Why is that? Because he thinks like they do. He does what they want. They are the best of friends. If people actually knew what the neocons were about, what their true policy goals were, they would laugh at the notion that neocons are “against” Trump. They’re just nudging him more and more rightward, using the Democrats as cover, with the side benefit of crushing the anti-war faction of the Democrats in the process. Which is largely disappeared already, since Obama and Clinton were so war-like and pro-Occupation in their policies.

          The fact that the “resistance” movement on Twitter and in news media is full of neocons trying to rehabilitate their image from the Iraq disaster, by pretending to be against a President enacting a very neocon-style aggressive war-like posture, is just marketing so they can take over the Democrats from within, and pre-emptively negate any chances that the opposition will grow a spine and stop trying to out-Warmonger the Warmonger Party.

          This is what Hillary Clinton did, she cozied up to people like Kissinger (the proto-neocon) and the rest of the warmonger class at the Center for American Progress and other “think tanks”, so US elections go like this:

          Tails the anti-war movement loses, heads the war machine wins. It’s a racket.

          With respect to foreign policy, the main difference between Hillary and Trump is just one of tone, not actual policy, which has been continuous from GWB to Obama (who bragged about bombing 7 muslim countries and escalated the drone wars in several places, including Yemen). The neocons, who are almost invariably zionists weren’t very friendly in public to Obama, but you can bet they loved his war aid packages and 38 billion dollar cheques.

          What did many in Hillary’s staff do the day after the election? They immediately changed jerseys and switched to the other team. US foreign policy is the same, Team Red or Blue is just theater, pablum for the masses. There is a strong continuity of policy from GWB through Obama to Trump. This is what Snowden calls the “Deep State”. People behind the scenes who survive Presidents, and are setting policy regardless of the puppet in office. And that policy is: Endless War and Occupation.

          I invite you to read up more about neocons, who they are, what their goals are, and especially about its origins in the ’67 war which was a war of aggression for liebensraum and the glory of Eretz (Greater) Israel. Trump is Israel’s best friend, there is 0 chance that neocons are resisting his policy. They’re just doing what they always do: try to push the US ever more rightward, and now they’re pretending to be “resisting” it. It’s laughable how many people out there are falling for it. It’s a complete fiction. Neocons love Trump, he’s one of theirs. This is just another con.

          • peterschaeffer says

            MM, I think you are underestimating how deep the Trump / Neocon schism really is. Hillary would have invaded Syria by now (if she was President). She convinced Obama to attack Libya (Obama describes Libya as “the worst mistake of my administration”). It’s hard to imagine Trump attacking the next Libya.

            By the way, I agree with your observation about

            “The fact that the “resistance” movement on Twitter and in news media is full of neocons trying to rehabilitate their image from the Iraq disaster”

            That is so true. Iraq didn’t work out the way they wanted it to. The American public is generally wary of foreign interventions as a consequence. Obama beat two Republicans for a number of reasons. One of them was a stated distaste for “doing stupid shit” (that’s a literal quote from Obama). One of the reasons Trump defeated Hillary was Hillary’s allegiance to the war party.

            The neocons shifted to Hillary because she (not Trump) was/is the best hope for their foreign policy.

      • “I agree: Christians, Jews, Hindus, the GOP, everybody plays the victim card when it suits them, to rationalize their misdeeds and deflect the weak-minded“. Magnus, you conveniently “forget” to include Islam into this list. It is telling…lol

        • MagnusMino says

          I wrote several times that I’m not a fan of Islam, at all. As an an atheist, I detest all religion, even the “benign” ones.

          I’m mostly anti-war, and anti-zionism, but not because I hate Jews and love Arabs (in fact I know far more Jews and generally prefer their company, culturally speaking), or love Islam, but because I hate injustice.

          Just remember: it doesn’t matter if you were born a Christian, or a Muslim, or a Druze, or a Bedouin in Palestine, the zionists want your land all the same. You know the Billy Joel song “we didn’t start the fire”, where he mentions “Palestine, terror on the airline”?

          That incident was organized by a Palestinian Christian, not a muslim, who the Israelis had killed his family and stolen his land. The Israelis will bulldoze over any opposition to their land grab project, even a white american girl (Rachel Corrie). They are vicious criminals and need to be stopped. The whole “clash of civilizations” meme, pitting Islam itself vs the west, is a ruse and a side-show for uninformed. Saudi Arabia is the US’ #2 “ally” and most of the 9/11 terrorists came from there. Their hatred for the west is mostly political, not religious. They basically want foreign invaders who steal their land to GTFO. And as a white man, I agree with that whole-heartedly. Not because I’m some SJW snowflake imagining slights where there are none, but because I’m a decent human being and I care when millions of people are living in concentration camps with no running water or electricity, and whose schools get bombed on the first day of class, and who get sniped just for walking around. It’s sick.

          And I don’t think there should be perpetual wars costing millions of lives and trillions of dollars for the glory of a bronze-age blood cult. Anyone who supports the zionist enterprise and claims they are doing it for the Enlightenment is fooling themselves and are dupes. Ariel Sharon was right, Americans are easy to fool. Because most of them don’t really know anything much except what media propaganda tells them to think, 24/7.

    • Daniel says

      “The progress of early Christianity was unstoppable and let to a thousand-year pause in human development.”
      I assume you mean “led to”.

      What was this pause in human development of which you speak?

    • James Lee says


      That’s a great comment. I’m not saying I agree with everything you wrote, but it’s definitely thought provoking.

      There is no doubt in my mind that the new social justice religion could only arise in a time of unprecedented freedom from threats to survival.

    • George G says

      great comment, I think your pretty spot on. We can look forward to the woke reformation in about 2000 years

    • Ian MT says


      Early Christianity wasn’t the only previous time the ‘Cult of the Victim’ rose up. Sometimes it over takes a culture, many times it fails. Just in the 20th century after WWI weakened Western society Anarchist, Communist, and Fascist movements all sprang up proclaiming that the common man was the victim of various groups and conspiracies. All three were crushed after much bloodshed and suffering. This current movement reminds me much more of the Anarchist movements of the 19th and early 20th centuries than the early Christians.

      The memes of Dignity haven’t lost to the memes of Victimhood yet, and the fight is worth having.

    • D,

      I will agree with you that particular aspects of victimhood culture and Christianity appear similar, namely a great zealotry, the exaltation of those who suffer/die for the ideals, and their appearance in times of (relative) social and societal peace and prosperity.

      That said, the similarities end there. Christianity has more in common with a dignity culture insofar as it promoted the inherent dignity of the human person- including those marginalized in society- and the flourishing of the human person within society. The only aspects of Roman culture explicitly attacked/denied by Christians were those aspects incompatible with Christian Faith, particularly immoral sexual practices, the killing of children, the gratuitous violence of the gladiators, and the worship of pagan gods. Other than that, Christians were encouraged to live within Roman society as good, law-abiding citizens who respected both secular and religious authority.

      Additionally, I would challenge your claim that the dogmas of Christianity are “facially absurd and internally inconsistent.” While some claims seem absurd on the surface, the logical coherence and internal unity of Christian (specifically Catholic) belief surpasses any other historical religion.

      And, historically, the latter half of the claim that “The progress of early Christianity was unstoppable and let (sic) to a thousand-year pause in human development” is just untrue. This is most clearly seen in the fact that Western culture- the best that was inherited from ancient Greece, Rome, and the other great world cultures- was preserved by Christians- particular the religious in monasteries- after the fall of Rome (which was caused mainly by Roman decadence, societal weakening, and the invading barbarians).

      While Christianity certainly “exalts the victim” insofar as the central belief is that Jesus Christ was killed for man’s salvation, the conclusion is not that all Christians are thus victims/victimized by an evil, oppressive culture. Rather, the conclusion is that God becoming man bestows a new dignity upon all persons that calls them to live a new, reformed life in accord with this dignity. Thus, again, it has much more in common with a dignity culture.

      • MagnusMino says

        There are 9000 internal contradictions in the Bible.

        It typically requires indoctrination from a young age to swallow such a system of beliefs so riddled with self-contradictions. In science, even a single contradiction is enough to throw out a theory. 9000 contradictions, on the other hand, is deemed “deeply mysterious”.

        If religion is something one could only choose when, say, one were old enough to vote, and had a basic education, i.e. after reaching adulthood, religion would be dead.

        This is exactly why it must be taught from a young age, of course, before critical reasoning sets in and independent thought can flourish.

        • B. Haynie says


          Bibviz has been debunked. It’s embarrassingly full of mistakes and considered a joke among theists. But you go ahead and cling to your disbelief…..just don’t expect the rest of us to take you seriously.

    • Steve says

      “Both provided a moral framework in which the faithful are heroes.”

      The wanton stupidity of so much connected to Quillette, on sad display once more.

    • Cjones111 says

      This neo-moral paradigm in the name of social justice is a semantic exercise in flash mob rage. The World is nasty place where non-White cultures turn microaggressions into major aggressions. These kids should count there blessings and the universities and colleges that allow these temper tantrums should be ashamed. Are educators becoming snake oil vendors?

  3. Circuses and Bread says

    How about another form of optimist: the economic optimist. The economic optimist sees that academia is tethered to economics whether it wants to be or not. In the long run, an institution that can’t deliver economic value will eventually cease to exist. Academia isn’t delivering. So instead of wringing our hands, look at the enrollment numbers. Bad behavior and poor management has a price.

    • dellingdog says

      I teach at a community college which offers both technical programs (e.g., HVAC, accounting, nursing) and an AA program (the first two years of a four-year liberal arts degree). Our tuition is significantly lower than a nearby public four-year university, in part because we don’t have a lot of extraneous costs (e.g., the university recently added a climbing wall to its sprawling athletic facility; our “gym” consists of a room with some exercise bikes and free weights). Left-wing hysteria is almost completely absent at my college, both among students and faculty. Most of the students have full-time jobs and all of the instructors teach four of five classes a semester, so they probably wouldn’t have time to protest “micro-aggressions” even if they wanted to! My point: some parts of academic are much worse than others.

      • E. Olson says

        Dellingdog – given your Leftist viewpoints it would appear you would be much happier at an Evergreen or Sarah Lawrence type school. Perhaps your current location is why you see any criticisms of the Left as “over-the-top”, since you are apparently surrounded by far more centrists and Rightists among faculty, staff, and students at your community college than would be the case if you were at nearly any 4 year college with a substantial social science and humanities faculty. Yet your constant assertions that Antifa violence, and student/faculty protests against Right-leaning faculty and speakers at universities don’t represent the “mainstream” Left are largely refuted by this article. Despite your constant reference to the highly flawed Global Terrorism link (which counts the LasVegas shooter as a Right Leaning terrorist despite there being no official reports as to his motivation), the real facts on the ground show the violent “protesters” and “activists” are mostly on your side. You also constantly bring up the Tea Party movement as some example of Right wing extremism, but never mention that the Tea Party has had zero violence attributed to it, and always left each protest site cleaner than it had been before the protest. The one thing your writings do share with other “mainstream” Leftists, however, is a total failure criticize or suggest punishment for the actions of the violent Left.

        • dellingdog says

          E. Olson: I know you’ll interpret this as an admission that I have no counterarguments to your brilliant points, but you’re a troll who’s not worth engaging. You’ve proven in post after post that you’re an angry, ax-grinding ideologue who’s convinced he has all the answers and has nothing to learn from anyone else. You construct straw man after straw man and take great delight in knocking them down, always assuming the worst possible motivation on the part of people who disagree with you. Everything you write displays pathological levels of confirmation bias and motivated reasoning — e.g., in your most recent post you fail to acknowledge the Trump supporter who sent mail bombs to a half dozen prominent liberals. (The fact that they failed to explode doesn’t mean he’s not a terrorist.) I feel very sorry for you and anyone who has the misfortune of interacting with you in real life. I suspect you’re an insufferably arrogant wingnut who alienates everyone that doesn’t share your extremist views. I’ve tried on multiple occasions to find common ground with you and engage in reasonable dialogue, but it’s become obvious that you’re incapable of participating in good-faith conversation. You’re a rabid, hyperpartisan troll, and I’m done feeding you. Good riddance.

          Feel free to continue responding to my comments; instead of wasting my time writing a reply, I’ll copy and paste a version of this post.

          • Peter from Oz says

            I think you are being too harsh on E.Olson. S/he comes up with some gems. Of course s/he argues hard for the side that overallt s/he finds most convincing. But that is what debate is all about.
            I think one of the great problems in these debates is that we are all guilty of concentrating on the general rather than the particular. We want to see overall trends rather than limit ourselves to the issue at hand.
            And of course we bandy about the terms ”left” and ”right” with gay abaondon, not really ever stopping to think what they mean. It often seems that two people here can agree on the substantive point at issue, but will end up abusing each other here, because one or both of them has given away that they swing towards typical right or left positions on other topics.
            I can guarantee that you and I agree on a lot of things. In some cases we will even agree on solutions. But let us indulge ourselves in these conversations and have a bit of fun teasing out the truth.

          • E. Olson says

            DD – I’m so sorry I didn’t acknowledge the crazy Trump “supporter” who sent fake bombs to prominent liberals. Even though the bombs had no mechanism for actually detonating, they were no doubt scary for the people opening the packages, and I have no problems putting the man away for a good long time – although he probably needs a mental institution more than a prison given his long history of erratic behavior. Now will you do the same for “Sanders” supporter James Hodgkinson (who actually worked on Bernie’s campaign) who actually shot people with real bullets? Perhaps you would also like to apologize for 2020 Presidential hopeful Kamala Harris’ apparent belief that ICE is comparable to the KKK? How about apologizing for the leftist Middlebury students who physically attacked Professor Charles Murray? I mean if I’m going to have to acknowledge all the fake attacks on the Left, the least you can do is acknowledge all the real attacks by the Left – fair is fair.

      • peterschaeffer says

        DD, My daughter attends a school much like your own. The overall level of politics is very low. Campus insanity is notable by its absence. Yes, with sufficiently sensitive antenna you can find some political influence, but it is rather low. The courses she takes are deadly practical and almost entirely apolitical. Of course, she is a biology (pre-Med, pre-Dental) major.

        Before she switched to her current school, she was at TAMUCC. The level of politics was comparably low.

        • dellingdog says

          I’m glad to hear that. I can’t recall where I read it, but in a recent interview Jonathan Haidt said his analysis in _The Coddling of the American Mind_ mostly applied to elite schools in the Northeast and the west coast. That doesn’t mean we should be complacent about the threat the regressive left poses to free speech and inquiry, but I think it’s important to accurately understand the scope of the problem.

    • A similar argument was made regarding racism and sexism, that you didn’t need to do anything because they would fall away naturally as those that continued to show bias wouldn’t be able to compete as well as those that didn’t. Of course, that didn’t happen then, nor will it happen here. The ideas capture the imagination so that non-critical theory education will be considered substandard.

  4. Peter from Oz says

    A great article.
    When I read of the antics of the deranged left, I realise that we are looking at another puritan revolution. Like all the previous puritan revolutions it is based on false grievances and is led by a lot of zealots and some chancers who are just after power.
    But at the heart of it I see, as Bradely Campbell sees, a wish to revert to an almost mediaeval purity. SO many of today’s academics in justifying PC madness sound like scond-rate scholastic philosophers of the middle ages. Thre definately is a tinge of relgious zeal at play. When the old relision shriveled something needed to take its place. Marxism failed, but its successor, folk-marxism has had a little more success.
    Think about it. If you are a young adult or an academic in what are the most stable and greatest of times ever known by mankind you are going to want some romance in your life. You want a cause. You want moral certitude.
    But we also have is a battle between factions of the middle class (or what the Americans might call the upper midle class). And some of them are using the zealotry of the new puritans to their advantage. We have seen this at other times. The classic example would be the English Revolution in the 1640s. But perhaps a more interesting example was the shift from the raffish Regency morality to the prim Victorian ethos of respectability.
    Are we seeing a new Victorianism arising to replace our own version of Regency morality?
    Or maybe we are going through one of theose temporay phases of mass hysteria. I would suggest that anyone interested in what is going on now read J.P. Kenyon’s masterful little book about the Popish Plot. It tells the story about how an obviously fabricated story of a Catholic scheme to kill Charles II and put his brother James on the throne was taken seriously by many members of the ruling class and the zealots in the community. Before the mass hysteria died down many people were flasely charged and executed. The accusers were strikingly similar to the college students of today who brook no answer to their moral fury.
    The Professor is correct that what we have to put up against the new puritans is a moral vision of our own. The problem is that some of the new puritans’ moral fire is based, as much as they would hate to admit it, on conservative values. It is not for nothing that liberals sympathise with Muslims, whose religion gives them a rigid moral code. And although most of that code would on its face be antithetical to the new puritans, they can respect the idea of restraint and respect inherent in islamic teaching. But the conservative roots of some new puritan thinking can be seen most clearly in the latest wave of feminism, which is trying to turn back the sexual revolution. We also see it in the new segregationism being imposed by blacks and other minorities.

    • Circuses and Bread says

      @ Peter

      Interesting takeaway.

      History doesn’t repeat, but it sure seems to rhyme. “Medieval” strikes a rhyming chord. To wit “The Benedict Option”, the popularity of prepping, and widespread “end of times” discussion.

      • Pete’s got it righ, the rule of the new wave Fifth Monarchist saints is on the horizon.

        Too bad that the next utoipa will look exactly like “Nineteen-Eighty-Four.”

      • Peter from Oz says

        I wonder if we are going through the fall of the roman empire moment or just another one of our periodic bursts of unreasoning puritanism.

        • Circuses and Bread says

          @Peter from Oz

          That’s a tough question. Gazing into my crystal ball, I have to answer that it’s the “fall of the Roman empire.” I hate that answer because it’s apocalyptic and dramatic. However, I believe that we’re going to go through some fairly profound disruptions in the next 20-40 years. Primarily due to economics and especially technology. Sadly, politics will come along for the ride. But that’s not the driving factor in my view.

          I was at a lecture back in the late 80s where Dr. Timothy Leary was speaking. One of the members of the audience asked him what he saw as the biggest challenge in the future. His response was automation, and how we as a society would react to large numbers of people being displaced from employment as a result. I don’t think we have any better of an answer to that question now, 30 years later. And here we are on the cusp of realizing some significant technological and economic disruption, particularly as a result of robotics and AI.

