Leftists complain that President Trump is 'authoritarian.' But given the abdication of authority on the part of university administrators who refuse to stand up to leftist thugs and refuse to defend such ideals of the university as free speech and free inquiry, a little 'authoritarianism' looks to be exactly what is needed. It is the surrender of the university admins to the know-nothing and 'transgressive' rabble that would justify Trump's withholding of federal funds from institutions such as Cal Berkeley and NYU. In fact, that is exactly what he should do.
'Progressives' have an Orwellian understanding of tolerance. There is nothing (classically) liberal about them.
Yet another example. (HT: Karl White) "University students demand philosophers such as Plato and Kant are removed from syllabus because they are white."
The Telegraph title isn't even grammatical. The stupid demand is that these greats BE removed. Has England declined so far that its journalists can no longer write or speak correct English and must take instruction from an American blogger?
Demands refer to future events. I can demand that you leave my house, but I can't demand that you not have entered it, or that you are leaving it. I could of course demand that you continue the process of removing your sorry ass from my premises, but that too is a future-oriented demand.
I demand that you are stopping to be a willfully stupid leftist and that you are removed from my presence!
UPDATE (1/10). Horace Jeffery Hodges comments,
I think the statement is British English:
"University students demand philosophers such as Plato and Kant are removed from syllabus because they are white."
American English requires a subjunctive form:
I demand that they be removed . . .
This is one of the things I dislike about British grammar.
I don't know. I may be wrong, and Jeff may be right. In any case, it makes no bloody sense to use the present tense to refer to a future event. It is in the nature of a demand that it point us to the future for its satisfaction or the opposite. There is more to grammar than usage; there is also logic broadly construed. But then I am something of a prescriptivist. The distinction between singular and plural, for example, is logical and good grammar respects it.
Correct: A polite chess player thanks his opponent for the game, whether he wins or loses.
Incorrect: A polite chess player thanks their opponent for the game, whether they win or lose.
What about this: A polite chess player thanks her opponent for the game, whether she wins or loses.
I argued years ago that if 'his' can be correctly used gender-neutrally, then so can 'her.' And this despite the fact that in 'standard English usage' (admittedly a tendentious phrase) 'his' but not 'her' can be so used. Lydia McGrew got her knickers in a knot over this, thinking that I had succumbed to political correctness. This goes to show that for some conservatives one can never be too conservative. The least little concession to liberals shows that one has 'sold out.'
But more important than quibbling over language is defeating the Left and the contemptible shitheads who would remove Plato and Kant from the curriculum.
What these cranially-feculent morons fail to grasp is that really to understand their own crack-brained POMO ideology, they would have to study Kant. Kant's defensible constructivism was part of the set-up for their indefensible constructivism. Besides, you need Kant to understand Hegel, and Hegel Marx, and Marx the Frankfurt School . . . .
I coined 'higher infantilization' recently to cover what is going on in so-called institutions of higher learning. (The STEM disciplines excepted.) The New Criterion provides a good explanation of this infantilization which is also a feminization:
“Perpetual childhood.” Is there a better illustration of this enforced immaturity than the regime of “safe spaces,” “microaggressions,” and “trigger warnings” on campus? Increasingly, today’s students—and their tutelary overseers—are bred without intellectual or moral vertebrae. They exist in an amniotic fluid of shared prejudice that admits no challenging ideas from the world outside. The last few years have provided a series of high-profile and pathetic examples of what happens when these embryonic snowflakes collide with an opposing thought. Wailing. Protests. Excoriation. Disinvitation. Repudiation. The election of Donald Trump was the most serious violation of their safe space yet. There were no trigger warnings, for everyone they encountered assured them it was impossible. This was not a microaggression but a frontal assault. They responded accordingly, and with a unanimity that would make a murmuration of starlings seem haphazard.
Read it all, especially you girly girls, girly men, pajama boys, cry bullies and especially the lowest of the low, the cowardly and supine university administrators who by all appearances did their graduate studies in the Department of the Abdication of Authority.
It began in the universities in the '60s. And now it is in full 'flower.' I recall Dennis Prager putting it this way: "There is no coward like a university administrator." Now hear David French:
Fortunately for the radicals, our universities are populated by the craven and the cowardly. Push a professor, even slightly, and it’s likely he’ll fold. Demand faculty support for your protest, and dozens will rush to join, self-righteously advancing their own false oppression narratives even as they enjoy lives billions of others would covet. There is nothing brave about these people. They are not “elite.” They don’t deserve a single dime of taxpayer money or one cent of student tuition. They dishonor their schools and their country.
Closeted campus conservatives are worse than useless. Indeed, their very timidity contributes to the narrative that there is something shameful about their beliefs. To read anonymous letters from professors who are afraid to “out” themselves in a hostile campus culture is to read the sad dispatches of people too pitiful for their profession. Do something else, anything else, than merely sit and watch while the revolutionaries shred the Constitution, reject our culture, and assert their own will to power.
