David Thompson
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June 27, 2017

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Sam

I see he aced his test in doublethink.

jones

I hate to sound like some media groupie but I have been in love with Tucker Carlson for quite some time now.

And I'm not even mostly gay either....

David

I see he aced his test in doublethink.

It is rather disingenuous. But par for the course, I think.

In a piece for the New York Times, Dr Hanlon suggests that conservative students should turn to Thomas Sowell rather than, say, Ann Coulter or Milo Yiannopoulos, with the implication that this preference for measured critique would somehow resolve the problem of campus thuggery and attempts to short-circuit any discussion that might reflect badly on the conceits of the left. The problem of course being that, as we’ve seen many times, even measured and sober non-leftwing speakers, including Charles Murray, Ben Shapiro, Janice Fiamengo, Christina Hoff Sommers, Don Feder, Tom Tancredo and Heather Mac Donald, are also likely to be met with screeching hysteria, shattered windows and the threat of mob violence. As Dr Murray discovered quite vividly, the risk of actual thuggery and assault is not at all trivial.

And Dr Hanlon ignores the fact that fits of delinquency and mob coercion are likely to be indulged, championed and given institutional support when those fits of delinquency originate on the left, thanks to an overwhelmingly left-leaning staff and bureaucracy, of which Dr Hanlon is yet another part. And then of course there’s the small matter of universities that reject conservative speakers on grounds that they can’t protect the speaker, or their audience, from disruption and violence by their own leftist students. The same leftist students that Dr Hanlon would have us believe are the sole qualified gatekeepers of intellectual standards.

Novus

From the NYT piece:

For example, instead of claiming that regulating offensive Halloween costumes is stifling free speech, speak out with an argument about the value of “offensive” Halloween costumes.

Nice bit of question-begging: taking as read the idea that "offensive" costumes should be regulated unless it can be shown (to the satisfaction of whom?) that there is some kind of "value" in them, and thereby rendering the idea of free speech contingent upon the satisfaction of some unrelated criterion - in other words, unfree speech.

Sella Turcica

Hey Professor. I'll defend the value of offensive Halloween costumes just as soon as you defend--to my satisfaction--the value of your "scholarship."

Burnsie

I’m actually, personally, very speech permissive.

Are we supposed to thank him? I read that and I just want to slap the guy silly.

Jacob

while simultaneously invoking the importance of intellectual standards, to which, by implication, said campus leftists, people such as himself, apparently have some proprietary claim.

Always flattering themselves, aren't they? :-)

David

Are we supposed to thank him?

It does suggest a casual arrogance. As if the rest of us might be permitted to disagree, and even venture onto campus, provided we meet Dr Hanlon’s ill-defined but rather loaded criteria.

David

Always flattering themselves, aren’t they?

It’s a cornerstone of being ‘progressive’.

Killer Marmot

If I had a nickle for every opinion piece that began "I'm all for free speech, but..."

Rafi

Lefties never own their own shit.

Thomas Fuller
[At the University of Missouri, f]reshman enrollment dropped 23 percent in 2016 and, as of early May, it was down another 16 percent. Earlier this month, UM System President Mun Choi announced $101 million in budget cuts at Mizzou’s four campuses, resulting in the loss of 474 jobs.
http://www.unz.com/isteve/2015-black-fall-blm-temper-tantrum-still-costing-u-of-missouri/

Newton said it, but the Buddha got there long ago. To every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, a phenomenon the good professor might care to ponder.

Steve E

What is it about the word inalienable that's so hard to understand?

Clayton

Imagine the same argument against obscenity. Would he take it seriously. Obscenity portrays the world very falsely.

Sam

I’m actually, personally, very speech permissive. I would say I’m very pro-speech, almost absolutist on speech… um, but…

He's using the special 'but' that means everything before it was actually bollocks.

David

He’s using the special ‘but’ that means everything before it was actually bollocks.

Oh yes.

Steve E

It's clear by how easily he gets knocked off his pins that he's never faced any kind of intellectual rigor before. His students bleat "yes sir, no sir" and his weak minded colleagues would never go against the grain and challenge the orthordoxy.

David

In his New Republic piece, Dr Hanlon refers to Charles Murray, probably one of the most polite and measured speakers in all of academia, as peddling “a hateful message” and “hateful ideas.” What exactly those ideas are, and why they’re hateful, or even wrong, isn’t specified. But the implication seems to be that he’s merely a provocateur and has little to offer the curious, and that we shouldn’t be too surprised if a 74-year-old scholar is surrounded and assaulted by a mob of leftwing students who haven’t read his work but are nonetheless wearing ski masks and trying to push him to the ground.

Because, you know, hate.

MC

Dr Hanlon suggests that conservative students should turn to Thomas Sowell

I'd like to see the esteemed Dr Sowell speak at universities too. Although I suspect he has better things to do than be called Uncle Tom by a group of belligerent overprivileged imbeciles.

Governor Squid

That New Republic piece is just an embarrassment from top to bottom. We open with the assertion that these controversies could be avoided if organizing committees reached out to the campus as a whole before extending invitations to speakers, rather than posting advertisements after the fact and inviting the inevitable protests. Because granting veto power to the unruly mob is the pinnacle of academic freedom, I guess.

Immediately following, he goes into the value judgements he must make when he's putting together a syllabus. (Maybe James Madison must step aside to leave room for Edmund Burke.) Yet nowhere does he mention reaching out to the campus as a whole for feedback and/or permission before publishing his course syllabus. Surely if it's necessary to ask permission before inviting a speaker, it's equally important to get permission to include or exclude potentially controversial subjects in one's coursework?