          I happen to be optimistic. After all, the fall of the western Roman Empire was probably for the best in the long run. But there’s always the possibility that things won’t end well. And in any case the journey will be one heckuva ride.

    • Johan says

      …@Peter from Oz…Mao and his cultural revolution encouraged young Chinese to form “Red Guards”. One of the leaders explained: “Chairman Mao has defined our future as an armed revolutionary youth organization…So if Chairman Mao is our Red-Commander-in-Chief and we are his Red Guards, who can stop us? First we will make China Maoist from inside out and then we will help the working people of other countries make the world red…And then the whole universe”.
      There’s a whole lot of little Maos around collages nowadays.

      • Peter from Oz says


        Great point. Collages are the sort of art that little Maos would like 🙂 But seriously, you’re analalogy is very prescient.

    • Ray Andrews says


      ” It is not for nothing that liberals sympathise with Muslims, whose religion gives them a rigid moral code.”

      That’s an interesting way of looking at it. Are they envious of people who really believe something more robust than that they’ve been oppressed while in fact being the most pampered and privileged generation in history? I had thought that the Correct love Islam firstly because it signals their multicultural virtue, but also because Islam can be used to destroy the remnants of Christianity.

      • Peter from Oz says

        I have always had the view that the new puritan respects passion for a cause more than anything. Thus, even though few puritans would say so, I think they are impressed with Islam because they see that many muslims are prepared to commit extreme acts of violence in the name of their religion. For the puritan, who judges all things through the lens of oppression, anyone who seeks to forward ther cause through violence must have a good cause if he or she is willing to harm others in the furtherance of that cause.
        I think it helps that Islam is a foreign religion and can be used as a multi-culti lever in the war against western civilisation. But that is not the only reason for the left’s wilingness to stand up for muslims against their own culture.

        • Ray Andrews says


          That’s a nuance that I’d not considered. Yes, Islam and Correctness are both purities so at the very least they will understand each other on that level.

    • John J says

      Peter, I agree with your comment on the puritanism of the regressive left, but I don’t think that it has much to do with their defence of Islam. SJWs defend Muslims because Islam is a religion of colour. Sure, there are white Muslims, and some are literal Caucasians, but the vast majority could not be regarded as horrible, privileged, western white. So the PC instinct is to defend them against any criticism, particularly after terrorist attacks. I don’t think that Islamic morality is the main attraction for our social justice overlords.

      • Peter from Oz says

        John J.

        I think you are correct that the primary motive is to defend ”people of colour”, but there is also a bit of respect for the fact that the islamists are prepared to play at politics a l’outrance. ”They must mave something to complain about if they are prepared to be so aggressive and violent” could be the response of some of our luvvies in the west

    • Emmanuel says

      @Peter from Oz

      SJWs are the new church ladies, trying to force their views on everyone and to monitor every dimension of public life.

      • Peter from Oz says


        That’s a very apt analogy. In Oz we had a name for such people. They were known as ”wowsers”. They never miss an opportunity to stop someone from enjoying themselves.

  5. jskdn says

    “It might not be true, but the activists believe it.”

    A “moral culture” divested from the truth could apply to almost any ideological belief-driven atrocity ever committed, and history is laden with examples. Acts of evil have been done by people motivated by their fervent conviction of the moral righteousness of their cause.

  6. ben stewart says

    Well-written, however we all need to think clearly over the meaning of victimhood in 2040. If the majority of the SJW are non-science based studies automation will play havoc with their chance of meaningful work. Adopting the posture of victimhood today makes for a weak front in the future. Combine that with the indebtedness of college loans these future voters will be as likely as Trump base voters of 2016 to willingly follow the false flags of populism.

    • Mellowcanadian says

      I don’t share your optimism that their chance of meaningful work will diminish; like a bad infection I think it will spread through society ……there is a principal in a BC school who has a poster up to “check your privilege” There is British government pressure to make sure that the membership of Boards of public companies reflect “the community at large” , as opposed to qualified individuals who will contribute to organizational maintenance These companies are treated like utilities. Regulated industries now have diversity departments and soft quotas. I even read a blog that advocated that alpha males should not be allowed to run companies. I think it will adversely affect our economic wellbeing and eventually be overtaken by those alpha males who live in countries unfettered by the SJW mindset.

      • peterschaeffer says

        M, “eventually be overtaken by those alpha males who live in countries unfettered by the SJW mindset”. In China, SJWs are ridiculed as “Baizuo”. According to Goole/Wikipedia “Baizuo is a derogatory Chinese neologism used to refer to Western leftist liberal elites. It refers to the left faction in the culture wars in Western politics, implying support of multiculturalism, political correctness and positive discrimination.”

    • College loan debt is the elephant in the room that no one mentions. The Humanities and “Studies” graduates will be defaulting en mass on these loans. Colleges should share in that financial risk rather than sticking tax payers with the bill.

  7. dellingdog says

    Students should be taught to be resilient, not hyper-sensitive to supposed slights. We should focus on our common humanity rather than emphasizing and reifying differences. I teach an a non-residential community college; my students are concerned about balancing classwork with full-time jobs and family responsibilities. If privileged students at elite universities think their aggressively woke campuses are “unsafe” spaces because they might be exposed to difficult or offensive ideas, how are they supposed to function in the real world? True liberals need to stand up for the values of the Enlightenment: respect for reason and science, recognition of the rights and dignity of all individuals, and unstinting support for free inquiry.

    • Daniel says

      dellingdog, you said, “We should focus on our common humanity rather than emphasizing and reifying differences.”

      With that, I wholeheartedly concur. You’ve hit the nail on the head.

      Now, which definition of humanity are you suggesting we use? The Judeo-Christian one, holding that Man is made in God’s image? The humanist one, in which Man is the end of all things? The SJW one in which all humans have the same worth, and also have the same worth as animals and some plants?

      And how do you suggest persuading people to agree to that definition? Would you care to have to subscribe to someone else’s definition?

      • dellingdog says

        @Daniel, I’m not sure it’s necessary to adjudicate between competing worldviews in order to affirm the dignity and value of human persons. What I have in mind is the “common-humanity” approach to identity politics which Haidt explores in his most recent book, as opposed to the “common-enemy” approach.

        • Daniel says

          I sure hope you’re correct. And good old Haidt holds forth more promise and hope than other intellectuals today. I haven’t had the opportunity to read his book, but I appreciate the lectures and interviews of his that I’ve seen.

          This question is quite close to me, because I worry at the attempts I see of people to redefine “human.” This has not led to successful, peaceful movements in the 20th century, to say the least. And the passionate intensity we see in the culture wars today can be directly attributed to differing meanings of humanity. I do think that’s the conflict lurking behind so many of the arguments today.

          • dellingdog says

            I think you’re right. Communism was based, in part, on a blank-slate view of human nature — the attempt to impose that ideology on *actual* humans was obviously disastrous.

  8. tfcooper says

    Read the Reader-Picks comments in the NYT about this article. And despair.

      • Heike says

        It’s right there in the front of the article – it’s the topic! Jeez. Here:

        Sample: “I’m curious as to what the author thinks the “ideological alternatives” are to acceptance of the reality of sexual diversity and white privilege and how microagressions poison the social atmosphere? Those concepts really aren’t debatable propositions in the manner of, say, trade policy. At an institution comprising people of all races, sexes, genders and ethnicities they are crucial to fostering an environment in which everyone is accepted and thus able to engage and learn. Administrators who understand this reality and do their jobs accordingly should not be reflexively regarded as ideological actors.”

        Ideologically rigid people who believe in microaggressions and will happily shut down debate. Jesus. We are so screwed. 🙁

        • Peter from Oz says

          ‘I’m curious as to what the author thinks the “ideological alternatives” are to acceptance of the reality of sexual diversity and white privilege and how microagressions poison the social atmosphere? Those concepts really aren’t debatable propositions in the manner of, say, trade policy. At an institution comprising people of all races, sexes, genders and ethnicities they are crucial to fostering an environment in which everyone is accepted and thus able to engage and learn. Administrators who understand this reality and do their jobs accordingly should not be reflexively regarded as ideological actors.”
          Let us parse this utterance.
          Firstly, she tells us sexual diversity, white privilege and microagressions are all concepts. Fair enough. Thene she goes on through very impreceise and jargon-ridden prose to tell us that all three of these concepts are crucial if everyone in a college is going to be able to engage and learn. Um so white privilege and microagressions are crucial to a good outcome? That is lieterally what the silly woman said. She is so confused and writes so poorly it is clear that she has never engaged in learning English communication.

    • Circuses and Bread says


      Why despair? The bulk of the population doesn’t read the NYT or comment on it or care about it. These are wonderful times except, of course, for politics which is being its usual bottomless pit of evil and despair.

  9. Steven B Kurtz says

    Morality has nothing to do with it. Equality of opportunity requires a merit system in which name, gender, locale, etc are invisible. Accomplishments and test scores should determine ranking for admission to institutions. Think of a blind wine tasting where the labels are covered. Nature doesn’t make organisms “equal.” Humans are social mammals. Hierarchy is, was, and always will be. And I’ll wager for charity on that!

    • R Henry says

      Hillsdale College in Michigan uses an entirely colorblind admissions process. In the 1980s its refusal to classify its applicants and students by race resulted in it becoming ineligible for any and all governmental funding or student loan guarantees.

      Hillsdale would not yield to governmental attempts to manage its affairs, and today operates entirely independent of Federal and State racial preference policies. Hillsdale is only one of two colleges in USA with the fortitude to maintain its convictions to colorblind education, and I applaud them for it.

      • Alan D White says

        bc. If your accomplishments as a pyschopath were listed on your application form they would likely be taken into account at Hillsdale.

  10. Professor Abrams’ own informal survey of faculty at Sarah Lawrence, which indicated a liberal to conservative ratio among the faculty of 12 to 1, is likely incorrect. When the National Association of Scholars conducted a comprehensive polling in 2017 of faculty at elite colleges around the US, it found a whopping 54 to 1 ratio of Democrats to Republicans at Sarah Lawrence.

    But that startling figure paled in comparison to the ratios of Democrats to Republicans found at colleges like Wellesley (136 to 1), Williams (132 to 1), and Swarthmore (120 to 1), among others.

    Even more sobering: 78 percent of academic departments at the sixty-six highest-ranked colleges in the US do not employ a single Republican. Zero.

    I’m not a conservative, but I certainly recognize that this incredible imbalance represents a crisis — one which will have a huge (and unhealthy) impact on our political culture.

    • Johan says

      Don’t go to university unless you study medicine, law or engineering.

      • Bernard Hill says

        …unfortunately I’m not sure you can include Law in your exceptions anymore. Too many law schools now entertain social justice instead of individual justice, and fewer and fewer men bother enrolling in Law or practising it subsequently. Eventually those related features will be reflected in court appointments and legal rulings in matters with economic as well as social effects.

      • That should be a factor in granting student loans. I am old enough to remember that student loans began as “National Defense Student Loans” and eligibility was limited to certain majors areas of study.

      • Alan D White says

        Add to those physics and the other physical sciences, but not the social sciences or any subject contaminated by postmodernism.

    • Peter from Oz says

      This reminds of 18th century British politics where just about everybody was a ”Whig”. As a result the Whigs split into warring factions. Even when Pitt was appointed and joined with Tories and adopted Tory policies he still talked about being a Whig.
      The fact is that many people are really centrist/conservative in their thinking. But they have been told for years that conservatism is ”uncool”, particularly in its opposition to the sexual revolution. SO many people whose habits are instrinsically conservative have become bourgoise bohemians and fool themselves into thinking that being a Democrat is somehow more ”cool.”

    • Alan D White says

      That depends on h,ow the young act when they discover the working world is not the academic world and in most important respects not what the academic world tells them it is like. Their future then depends on how they react to the awakening.

  11. MagnusMino says

    “Victimhood culture is a new moral culture”

    I presume the author isn’t familiar with political zionism?

    If you think perpetual victimhood conferring moral righteousness to all ones’ actions is a novel idea, clearly you missed the rationalism that Zionists have used since the nineteenth century, namely: to steal Palestine and evict the “beasts” (aka Arabs) from their homes. The logic is this: Christians victimized them, and before that, Romans did, having treated them in a similar fashion, so it’s racist to call out their crimes, because “how dare you”!

    Try to speak out against zionist war crimes at the office, in public, on campus, anywhere without being called, by the epitome of reactionary snowflakes, a racist. The charge of “Anti-semite!” is thrown about constantly, to anyone who even asks why villages are being levelled using our tax dollars, and 38 billion dollar aid packages to rich countries are just fine when the infrastructure is collapsing and people in Flint still have lead in their water. Meanwhile tax breaks for Amazon are rightly being called out, buying helipads for the world’s richest man in New York. But if you ask why Israel needs money? Good luck keeping your job.

    Many have lost their employment, even professors, for doing just that.

    What I find rather telling, is how little self-reflection there is on Quillette, which routinely invites members of the “IDW” here, who say good things about freedom of speech, about belief in biology, that men and women are different, that identity politics is a cancer. These people are either classical liberals, or right-wing neocons / zionists who absolutely love to get BDS supporters fired and pass laws restricting their speech, on campuses and elsewhere, merely for stating incontrovertible facts like that bombing hospitals is a war crime, leveling entire villages is too, so is torturing tens of thousands of children and using white phosphorous on civilians. Not to mention snipers shooting 500 civilians protesting, shooting medics with white shirts on, shooting journalists. But oh, let’s focus on Saudi Arabia. But never the Zionists who are their allies and do much worse constantly.

    This site has a major blind spot. You constantly decry, rightly, the witch hunt of the anti-intellectual leftist victimhood movements, which blithely ignoring its main and original right-wing variant, who are the most proficient and deft proponents of using that strategy to silence dissent on campuses, in politics, in the media, and in industry. There are US anti-BDS laws being passed now to legally prevent free expression by boycotting Israeli goods that are made in the illegally occupied territories. They cut funding to your companies if you are involved in BDS.

    To be clear: none of you who support such anti-BDS laws are anti-SJW, or anti-victimhood culture, or pro-speech. You’re only pro-free-speech for speech that you like, that you agree with. Otherwise, you’re just fine with using social justice and perpetual victimhood status as weapons.

    I’m sure the author and the editors of this site will remain conspicuously silent.

    Zionists are the world’s biggest snowflakes, who hold the biggest grudges, and are the first to use the race card against anyone who speaks out against their crimes. They keep detailed lists of critics of Israel, if you refuse to play there as a classical musician, your career is over. And you all support it.

    This site’s editorial policy is a complete hypocrisy. The war against freedom of speech to criticize Israeli Apartheid in campuses and in society is far more widespread and pernicious than what’s described here, as abhorrent as identity politics social justice warriors are, nobody does Identity Politics like Zionist Jews. Nobody.

    You’re a bunch of hypocrites, the lot of you.

    • Johan says

      …@MagnusMino…Don’t know were to start…What’s your view of Königsberg nowadays Kaliningrad…your view on Viborg nowadays Vyborg.
      P.S What would you rather be? An Arab in Israel or a Jew in an Arabic country D.S
      I’ll be truly surprised if you answer my questions…

      • MagnusMino says

        I consider all Jews in Palestine to already be living in an Arabic country, now.

        I have nothing against Jews otherwise, but I would rather be dead than be Zionist (of any race, including a Christian / European Zionist).

        “Israel” is an Arab-majority country, only most of the Arabs live in cages and have no rights, and the ones that don’t, know to stay quiet because they know they’ll be tortured and thrown in jail if they don’t. They’re literally second-class citizens by law now.

        Jews lived safely and were well-treated in Muslim countries for centuries while Christendom was putting them in ghettos, so my answer would be, outside of Palestine proper: “it depends”. If it’s after the Jews betrayed the Muslims’ hospitality, by stealing Palestine in 1948, using terrorism and illegal immigration, then I would also say, it depends. Kushner and the Saudis are very friendly. Israel has peace treaties with two arab countries. And there are millions of Jews in Iran (who are Persians, not Arabs, but anyway), and they are doing just fine.

        Because really, Palestine is 100% their country, and they will eventually get it back. The 2SS is dead, everybody knows that.

        And unless Jews are literally willing to commit actual genocide (instead of this slow-motion version), Arabs in the territories are eventually going to get the right to vote, and they will vote to have all their relatives join them and change the colors on the flag. They have way more kids so the demographic threat from within will destroy that racist country eventually.

        • Johan says

          …@Magnus…You are obsessed by Israel. I’m not. 20 thousand jews in Iran. Not millions and they are old…What about Königsberg and Viborg? 3 years difference compared to Israel/Palestine 1948.
          Something more resent. 1975 Spanish/Western Sahara was occupied by Morocco.
          Kurdistan, Tibet, Catalonia, The Basque Countries, The Shan State etc. The list goes on.
          Why only tears for Palestine?

          • MagnusMino says

            That was a mistake, my bad. I seemed to have remembered wrong.

            However, even though there are only 9,000 Jews in Iran (according to wikipedia), they are not being mistreated by the Iranian government, as far as I’m aware, and certainly have more freedom of movement and access to running water and electricity, something that can’t be said about those living in Gaza, which is the world’s largest and densest concentration camp.

            I have tears for plenty, but reserve special rage for those who died as a result of the West’s actions in Iraq, or Yemen, and elsewhere. This is basic morality 101. You are responsible for what acts you participate in, directly. The US is participating in all these crimes, without its support the Occupation would be over. The war in Yemen is terrible, where 500,000 children are set to starve to death between now and January, thanks to the US-Saudi coalition (who are, by the way, in deep cooperation with Israel).

            But morally speaking, yes, we are complicit in Israeli war crimes and footing the bill for them, in a way that makes us morally and legally responsible for speaking out in a way that, say, East Timor and Tibet aren’t.

            To be clear, the entire Occupation is a war crime. And we are all paying for it. So that rich Zionists can have a second home where an Arab or Bedouin family’s olive orchard once stood, after US Bulldozers razed it to the ground.

            I find it hilarious that people on Quillette love to imagine themselves as freedom-loving free thinkers who are the real anti-racists, while defending a country where interracial marriage is illegal.

