Skip to comments.John McWhorter: Academics Live In Fear Of The New Campus Maoism
Posted on 09/01/2020 5:40:06 PM PDT by DeweyCA
In a piece published today in The Atlantic, John McWhorter writes that he is getting as many as 50 emails a week from academics who are living in fear that their careers could end at any moment. Their fear isnt the coronavirus its the creeping leftist orthodoxy which treats any disagreement as cause to hound someone out of their job. McWhorter labels it a new form of Maoism on campus, complete with struggle sessions straight out of the Cultural Revolution:
A statistics professor says:"I routinely discuss the fallacy of assuming that disparity implies discrimination, which is just a specific way of confusing correlation for causality. Frankly, Im now somewhat afraid to broach these topics since according to the new faith, disparity actually is conclusive evidence of discrimination."
The new mood has even reached medieval studies; an assistant professor reports having recently just survived an attack by a cadre of scholars who are unspeakably mean and disingenuous once they have you in their sights, regularly mounting PR campaigns to get academics and grad students fired, removed from programs, expelled from scholarly groups, or simply to cease speaking.
Overall I found it alarming how many of the letters sound as if they were written from Stalinist Russia or Maoist China. A history professor reports that at his school, the administration is seriously considering setting up an anonymous reporting system for students and professors to report bias that they have perceived. One professor committed the sin of privileging the white male perspective in giving a lecture on the philosophy of one of the Founding Fathers, even though Frederick Douglass sang that Founders praises. The administration tried to make him sit in a listening circle, in which his job was to stay silent while students explained how he had hurt themin other words, a 21st-century-American version of a struggle session straight out of the Cultural Revolution
Especially sad is the extent to which this new Maoism can dilute the richness of a curriculum and discourage people from becoming professors at all. One professor has stopped teaching James Baldwins Going to Meet the Man after Black students claimed that it forced them to re-live intergenerational trauma. I have heard from not one but two philosophy doctorates who left academia. One explained that he was driven out by the accelerating creep of what felt to me a pretty stifling orthodoxy. The hiring market was dominated by a concern for diversity statements, the ability to teach fairly ideologically-slanted courses on philosophy and critical race theory or philosophy and gender, etc.; and more generally it felt progressively less like a profession where I could opt out of those trends while still being a competitive job applicant.
McWhorter points out that most of the people hes hearing from are not conservatives. Most consider themselves left-of-center. But in academia today being on the left doesnt really matter unless you hold all of the same views as the far left.
How widespread is this? Its hard to say but McWhorter points to a poll of 445 academics carried out by the Heterodox Academy. Asked how they would feel expressing their views on a controversial issued at work, more than half said they would be very concerned or extremely concerned that it would hurt their career. Thats obviously not a great situation for having people discuss different points of view about contentious topics. With numbers like that self-censorship is guaranteed. And that only ensures that the cultural revolutionaries have de facto control of what is said and taught on campus.
Ive said before that as bad as the situation has been on some campuses, the far left is still a minority of the student body. But reading this piece you have to wonder how much longer that will be the case. How long before the meltdown at Evergreen State College is being replicated everywhere? If I had to guess, Id say it will happen a lot sooner than anyone expects.
As I was writing this, Rod Dreher posted this example. Professors at Northwestern law school were apparently expected to denounce themselves as racists. I wonder if anyone was brave enough to refuse?
They live in fear of it??? It seems more likely that the huge majority of them enthusiastically *support* it!
We have become a nation of wimps. The bill of rights means nothing, all that matters is compliance with the prevailing zeitgeist. NONSENSE!!!!
They created it, that’s for sure. But I think it’s grown into a monster they can no longer control.
I work for a local government; I figure the day is coming that we’ll be expected to take some sort of training or participate in some sort of activity that will get me fired for refusing. Luckily, I’ve got enough time in to retire and they can’t touch my pension.
You academics bred this disease in your universities and ignored the warnings from conservatives.
How do you know?
In the private sector, "they" are gunning for 401K's like cats in heat.
They need to live in fear of patriot firing squads.
Ha. Based on what?
In theory, they could. But it would require legislative approval, and the legislature participates in the same pension system. And we’re over 90% funded.
I say 6 months from now.
What about a poor, non woke student? That kid has no chance. Who’s going to monitor the vicious bullying of conservative, non woke students in classes from grade to grad school? There will be BLM bullying induced student suicides.
How is this different from the Old Campus Maoism?
Yeah, well that just about sums it up... :(
I asked "based on what?" and this is your answer? You won't even be specific here? haha
The couple of people interviewed appear actually to be conservative. But I have a hard time feeling sorry for the many career leftists who created the monster that might now consume them.
I believe American patriots will be lining academics up against the wall and blowing their brains out within six months.
Do you need a map?
Academics are the ones that *started* cancel culture.
It got so bad as Mao lost control of the Red Guard student monsters that he had to call on the Peoples Liberation Army to put down their “peaceful protesting” and terror. Have to be pretty horrific if Mao got creeped out by them.
Same as Robespierre’s mobs, Brown Shirts, Black Shirts, Bolsheviks, Khmer Rouge, Viet Cong, ANC, Shining Path, Isis, et al. More the norm than the rule in modern history.
And you'll be lining them, I assume?
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