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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Tom Wolfe on the casuistry, laziness, and childishness of political correctness - plus local talent!

This seems like a good time to quote Tom Wolfe again, this time against barking mad pc rubbish invading scholarly disciplines:
People in academia should start insisting on objective scholarship, insisting on it, relentlessly, driving the point home, ramming it down the gullets of the politically correct, making noise! naming names! citing egregious examples! showing contempt to the brink of brutality! The idea that a discipline should be devoted to “social justice” is ludicrous. The fashionable deconstructionist doctrine that there is no such thing as truth, only the self-serving manipulation of language, is worse than ludicrous. It is casuistry, laziness, and childishness in equal parts. Sociology in this country didn’t start with Max Weber. It started with an act of pious charity on the part of Protestants concerned about life in the slums. Today the discipline, if it can still be called that, has returned to sheer sentiment. Only this time the pious are from the puritanical order of political correctness, preying with the rhetoric of Rococo Marxism, which means steering clear of the by-now totally discredited “vulgar Marxism,” all that tired old business of the proletariat, the peasants, the capitalists, the bourgeois elements, the infantile leftists, since all they really care about is preserving Marxism’s greatest joy: the Manichaeistic take on life. Everything is light or darkness! Black or white! No irksome middle grounds or shades of grey! How much simpler the taxing stone-hard task of analysis becomes! He good! He bad! That’s the right idea!
More intellectual freedom news:

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Brian Lilley reports that the Moon report on the Canada "human rights" commission will be released Monday.

He is more hopeful than the freespeechers who are bracing themselves for the usual whitewash, but he does say:
For what it's worth, I think professor Moon's research into the topic should have ended with a reading of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, specifically section 2b.

2. Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:

a) freedom of conscience and religion;

b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;

c) freedom of peaceful assembly; and

d) freedom of association.
[The critical question is, does that MEAN anything? Like, does "including freedom of the press and other media of communication" mean that my duty is to my readers and not to government minders and the endlessly offended? It better mean that. It did once, and it will again. ]

Also, this just in!: Free Speech cardholder wins Governor General's award for poetry. May we assume that Madam Governor General's appointees have noted the well-deserved meltdown at the Canadian "human rights" Commission" - and this is their response ... ?

Also, in the Calgary Herald today, Rob Breakenridge urges the Conservatives to get beyond their mere convention rah rah for free speech in Winnipeg - and do something!

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- Jay Currie suggests that the Canadian "human rights" Commission is circling the wagons and getting its few friends inside because a major Fire. Them. All. report is expected soon ... .

- Kathy "Five Feet of Fury" Shaidle (the voice of common sense, unforgettably phrased) reminds us:
"Words can hurt/are powerful" is a favourite anti-free speech argument. And yeah, I guess if you're a wimp, words can hurt. So man up. ...

More importantly: if words were truly powerful, we wouldn't be having this fight over the HRCs and Section 13.1 in the first place.

Because millions of Canadians read 1984 and Fahrenheit 451 in high school -- including, I'd wager a thousand dollars -- every single employee, past and current, of the Canadian Human Rights Commissions ... And those words weren't powerful enough to get a single, solitary one of those people to go, "Hey, this weird stuff I'm doing all seems kinda... familiar... maybe I should, like, quit my job..."
Kathy is right. Words are never powerful in themselves. Think of all the doctors warning their patients that if they don't quit drinking or using, they'll die ... and the patients believe the doctors, but don't quit. And they die ...

Words must fall on willing ears to have any effect at all. That's part of the reason why the "human rights" commission racket is so despicable. It encourages people to focus on negative stuff they may hear about themselves and not about how to frame and achieve their own best goals, and flip the bird to people who don't like that.

Look, I'm not much, but if I had heeded negative comments, I would never have written a single sentence for publication, let alone award-winning books and magazine articles, or doing radio and TV. (Actually, in a few minutes, I will be taping another radio show on The Spiritual Brain.)

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