            Read that again. Interracial marriage in Israel is illegal. There is no civil marriage, a rabbi decides if you are Jewish enough to live there or buy land there, and a Jew cannot marry a non-Jew there. Jews literally have less rights there than they do anywhere else. 3/4 of Jews marry outside their religion and quite literally must leave Israel to marry their partners. This how racist theocracies behave. They elevate one race, the ubermenschen, above all others, and destroy their villages, raze their farms, throw their children in jail without charges, torture them constantly and mercilessly and proudly, and then when a couple concentration camp guards die once in a while, they massacre hundreds or thousands of defenseless civilians using state of the art weaponry, and then pretend to be victims.

            Zionism is pathetic and a complete hypocrisy. There are plenty of examples for all the US-based attacks on freedom of speech by zionists, just visit Mondoweiss, they’re all there. And The Intercept, Gleen Greenwald is a pro on this topic.

            I’ve never read Mein Kampf, either, and am not into Nazism or racism at all. Being anti-zionist isn’t racist. Plenty of Jews of anti-zionists as well. So, guys, quit it with the pathetic platitudes like that it’s anti-semitic to be pro-Palestine. I probably have more Jewish friends than 99% of the people who visit this website. We tend to avoid talking about I-P but other than that, we’re peas in a pod politically speaking. I’m an anti-racist, classical liberal and laugh at these pathetic “mein kampf” slanders. They’re just tired, desperate, recycled ad hominem attacks.

            Once Arabs in the territories get the right to vote, Israel’s doomed. And it takes some serious mental gymnastics to imagine that restricting the right to vote to make sure one race is 80% of the electorate doesn’t make you a racist. And I stand by what I wrote, there are millions of Palestinian refugees and by international law they all have a right to return, and will one day, and vote to change the flag and rename all the towns and villages to their original pre-ethnic cleansing names.

            I will just leave two links here about suppressing free speech on campus re: I-P, that bring this all back to the article at hand:



            There are tons of other examples. The zionist-run news organisations are doing their job well, to keep people disinformed and focusing on trifles rather than true legal threats to your basic civil liberties in the US and elsewhere. If you all think Gender Studies hecklers are bad, you don’t really know a fraction of the scandal happening on campuses.

            It’s left-wing, anti-war, anti-Occupation speech that’s being systematically suppressed by administrators and legislators, not conservative speech. And it’s all about money. Zionists threaten funding, and lawsuits to shut down protests about war crimes committed under our name, so administrators capitulate, when they are not actually Zionists themselves. And they often are. Plenty of examples out there, just read or search on MW, you’ll see. Educate yourselves.

            Crying Hitler-Wolf is a tired strategy that’s losing its effect through repetition, try something new! Like facts. Maybe use some compassion, and fair-mindedness. Instead of these types of articles that miss the big picture and focus on how mostly powerless students misbehave, rather than powerful Congress-critters and Senators and university administrators constantly side with this racial supremacist war machine by attacking civil liberties and the right to protest and boycott.

        • Peter from Oz says

          I agree that the line between anti-Zionism and anti-semitism is often moved too far. But the Holocaust makes Jews are a special case, just like slavery and Jim Crow make Blacks a special case in America.
          Nevertheless, I think you will find that most people can tell the difference between anti-zionism and anti-semitism. We condemn Jewsish groups who falsely make accusations of anti-semitism just as much as we decry the the leftist zealots who falsely accuse other os racism, sexism homophobia, etc
          So your whataboutery is really a waste of time

          • MagnusMino says

            “So your whataboutery is really a waste of time”

            I disagree that it’s “whataboutery”. That’s weak. The title of this article is literally:

            “The Free speech crisis on campus is worse than people think”

            And yet the author doesn’t mention one whiff of the greatest legal threat to free speech on campus.

            I thought this site was a haven for non-mainstream thinking. Heterodox Academy.

            Zionism is 100% mainstream: virtually all news organisations support it or rationalize it or cover for it. Most world leaders do, out of a sense of self-preservation and campaign finance pressure (I worked with some political parties so I know how much pressure they are under to repeat the usual 2SS platitudes and “self-defense” talking points).

            To answer the rest of your post, I’m against leftist zealotry for the same reason, and identity politics which is basically sexist and racist prejudice meant to divide people sow resentments over innate, or superficial differences.

            Just remember who the actual, historical zealots were. They’re still around, now, today, pushing for the next US-funded war to kill millions more in Iran, like they did a decade ago with Iraq, resulting in 2.4 million dead Iraqis and 7 muslim countries bombed since.

            This isn’t some academic exercise. Free speech at university matters, and it’s under constant and sustained attack. By zionism.

            It’s not “whataboutery”, it’s actually far, far more important than the idiotic gender wars on campus. Millions of lives are literally at stake. To be clear, I’m against these idiot hecklers too, but they’re not the biggest problem.

          • js cantrell says

            I agree with university SJWs on this: there is no legal justification for the Jewish settlements in the West Bank. 

            There is however a possible “realpolitik” strategy behind them.  

            1) A two state solution is the only long-term answer, but certain strategically important areas in the West Bank will need to remain under Israeli control to meet the security needs of Israel.   

            2) Palestinians will have to be compensated for this with land swaps.  

            3) Jewish settlers will have to be forcibly removed from most of the West Bank, however, and the improvements (structures, infrastructure, etc.) of these illegal settlements will need to be given to the Palestinians.  

            It’s a mess, but two states is the only real solution, as originally envisioned.  I can only hope this is the long-term strategy of wise Jews in power in Israel.

            To anti-Zionists: Israel is a tiny country surrounded by countries who want, and have continually tried, to destroy it.  Yes Israel has peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan, but children in these countries (and pretty much all middle east Muslim counties) continue to be indoctrinated with a rabid hatred of Jews and taught to blame Jews for almost all the world’s problems.  This is undeniably true.

            What is also undeniable is that Jews in Israel face an existential threat from inside the country as well.  A one state solution threatens the future of Jews in Israel because of population trends of Palestinians, whose rabid hatred is unparalleled, but more justifiably.  A two state solution is the only answer, but is beset by logistical problems mainly concerning security with rockets raining down from all the strategic elevations in the West Bank.  Partition of Jerusalem is also problematic, to say the least, with all the Jewish, Muslim, and Christian holy sites.

            Massive land swaps and other security arrangements will be required to make a two state solution work.  But here is the biggest problem with a two state solution and I mean this with no animosity in my heart towards Arabs or Muslims:  Most Palestinians and most middle east Muslims in general do not really want a two state solution for the long term.  It is a stepping stone to “push Israel into the sea” and wipe it off the map.  I’m sorry to voice this very difficult truth.  Jews know this, as do middle eastern Muslims.

            Perhaps Israel would have been better situated in present day Uganda or somewhere else, but we are where we are.  The 17 Muslim countries of the middle east (more than 416 million people in 2016) are larger than the US in population and almost as large in square km.  Israel is smaller in area than Vermont with a population of just over 6.5 million Jews. I think this is a useful perspective.

            Jews have been persecuted and scapegoated throughout history, not just during the Holocaust.  They need a secure homeland to call their own.

            (This post is a combination of two posts I made some time ago at another site.)

        • Johan says

          …@Magnus…A true story: 1944-45 Finland lost the province of Karelia. The Soviets “stole” (your use of words) it. 500 thousand Finns were displaced and taken care of by the other 3 million Finns. Karelia and the capital Viborg is still part of Russia. Compare that to what the Arabs has done for the Palestinians…
          Today it’s the Syrians. Why are Sweden and Germany taking care of today’s Syrian refugees? The Gulf States are rich and Arabic. No Syrians there.
          Magnus, can I as a Swedish man respect the Arab nations?

          • E. Olson says

            Johan, a very worthy response to the delusional MagnusMino. I might add the Palestinians have also not been accepted by any of their neighboring Arab countries, which frankly doesn’t speak well for either “pathetic victim” Palestinians or the apparently “cold-hearted” Arab neighbors.

          • Suaningi says

            Johan – and many of those displaced Finns went to Sweden. Some cousins are decendents of these displaced Finns. So as you said, Finland and Sweden took these people in. Where is there a similar attitude in the M.E.

        • ga gamba says

          Jews lived safely and were well-treated in Muslim countries for centuries while Christendom was putting them in ghettos…

          Because the Muslims imposed jizya and also kharaj (poll and land taxes, respectively) on those who declined to convert. This was protection money, i.e. racketeering, common to thugs such as the mafia and gang members who threaten harm on community members under their violent thumb. This protection money covered the cost of financial welfare, security, and other benefits Muslims were entitled to. This money was so important that in places where Jews were forcibly converted to Islam, such as in Persia in 1656, they were allowed to commit apostasy five years later and return to Judaism so the shah would resume receiving jizya.

          In the Quran: “They [Jews] were consigned to humiliation and wretchedness. They brought the wrath of God upon themselves, and this because they used to deny God’s signs and kill His Prophets unjustly and because they disobeyed and were transgressors” (Sura 2:61). According to the Koran, the Jews are enemies of Allah, the Prophet and the angels (2:97­98), who have always been disobedient (5:78), and who try to introduce corruption (5:64).

          Moreover, your claim that Jews were well treated is an over-egg; if your claim is for the entire history, then it’s a fantastically far-fetched fabrication. This isn’t me saying so. Bernard Lewis, the Princeton’s renown Middle Eastern (Oriental studies) historian, wrote “The Golden Age of equal rights [between Muslims and Jews] was a myth.” Starting with the Banu Qurayza, Jews of northern Arabia who were massacred and enslaved by Mohammed himself, and continuing to the 20th century, the history of the relationship between the two groups was not as lovey dovey tolerant as you assert. Continuing on from the advent of Islam we see the 1009 – 1013 Cordoba massacres; the Fez massacre of 1033, 1066’s Granada massacre, 1291’s persecution and massacre of Jews in Tabriz, in 1465 the Moroccan massacre, and in 1517 both the Hebron and Safed massacres. In the 18th and 19th centuries the number massacres increased greatly.

          To be fair, massacres were not uncommon anywhere else in the world throughout history, and the waxing and waning of relationships between different groups leading to mass slaughter, pillage, rape, and enslavement is as old as time. Further, the status of Jews often hinged on the whims of the sultans, emirs, dukes, kings, bishops, and popes. For example, Poland suffers the stigma of an anti-Semitic nation, yet it was 13th-century Poland’s Statute of Kalisz that first emancipated Jews; this happened at a time when Polish peasants were divided into two classes, one of which was those still held in serfdom. Up to three-quarters of the world’s Jews lived in Poland by the mid 16th century, many of whom had migrated from elsewhere in Europe, but with its partition by Russia, Prussia, and Austria-Hungary, and later the end of a sovereign Polish state, the security and freedom of Jews began to decline.

          If it’s after the Jews betrayed the Muslims’ hospitality, by stealing Palestine in 1948…

          The Muslim Arabs were 7th-century invaders of the Levant from present day Saudi Arabia. Simply because these two lands are near each other does not mean the invaders were the same people as those invaded. Further, we do not find Jews “stealing” land elsewhere where they settled later in history. They certainly weren’t a land grabby people. There’s little evidence of imperialist ambitions approaching anything close to those of the Romans, Greeks, Persians, Arabs, Mongols, Manchus, Moghuls, Bantus, Seljuk Turks, Inca, Spanish, English, or just about anyone else.

          Progressive Jew haters frequently fail to mention it was their beloved UN that partitioned Palestine – the UN General Assembly adopted the Plan (PDF) as Resolution 181 on 29 November 1947. Appears the UN only matters when its decisions comply with progressive prejudices. Arab leaders and governments rejected it, stated their unwillingness to accept any form of territorial division, promised to defy its implementation by force, and civil war broke out. In spite of the manpower and material advantages they possessed, the Arabs picked a fight they were unable to win. On 14 May 1948 five Arab states launched an invasion of the newly established Jewish state. If you’re willing to launch war, then you have to accept the outcomes that befall you. Tough luck.

          In the late 1990s, more than 50 years after Resolution 181 was rejected by the Arab world, Arab leaders suddenly recommended to the General Assembly that UN Resolution 181 be resurrected as the basis for a peace agreement. Sorry, that horse already bolted the barn.

          What of Islam’s claim that Jerusalem is one of its most holy sites? It’s based on another fabrication. A whopper of one. Mohammed died in 632. The Quran reports: “Glory to He who took His servant by night from the Sacred Mosque to the furthest mosque (Sura 17:1). Muslims claim the furthest mosque is in Jerusalem; the Sacred Mosque exists in Mecca. Yet, Jerusalem wasn’t conquered until 637. The first mosque built in the city is Islam’s grand structure, the Dome of the Rock, constructed right on the spot of the Jewish Temple in 691. Then the Umayyad rulers built a second mosque beside the Dome of the Rock. They named this second mosque, begun in 715, Furthest Mosque (al-Masjid al-Aqsa). This was about 80 years after Mohammed’s death. C’mon! “Here it is in Jerusalem! The Furthest Mosque!” protest the Muslims today.

          How can a mosque built nearly a century after the Quran was received establish what the Quran meant for a site that didn’t exist? At the time of Mohammed’s death the furthest mosque is one several miles outside Mecca that he visited in 630. This lie inserted Jerusalem post hoc into the Islam and makes it more central to the faith. Understand this: the Quran does not mention Jerusalem once. It mentions Mecca and alternative names such as Bakkah, which is the Kaaba and the sacred site immediately surrounding it, and Umm al-Qura. How can a place considered so holy go unnamed? And if Jerusalem was so holy, so central to Islam, why did Baghdad become the centre of Islamic life for about four centuries beginning in the mid 8th century? The Hajj was occurring in Mecca year after year. Pilgrims were visiting Medina, Mohammed’s birthplace and the site of his triumphant victory. And Jerusalem was… under Muslim rule Jerusalem did not achieve the political or cultural status enjoyed by the capitals Damascus, Baghdad, Cairo as well as the two holy sites. Muslim rulers such as the Ottoman sultans and the kings of Saudi Arabia have the title “the custodian of the two holy mosques”. Inexplicably, when Jerusalem was under the rule of the Ottoman sultans they never held a title called the custodian of the three holy mosques.

          • E. Olson says

            ga gamba – thank you for the well-reasoned and factual response to the misinformed/delusional anti-Semitic ramblings of MagnusMino.

          • MagnusMino says

            Your entire post presumes that I actually like Islam, or support Palestinian rights for that reason.

            This article is about suppression of freedom of speech on campuses, so it makes me yawn to see yet another highly selective “but muslims did bad things too!” tu quoque fallacy.

            The fact is, the most egregious and wide-spread suppression of campus free speech is coming from a bipartisan effort to enact zionist-friendly legislation to criminalize dissent about US foreign policy. It’s not just campuses where speech is restricted, companies get their funding from the government dropped if they participate in BDS or do business with any that do.

            All you have is an attack on Islam. I get it, you hate Islam. I’m not a fan, either.

            Let me guess, you do love the Old Testament though.

            How many genocides are there in the Old Testament again?

            Where did all that homophobia and misogyny and animal abuse come from again?

            Last I checked, it was Israelis who photoshopped Hillary Clinton out of the picture of the OBL raid. Gay marriage isn’t legal in Israel either. But let’s bomb more muslim countries for being anti-gay. Sounds legit. SO progressive, so egalitarian. You gotta have a Jewish mom to be considered Jewish enough to emigrate there. I have friends who ran into that one.

            Repeat after me: if you are opposed to interracial marriage, then by definition you are racist!!

            Israel doesn’t allow inter-racial marriage, and yet you think it’s somehow a light shining unto all other nations, and worthy of 38 billion dollars US taxpayer funds while poor black people in Flint Michigan still have lead in their drinking water.

            Meanwhile there is universal healthcare in Israel. The endless hypocrisy never stops with you guys, does it. You literally pay for them to commit war crimes in your name. 500 unarmed protesters were shot this summer by snipers, including medics and journalists. But you’re talking about Mohammad. Man, you are daft. Talk about a complete non sequitur.

          • X. Citoyen says

            My, my, Magnus,

            After getting ga-gambaed like that, a rational person would have conceded the point and clung to the rest of the argument. Instead, you opted to accuse him of hating Muslims and dismissed his counterpoint as tu quoque. But ga gamba wasn’t working a tu quoque to distract from Israel’s actions; he was refuting your claim that Jews were happy as clams under Muslim rule. You probably think you dodged the shot, but you didn’t. Your evasion shows everyone that you’re not arguing a case but pushing an agenda.

            Personally, I was onto you from the get-go. You claimed to be animated by the welfare of Palestinians and that you’re no fan of Islam. Yet you dream of the day when Israel is bred out of existence, as if anyone with a concern for human welfare doesn’t know that “Palestine” would become yet another dysfunctional and factious Muslim police state, with more dead children in the first two months of civil war than all the decades of “occupation.”

            Then there’s your feigning being an egalitarian outraged by the supremacist Israel—that framing plays well in the West. But you gave away the game there too when you let slip how the Jews were happier when they lived under the thumb of Arabs—when the right people were on top! Then I could see that the righteous outrage at supremacism was actually the humiliated rage of a supremacist beaten by people he considers inferior to himself.

            Now, there’s conjecture in some of that because mind-reading isn’t a refutation. But that’s not my aim. I just wanted you to know that at least one other person knows you’re full of shit.

      • Brian says

        Johan, I’d be surprised if Magnus didn’t answer, the ideologically posessed will never let their bone go… ah see, there he is now. Best not to re-engage.

        • MagnusMino says

          Brian, your drive-by “insults” bore me. Try to actually use reason and facts instead of ad hominem attacks, people might take you more seriously.

          I get it, you have nothing to say except parrot clichéed Hasbara talking points, as if that makes you some kind of free thinker. Gwawk, polly wanna cracker?

        • ga gamba says

          @X, thanks for addressing the dodge. One less task for me to attend to.

          @Magnus, who writes: Israel doesn’t allow inter-racial marriage,

          Wrong again, chum. Muslims are not a race. Islam is a religion, and this religion accepts all races. Israel does not have civil marriage; it leaves marriage up to the religious authorities. Both Islam and Judaism have their respective rules which pre-date the existence of modern Israel. Frankly, I think leaving marriage in the hands of the religious authorities is a shrewd dodge by the Israeli gov’t to thwart such unions. (For those of you who advocate multi-party democracies with proportional representation, one of the risks is an extreme single-issue group may become kingmakers, such as the ultra religious have become in Israel, and they imprint their ideas on many facets of life. Buh-bye, bacon.) Still, the long-standing antipathy between the two communities has me believe such unions would be very uncommon. Would I allow them to marry? Sure. But I’m lovely open-minded person.

