… or the rationalist has no clothes.
Reason, according to Enlightenment thinking, was supposed to be a panacea for Mankind’s ills and as such was and remains the proclaimed foundation stone of liberalism ancient and modern, washing away millennia of superstition, ignorance, obscurantism, illegitimate power and the privilege of elites to be above criticism, questioning, mockery or other challenge.
Reason was imagined to be something like aSwiss Army knife for politics, philosophy, economics and morality: the duct tape of Liberal Man; The Force.
Nothing could not be faced, identified, defined, explained and dealt with by the fearless wielders of the sword of reason, who would go anywhere, pay any price, to seek any knowledge without fear or favour.
Perhaps in the new religion of the mighty mortal mind, Reason was to be the illuminated ones’ equivalent of Charity for the Christians as described in 1 Corinthians 13.
It turns out - quite unexpectedly I’m sure - that in fact all the patience, persistence, humility, intellectual courage, openness and tolerance of the unorthodox in word, belief and thought and that all the hope and endurance intended in seeking the truth wherever liberals’ inquiries led them has been reduced to an economy-sized bottle of Pig-Be-Kleen, at least as far as onemouthpiece of the American educational establishment is concerned.
You can transpose this to its UK equivalents without too much effort.
Someone has suggested - in a place created by and for the supposed leaders and instructors of a nation’s educators as a subscription-only content site no less - the notion that a particular new ‘academic discipline’ might in fact be ill-suited to solving certain kinds of problems in the same way we might question dowsing, phlogiston theory or phrenology.
The questioner was removed; banned from making her case ever again; exiled untested and unanswered.
Why? Because her methodology is wrong? Because her statistics are too narrowly selected or fragmentary or because her evidence was unattributed or her experiments proved unrepeatable and thus difficult to recognize as science?
Nope; it was because her critics are upset at being having their beliefs questioned and their opinions challenged.
Since Brainstorm was created five years ago, we have sought out bloggers representing a range of intellectual and political views, and we have allowed them broad freedom in topics and approach. As part of that freedom, Brainstorm writers were able to post independently; Ms. Riley’s post was not reviewed until after it was posted.
I sincerely apologize for the distress these incidents have caused our readers and appreciate that so many of you have made your sentiments known to us.
One theme many of you have sounded is that you felt betrayed by what we published; that you welcome healthy informed debate, but that in this case, we did not live up to the expectations of the community of readers we serve.
You told us we can do better, and we agree.
Freedom of speech but only when pre-approved by authority….Public distress as a justified reason (that word again) to exclude distasteful dissent.
So it’s back to tradition, deference, customary good manners, respect for authority and the established ways of thought for the people who lead the people who teach the children of the only nation on earth to put men onto the surface of another world.
I second that emotion.
If it’s good enough for educated modern liberals, it’s good enough for me.
And good luck figuring out that tricky old foreign policy, guys!
Originally discovered here.
Picture from here.
I’ve posted a small print version below the in case of erasure, or censorship as it used to be called back before liberalism ate everything.
The Most Persuasive Case for Eliminating Black Studies? Just Read the Dissertations.
NB: To see Chronicle editors’ final response to the below post, please read “A Note to Readers.”
You’ll have to forgive the lateness but I just got around to reading The Chronicle’s recentpiece on the young guns of black studies. If ever there were a case for eliminating the discipline, the sidebar explaining some of the dissertations being offered by the best and the brightest of black-studies graduate students has made it. What a collection of left-wing victimization claptrap. The best that can be said of these topics is that they’re so irrelevant no one will ever look at them.
That’s what I would say about Ruth Hayes’ dissertation, “‘So I Could Be Easeful’: Black Women’s Authoritative Knowledge on Childbirth.” It began because she “noticed that nonwhite women’s experiences were largely absent from natural-birth literature, which led me to look into historical black midwifery.” How could we overlook the nonwhite experience in “natural birth literature,” whatever the heck that is? It’s scandalous and clearly a sign that racism is alive and well in America, not to mention academia.
Then there is Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, author of “Race for Profit: Black Housing and the Urban Crisis of the 1970s.” Ms. Taylor believes there was apparently some kind of conspiracy in the federal government’s promotion of single family homes in black neighborhoods after the unrest of the 1960s. Single family homes! The audacity! But Ms. Taylor sees that her issue is still relevant today. (Not much of a surprise since the entirety of black studies today seems to rest on the premise that nothing much has changed in this country in the past half century when it comes to race. Shhhh. Don’t tell them about the black president!) She explains that “The subprime lending crisis, if it did nothing else, highlighted the profitability of racism in the housing market.” The subprime lending crisis was about the profitability of racism? Those millions of white people who went into foreclosure were just collateral damage, I guess.
But topping the list in terms of sheer political partisanship and liberal hackery is La TaSha B. Levy. According to the Chronicle, “Ms. Levy is interested in examining the long tradition of black Republicanism, especially the rightward ideological shift it took in the 1980s after the election of Ronald Reagan. Ms. Levy’s dissertation argues that conservatives like Thomas Sowell, Clarence Thomas, John McWhorter, and others have ‘played one of the most-significant roles in the assault on the civil-rights legacy that benefited them.’” The assault on civil rights? Because they don’t favor affirmative action they are assaulting civil rights? Because they believe there are some fundamental problems in black culture that cannot be blamed on white people they are assaulting civil rights?
Seriously, folks, there are legitimate debates about the problems that plague the black community from high incarceration rates to low graduation rates to high out-of-wedlock birth rates. But it’s clear that they’re not happening in black-studies departments. If these young scholars are the future of the discipline, I think they can just as well leave their calendars at 1963 and let some legitimate scholars find solutions to the problems of blacks in America. Solutions that don’t begin and end with blame the white man.