Some people’s complete lack of self-awareness is really something. Oy vey.
Any professor who calls for “a more sophisticated understanding” and references Lyotard…well, the game is up right there.
WJ Smith in the National Review. “These are dangerous times for free speech in the increasingly less free Western world. In Europe and Canada, one can be fined or jailed for expressing views that those in power find odious or “oppressive.” Here in the USA, we see such authoritarian speech suppression increasingly embraced on college campuses. But in the New York Times? Alas, yes. The paper that rarely publishes positions that materially diverge from its own editorial positions, has published a vigorous defense of speech suppression. The idea is that speech deemed antithetical to the “public good” can be squelched. From, “What Snowflakes Get Right About Free Speech,” by New York University professor Ulrich Baer (my emphasis): The great value and importance of freedom of expression, for higher education and for democracy, is hard to underestimate. But it has been regrettably easy for commentators to create a simple dichotomy between a younger generation’s oversensitivity and free speech as an absolute good that leads to the truth. We would do better to focus on a more sophisticated understanding, such as the one provided by Lyotard, of the necessary conditions for speech to be a common, public good. This requires the realization that in politics, the parameters of public speech must be continually redrawn to accommodate those who previously had no standing. Thus, speech that supposedly demeans those whom the speech suppressors deem to have been marginalized should be squelched. Hence, those refusing to accept that, say, Caitlyn Jenner is now a ”she,” not only can be–but should be–forcibly shut up. But Uhlrich advocates an even broader suppression of speech, that could, if imposed, shut down NRO or punish Rush Limbaugh. The idea of freedom of speech does not mean a blanket permission to say anything anybody thinks. It means balancing the inherent value of a given view with the obligation to ensure that other members of a given community can participate in discourse as fully recognized members of that community. The tremendous peril here can’t be missed. Who gets to decide which view has what “inherent value?” Those in power. This means, as we see on college campuses today, that minority views are not only suppressed, but suppressed by threats of, or actual violence–as we have seen at UC Berkeley and Middlebury College. Uhlrich concludes: I am especially attuned to the next generation’s demands to revise existing definitions of free speech to accommodate previously delegitimized experiences. Freedom of expression is not an unchanging absolute. When its proponents forget that it requires the vigilant and continuing examination of its parameters, and instead invoke a pure model of free speech that has never existed, the dangers to our democracy are clear and present. So, First Amendment-protected political speech is a clear and present threat to democracy. No, Uhlrich is. Moreover, he misses the obvious point that the power to squelch speech that conflicts with progressive social advocacy could be similarly used to punish those who call Donald Trump a fascist, if the government ever attained the power to punish disfavored views. I have been thinking for some time that on issues of speech, we are watching a contest between the American Revolution–that guarantees the right to express unpopular social and political views–and the French Revolution that unleashes Jacobins to suppress heterodoxy. But after reading Uhlrich, I think we face something even more dangerous to liberty: A full-blown Mao-style Cultural Revolution is gestating on college campuses. If we don’t restore American ideals of speech freedom to those “snowflake” enclaves, we could well see a violent avalanche materialize that threatens the peaceability of our broader social discourse.”
That depends on whether they acknowledge these facts.
Race is real.
There are only two genders
Green energy is inefficient
Inequality is not created by environment
Males and females are born different
Pope Francis on Saturday described some of Europe’s refugee centres as “concentration camps” as he paid tribute to an unknown Christian woman slain for her faith in front of her Muslim husband. “These refugee camps — so many are concentration camps, crowded with people… because
Open up a refuge in the Vatican Gardens if you’re so “moved.”
The USA is not, and never was, “a Judeo-Christian nation of immigrants”.
Vox is highly intelligent and often right. But like all of us…well, all of you…he has little corners of his mind that strike me as quirky at best and cranky at worst. One of his sub-themes is that since the Founding Fathers set up the US for their “posterity.” He restricts this entirely to Americans of English descent. Everyone else is a sorta tolerated approximation.
Two things. First, the Founding Fathers also wrote the first immigration and naturalization bill in 1790 and there they described the chosen population as “free white persons of good character.” I know that the meaning of “white” is not fixed, but if they only meant Englishmen, they knew perfectly well how to say that.
Second, Vox himself frequently trumpets his mixed-race ancestry, part Indian and part Mexican along with White. Setting himself up as the arbiter of identity strikes me as somewhat lacking in humility.
All in all, he’s smart and blunt and usually worth a read. But he has his oddities, as does everyone…myself, of course, excepted.
“The radicalizing influence of Eastern European Jewry on American Jewish politics should not be taken to mean that every descendant of every Eastern European Jew who came in America is necessarily on the anti-Christian Left. Yet the general trend is there. From my personal observation… increasing contact with Jewish communal activities increases the likelihood of becoming a Leftist.”
Jewish professor Paul Gottfried
“Democracy requires common ground on which all can stand, but that ground is sinking beneath our feet. Where liberals see as an ever-more splendid diversity of colors, creeds, ethnicities, ideologies, beliefs and lifestyles, the Right sees the disintegration of a country, a nation, a people–visions in conflict that democracy cannot reconcile.”