          Magnus, allow me to offer you some unsolicited advice: avoid mixing fact and fiction. A lot in your comments is factually correct, but then much of it isn’t. Worse still, some is unhinged, and I can’t help with that. Only you can reel yourself in.

          and yet you think it’s somehow a light shining unto all other nations, and worthy of 38 billion dollars US taxpayer funds while poor black people in Flint Michigan still have lead in their drinking water.

          I’m not a fan of foreign aid, and business subsidies, and long-term multi-generational welfare. Have I mentioned I’m lovely?

          And I don’t think Israel is a shinning light. It’s not a dim one either.

          Does Flint have lead in the drinking water? Indeed it does. Is it only black people with lead in their water. Indeed not. The racists haven’t yet perfected indoctrinating lead to selectively target only black people with indoor plumbing.

          Local utilities and services are typically handled by local and state authorities and their employees. Sure, the federal government provides grants, which need to be applied for, but there isn’t the federal Department of Water Distribution that I know of. Flint’s problem then was it’s a bankrupt city with little money to spend and a lot of unfunded liabilities. The state too had its economic problems. To cut expenses the city decided to shift to an alternate water supply, which was its backup system.

          That system was flawed by providing insufficient treatment to prevent lead in the pipes from leaching into the water resulting in lead cocktail. When Flint began to pump drinking water from the Flint River, the city’s water treatment plant wasn’t capable of adding corrosion control treatment, not without $8 million in equipment upgrades the broke city couldn’t afford. Did any worker voice an objection? A warning? One did. Mike Glasgow, laboratory and water quality supervisor at the plant, warned in an 25 Apr 2014 email to the State of Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), “I do not anticipate giving the OK to begin sending water out anytime soon. If water is distributed from this plant in the next couple weeks, it will be against my direction.” What happened to the direction to not send out water? Two other employees at MDEQ persuaded him to alter reports, he complied, and all three have been prosecuted.

          Then there was scramble and scrum to assign and mitigate blame with its ensuing claims, counter claims, and general shrill hysteria enhanced by the power of racial politics (this is where you come in). And this point I’ll add my overwrought exhortation: “We can’t trust the government to provide potable water. Surely it’s ready to take over ownership of all the businesses to bring forth equality.”

          What was the cause? Pipes? Nope. Water treatment? No. Dislike of black people uppity enough to own faucets? No. Dereliction of duty by some state employees? Certainly. Lack of money (or misallocation of it)? Yes.

          I argue it was something more than all that too. We need to go back to the early 1960s when the US government decided to liberalise the economy by opening up to imports without demanding an immediate quid pro quo from trade partners. This doomed single-industry towns like Flint. The first to feel the heat were the textile. garment, and footwear manufacturing centres of the country. Further, Michigan enacted laws compelling workers in unionised workplaces to join the union. The state ought not intercede in such relationships, and I’m pro-union. Whilst this advantaged the unions in established companies, it dissuaded new companies from entering the state. It also hastened the exit of struggling companies from the state. The ballot box is important, but people more often vote with their feet.

          You’d think that as unemployment skyrocketed a lot more people would leave. In 2014, when the water crisis started, the unemployment rate was 17.3% in a city of about 100,000 (down from 200,000 in 1960). Unemployment had been higher. Much higher. About 45% live below the poverty line – 177% higher than than the national average. How and why are these residents still in such a dismal place with bleak prospects? Pride in its tasty water? Benefits. It’s a stable industry. It locked these residents in place. Generationally. Michigan is a state where the welfare benefits exceed what one would earn working full time at minimum wage: in 2013 its total value of welfare benefits was $28,872. They voted with their feet by standing still. And to support a large benefits programme as well as all the other services in a city of a state with decreasing revenue something has to give. This is foreseeable. To be fair, the assistance dependence programmes also benefit landlords who rent to those subsidised by the state. Yet, these alarms of a sinking ship are ignored, perhaps even wished away. Meanwhile, millions more are emigrating to the US, both lawfully and not, and finding jobs. Just not in Flint. Even those who don’t speak English and didn’t complete secondary education somehow make a go of it. Does this make sense? It’s these distorting effects of advantages, handed out to both poor and rich, well intended as they may be, that create cockamamie and even tragic outcomes well down the road.

    • Harland says

      So did you just completely change the topic to ride your favorite hobby horse? WTF? Who was talking about TEH JEWS? Jesus, give it a rest Adolf.

      • MagnusMino says

        I didn’t change the topic, at all. The topic is suppression of free speech on college compuses, who’s responsible for it, and why, and whether victimhood complexes are new.

        The author of the article missed the big picture, so I helpfully came here to educate you.

        • Peter from Oz says

          The problem is that you argued that the biggest attack on free speech is the ”zionist attack on the BDS movement”.
          That’s total bollocks, my son. You haven’t raised one example of how any campus criticism of BDS has been a supression of free speech. There are no government moves to stop BDS activisys from speaking about BDS. There may be prohibitons on actions, but not on speech.

        • whatpriceliberty says

          @magnusmino I haven’t seen the proof of that either.. It does seem a little anti-semetic to claim there are shadowy powerful zionists controlling speech on American campuses – but I will absolutely take your word for it that you are only anti-zionist. I understand – I too have more jewish friends, than non (i’m from nyc) and of course many of them are anti-zionist or highly critical of Israel, even the Israelis in the friend group. Now about the merits of being anti-zionist – one reason you give is that they do not allow interracial marriage and that is by definition racist. Well Judaism can be an ethnicity and a religion – so that makes the situation unique. You technically can say not to allow interracial marriage and say that what you are doing is not allowing inter -religious marriage. It isn’t racist to disallow inter-religious marriage. Is that an American value? No not really – but who am I to say that the Jewish people should not preserve their culture in this manner if they see fit to. It’s a unique situation – and they just don’t want to inter-marry themselves out of existence. This is also, as I mentioned earlier, a war of ideas and not a war of identities. America is judeo-christian – our foreign policy is always going to favor Israel. And again when yo infer that is racially motivated against Muslims – that isn’t true. Our alliances are idea centered, not identity centered. The left always conflates this, because the left is so prone, wired really, to viewing life through a racial lens. The muslims in the region, for as good as they may be as individuals in certain circumstances, (especially if they assimilate in America )– there , they really are indoctrinated at an early age to feel resentful and hateful toward ALL jewish people all over the world. The American value in that scenario would be to help to protect the Jewish people from this assault on all sides.

    • Alan D White says

      Maybe the Holocaust taught them about identity politics…?

    • Circuses and Bread says


      Ain’t politics grand? The gift that just keeps on giving.

  12. Darwin T of BC Humanists says

    Alternative moral vision you say. Well, why not an old one that seems not to have been inbibed so far by the SJW’s. The Golden Rule, heck I would even settle for the Silver Rule. They are a very good starting point.

    Thanks for the article and the varied optimisms and pessimisms.

    Getting to a tipping point will take one or more outrageous episodes of such magnitude and depravity as to shame the SJW allies and perhaps even a segment of their core. This shame is part of human behaviour and Twain said it best. That old humourist and sceptic reminded us that humans are the only animal to blush – or needs to!!!

  13. Daniel says

    This is great and all, but a hidebound commitment to free speech, protecting people’s prerogative to perpetuate lies, is exactly what got us into this situation.
    If the best response to bad ideas is the presentation of good ideas, why are bad ideas spreading so much faster?

    • dellingdog says

      What’s the alternative? Censorship? The heckler’s veto? Who gets to decide what’s true and what should be suppressed?

    • ga gamba says

      Nothing hidebound about free speech. There’s your miscalculation. You’re allowed yourselves to atrophy.

      If the best response to bad ideas is the presentation of good ideas, why are bad ideas spreading so much faster?

      Perhaps because those who ought to be presenting those good ideas have been so poorly educated and excessively mollycoddled that they’re reduced to chanting slogans appropriate for placards and bumper stickers. Those aren’t arguments.

      I encourage people to view some videos of progressive protests. Watch what happens when they’re interviewed. “What did Ben Shapiro say that upsets you?” They can’t even handle those softballs.

      Somehow they got it in their noggins that accusing others of beings ists and obics is good enough to prevail. It isn’t.

      • Daniel says

        ga gamba,
        Agreed. And your illustration of the progressive protests makes a good point.
        To answer my own rhetorical question, of why bad ideas are spreading so much faster, I can think of two reasons — both depressing and cynical.

        First, bad ideas are — almost by definition — simplistic but attractive. Bad ideas that sacrifice truth, integrity (or any other positive characteristic of ideas) for pithiness will be catchier and more memorable than a complicated, nuanced understanding. Also, rage and hate are contagious and hard to get rid of.

        Second, the bad guys have the megaphones. Quillette is doing its part in speaking up, for sure, and I appreciate the back-and-forth here, but the simple truth is I recognize most all of the names of the posters. We’re not a big group.

        #dellingdog had a good point when he observed out that the alternative to free speech was censorship. Agreed. But I am reminded of GK Chesterton’s line: “There is a thought that stops thought. That is the only thought that ought to be stopped.”

        Would it be censorship to deny those who are trying to stop free speech from having a platform?

        I agree this is a slippery slope, because who decides if somebody is trying to stop free speech? I propose that this incorporates an unavoidable arbitrary subjectivity, as does anything in the human enterprise, but it at least puts the focus on free speech. Let’s take the example of an SJW protest at a public speech, for instance. If they are arrested/sued/expelled/heckled/frowned upon/whatever for trying to disrupt the event, the debate will be whether or not they are trying to stop free speech, NOT whether the speaker is racist.

        • Peter from Oz says


          I agree with you. But I would go further. Trying to prevent people speaking, even if you do it using the human voice, is not speech. Any speech involved is incidental.
          If delingdog walked down the middle of the High Street clutching a sign saying ”E. Olson is a fascist!” it would be the sign that got him arrested, but the action of blocking the public highway. SImilarly if delingdog took his megaphone to a speech by E. Olson and led a chant of ”He’s a rascist berk” with the intention of drowning out the speech, then delingdog should be punished for his actions not for the content of his chant.
          So conceptually there is nothing wrong in punishing those who try to block the free speech of others.
          Some progressives recognise the strength of this argument. They justify their no-platforming tactics and their interruptions of speeches by conservatives on the basis that the words of those conservatives are equal to ”violence” against one or other of the relevant victim groups du jour. Thus they equate words with actions. Of course in their case the argument is false because speech by itself is not an action. However, this shows that our left-wing friends recognise that actions are not sacred like free speech.

        • ga gamba says

          @Daniel, thanks for the reply.

          I think this question is worth taking a crack: Would it be censorship to deny those who are trying to stop free speech from having a platform?

          With the usual caveats about libel, slander, incitement to imminent violence, yada yada, the calls to censor are permissible and protected speech; it’s the act of censoring that’s the violation. The act may be an public administration forcing students or teachers to disinvite a guest, governments pressuring venues to cancel an event or enacting speech suppressing laws, and acts by the audience members that prevent the interaction of speakers and listeners. Imposing additional security fees on organisers using public-owned venues have been squashed by the court, but often the administrators do so at the last minute forcing the organiser to pay, if possible, and then use the judicial process for redress.

          I’m not perfectly attuned to all developments and comments by free-speech advocates, but I rarely find them calling for the censorship of their anti-speech opponents. I’m sure there are a few who’ve said they want to suppress the speech of anti-speech activists. “You’re free to protest” sums up the common comment.

          For me a determining factor is the space. In an indoor auditorium or classroom often what I find is the anti-speech activists either storm the platform or from the seats attempt to disrupt and silence the event by shouting, using noise makers, disconnecting the audio system’s wires, and even pulling fire alarms. This is not free speech, and the last is practically yelling “fire” in a theatre. When evicted the disruptors claim their speech rights are being violated. They weren’t.

          I haven’t seen reports of anti-speech events being disrupted or shut down by free-speech activists. A google search for anti-speech event shut down doesn’t find any applicable results; the results are of events being shut down by the no-platform crowd.

          People such as Ben Shapiro make it a point to allow opponents to speak first during his Q&A which is positive discrimination if favour of those who state, and at times holler, they’re being silenced and marginalised.

          In an open-air public space such as park or the pavement the heckler’s veto is more permissible. There are some restrictions; I can’t stick a megaphone in a person’s ear and start shouting. For some reason the anti-speech activists believe they may control these areas too, but their pleas to police often are met with shrugs and “You’re both free to speak.” I think a temporary stage built for the event can’t be stormed, but from the crowd a person may jeer, shout, chant, etc. I understand some jurisdictions have laws prohibiting these deeming them disturbances of the peace. These laws may not pass muster if challenged in court. However, when the public area is reserved for an event, then it’s quite alike an indoor one, and controls are permissible.

          Moving beyond the indoor auditorium and the outdoor public square, I find claims of online “abuse” and even “death threats” by anti-speech activists have the recipient state these too are censorious. The latter is likely a crime, and the former could possibly be one too – depends on exactly what was written and the jurisdiction. Though the recipient may feel harassed and even intimidated, where the comments don’t breech the law then technically these are not censoring the person. Certainly the recipient hasn’t lost access to and use of his/her social media or email account – the platform is still there and ready for their use.

          Is a protest such as Kaepernick’s protected? No. Though in a stadium, perhaps one owned by the public, the venue has been hired by the organisers. This is work, and we know that private employers are not required to guarantee First Amendment rights. Kaepernick could sit, kneel, or even burn the flag outside the venue in a public space. Of course, if his employer agrees to it, he may carry on as he wishes.

          Of everything, I think the use of intimidation is the trickiest issue to handle, be it those who use it against administrators, faculty, and peers as well as business owners and service providers. It comes close to racketeering in some cases.

      • Antonio Gramsci recognized that culture must be the first battleground for Marxism.

        “Gramsci is best known for his theory of cultural hegemony, which describes how the state and ruling capitalist class – the bourgeoisie – use cultural institutions to maintain power in capitalist societies. The bourgeoisie, in Gramsci’s view, develops a hegemonic culture using ideology rather than violence, economic force, or coercion. Hegemonic culture propagates its own values and norms so that they become the “common sense” values of all and thus maintain the status quo. ”

        Colleges are following Gramsci’s suggestions.

      • Peter from Oz says

        Interviewer: What did Ben Shapiro say that upsets you?
        Student: He’s Raaaaacccisssttttt!!!!!

    • Daniel I’d venture it’s not about ideas at all, but about emotions. It’s very easy to manipulate “privileged” people. It’s done via shame. Religious cults use the same methods and attract, once again, upper middle class kids for the most part. Also, if I’m in the midst of a maelstrom, I can avoid accusation (since being “privileged” puts a target on my back) by accusing others in the loudest voice possible. Mass hysteria is what we’re witnessing. And it’s being codified and institutionalized. I’m not optimistic at all.

      • Daniel says

        benita canova, good point. Obviously they have ideas, but like you said, the emotions of the whole thing are the driving factors.

  14. Andrew Leonard says

    As a Social Darwinianism Warrior, I find all this effort to protect the weak, the vulnerable, the hyper-sensitive, and the less able, to be highly alarming. These trends are very detrimental to real evolutionary progress.

    I believe the problems we are now experiencing, such as victim culture, are actually rooted in the West’s premature rejection of Fascism. Let me explain.

    The progress of human thinking into higher levels of abstraction, and the resultant development of civilization, occurs through three broad phases; the physical > the logical > the virtual. Political ideologies tend to be tied to one of these phases. Marxism and Socialism, with their emphasis on the public ownership of the means of production (particularly primary industries and transport), are very much physical phase ideologies. Fascism by contrast, is a more abstract ideology, and consequently more efficient in its basic method of control. Why bother owning the means of production and exchange, when the state can take the simpler option of owning the people, who in turn own the means of production and exchange?

    Fascism is an ideology for a more advanced technological era. It is an ideology for an era of information technology, rather than an era of coal mines. The problem is, we killed off Fascism in the 1940s, before the IT age had even begun. Like our memory of someone who died at a young age, we still see Fascism as it was when it “died”, not as what it might have become. Unfortunately, this means we strongly associate Fascism with racism and militarism, but in theory this need not be the case.

    The cultural result of this unfortunate situation is an extreme lack of social balance. The absence of Fascistic insistence that the interests of the individual must be partly subjugated to the interests of society, has resulted in a runaway individualism that increasingly subjugates the interests of society to the ballooning egos of individuals. Rather than the individualism of the 1960s, which was tempered by notions of social responsibility, and in which a U.S. President could ask his citizens to restrain their selfish outlook and ask themselves what they could do for their country instead, we now have a form of individualism that might best be described as hypertrophic.

    Paradoxically, the elimination of social impositions on the individual
    has not led to a greater sense of safety and security within the individual. On the contrary, the monopoly of individualism in the culture landscape, appears to have resulted in reducing our sense of the individual from something resilient and self-reliant, to something inherently weak, vulnerable and highly sensitive.

    I am someone with a primarily Libertarian outlook, but I now realize that we need some sort of countervailing power to prevent the pathological outcomes of an otherwise good ideology, and a modern form of Fascism can play that role. The beautiful Earth needs a dull Moon.

    • Peter from Oz says

      As Evelyn Waugh would have said: ”Up to a point, Lord Copper.”
      The fact is that fascism did evolve. It blended with Commusinism to become the modern folk marxism we have today, the creed of the new puritans.
      I’m not certain that we have as much individualism as we think. When more and more people seem to be basing their identity on one or two of their characteristics (real or imagined) I think collectivism is more potent than ever.
      What we do have is new push to make politics all-important. That is subsuming the individual into the state.
      Conservatives have always believed in a sensible link between the individual and society. Patriotism is part of that. But leftists abhor that link because they wrongly believe it does nothing for the ”oppressed”.
      It is actually the death of patriotism amongst the middle clases that has removed the glue of which you speak.

      • Andrew Leonard says

        “When more and more people seem to be basing their identity on one or two of their characteristics (real or imagined) I think collectivism is more potent than ever.”