In the end, he seems to believe that it's better for a university to disinvite a controversial speaker than for students to choose not to attend. Speakers considered "valuable" or "high quality" by the majority will be allowed to speak, and speakers considered "valuable" or "high quality" by minority groups will not, regardless of the desires of those who would extend the invitation.

Little wonder that Carlson leaves him blinking and stammering. Poor lamb never knew what hit him.

David

he seems to believe that it’s better for a university to disinvite a controversial speaker than for students to choose not to attend.

Which, as we’ve seen, is a surprisingly common attitude.

Among self-imagined intellectuals.

Joan

O/T

David, clear your diary!

"An essential voice of our times."

David

David, clear your diary!

I doubt there’s that much irony in the world.

rjmadden

"An essential voice vice of our times."

David

Heh. Well played, sir.

Y. Knott

Amit Varma of India Uncut, describes these guys nicely. He calls them "Kim Kardashian Liberals" - too much 'but'.

Pogonip

On the other hand, tightening speech standards might stop people from saying stupid things on the Internet...

(Well, nothing else has worked!). 😄

Darleen

This has got to win some sort of award for the absurdity of "cultural appropriation" slipping into outright evil (self-hating "jews" who are supporting the Chicago pride parade that banned the Jews who marched with a rainbow, Star of David, flag)...

While for many this incident may have evoked fears engrained in our collective memory of instances in which Jews have been singled out, we believe this incident is a sad reminder of the destructive impact of the State of Israel’s appropriation of Jewish symbols and identity.

As Jewish Voice for Peace-Chicago, we share the Chicago Dyke March Collective’s opposition to state violence, anti-Muslim, anti-Arab, anti-Black, anti-immigrant, anti-queer and trans, anti-woman and anti-Person of Color bigotry. As a Jewish organization committed to justice and equality for Palestinians, we invite everybody to work with us in opposing the State of Israel’s use of Jewish identity, trauma and symbols in its oppression of Palestinians.

WTP

Because of course any reference to the ONE place in the Middle East where homosexuality is tolerated, which has been at war since its inception with all the other ME countries where such is criminalized up to and including death by torture, would make homosexuals feel unsafe.

Because obviously.

David

This has got to win some sort of award for the absurdity of “cultural appropriation” slipping into outright evil

It’s as if they object to coherence and realism on principle.

David

Because granting veto power to the unruly mob is the pinnacle of academic freedom, I guess.

Or, “If you’d just do as we say, with no uppity back-chat, then no-one would get hurt.”

Hal

It’s as if they object to coherence and realism on principle.

Hmmm. . . . the destructive impact of the State of America’s appropriation of stars and stripes.

Nah.

Anyone who could just nod along with the original and not notice a single oddity would do the same with the variation . . .

Malcolm Y

"Rap music" does not rise to the weakest intellectual standard and any "professor" who spends most of his time "researching rap music" is not an intellectual he's a hanger on hoping to hang onto his sinecure. This shows how degenerate universities and most of the departments have become.

Sporkatus
"Rap music" does not rise to the weakest intellectual standard

Not that I disagree with you, but he's not even really researching it. He's taking a wryness found in a few references to "work" and spinning a grand anticapitalist narrative out of whole cloth. Jokes - simple jokes and double entendres about "taking work(drugs) home" suddenly become a Statement Of The Worker.

Since, you know, illegal markets are so obviously in defiance of Adam Smith and not conformity, and someone joking about *not really working* in the traditional sense is so "noble" in their alleged rejection of capitalism. If his sources are the erudite nonconformity he imagines, what the hell is Bachman Turner Overdrive's Taking Care of Business? A much more complete thesis, if nothing else, but Canadians aren't oppressed or something.

He starts with a procoundly stupid thesis, finds the flimsiest of pretexts to justify it ex post facto, and paints a ghost image on a canvas of air.

Hanging's too good for him.

Geoffrey

"I'm all for free speech, but..."

So, is this just an American thing? Because it's so incredibly stupid what so often follows the 'but' that I can't help but imagine that only people who are told to value freedom as the most sacred of values would do this.

It's a bit ironic. Authoritarians have a hard time questioning authority, and so when they were told that freedom was important growing up, they accepted it without question. Of course, the lack of questioning why freedom is important also leads to them not learning what freedom really is in the first place. And so they can proudly do things that are in direct opposition to freedom, and yet still claim to believe in freedom, because they're indoctrinated.

So I wonder how much of this can be faulted to people who may have truly believed in freedom, and acted on it, but didn't teach their children or students WHY freedom is valuable. They taught them to mouth the words and make the sounds, but failed to make them understand the actual ideas.

WTP

It's a bit ironic. Authoritarians have a hard time questioning authority, and so when they were told that freedom was important growing up, they accepted it without question. Of course, the lack of questioning why freedom is important also leads to them not learning what freedom really is in the first place. And so they can proudly do things that are in direct opposition to freedom, and yet still claim to believe in freedom, because they're indoctrinated.

Nails it. Same curiousity applies to much more than just freedom of speech. The arts, diversity, great works of fiction, economics (especially when espoused by so-called conservatives), even God/religion.

Governor Squid

Freedom is the license to say anything you like and do anything that feels good, without ever suffering any negative consequences. Duh!

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