The true shame is that it doesn’t even require actual courage to defeat the university Left, just a tiny bit of will — a small measure of staying power. No one is shooting at trustees. No one is beheading professors. There’s no guillotine in the quad. Instead, campus “leaders” tremble before hashtags and weep at the notion of losing a football team so inept that it couldn’t score a touchdown through most of the month of October. Let them strike. With an offense that inept, the SEC won’t even notice.
These are the times that try men’s souls? No. These are the times of men without chests. The Left has the will to power. University leaders have no will at all. They have earned nothing but contempt.
This Holtschneider (Woodcutter) must have sawdust for brains. Where is the 'bigotry' in standing up for the rights of the unborn? How can a Catholic cleric who is the president of a Catholic university grovel in such sickening and supine fashion before the forces of political correctness?
Holtschneider is an all-too-common case of administrative cowardice and abdication of authority. No sane person ought to be concerned about 'hurting the feelings' of the thugs of BLM by stating the obvious: ALL lives matter, and therefore,
The refusal of Pope Francis properly to confront and condemn radical Islam is a case of abdication of authority. While Christians are being slaughtered, and their holy sites pulverized, the foolish Francis commits the No True Muslim Fallacy. The man is a clown:
We have too many clowns in high places: Bill Clinton, 'Bozo' de Blasio, Obama the POMO prez, 'Pope' Francis, and now the greatest show on earth, Trump the Clown.
What do they all lack? Gravitas.
Do you think I am being unfair to Francis? Then see here.
There is too much buffoonery in high places.
It would be nice to be able to expect from popes and presidents a bit of gravitas, a modicum of seriousness, when they are instantiating their institutional roles. What they do after hours is not our business. So Pope Francis' clowning around does not inspire respect, any more than President Clinton's answering the question about his underwear. Remember that one? Boxers or briefs? He answered the question! All he had to do was calmly state, without mounting a high horse, "That is not a question that one asks the president of the United States." And now we have the Orwellian Prevaricator himself in the White House, Barack Hussein Obama, whose latest Orwellian idiocy is that Big Government is the problem, not him, even though he is the poster boy, the standard bearer, like unto no one before him in U. S. history, of Big Government!
Morris Berman, The Twilight of American Culture (Norton, 2000), p. 122:
Latin mottoes adorn the crests of many of these schools, boasting of "light" and "truth." [BV interjects: Harvard's crest shows Veritas] The reality, however, is something very different, as thousands of these institutions have literal or de facto open admissions policies in the name of "democracy." The democratization of desire means that virtually anyone can go to college, the purpose being to get a job; and in an educational world now subsumed under business values, students show up -- with administrative blessing -- believing that they are consumers who are buying a product. Within this context, a faculty member who actually attempts to enforce the tradition of the humanities as an uplifting and transformative experience, who challenges his charges to think hard about complex issues, will provoke negative evaluations and soon be told by the dean that he had better look elsewhere for a job. Objecting to a purely utilitarian dimension for education is regarded as quaint, and quickly labelled as "elitist" (horror of horrors!); but the truth is that there an be no genuine liberal education without such an objection.
I agree completely.
You may recall Obama opining that everyone should go to college.* A preposterous notion. It is a bit like maintaining that everyone should receive Navy SEAL training. To profit from such training one must be SEAL 'material.' It is the same, mutatis mutandis, with college: you must be 'college material.' The very fact that that phrase is no longer heard speaks volumes. I heard my seventh grade teacher apply it to your humble correspondent, but that was in the early 'sixties.
So perhaps we can add to Berman's 'democratization of desire,' 'democratization of potentiality' as if we are all equal in our powers and capacities.
Student teaching evaluations contribute to the consumer mentality to which Berman refers. Students ought to have a way to register legitimate complaints about faculty, but the use of teaching evaluations in tenure and promotion decisions and in the apportionment of merit pay leads to a further erosion of standards and to abdication of authority.
A confession. On the eve of tenure, the semester before the decision, I was conducting a seminar in the library while we were all seated at a big beautiful table. I observed one of my students carving into its surface. I said not a word: I needed strong teaching evaluations for my final academic hurdle. Succeed or fail -- for good. It was a bad market. Up or out. I made it easily with a 9 to 3 vote. But shame on me for not objecting to the defacement of common property. A clear case of abdication of authority.
The irony is that, for a number of reasons, not the least of which was the increasing political correctness of the university, I resigned my tenured position seven years later. Psychologically, there is of course a huge difference between being given the boot and leaving of one's own free will.
*Dennis Monokroussos supplies documentation. Scroll down to the final three quotations from Obama.