        It is the second their in that sentence that undermines your point. True collectivism entails the submission of the individual to something both higher, and external to themselves. Identifying with a gender is actually less collectivist in that sense than identifying with a nation and its flag – patriotism.

        • Peter from Oz says

          Interesting point, Andrew.
          But I wonder if sublimating your indivduality to any idea is collectivism, no matter how you do it.
          Saying you are gay, therefore I am going to look at everything through the lens of your gayness, isn’t really different to saying you are Mexican and you going to look at everything through the lens of your nationality.
          it’s not what you do it’s the way that you do it, that leads to collectivism. It is the sublimation of individual identity to cause.

      • C. Paul Barreira says

        And to little of all this is new. See—or recall, as the case may be—Harold Rosenberg, “The Herd of Independent Minds :  Has the Avant-Garde Its Own Mass Culture?”, Commentary, September 1948.

      • Bernard Hill says

        @ Peter and Andrew.
        We know from the 20th century at least, that social cohesion, (the “glue”) when imposed and enforced by the state, eventually shows itself as ridiculous and collapses, pretty much from its own doing. (The People’s Republic of China is an interesting work in progress towards proving the exception, perhaps.) On the other hand social cohesion arising more or less voluntarily by pressure of civil society seems to be the more successful model historically. But in the West, civil society has decayed to the point where it is incapable of refreshing social cohesion, hence the fatuous faculties and trivial politics being decried on Quillette and elsewhere.
        It seems to me that this decline of civil society in the West, and the surge in social justice morality which has accompanied it, is the work of the Empire of the Rules Based World Order, created at the at the end of WW2. Fuelled by the long run of general peace and plenty since the war, this empire rules by bureaucrats, is founded on social norms which are wholly aspirational, and it is these which have metastasized into the inchoate morality of Social Justice.
        The ascendency which Social Justice thinking now has in the West, everywhere and in so many aspects, is therefore only likely to be checked if there is a catastrophic systems failure within the Empire itself. The wheels falling off the international financialisation machine, leading to the Mother of all Recessions is a good candidate for that. Hopefully it does not take a large scale military conflagration. Not something to look forward to any which way however.

    • If Fascism went extinct, wouldn’t that mean it was the unfit and weak?

      Maybe the victory of Social Justice Warriors on campus demonstrates their innate superiority.

      Food for thought, old chap!

          • Emmanuel says

            and Hitler would answer “reductio ad social justice”!

          • MagnusMino says

            “Hitler was a Social Justice Warrior”

            Sigh. This is what passes for reasoned argument in some quarters. Hitler was definitely pro social justice! So that’s why he killed so many people!

            The level of mental gymnastics it must take for someone to utter such complete drivel is astonishing.

        • E. Olson says

          Hitler the SJW? You decide – X marks the Nazi positions.

          X – support for the environmental movement? (in fact Nazi Germany was the green pioneer)
          X – support for disadvantaged minorities? (WWII started in part to help Germanic minorities in neighboring countries)
          X – concerned about inequality? (Nazi Germany capped the incomes of industrialists and set up very progressive and high tax rates)
          X – support for single payer health care? (yup)
          X – anti-Christian/religion (yup – can’t have any rival to the State)
          X – hatred for oppressors? (those Jews control everything – time to check their privilege)
          X – see free speech as dangerous? (yup – dissenters went to concentration camps).
          X – see rival parties as dangerous? (yup – they banned political opposition)
          X – support for free and easy abortion? (yup – terminated all penalties for abortion, and encouraged abortion and sterilization for all undesirables)

          • Andrew Leonard says

            Not only was Hitler an SJW in terms of the Nazi’s social programs, but his initial political motivation was due to his belief that Germany’s political leaders and army generals had betrayed the German people and brought dishonor to Germany, by prematurely surrendering at the end of WW1. From that point on, this was a social injustice that Hitler was determined to rectify.

    • Andrew Leonard says

      @MagnusMino “The level of mental gymnastics it must take for someone to utter such complete drivel is astonishing.”

      The social trouble-making group according to the Nazis – the Jews – amounted to less than 1% of Europe’s population prior to the war. So killing so many of them is quite compatible with the notion that Hitler was an SJW.

      By contrast, the modern SJW deems any identity group supposedly higher in the social hierarchy to another identity group, to be the lower groups oppressor. Furthermore, certain demographic and ethnic groups currently outperform white males – the identity group supposedly at the top of the social hierarchy – to which the modern version of the SJW mentality is apparently indifferent, and presumably a lack of intelligence is the reason for this indifference, mental gymnastics being beyond the capability of the average warrior.

      Who knows how many people will have to be killed to achieve the Social Justice Revolution, but what is alarming is that compared to the sub 1% figure for the Nazis, those guilty of causing social injustice according to the modern SJW, amount to the majority of the population. Given the prevalence of the SJW mentality, the outlook for society is dire.

  15. I’d give this current mental influenza on campuses another 5-10 years, by which time some other latest, fashionable mindlessness will supplant it. I wonder if young people ever wonder why they’re the target of these things, like tourists being targeted by a thief. By the time they wise up the next incoming young crop will take their place and, like tastes in music, define themselves similarly. The outgoing crop will wind up with the Autumn Harvest and Avocado Green groups.

    • Johan says

      …@Joe…Depressing but true. Babies of today will be horrible mindless nitwits 2038. What amazes me is that all these SJWs on YouTube don’t deter new recruits. Nitwits seem to identify with other nitwits without noticing anything unattractive taking place on their screen. Strange indeed…

  16. ADM64 says

    There is nothing moral or intellectual about the social justice left. Defeating them requires denying them any moral or intellectual legitimacy.

  17. PaperclipOptimizer says

    While I largely agree with your article, one point of disagreement stands out as noteworthy. That article by Lisa Feldman Barrett is a pretty damn reasonable position to take, even if you disagree with some of the points she made. Dr. Barrett is obviously a person with whom one can have a productive discussion about differences of opinion, and it strikes me as grossly unfair and counterproductive to lump her in as a part of the problem.

    It is very important to recognize and acknowledge that not everyone who is sympathetic to some of the issues presented in this article is an unreasonable zealot. If there is any hope of changing things for the better, these are exactly the sorts of people that will help negotiate an understanding from the other side of this debate.

    I am not personally acquainted with Dr. Barrett, but I work in the same field. She is one of the leading neuroscientists in her area of research and unequivocally not some grievance study critical theorist.

    • dellingdog says

      I completely agree. I read her article too — I think it was misrepresented.

  18. Farris says

    “they’re encouraged to have thick skins—and they’re not as likely to handle offenses themselves, certainly not violently—they’re encouraged to appeal to the proper authorities.”

    This is an incomplete definition of “dignity society”. Practitioners of “dignity society” do not immediately appeal to authority but rather seek to demonstrate their intellectual superiority by using words and arguments to put the perceived troglodyte in his proper place. Practitioners prefer short quick biting phrases and often see stoicism as a preferred mode of masculinity. They cultivate an immunity to irrational on unintellectual criticisms. They see responding with rage being susceptible to error and fallacy. Their ultimate reward is to set an example of betterment and refinement that others are apt to follow. They ultimately view themselves as more civilized.

    Today’s students are prone to hyperbole and logical inconsistency. They need to be shown that their thinking is retrograde. When protecting the weak takes priority over proven principles and ideals (ie. The First Amendment) no one is protected or safe.

  19. R Henry says

    As Western Cilture rejects its foundational Christian Faith, new faiths fill the vacuum.

    • dellingdog says

      It’s hard to take comments seriously when they include such egregious typos … but I’ll try anyway. Although it’s not a “faith” per se, I’d much rather live in a society guided by the principles of Secular Humanism than one governed by Christianity. Modern “Christendom” is only tolerable (and relatively tolerant) because it’s been thoroughly diluted by the ideas of the Enlightenment. In the past it was as backwards and totalitarian as Islamic theocracies.

      • Gordon Smith says

        You can only become a secular society by first becoming a Christian society if you look at historical shifts. Secular Humanism is a relatively new experiment and whilst I have optimism if we do not recognise that it grew out of Christianity my optimism sinks.

      • There is a pretty good book called “For the Glory of God” by Rodney Stark, that makes a pretty good case for why Christianity evolved into a tolerant and science supporting state and Islam did not.

        • dellingdog says

          It took Christianity almost 2000 years; let’s hope Islam can progress more rapidly than that.

  20. Richard Pallardy says

    While this article is correct in pointing out the sincerity of many SJW adherents, I don’t think it sufficiently acknowledges the perhaps unintended consequences of a doctrinaire ideology that is, like traditional religion, often leveraged to insincere ends. Because this ideology if so often mechanistic in its dictates, the levers of power are easily accessible even to those who don’t sincerely share it. While many people who subscribe to SJW ideology likely believe they are genuinely in the moral right, plenty of others have effectively used it more selfishly as a means of censorship and retribution that has little to do with equity and the protection of minorities. Both manifestations of this are dangerous; it would be even more dangerous to contend that the secondary manifestation didn’t exist.

  21. Wilson says

    The New York Times is no longer “America’s preeminent newspaper” or a paper of record. It is as biased as the school administrators Campbell talks about. Once in a while it publishes a criticism of PC, but these moments are rare.

  22. Dimitris says

    Pardon my microagression towards the left and the right alike, but am I the only one having noticed that all those things are happening almost exclusively in the States and the UK, that is the two places where every single student is either someone paying tens of thousands of dollars per semester or someone accepted for free by virtue of their special status? That is they are primarily *customers* or *special individuals*, not students, this is the mindset with which they enter the university. If I was paying the annual GDP of a medium-sized african region for my tuition fees (or if my special status was valued as much), like hell I’d be expecting professors to BREATHE precisely the way I wanted and it would be very much immoral on their behalf not to do so. You cannot have an academic bubble and a functioning, truth-seeking academia, especially in fields were the truth is a matter of consensus. It’s as simple as that. And very unpleasant to all involved since very few students or professors would accept that the whole thing is nothing but a form of grossly overpriced entertainment.

    • Gordon Smith says

      You obviously don’t have much knowledge of Australia

      • I don’t; think he mentioned Australia. The NY Times article mentioned that administrators were feeding this SJW frenzy even more than faculty and the colleges are building entertainment facilities as tuition rises rapidly.

  23. Jezza says

    When the burden of trivial silliness becomes too great for mere mortals to bear, society will implode. I hope for the day when the drying up of funds cause university administrators, academics, and students to expire like rabbits in a desert of their own making. A Phd in silliness won’t help them then.

    In response to those who are toying with the idea of Islam, I suggest you read ‘The Lost History of Christianity’ by Philip Jenkins. It reveals the extent to which muslims go to expunge history. When Christendom stretched from the shores of the Mediterranean to China, a Chinese monk could travel safely from there to England where the king received communion from his hand.
    The concept of “loving one’s enemy” is unique to Christianity. Muslims murder. Count the dead.

    • Kristina Caffrey says

      The reference to “a PhD in silliness” of course makes me think of Monty Python’s Ministry of Silly Walks, which seems a lot less absurd in 2018 than it did in 1970, with silly bureaucracy and silly studies cropping up everywhere and the use of public money increasingly being used to fund silly things.

    • ga gamba says

      I think it may be the protest of Christina Hoff Sommer’s speech at the law school of Lewis & Clark College. If I’m correct, many of those who stormed to the front and shut down her talk are law students.

  24. John33 says

    For me, the current situation the result of an over-sheltered generation.
    I think the simple reason the students act like they do is that they are mentally still children. “Generation snowflake” is a very fitting description. An important part of growing up is leaving one’s comfort zone and taking responsibility for oneself, which are two things these students terribly try to avoid – because they never had to and concerned parents as well as our high standard of living in the west wouldn’t let them. Then there is social media, which makes many adolescents too concerned with what their peers think of them. They don’t think for themselves anymore or are too afraid to speak up. (But then what’s the point of college education?)

    If you want to take it a step further and add an ideological perspective, I’d suggest reading Ayn Rand’s “The Fountainhead”, especially the part near the end of the book, where the antagonist Toohey describes his motives and aims in a speech. In core, the book is about individualism vs collectivism and the antagonist describes himself as the “”most self selfless man you’ll ever find”. He wants to destroy self-thinking individuals to rule people, since “You can’t rule thinking men”
    Here’s an important quote from the book:

    “The world of the future. The world I want. A world of obedience and of unity. A world where the
    thought of each man will not be his own, but an attempt to guess the thought of the brain of
    his neighbor who’ll have no thought of his own but an attempt to guess the thought of the next
    neighbor who’ll have no thought–and so on, Peter, around the globe. Since all must agree
    with all. A world where no man will hold a desire for himself, but will direct all his efforts to
    satisfy the desires of his neighbor who’ll have no desires except to satisfy the desires of the
    next neighbor who’ll have no desires–around the globe, Peter. Since all must serve all. A
    world in which man will not work for so innocent an incentive as money, but for that headless
    monster–prestige. The approval of his fellows–their good opinion–the opinion of men who’ll
    be allowed to hold no opinion”

    And this is exactly what every oppression-related theme at colleges eventually achieves (at least in the ivory tower that is academia).

  25. Victimhood culture may be a new moral culture but whereas all moral cultures contain contradictions and hypocrisies those in victim culture are so profound, so prominent, so transparently self serving and so commonly and openly expressed that I find it diffiuclt not to believe that many if not most adherents do so through self interest rather than belief. The self interest is frequently fear of being targetted and if this is the case then the culture is inherently fragile with a small core of believers and or positive benificiaries and a much wider mass of (ironically) oppressed who believe discretion is the better part of valour. A shift in the perceived risks and cultural norms would change things dramatically. In the wider rnon-academic world, at least in the US, I would argue this has already happened as evidenced by Donald Trump.

  26. A C Harper says

    From an Aeon article on Giacomo Leopardi:

    “And as the illusions on which society was based became more fragile, Leopardi goes on to suggest, insistence on conformity can only increase.”

  27. Peter says

    A part of it is »moral outrage«, another part is ambition. Many of these activists will compete for college administrative positions.

    »I participated in the Evergreen State College protests or even »I led the protests« will give one a real advantage in the selection process, at least in the following few years.

    I know a 68 activist who would end all his articles in the student newspaper with: »Long live proletarian revolution«. He is now in jail for corporate fraud.

  28. Morti says

    If they are owned by the radicalizing left then liberal (classical too!) principles themselves forbid doing anything about it. It’s THEIR freedom of expression, it’s THEIR right of self-preservation and it’s THEIR university autonomy which any counteractions would violate.

    If you don’t like it, establish your own university. Same as if you don’t like Google/FB censorship, you can create your own companies. We all know this libertarian mantra.

    If a vast majority of students, professors and administrators believed and were spreading the message of the greatness of Kim Jung Un the Dear Leader, the only ways of stopping them would be authoritarian.

    Everyone agree that violence is bad, but violence is but a word. If there is no center establishing common definitions, center recognized and respected by all, everyone is free to have his own definition and then everything descends into chaos of competing centers producing their narratives. All the values and documents, including the Constitution, become meaningless because competing sides extract vastly different messages from them.

    Looks like (including IDW-classical!) liberalism, liberal democracy and individualism have been turned against themselves.

    • Northern Observer says

      If Citizens were allowed to vote on which courses to fund and which course to defund, then grievance studies would disappear within a year, maybe a few exceptional professors could plead their case and sway the voters, but I am sure about 80% of the current left professoriat would be unemployed. But unfortunately we do not have direct control over the education system, it is mitigated by the government, as such any authoritarian measure taken by said government is inherently “just”. This does however make a strong case for the privatization of the the University and the end of student subsidy. If we can not share a moral space then let each create his own by the sweat of his own brow.

    • Heike says

      In a corporatist system of government, corporate censorship is state censorship. When there’s no meaningful space between corporate power and government power, it doesn’t make much difference whether the guy silencing your dissent is Mark Zuckerberg or Jeff Sessions. America most definitely has such a system.

      And when independent candidates run for office and can’t get their message out for being shadow banned, and the corporatist candidates are always the number one trending subject, you’ll be there to finger wag for not bothering to set up their own world-class content distribution system first.

  29. John Lammi PhD says

    “Moral concerns and moral emotions inspire the campus activists”. As a clinical psychologist it appears to me that these moralistic protestors have as their primary motivation sadism; the wolf in sheep’s clothing.

  30. For students of history and/or anyone who looks beyond a time span of a few years this is all too familiar.

    Remember the guillotines of Paris? Exact same thinking but in a different era with different socially acceptable tools. Antifa? Same. “Deplorables”? Same. Most of mainstream media? Same.

    There are now, and always have been, two predominant ways of thinking; two different psychological profiles, two different sets of evolved psychological mechanisms of social cognition, from which ideology, morality, beliefs, principles, policies, and practices follow, influenced by current local cultures and circumstances. They’re like operating systems of social thought, functioning within the different eras and cultural environments in which they’re immersed in an action-reaction dance through the ages. .

    Take Jean Jacques Rousseau, or Plato, and drop him into today’s culture and he’ll be a Social Justice Warrior, just as he was in his time. Edmond Burke, or Aristotole, would belong to the Intellectual Dark Web and would write for Quillette.

    See the Quillette essay, “Towards a Cognitive Theory of Politics.”

    Human nature hasn’t changed. Only tactics.

    • whatpriceliberty says

      The Independent Whig – right interesting. But why does the Right seem to understand the motivations and processes and reasoning of the Left and the Left does not understand the Right? (That’s how I see it – admittedly I am on the Right) Can’t this misunderstanding be corrected? Is the Left at all capable of empathy in that sense? Because that would go a long way toward a more peaceful coexistence.

      • The answer to your question is in the book “The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion” by Jonathan Haidt.

        Intuition comes first, reasoning follows. Reason evolved to help us win arguments, not to find make better decsions or to find truth.The evolved purpose of reason is to help us justify and defend our own moral intuitions and persuade others that our intuitions are the right ones. This is the finding of Dan Speber and Hugo Mercier in their book “The Enigma of Reason.” Haidt refers to them in his book.

        Haidt finds that Intuitions follow from a mix of evolved psychological mechanisms of social perception and understanding that helped our genetic ancestors survive and thrive in the cooperative social communities we humans create for ourselves.

