Tuesday, April 26, 2005

James Kunstler's Latest Bitch-Slap

Over the past several weeks since dropping his long post in here I've continued to follow James Howard Kunstler's writings, especially on what he believes is a looming energy crisis. I certainly foresee obtaining a copy of his book The Long Emergency when it comes out next month. If he is right, Western civilization will have a disaster on its hands. The American masses will not have seen it coming, especially as America's masses excel at keeping their heads buried in the sand and avoiding anything that commits them to extended periods of deep thought. I do not know if Kunstler is right about how heightened gasoline prices will mean a curtailing of Americans' dependence on the automobile to where those of us forced to commute to different cities and towns to work will have either to move or give up those jobs. Too soon to tell. Most likely, skyrocketing gas prices will just be added to the total indebtedness to which America's masses have allowed themselves to become accustomed. Be this as it may, Kunstler's latest blog entry struck me as particularly apt even though it deals with a different subject: the takeover of American college and university campuses by political correctness. It is time to stop being patient with this nonsense! When Hans-Hermann Hoppe was called onto the carpet last year, he fought back, although it took a toll on both his personal and professional life. Standing up to power and intimidation always exacts a price, however (look at me, the most published philosopher in South Carolina, and working as an adjunct at two universities, teaching the equivalent of a full load of classes for part-time pay).

The real questions that began to motivate me to look deeper at society and what I now call either the "real matrix" or the "grand convergence" back in the mid-1990s: why have the various guises of political correctness proven so immune to attack, so impervious to criticism despite the abundance of devastating criticisms (everywhere today from books to blogs)? The answer: because political correctness serves the purposes of the globalist elites as one of several forms of mind control, one of the forms that kicks in for those for whom government schools haven't done their job of destroying their ability to think as individuals.

It is time for all of us to start putting the sensitivity fascists in their place, and then going to that next level of exposing their fellow-traveling role in the growing edifice of control slowly encircling every area of this society. It is time to stop apologizing profusely for every "insensitive" remark, or every outburst of political incorrectness. If Americans continue to put up with this crap, then they will deserve the de facto slavery gradually coming their way.

In any event, here are James Howard Kunstler's remarks from his blog (warning: off-color language at least implied!).

A Bitch-Slap Upside the Head
by James Howard Kunstler (from his Clusterf*** Nation Chronicle)
April 25, 2005


I was at the University of Wisconsin last week, doing Q and A after a lecture, when somebody asked me what it would take for the American public to start paying attention to the grave energy issues coming down at us. I answered, speaking figuratively, a bitch-slap upside the head. At once off to the side of the big room, a young woman thrust up her hand. I called on her and she said that she was offended by my remark. I was then duly upbraided for my choice of language and my attitude toward women.

This is not the first time I have encountered a reaction like this. A similar thing happened to me at Princeton last month. I remarked that Modernism had succeeded in removing all feminine qualities from architecture, in particular ornament and curves, and a wrathful female student hastened to chastise me for expressing the idea -- to which, it seemed to me, any genuine feminist ought to be sympathetic.

After much pondering and prayer, I conclude that the faculties of the America's great universities have forgotten what free speech means, namely that even if expressions make us feel uncomfortable we are obliged to tolerate them so as to assure our freedom to express ideas that might make somebody else uncomfortable.

What's obvious is that these students have been carefully trained by their teachers to behave this way, conditioned to rise up on cue in censorious indignation to smack down ideas that "offend" them. Who are their teachers? A lot of the tenured ones are fellow members of my own Woodstock Generation (and many of them are women). It's awfully ironic that an intellectual trend that started with the Berkeley "Free Speech" movement in 1965 has now mutated into a widespread impulse to censor free speech on the grounds that it "offends."

This was the case earlier this year when the president of Harvard, Lawrence Summers, remarked at a conference that in light of the overwhelming representation of males on the science faculty perhaps there was something innate in the difference between men and women to account for it. Summers was pilloried for his remarks. The faculty went so far as to organize a formal no confidence vote against him. He has refused to step down, though he has issued many obsequious apologies in the aftermath.

What is most amazing about the Harvard incident is that it formally established the faculty's position as being officially against free inquiry and free expression -- and, of course, that it happened at the supposedly highest level of academia.

I would go so far to say now that this has all happened precisely because of differences between men and women and the fact that women have come to dominate some college faculties, especially the so-called humanities (where expression is supposedly taught). They've implanted the idea that somebody's (anybody's) personal feelings are more important than the substance of any expression, and that somebody's (anybody's) hurt feelings are grounds for shutting down the expression, and the discussion that goes with it. The implicit narcissism is also fantastic.

I regard this behavior on the campuses as pernicious f****** nonsense. It is just another thing (along with the widespread belief that it is possible to get something for nothing) that is turning America into a fourth-rate culture, a nation of cravens and cretins. And it will lead us right into the grip of the law of perverse outcomes, which states that people get what they deserve, not what they expect.

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