        Left and right differ in the degree to which they employ six main “moral foundations.”

        The left relies mainly on three of them, and of those three mostly just one. The right relies on all of them relatively evenly. There’s no liberal moral foundation that is not also a conservative foundation, but half of the conservative foundation are for all practical purposes external to leftist social cognition.

        In his book Haidt summarizes a study that confirms your observation that conservatives understand liberals better than liberals understand conservatives, tying the reason for this back the the disparity in moral foundations. This is, between the lines, one of the main messages of the entire book.

        The good news is that education can, indeed, ameliorate this problem.

        Because of their differing moral foundations left and right, in essence, speak different languages. The languages use the same words – e.g., Liberty, equality, justice, fairness – but attach different meanings to them, so left and right talk past each other.

        Education can, in effect, offer language lessons. By teaching about the moral foundations it can help each side better understand where the other is coming from, and give them a common platform of understanding, and a common language, from which debates can ensue.

        There will always be a left and right in some form or another. Language lessons like this won’t convert or indoctrinate leftists into conservatives or vice versa. Each side will still have the same basic moral intuitions. Education can’t overcome or “fix” millions of years of natural selection. But at least all the cards will be on the table and each side will be better equipped to understand and communicate with the other.

        I’ve been advocating this idea for years. Haidt has even a couple educators to me who have expressed an interested in this type of teaching. I’ve helped them as much as I can, but I’m not an educator myself. I think the group Haidt founded – Heterodox Academy – is best positioned to do this work, and I’ve told them so many times. The group is gaining traction and influence within academia. Maybe one day it’ll expand into this arena too.

        • whatpriceliberty says

          @The Independent Whig

          Thank you so much for your answer! I have heard of Haidt and know a little of his story but I haven’t read the book. I would like to get involved in the Heterodox Academy. It is getting to the point that anyone who even has a remote chance of doing something to help the two sides understand each other has a moral responsibility to try make their voice heard. The really sad thing for me is that I am still a closet conservative. Mainly because in my line of work if I come out, I will never have a chance of being hired in the field again. I wish I could say that was an exaggeration but it is not.

          The Left is starting to become controlling and almost systematic in their methods to suppress opposition – I know it first hand because I am not at liberty to express my beliefs in public w out being financially affected. I just find it very odd – because even though I have always been conservative leaning, I have never ever thought to suppress someone’s ideas who I worked with or went to school with.

          There was another article on Quillette I think about how a college educated conservative is exposed to both sides and the left is not. For example, I was told by my family to read Ayn Rand (admittedly she is a little weird sometimes – but good for a young person), Adam Smith and Alex DeTocqueville. Then when I got to college I read Marx. A liberal ‘s parents tell him to read Marx – then he goes to college and reads more Marx.. Big Problem

    • X. Citoyen says

      Plato was no SJW. You’re confusing the historical man with the caricature invented by Karl Popper to give his equally fictional “closed society” a respectable pedigree. Popper’s caricature has since been disseminated in ever-more-cartoonish versions by people who want to sound learned by dropping names. (I’m nor saying you’re name-dropping, only that you’ve picked up the cultural meme.)

      Plato was an aristocrat and a direct descendant of the great Athenian lawmaker Solon. During his lifetime he fought in wars, wrote constitutions for other cities, and, legend has it, won the pankratalon three times (the ancient ancestor of the UFC). After Socrates’s death, he decamped to the Academy (Akademos/Hekademos), a shrine to the Muses situated just under a mile outside Athens, in order to escape with other philosophers from the SJWs who’d taken over the city. In fact, you’ll find a delightful description of such persons in Book 8 of the Republic.

      Rousseau was a radical thinker so he’s easy to confuse with other radicals. He is the intellectual forefather of all back-to-nature types, Waldorf schools, the free-spirit/hippie movement, and the more recent cult of authenticity. He was professional salon performer, yes, and he sloganeered with the best of them (e.g., Man is born free and everywhere in chains!), which makes him seem related to modern hysterical sloganeers. But his cause was freedom, as he conceived of it, not justice, and he was no militant. His big book, Emile, is about educating children for freedom, not about violent revolution and the New Dawn. So Rousseau was no SJW either.

      If you want to find ancestors of SJWs, you have to look at sectarian and chiliastic social movement that emerged in the Middle Ages as heretical Christian movements and later secularized into movements as diverse as Communism, Women’s Suffrage, and the Temperance Movement.

  31. Gary Weglarz says

    At the “micro level” analyzing this phenomenon suggests more obvious issues like the rise of “victimhood” identity as a new widespread cultural category. However, if one steps back and looks at this from the “macro-level” the view changes dramatically and I think clarifies a great deal. From the “macro-level” what we are seeing as the empire crumbles is the old “divide & conquer” technique taken to it’s logical extremes. A culture in which the only sense of “solidarity” and supposed “safety” allowable is one experienced within small groups, i.e. specific minorities, individual groups within LGBTQ, etc., is a society fractured completely and unable to find even the most basic common ground upon which to form resistance movements. If one is even the least bit cynical about this phenomenon (as I am), one might even think that if the CIA’s cultural mission activities didn’t help support and create this movement within academia, it should have.

  32. E. Olson says

    As a thought experiment please consider the following: Which of the following “controversial” actions would most/least likely result in the “offending” person being fired/punished by their employer/school, and/or having themselves and/or family and/or their property violently threatened, attacked, murdered, or vandalized by followers of the offended group?

    1. In a free expression of protest against organized religion this person:
    a. posts a cartoon of Jesus Christ sexually molesting a child.
    b. posts a cartoon of Mohammad the prophet sexually molesting a child.
    c. posts a cartoon of King David (of ancient Israel) sexually molesting a child.

    2. In a free expression of support for a political figure this person:
    a. wears a MAGA hat to work.
    b. wears a “I’m with Her” hat to work.
    c. wears a Che Guevara hat to work.

    3. In a free expression of opinion on a political issue this person:
    a. writes an editorial expressing strong support for laws requiring the use of public restrooms that are appropriate for your biological sex.
    b. writes an editorial expressing strong support for cancelling the 2nd amendment.
    c. writes an editorial expressing strong support for 100% enforcement of all immigration laws.

    4. This person publicly and politely attends an on-campus speech by:
    a. Donald Trump.
    b. Hillary Clinton.
    c. Benjamin Netanyahu.

    5. In a free expression of opinion this person posts the following on a group message board:
    a. most of the world’s most serious social problems are caused by white patriarchy and racism.
    b. due to cultural differences and lower IQ, black people are more likely to commit violent crime.
    c. Silicon valley tech entrepreneurs are sexist pigs, which is why women are rarely seen in senior STEM positions.
    d. Islam is not a religion of peace, as most acts of terrorism globally are committed by Muslims.

  33. BenBen says

    It’s not identity politics for its own sake, the altruistic utopia proffered to millennials is a con. In the age of AI where the blue collar work force will be decimated by machine learning, a universal minimum wage is almost a guarantee and the orwellian social engineering to that end has begun in the coddling of our youth on college campuses. Additionally, no one, not even Jordan Peterson, talks about special interest groups affecting social policy. The idea of very powerful people using victimhood and tribalism to to gain control of large swaths of voting blocks is rarely discussed yet we know full well in the United States the left has had a systematic strategy of controlling the black vote for decades. This is not about oppression or morality, this is about control and the nefarious means to that end have yet to be fully exposed.

  34. Ken A. says

    Good and thoughtful article, best I’ve read on this site to date. Much food for thought, as they say.

    One thing I particularly noted on first read was the frequent use of the odd term “microagression”, which as I understand it refers to acts that cause unwarranted offense when there was no conscious intent to offend by the alleged “aggressor” and where no actual harm was done to anyone.

    A current example of this in the States is the ridiculous “triggering” of rightists by footballers exercising their free speech rights by “taking a knee” during the playing of the national anthem.

    My view is that the only thing that will fix this in the long term is more good will and thicker skins on both sides of the political divide. Good luck with that!

    • Thicker skins? You mean an elephant’s one? The reality is different, lamentably, skins become thinner and thinner, that’s the truth we have to live with, and nobody knows where it will end! Civil wars are still quite common, worldwide!

    • Heike says

      Kneeling during the national anthem isn’t a microaggression. It’s a deliberate insult, designed from the outset to divide us into warring camps and make us fight with each other. Vladimir Putin couldn’t have planned it better.

      Please educate yourself on microaggressions with this official document from the University of California system:

      Microaggressions are the everyday verbal, nonverbal, and environmental slights, snubs, or insults, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative messages to target persons based solely upon their marginalized group membership (from Diversity in the Classroom, UCLA Diversity & Faculty Development, 2014). The first step in addressing microaggressions is to recognize when a microaggression has occurred and what message it may be sending. The context of the relationship and situation is critical. Below are common themes to which microaggressions attach.

      Examples: “There is only one race, the human race.”
      “I believe the most qualified person should get the job.”
      “America is the land of opportunity.”
      “Affirmative action is racist.”
      “I don’t notice people’s race.”
      “America is a melting pot.”
      “Everyone can succeed in this society if they work hard enough.”

    • whatpriceliberty says

      @Ken Again – this exemplifies the difference between the Left and the Right. The Colin Kaepernick is in no way an example of a microagression triggering the Right – and you do not have the correct definition of the term microagression. My Husband is a HS teacher and he has been trained on how to spot microagressions w/ in the classroom as the school system, even for children, is now concerned about how to protect themselves from lawsuits regarding a student being “aggressed”. Micro-agression is an insidious tool made up by the Left to help them in their never ending efforts to increase Political Correctness towards control. So let’s say a white student comes to school and says during a discussion “there is a lot of crime in inner cities”. Noting about race is mentioned. But black student could say they felt “micro-agressed during the discussion because they felt their race was being called attention to and disparaged and they could sue the school if the teacher has not disciplined the student. Or a student askig an asian student if he is Japanese or Chinese is considered a micro-agression. Or a student asking an asian student – even earnestly if he is good at math” So those are micro-agressions. Back to Kaepernick. Not a microagression – but rather an action which concentrates the forces and various opinions regarding Patriotism, Racism, Free Speech and Authority into one super pithy and concentrated moment – the taking of a knee during the Anthem. In the USA the singing of the National Anthem at a sporting event is an honored tradition and generally when it happens the entire stadium is sort of feeling the same emption of gratefulness, unifying everyone who is in the stadium. IT can be very emotional and it’s a nice tradition – very much a part of the entire experience of going to the sporting event. I understand that Patriotism has already been hugely denigrated by teachers who teach their students that the founding fathers were racist or sexist etc etc – but the fact remains that for the working class ( of all races ) many of whom who go to sporting events – patriotism is often an important and unifying emotion. I personally consider it a healthy emotion that has the potential to neutralize racial tensions – but the Left of course considers that naive and prefers to just use any and all platforms they have to race-bait. Add to that that many of these people at the sporting event will know people who have been in the military or who have died in a war – and you can see how the emotion is ramped up. So these Americans think that someone using their right to take a knew during the song that is sung to honor the country and people who fought and died to preserve the right to take the knee is simply to much to bear. Yes it is Free Speech – but, as I’ve outlined, these are the reasons it is contentious. It is Nothing to do with denying black people freedom of speech. Yes those not taking a knee are also likely to say “Let’s not have racist cops kill anyone by accident – but let’s also please not bring race-baiting into a very sensitive debate any more than we have to”. That does not negate their feelings regarding the Anthem. so again – what the Left tends to see in terms of identity politics is actually the politics of patriotism. Patriotism is Idea politics. Identity politics and Idea politics are not the same thing and cannot be conflated. The Left always conflates them.. because intrinsically the left does not understand how the Right thinks and arrives at their conclusions. How and why the Right arrives at their conclusions is not taught in school anymore – and it is not seen in popular culture anymore..

      • Ken A. says

        Hi What Price,
        I’m truly flattered that you took the time to write me such a long and eloquent response. Here are a few thoughts after first reading:

        –I feel you take an overly “binary” view of how other people see the world. You seem to assume there’s “The Left” (bad) and “The Right” (good) with no in-between. I would suggest considering that life is just a little bit more complicated than that.
        –Race no doubt plays a part in the motivation for the protests, but my focus here was on certain people being triggered (or pretending to be triggered) by the protests. And by implication on their using this “triggering” to score political points.
        –Being of an older generation, I can assure you that the Viet Nam-era combat vets i hang out with are not remotely bothered by these protests.
        -Let me emphasize that last point: these are COMBAT VETS who have seen things you and I cannot imagine. I assure they can easily deal with TV images of large men kneeling.


        • whatpriceliberty says

          @Ken well thank you as well. I can tell you that this BLM, Kneeling during the Anthem, and subsequent Blue Lives matter, all lives matter, and then the Free Speech debate that it turned into have no pretenders on either side. Everyone on all sides is genuinely triggered. More than triggered – dangerously divided through genuine misunderstanding of each other. Until very recently I did not have a binary view of Left and Right. I lived in NYC, worked in tech/art and basically lived in a Left world in which 99% of my friends and acquaintances were left to hard left. Then I moved to a small town in red America I saw that the Left and Left media has been telling a lie about regular Americans. A dangerous lie. SO now I am out here – my stock portfolio shot up – as did everyone else. There are hiring signs everywhere – not kidding. People are feeling patriotic and that patriotism is actually bringing different races and sexual orientations together in a great Real Unity! The kind of unity that the Left with all their forced pc talk could only dream of. And everyone is in a great mood! And happy with the tangible aspects they see of what the president is doing. But turn on the news. And you are called a racist, a white supremacist, a white nationalist, every single day. And these people out here are not that – not by a long shot. Then come the midterms. The Left takes the house because of their slimy tactics of scaring 1/2 America into thinking the other 1/2 are racist. Now they will proceed to slow down progress, nit pick over things no-one cares about like tax returns – and this progress we’re making will be compromised. The president is 71 yrs old and he has the Democratic establishment, the Republican Establishment, The Media, Hollywood, Tech and Elites all over the world against him and using dirty tactics to try to slow him down. Other presidents get puff pieces on the 1st lady, puff pieces on their dogs and kids, Trump gets assassination threats in the New York Times. Are you starting to see why my view is becoming binary? I think the left has done some great things: Unions, Civil Rights (altho .. the Left has led the way on those important things. But now they have won those battles and they do not have Actual new battles to work on – and they have become petty and deranged.

          • Ken A. says


            It’s very cool that we’re talking like this, despite our clear differences on certain points. Just for example, I think the Dems won the House primarily because of concerns about Healthcare, not racism. I’m pretty sure I can prove this if you want to pursue.

            I personally like to think of myself as a pragmatist, in favor of whatever solution to a problem is most likely to work in the real world. Some solutions might be “leftist” some might be “rightest”, I just want to hear intelligent arguments for which one might be best. I suspect you might agree with this.


  35. Pingback: The Case for Pessimism — The Victimhood Report

  36. peterschaeffer says

    One of the ironies that almost all SJWs miss and most anti-SJWs miss, is that science is becoming ever more hostile to the SJW worldview. Note that I am not suggesting that scientists (as people) are moving to right over time. That may or may not be true. However, the results of science have become ever more right-wing over time. In other words, the last 20 years of actual science have tended to contradict the SJW perspective.

    Of course, the Left hates this and has shifted towards denying the very existence of reality (deconstructionism) as a consequence. Most of the right seems unaware of the shift as well. The Damore controversy is a case in point. Of course, the Left hated him. However, most of the right doesn’t seem to know that his views represent the scientific mainstream.

    David Reich (Harvard) is not exactly a figure of the right (far from it). However, his article in the New York Times is more “right-wing” than anything you will read in the National Review or Quillette.

  37. Melina says

    I would be interested for the author state his source for the accusations that, “the college president, Cristle Collins Judd, suggested to Abrams that he had created a hostile work environment and asked him whether he thought it was acceptable to write op-eds without her approval. She also asked him if he was on the job market, perhaps as a suggestion that he should be.”

    As a Sarah Lawrence alum, I know it’s an activist-y lefty campus, but also a school that is deeply committed to free speech. I would suggest that people who are interested in this issue watch the Presidential Panel on Inclusive Excellence and Campus Climate at Sarah Lawrence, from 11/5:

  38. PEOPLE! STOP WASTING ENERGY ON THIS! What you are whining about is the sociological equivalent of fretting over today’s stock market numbers: markets are built on long-term performance, cultures. institutions and societies upon long-term movements that stand the test of time. If this modern trend of what George Carlin referred to as, “The pussification,” of America has sustainable merit (20,000:1 against) it shall endure and meld with the alloy that is America’s steel. More probably it’s just “Generation P’s” symptomatic manifestation of their parents’ deficiencies in child rearing, and there will be a, “market correction,” maybe in the form of an international smack-down on the self-important and entitled troglodytes. Either way, good and true people are wasting their valuable time bellyaching about it or machinating about a comeuppance. Let the experiment play out. It poses no existential threat (you still don’t mess with Texas, right?).

    And for what it’s worth, maybe it would be more profitable to look at the bigger picture. Perhaps Generation P. is one necessary aspect of our culture and they are a nuisance only in that they are somewhat new and concentrated in micro-environments (such as colleges). Over time they will disperse and dilute, like salt in a soup, actually making it heartier and more delicious. They might be the “compassion” of America (remember when America used to truly be the world leader in compassion? Yeah…me neither), annoying in concentrated isolation and useful when BALANCED against intellect (like the old television trope in Classic Star Trek’s, “The Enemy Within).

    PS: I CLAIM COPYRIGHT on the term “Generation P.” If anyone is going to make a dime off of these cream-puff lack-wits, it’s going to be me.

    • peterschaeffer says

      DW, Type “Generation P” into Google. There was a Russian movie by that name back in 2012.

    • Peter From Oz says

      I like your style, Dean.
      In short, the best revenge is to live well by our own moral code and let the loonies exhaust themselves.

  39. Itzik Basman says

    When I began this and saw the same litany of triggerwarnings, safe spaces, micro-aggressions and so on, it seemed to me more of the oft same warmed over stuff. But in the typologizing of cultures, in the mild critique of Haidt as to the umbrella of safety, in the identification of the strong, may totalitarian, moral base of the social justice activists, in the dissagregation of optimism, the optimism also typologized and in the clear headed diagnosis of how deeply set social justice is on campuses without abandoning itself to despair, I find in this worthy piece fresh insights and perspectives.

  40. Dr George B Miller says

    The victim culture comes straight from the Marxist handbook. If someone is more successful than you, richer than you, more popular than you, has more influence than you, denounce them and hound them out of their jobs. The starvation and death inherent in the practice of Marxism over the last hundred years depended, not on the leadership of the party, but on the resentments and jealousy harboured by the people. After the fall of the USSR it was found that one in three citizens was an informer for the government. one in THREE informing on their neighbours and former friends to settle old resentments. This is what is happening in our campuses, in businesses like Google, and in our schools. Those who are “oppressed’ (and who isn’t, in some way?) are given a virtuous reason to vent their anger on others.

    This vile philosophy needs to be exposed for what it is – a dangerous call to the basest instincts of humankind. The teaching of Marxism in our universities should be every bit as unacceptable as the teaching of Fascism.

    • whatpriceliberty says

      @Dr George B Miller I completely agree! As usual the Left is completely un self aware about this fact. Thank goodness for Quillete. We need more brave people standing up to say what you just said in a very public manner. I think the left managed to smear Joe Mcarthy so much – and maybe he deserved it idk – I am in my 30s. But I simply do not trust the left .. I think their smear tactics have served them so well in the past – they now smear anyone who speaks against Marxism as an unsophisticated idiot – or as a “silly” Mccarthy type.

  41. Here’s an idea – (feel free to critique – still working it out)

    Higher Education Viewpoint Diversity Act of 2018 (VDL).
    To take from the Title IX playbook – it is time for equal viewpoint opportunities at American colleges and universities. The regulation implementing VDL requires institutions to provide equal opportunities for members of the top two dominant political view points of the current times. These would be defined as the top two parties in Congress. To effectively accommodate alternate viewpoints, there will be a three-part test that OCR uses as part of determining whether an institution is meeting its VDL obligations. An institution is in compliance with the three-part test if it meets any one of the following parts of the test:

    (1) The number of administrators, professors, and staff in all departments is at least 20% of the dominant party in congress and 20% of the second most dominant party in congress and the remaining 80% is substantially proportionate to the respective enrollments of the students at the university; or
    (2) The institution has a history and continuing practice of expanding participation opportunities responsive to the developing interests and abilities of the underrepresented ideology; or
    (3) The institution is fully and effectively accommodating the interests and viewpoints of the underrepresented ideology.

    • whatpriceliberty says

      I would normally be against regulation like that for it’s creating more bureaucracy but we kind of need a solution like that right now.

  42. Trajan Fanzine says

    No accident that the Honour and Victimhood cultures demand and occupy, lets say the lowest level of rigor and intellectual capacity.

  43. “in a victimhood culture people have empathy for victims of oppression and wrath toward their oppressors.”

    Let me correct this one for you. In a victimhood culture people have empathy for the victims of imaginary oppression and wrath toward their imaginary oppressors. In the first world no one is systematically oppressed. Oppressed by individuals yes and there is nothing to done about that except prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law when caught. These people live on the crazy idea that that everyone is out to get them except other true believers in social justice, identity politics, and intersectionality. They are a scourge we need to eradicate.

  44. codadmin says

    To the fascist left, victimhood is currency based. For example:

    White children raped by the Catholic Church are victims. White children raped by racist Islamic paedophilic gangs are not.

    Victims must serve the narrative otherwise they are not victims.

  45. Alphonse Credenza says

    “Social Justice” was used throughout the 1930s by American Nazi acolytes, including the famous Charles Coughlin and reams of underground publications.

    The fascist in American life has never left us and has come around again, taken up by the Left, once again, who advocate as usual, all sorts of nasty ideals which they attempt to pass off as virtuous.

    They have to pass off their ideals in this way not only to mollify the enemy (ordinary people going about their day) but because their ideals are, naked, so distasteful that even they must camouflage the fact from themselves.

  46. ccscientist says

    One of the big problems with the victim culture is that proof of oppression is neither felt to be needed nor given. One only needs to FEEL oppressed, or one simply assumes that white males are being oppressive JUST BY EXISTING. There is also a binary response to detection of an oppressor: as soon as something offensive is detected it is literally worse than hitler, it is catastrophic. Thus very mild speakers who will be lecturing on mild topics must be opposed with screams and shut down as if they are setting up a new slavery program for blacks.

  47. James G says

    It’s self-evident that the “dignity culture” type of society is best. Anyone who thinks otherwise is an idiot, and is contributing to the downfall of civilisation. “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never heard me”.

  48. I haven’t read your book, but for a sociologist, your argumentation is pretty thin (same with your group-think adherents, people like Singal).

    The ghosts in your closet are many

    1. Internet and social media, where is your substantive analysis regarding how algorithms and NLP systems help propagate these processes of so called ‘victimhood.’ (My guess is the word is incorrectly used, especially if your contrasting labels are “honor” and “dignity”).
    2. Euro Liberalism – Before Gobineau and the salons of the enlightenment, we didn’t identify people through race, and using race labels, we pooled people into vast masses. And with Gobineau, we Europeans and European descendants like you in the states employed race in order to dominate other races. Right now white European descendants are forced to deal with the inevitable return tidal wave as labels meant to dominate in turn created identities that desire the same level of psychic domination afforded the instigators.

    3. Domestication. Once humans settled down and decided to own land adjacent to fixed centers, the patriarchy took control. That was 10K years ago and right now we are dealing with a rising level of degaussing from these too! Structure, processes and functions (homes, father domination, religions) are rapidly being reexamined, however unconsciously.

    Dude, I would go and take a sabbatical and do some research. Study the computer age, the Enlightenment (so-called), and the deep history of domestication and then come back and tell me this campus culture is one of ‘victimhood.’ Look at keys shifts in language like concept names, verbs, gender, land ownership.

    The underlying problems in civilization are MASSIVE. Campuses are labs that reflect not only recent history but deep history.

    I see you guys as blinded cry-babies. Go do the research.

    • kchoze says

      You have a lot of chuzpah to accuse others of making “thin” arguments and of “group-think” when you have basically nothing but insults to offer and the rambling repetition of ideological dogmas (like the patriarchy).

      Your claim that “Europeans” invented labels to dominate others just show how your knowledge of history is slanted and limited. For peoples, whether they be tribes or nations, to label other peoples and to create societies where they have advantages over strangers/barbarians/kuffar/pagans/whatever is the rule historically. If “Europeans” have innovated in any way, it’s in the abandonment of such tribalism in favor of universalist liberal ideals that all individuals should have the exact same access to the protection of the law.

      For people to use “labels” to attack “Europeans” is not a reversal of anything, it’s merely the resurgence of tribalist ethnic identities that Western societies have been trying to repress for decades.

      • You clearly don’t understand in any way the role domination functioned in early cities through language (the terms ‘barbarians’ and ‘tribe’ were developed in the first cities to label ANYONE outside its walls). That’s beginning 6000 years ago; that functionalism in labels is still with us.

        Race was invented to add to that functional domination, invented in salons of European Liberals in an effort to add a scientific function to colonialism.

        I’m NOT attacking Europeans, I’m saying the chickens have come home to roost from both of these early civ and 18th cent labelling systems, systems designed almost purely for the sake of domination.

        • codadmin says


          Race was invented by European liberals??

          When brown ‘people of colour’, for example, dominated the known world ( under the banner of Islam ), they had very clear ideas about race.

          The most famous example is the writings of of 14th century Islamic scholar Ibn Khaldun. He wrote some nasty things about blacks, which justified their vast slave trade in black africans at the time.

          “…there is a Negro people called Lamlam. They are unbelievers. They brand themselves on the face and temples. The people of Ghanah and Takrur invade their country, capture them, and sell them to merchants who transport them to the Maghrib. There, they constitute the ordinary mass of slaves. Beyond them to the south, there is no civilization in the proper sense. There are only humans who are closer to dumb animals than to rational beings. They live in thickets and caves and eat herbs and unprepared grain. They frequently eat each other. They cannot be considered human beings. ”

          Not sure where you got your ‘info’ from about ‘liberals inventing race in salons in the 18th century’, but, it’s pack of lies. Now that you know its pack of lies, ask yourself who lied to you and what their agenda is.

          • Let’s be very clear here. Khaldun did not call them Negro. That’s mistranslation. The term Negro does not arrive in the lexicon until the 15th century. He called them BOTH “dark” and “very dark” (udma/shadeed al udma) in Arabic in a variety of contexts. If you read him further, he calls Arabs “udma” as well which dispels the idea these are strictly racial terms. Is he inventing a distinction that never existed before, is he inventing the concept of race or merely distinguishing between ethnicities? If you understand Arabic views of ethnicity in the 13th-14th century, there is never a clear racial distinction attributed to a totality of race, but gradations in skin tone, very much unlike our ideas of race post 18th century. When Arabs of 12-14 cent called people “White” they did not refer to skin color:

            “When the Arabs say that a person is white, they mean that he has a pure, clean, faultless integrity…They don’t mean that he has white skin, but they mean to speak well of his honor and the purity of his integrity. When they say that a person has a white face, they mean that his complexion is free from blotches and a blackness that is unattractive” (Ibn Mandour)

            “When the Arabs say that a person is white, they mean that he is black with a light-brownish undertone”. (AlDhabbi)

            And second of all, while Ibn Khaldun claimed he was a man of science, but really he is a sociologist: he did not create a scientific model that addressed (hierarchies between) ethnic groups. Read his descriptions of other ethnicities. Remember there is a distinction between slavery, ethnic phenomenon and scientific racism. Yes Khaldun created a distinction between Arabs and what we call today Black Africans today in this statement, but he did not create a worldview of races as a supposedly rational systematic code to offer his society the pinnacle to observe all races from, (what that means is, he did not organize Arabs into a vast grouping in counter to any other race – notice what he called white Europeans).

            Read him carefully, he is practicing classic ethnic domination that has been with us from 8000 BC onwards (he’s denouncing not dark people but Lamlams), which means he is not singling out all “darks” (udma) as distinct from Arabs. He is a social scientist whose theories did not create state-level racism to implement domination, he simply perpetuated the ethnic phenomenon using Arabic distinctions that are not necessarily racist, but a fusion between stereotypical perceptions of skin tones and social characteristic in order to differentiate, and how could they, a policy of domination of others that uses simplistic categories means you both have to generalize about the races scientifically. The Arabs did not do this.

            The problem is you can’t show me a clear blanket Islamic belief of superiority over any racial group.

          • This is still technically ethnic phenomenon (prejudicial ethnicism) not racism because of the variation in labels that also include Arabs in these naming conventions.

            They’re not consistent labels. Anti-Semetism too is not technically racism, it is religious prejudice.

            Unfortunately we’ve retroactively simplified this as racism in order to reduce the dogmatic nightmare of having been the inventors of scientific racism.

            As proof of point, the Arabs had no term that equals “race.” In the same manner the Han called their Mongol oppressor “Dark devils” etc. These are all ethnic conflicts, not racist.

            How can we call them racist if they had no conception of race? Answer? They were practicing ethnic prejudice.

          • And btw, Genesis describes classic ETHNIC phenomenon as a MYTH. It is not racism. When the bible uses the term translated as race “sondor” it’s describing all humanity.

        • whatpriceliberty says

          Your perspective is interesting but it shows that you definitely do not believe in masculinity and femininity as distinct modes (I’m not saying that only men are masculine and only women are feminine) but if you think father dominance wasn’t a natural order of things based on the needs of the time – then your entire truth axiom is that there is no truth, not even a shred, to anything. So who is your favorite philosopher then? Where did this world view you have come from? I have never heard this point about Race being invented by Europeans as a means to suppress and colonize – but that also sounds really suspiciously like it’s rooted in post-modern philosophy mixed with multiculturalism. And I don’t mean the good kind of multiculturalism that aims ,somewhat innocently, to alleviate or erase xenophobia. I mean the kind of multiculturalism that aims ruthlessly to disabuse people of their nationhood and patriotic pride. I mean the kind of multiculturalism who’s ultimate aim is to reduce society to rubble and ashes so as to start a new world order. So that causes me to question whether it is true.. I’ll look into it. How could the concept of race be made up by Europeans when it is so obvious even to the human eye that there are, at the very least, tribes who share physical characteristics. Wouldn’t Race be just a way to use language to help sort that out? Is it necessarily a concept that was created to “dominate”? Whatever the reason – I stand by my direct observation that when people of all races and classes and sexual orientations are able to organize with a common principal or set of principals to agree on, that being nationhood in America right now, or patriotism, then we have a better chance of understanding each other. Whatever colonial sins Europeans may ave committed in the past – and whatever sins happened during America’s founding and turbulent past – we are not in the past any more. We’re here and now – and there are Americans of all kinds who are proud to be here. Now even if you’re an intellectual, and therefore don’t find it fashionable to be patriotic, you should, as an intellectual, be able to see that a set of noble ideas that hold a society together can be a very good thing.


            To the rest of your observations I cannot reply. We may not be in the past anymore, but as we are rapidly sharing records of the past in increasingly networked ways, we will be required to address and come to terms with the whole scope of so-called civilization, especially the parts the elite swept under the rug to continue their domination.

          • codadmin says


            Of course he didn’t use the word ‘negro’. That’s a Spanish abbreviation of black. It’s just a translation.

            But, that’s irreverent. What matters is that the concept of race existed long before Europeans sat down in salons. The book of genesis, for example, speaks about 3 distinct races.

            I bring up brown racism, because brown people dominated the world for almost thousand years. The brown people ( muslim conquerors ) believed they were superior because they were’t too dark, or too white.

            According to the theory, whites lived in climates that were too cold and blacks in climates that were too hot. Blacks apparently were stupid because the scorching sun had baked their heads.

            Both were considered inferior, but blacks even more inferior.


  49. Kchoze says

    It’s probably going to be lost as I’m late to the discussion, but I have an hypothesis about why these cultures have emerged, it’s about the incentives provided by society and its institutions.

    Honor cultures tend to be dominant in earlier cultures where the State is weak and rarely interferes in personal interactions. In such societies, the justice system is either inaccessible or distrusted (for good or bad reasons), so that every individual has to defend his person, his family and his property by himself. The degree to which you will be given respect is the degree to which you show yourself willing to defend what you own. If you react violently to any slight, then people will not slight you by fear of how you would react. This is a society of vendettas and people doing themselves justice, and also blood feuds and high street violence. Your reputation as a jealous defender of your honor is your main bulwark against attacks on your person, family or property, so you have to uphold it.

    Honor cultures tend to result in a high degree of interpersonal violence, so governments that become more stable and well-established try to repress it, like the declaration of perpetual peace in the Holy Roman Empire. The government decrees that it will punish anyone who does oneself justice, people will now have to resort to government-provided arbiters (judges in civil courts) to solve their disputes, and the courts will also be more proactive at punishing violence. In such a society, at least if the system works well, individuals have all the incentives to avoid resorting to the courts, because using them is dangerous and time-consuming, and to avoid using violence that brings the attention of the criminal system on them. This leads to the development of dignity cultures, because the smart move is not to let yourself be provoked into committing violent actions and to avoid ending up in a civil court by trying to defuse tensions with other people. The person who is mild-mannered and temperate is thus able to protect what he owns far more than the angry guy, for the simple fact he avoids going to court and is able to resolve interpersonal tensions peacefully without resorting to an arbiter.

    The development of victimhood culture, by that logic, would be the result of new incentives brought about by more caring and compassionate public and private institutions, and especially the growth of what I would call the “parajudiciary”, quasi-judicial institutions that do not have to respect all the rules of due process and makes it easier for institutions and the government to interfere proactively in personal interactions. Think about human rights tribunals or public organizations to address what people see as slights or discrimination against them. Or think about administrative “courts” to deal with code of conduct violations in universities and big corporations, often set up under pressure of the government. All this means is that the government’s application of justice is no longer reactive, it is now proactive in order to correct perceived “social injustices” rather than resolving personal conflicts. This has created all new incentives, now people have to complain and whine that they are being oppressed and that they are suffering under injustice so that the government and public and private administrations will sweep in and take care of their problems for them and punish those who offend them. Now, someone with a thick skin and a stiff upper lip is being deprived of protection by judiciary and parajudiciary systems, because they’re told “you don’t seem to be that emotionally affected by those who insult you, it must not be a big deal”. And that’s why victimhood cultures are emerging, especially in areas where the authorities are extremely proactive at siding with those perceived as “oppressed”, such as in universities, because we are rewarding that behavior collectively.

    So, if my understanding is accurate, the solution to victimhood culture is to stop rewarding victim-claiming and offense-taking. Abolish proactive “social justice” processes and go back to a more limited but more consistent reactive application of justice, so that people claiming to be victims get no more incentive to keep on doing it, then they will stop.

    • Robert Sands says

      You are on to something in identifying the reinforcers of the victim behavior! Learned helplessness is another reinforcement comparison. Always look for the payoff.Thanks.

  50. icestation3 says

    If the far-left is really suffering from an epidemic of weak-minded people who just can’t accept speech which they disagree with, why do we have a far-left getting in conservative faces, with serious intense anger & hate, and with a mob like attitude? Because the tears are fake.

    The concept of human beings using fake tears & fake distress as a strategy to control situations is very well documented. The far-left is using this strategy to shut down conservative speech. Believing that your ideological enemy is weak when in reality they are strong is seriously dangerous.

    People like Haidt dangerously believe that these students are suffering from a fundamental weakness of character, in the sense of not being able to cope with action and speech that they disagree with. But this is wrong. The far-left is using a strategy of fake distress to shut down conservative voices.

    Safe Spaces are like miniaturized Gaza Strips where fake tears and fake feelings of oppression are staged to generate sympathy and to shut down the ‘oppressor’ i.e., the Jewish people in Israel and conservatives in the West.

    The Term ‘Victimhood Culture’ is not only misleading. It’s dangerous. The people who came up with the term, like Haidt, didn’t understand human nature. So we are lumbered with a term which implies the opposite of what is really going on.

    • whatpriceliberty says

      Hmm didn’t think of that.. I do see the left as capable of duplicitous actions for sure – and that powerful higher ups conceive strategies There are so many kind hearted useful idiot s on the left along for the ride. They have sometimes confessed to me privately that, in their gut, they don’t believe the dogma they are supposed to swallow.

    • Any group that needs to hoist a sign over themselves (from a name-calling by a second-rate Democratic candidate: “deplorable”) to play victim, is clearly seeking victimhood in order for it to survive.

      We know your games.

  51. Pingback: Who, exactly, are persons of color? (And a note on “victimhood culture”) « Why Evolution Is True

  52. Joe B. says

    Ugh, was hoping the commentary and writing on this site would be better. Let me say this loud and clear:


    Microaggressions, societal disparities, and privilege are not ideaologies. They are observations made by social scientists and statisticians. It’s observational fact.


    Dear Author, YOU are the one “suffering from a fundamental weakness of character, in the sense of not being able to cope with action and speech that they disagree with.” and your assertion the left is shutting down the right out of fake distress is exactly the tactic this article takes (and often the right).

    If Quillette hopes to become a force for positive change and open ideas -something I’d very much like to see- it will need to shed these ranting, ideological, insecure, overly-sensitive authors who can do nothing but rehash the same infantile annoyances for writers who can come down with some concrete arguments rooted in something more than Breitbart-lite opinions.

    • codadmin says

      Your usage of the word Breitbart is a microagression. It has been observed.

      • codedim

        My replies to you regarding your simplistic and Eurocentric perceptions of ethnic phenomenon are above. Please respond anywhere you like in here and I will find you.

        If you need a little boost. Negro is not an “abbreviation”, its a simplistic word invented after Arabs were complexly defining ethnic parts of identity, dividing them into skin tones they themselves shared with others AND ethnic groups like the Zanj, who were East Africa Bantu as opposed to West African groups. Groups we’ve equated in European concepts of “blackness” they defined by both complex gradients of skin tones (not race) and ethnic groups.

        If you study even the Arabic use of calling people “white” as I quoted above (ALL of whom were not white or light skinned on the outside but brown, dark brown or very dark brown, but were of pure spirit etc). It appears the Europeans ADOPTED this sense of purity in conceptual coloring and applied this to OUR skin colors, effectively adopting a spiritual sense of coloration and invented scientific races from.

        To answer all of these complex questions that the simplifications of racial science post 1700s can’t possible answer, read The Ethnic Phenomenon.

        • codadmin says


          A long time ago, I realised debating with people who simply make stuff up was a massive waste of time.

          For example, I said negro was an abbreviation of black in Spanish. That’s not correct. Negro is the complete word in Spanish. The abbreviation is the word that must not be named.

          But, not only did you not spot the error, you went even further and said: “the word was invented after the Arabs were complexly defining ethnic parts of identity…”

          In other words, you are just making stuff up on the top of your head.

          • Actually I’m explaining to you how the Arabs did not practice racism and actually practiced ethnic and religious prejudice, and I’ve already achieved this by showing you the historically valid linguistic terms they employed and the contexts in which they used them.

            But it’s probably not of any importance to you specifically, since you can neither find the proper part of speech that Negro is, nor can find the part of speech its PEJORATIVE uses.

            You’re 0-2 misusing the term abbreviation. That means you might be in need of some remedial lessons.

            And that means, my dear, that if anyone is making stuff up here, it’s you and your like.

          • codadmin says


            You are correct, I now humbly accept.

            The Arabs did not practice slavery either. Their system was actually a complexly gradiated market of ‘ethnic’ volunteers.

          • Of course slavery was practiced. If sarcasm is the menu the meal must be misdirect.

            Go do the real digging, my friend. And you won’t get anything like truth, but you’ll get what we know about the past and a mosaic perception. Not by forcing European identity onto them, the way wiki lays on Negro or uses translations using it.

            The very idea of using a Portugues word shifted to refer to Africans, invented in 15th Century Europe over a 13th century word Arabic word that means Bantu is Eurocentric. The ultimate colonisation on Earth is the assertion of meaning over previous meaning.

            Using the words they used to describe their world.

    • Evander says

      @Joe B.

      Microaggressions are a myth. But if they weren’t, couldn’t your loud use of capital letters, mansplaining tone and bolshy truth-claims be construed as such? You’re intimidating me.

      The authors of the piece wrote a book to attack a plausible threat to liberal society. That’s the most intellectually grown-up response to a crisis I can think of.

      Victimhood and safe spaces are infantile annoyances. Adults want serious discourse back.

    • whatpriceliberty says

      This is the Left’s new United Front Answer on this situation. To say “the Right is showing fake distress!!” and then they say “You are the ones who can’t take this criticism and You are really the snowflakes” It’s like …. what?? That’s a contradiction first of all. Second, Neither of those two ways of putting it are true – we are distressed and we are not snowflakes. It is not a contributive answer to the serious, earnest and needed debate going on about the highjacking of Academia by mush brains. Also Iol codadmin ?

      • You’re just distressed about losing a majorities on two fronts at the same time: patriarchal and White European. Your tantrums will soon dissipate as you all grow up and are admitted back into society. And those that toe the hard lines of racism and sexism will be isolated to a form of Botany Bay until you can make grade.

        • Evander says


          Are you American, Australian or a blend?

          It’s weird reading someone reference Botany Bay and then use an expression like ‘make grade’.

          • Why do you care. Why is your detective cap on attempting to decipher my CULTURE?

            Let me give it to ya straight: It’s weird only of you’ve been trained to try and perceive culture (stereotypes) ahead of functions-processes-roles (archetypes).

            Right? Just substitute “Prison Colony”. This is the prison of nouns hiding our base functions and concepts.

            Your q is symptomatic of the population here.

            This is a strictly cultural site masquerading as a place to cover intellectual discussion (so-called.)

            This is prove the West is rapidly devolving.

          • Evander says


            Because I’m interested in dialectical differences and I sometimes ask random questions. That’s why. Did it make you uncomfortable?

            I assume that not many Americans – the predominant user-base of this site – know about Botany Bay and the colonisation of Australia, where I’m from. Then you said ‘make grade’ which isn’t typical of the Australian vernacular. Thence the random curiosity.

            It’s almost seems as if you perceive all communication on this site as polemical.

            And I don’t get why you see an everyday question such as mine as an example of corporate intellectual decay, which is ‘proof’ of civilisational decline. Sounds like a conclusion in search of verification or what is politely known as ‘confirmation bias’.

  53. Pingback: The selected zero-sum victims cult – The Other Club

  54. “If you want to save the academy, you’ll need to start by offering an alternative moral vision.”

    I suggest that the moral vision used by our founders as the cornerstone of the U.S and our constitution has been sufficient to support a free society for over 240 years. Unfortunately, those tenets are increasingly rejected. The results of that rejection can be seen all around us while academia’s solution is to indoctrinate ill-prepared young adults under the umbrella of security with Neo-Marxist ideas that ultimately fail them as they have failed others throughout history. There is nothing moral about that. Searching for a new moral compass might provide job security for professors and activists but our weak minded students and graduates are not being served well by the universities who take their borrowed money. In the end, all of this “protection” of the faux oppressed may result in a weaker country with many lost souls who are searching for meaning, coping skills and a profession that will tolerate their delicate sensitivities in the real world.

  55. jack stephens says

    One of the worst side effects of this is that it fuels hard right wing views among white people. These fanatics helped elect Trump.

  56. blah blah blah
    Paralysis of analysis.
    Victimhood culture, social justice warriors, whatever you wanna call it… it’s just a big, fat, giant GAME. They literally throw tantrums. And just like children, the more you appease them, the more reckless they get. The proper response to ALL these childish demands is either ignore or discipline. Unfortunately, most of the grownups at these institutions are in on the game too.

      • Yes, this IS the comments page of Breitbart. You yourself proved it by asking me my cultural identity.

        • Evander says

          Are all personal questions off-limits?

          Quillette is devoted to inquiry at multiple levels, not least cultural. Is it plausible that asking a question about a fellow commenter’s cultural identity could be germane to the topic being discussed? btl on another piece I shared an anecdote about one of my subjects at university. Personal sharing can enhance discussion and further understanding.

          Sincerely: if a sine qua non of your participation is that you never share anything about yourself let me know and I’ll avoid it in our engagement hereafter.

          • Evander says


            I’m disappointed you didn’t engage with any of the substantive points I made. All you did was point out that my guess was wrong.

            You clearly have some intelligent points to make. But when you assert that an honest if odd question is somehow evidence of civilisational decline, or suggest that my telling off someone for calling all liberals fascists is a Breitbart-like comment, at that point you’re not offering thoughtful commentary.

            I look forward to more meaningful engagement in the future.

  57. The most insidious aspect of this victimhood culture is not so much its logic, but the fact that the attribution of victim status is arbitrary and based on flagrant biases.
    This is especially true of the blanket designation of Mohammedans – and particularly of Palestinians – as victims, when an objective assessment of worldwide victimhood clearly reveals that overall, Muslims are world champions in the oppression of non-Muslims and Muslims alike. The claim to victim status obsessively brandished by Muslims everywhere is largely based on ignoring the oppression that Muslims routinely practice wherever they abound.
    Just this year Muslim Fulani herdsmen have murdered more Christian Nigerians than the number of Palestinians that Israel has killed since 2000. And this is done with the veiled encouragement of the president of Nigeria, himself a Fulani called Mohammed.
    International Community Ignores Genocide of Christians in Nigeria, by Raymond Ibrahim, 07/09/2018
    “Dozens of Christians Killed in Muslim Attack on Market in Kaduna State, Nigeria,” Morning Star News, October 22, 2018
    Likewise, the Palestinians have richly deserved the sufferings that they have undergone at the hands of Israelis. An objective analysis of the Israeli-Arab conflict reveals firstly that the UN decision to divide Palestine into Arab and Jewish states was largely inspired by the warranted fear that Jews living under Arab rule would be exterminated. This fear was directly caused by the bloodthirsty rants unanimously delivered by Arab politicians in the course of UN hearings held in the 1940s.
    “The Anglo-Armerican Committee of Inquiry that held numerous hearings in the spring of 1946, was told by a representative of Syria that the actual mission of the committee should be to investigate why Jews were so disliked around the world.”
    James G. McDonald, a former refugee High Commissioner for the League of Nations, was an American delegate on the Investigation Committee. He wrote in his diary. “The Arabs have left such a strong impression of intransigence that it seems impossible to win them over for any kind of compromise.”
    Ahmad Shukeiri, who would later become the first chairman of the “Palestine Liberation Organization” (PLO), delivered such a “fiery and bellicose speech, full of open and hidden threats” and “blind hatred” before the committee of inquiry, so that the members of the committee concluded that whatever the future solution of the Palestinian problem, it seemed inconceivable to turn the Jewish minority over to such a hostile Arab majority. The representatives of the Palestinian Arabs pledged undying allegiance to Amin al-Husseini, a rabid anti-Semite who had played an important role in the gassing of haslf a million Hungarian Jews in Nazi extermination camps in 1944.
    Newsweek: Geschichtsklitterung für Anfänger, by Florian Markl, MENA Watch, 6 November 2018
    Reflections on the Nakba, by Zenobia van Dongen

  58. Pingback: Weekend Links – Republic Reborn

  59. Cjones111 says

    The campuses are breeding a “lust for destruction” in allowing “discontent gone wild” and political correctness to squash learning.
    Here is a quote from Robert Newell’s review of Victor Sebestyen’s ‘Lenin: The Man, the Dictator, the Master of Terror’ titled ‘Lust for Destruction’ in the Claremont Review of Books.
    “In just about every case of a millenarian tyrant, we find a shattering experience in early life that drove these young men to bring everything down in flames in order to avenge themselves for these injustices and insults, a vengeance now extended
    from the original cruel or neglectful authority figure who treated them so slightingly (sometimes without being aware of it) to entire social forces, classes, and races—“the bourgeoisie,” “the reactionaries,” “the aristos,” “the kulaks,” “the Jews.”
    If Lenin’s brother had not been executed for being a subversive, if Hitler had succeeded in getting into art school, if Mao had not felt looked down on for his peasant origins, Russia, Germany, and China might well have been spared the million-fold suffering brought about by their rise to power. The ideological visions of Bolshevism, Nazism, and Maoism are, to be sure, indispensable for understanding their success and appeal. But the Leader’s righteous anger and aggression are the crucible in which those totalitarian fantasies are
    forged and imposed on reality with indomitable will power.”
    The World could have been spared the hundreds of millions who were slaughtered, starved, enslaved, imprisoned, disenfranchised, and forcefully reeducated during the 20th Century by the many brands if “social justice” if the kind of nonsense currently present in the college victimhood culture had been discouraged and ridiculed.

  60. Mao cured the ideologically diseased bourgeois youth by sending them to remote villages to live side by side with flesh-and-blood workers and peasants. A light touch of reality would make them see the absurdity of verbal and non-verbal “microaggression”. Israeli youth studying in bunkers under missile attack aggression have some difficulty to get what is microaggression. I imagine that Jewish students at Harvard, whose very admission is considered by many, illegitimate, or denied membership because their presumed Zionism, are real victims of aggression.

  61. Pingback: Culture War: Victimhood Vs. Honor and Dignity | Science Matters

  62. Aerth says

    So, academics in USA are so screwed that you can vandalize professor’s property and get his or her superior to blame him, not you? Under normal circumstances, perpetrators would be found out and face a very real threat of expulsion.

  63. Kirby Olson says

    I think that the article references Sarah Lawrence college. It is an extremely upper class college about 45 minutes outside of NYC. The cost is about 100 grand a year. I think what’s happening in this place is that upper class people are beginning to sense that their elite hold on culture is slipping as more sites pop up through which ordinary people can speak and the old gatekeepers of culture are no longer as important as they were. The will to power of the academic left is a way to silence this upsurge in populism that you find at Trump rallies, for example. what they hate more than anything is that other people can now speak, and don’t have to go through the old routes of power. They have therefore seized the last bastions of the elite power-formation, and are using them to silence other people within those institutions, and then use them as fortresses from which to sally forth, and smash ordinary people. They will kill a Bernie Sanders supporter simply for speaking out, if they are not part of the blue-state elite. The elite colleges are where the worst of these things is happening.It is an offended elite. They are not offended by the things they say that they are offended by. They are offended that their power is slipping. This is part of what the Clintons are so angry about. It is nothing for them to rape the hoi polloi or shoot them in the back. What really gets their goat is that they don’t simply have all the power. This is what bothers the Obamas, too. They are essentially elitists. Michelle was ranting the other day that JUST ANYONE can become president now. What could be more elitist? These are people who feel entitled to power for various reasons. The worst at Evergreen in my day were trust-fund elitists. They loved Marxism because it allowed a hereditary elite to seize power, and freeze out the great unwashed. It was perfect for how they thought.

    • codadmin says

      ‘They loved Marxism because it allowed a hereditary elite to seize power, and freeze out the great unwashed.’

      Excellent summary of Marxism.

  64. John Rob says

    It’s interesting the idea of a particular group being underrepresented in a profession.

    If we were talking about women being underrepresented in IT the right might suggest that this is due to the choices and innate characteristics of women. Women are choosing not to join this profession. The left would suggest that there are structural and cultural reasons why IT is seen as a field for men and the male dominant culture makes it an uninviting place for women. The left would argue that fields such as IT are

    Conversely, if we were talking about Republicans being underrepresented as university administrators, the right would suggest this is due to the ideological conformity and politically correct environment that exists on university campuses. I haven’t heard anyone make the case, however the left could make the argument that perhaps this suggests that Republicans make choices and have innate characteristics that lead them not to join these fields.

    The right may counter that “Well that’s because Republicans have the good sense not to enter a nonsense field such as gender studies”.

    The left may then rebut that “Yes majority of gender studies researchers are left-aligned but also the majority of scientists of the ‘harder’ fields are left-aligned. This indicates that people who are Republicans, a party of climate denial and scientific illiteracy, do not have the mental capability to enter this fields in equal proportion to those who are left-aligned.”

    It’s interesting how sometimes the argument we choose to make depends on which side we’re on. When it suits us we may make the “individual choice” argument and when it suits us we may make the “structural factors and culture” argument.

  65. “Moderns have not the moral courage, as a rule, to avow the sincere spiritual bias behind their fads; they become insincere even about their sincerity. Most modern liberality consists of finding irreligious excuses for religious bigotry. The earlier type of bigot pretended to be more religious than he really was. The later type pretends to be less religious than he really is. He does not wear a mask of piety, but rather a mask of impiety – or, at any rate, of indifference.” – Illustrated London News, Dec. 27, 1919

    “There is not really any courage at all in attacking hoary or antiquated things, any more than in offering to fight one’s grandmother. The really courageous man is he who defies tyrannies young as the morning and superstitions fresh as the first flowers. The only true free-thinker is he whose intellect is as much free from the future as from the past.” – “The Fear of the Past,” What’s Wrong with the World

    G.K. Chesterton

  66. Juan Lopez says

    Excellent article, I hope the left stop making me think that I am a victim.

  67. Pingback: OPINION: Berkeley Antifa Targets Isabella Chow For Defending Biological Sex | The Daily Caller

  68. The author writes that “the college president, Cristle Collins Judd, suggested to Abrams that he had created a hostile work environment and asked him whether he thought it was acceptable to write op-eds without her approval.” This is Samuel Abrams’s account of the conversation; Cristle Judd says the conversation was entirely different. Why does Quillette present Abrams’s version as if it were undisputed? Sloppy reporting and slopping thinking.

  69. This is more about how people feel than about any kind of serious intellectual engagement with ideas. The latter is rarely encountered. Witness the “safe zones” on campuses and the complaints most often heard about people feeling pain when encountering ideas with which they disagree strongly. One example is how Facebook’s Joel Kaplan was treated because he had the audacity to attend the Kavanaugh hearing and to voice support for his friend. When Mark Zuckerberg defended Kaplan’s right to attend as a matter of personal conviction that didn’t violate company rules, some employees said his remarks had caused “stress and trauma” and were “painful to hear.” This is very common. What matters is how I feel. If you make me feel bad, you’re wrong (that is, if the socio-political wind is blowing my way). Maybe “snowflakes” isn’t the right term, but this reveals either an emotional fragility that should not be the basis of what is socially permitted or an emotivist ethics according to which what we *claim* to feel is what matters whether we do in fact feel that way. Either way, it isn’t a response mostly concerned with objective realities.

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