Brad Polumbo on cultivated irresponsibility:
During my final semester in college, I intentionally took a course focused on race, gender, and the history of oppression in the United States… The most jarring realisation: liberal academics define “oppression” so loosely that their victimhood narrative can never end… Each criterion is defined loosely enough to lend themselves to a kind of subjective self-victimisation. This is convincing a generation of young people that their life trajectories are beyond their control.
As noted here previously, woke piety is a kind of positional good, jealously defended and forever in peril. It’s a competitive gig and so the goal-posts have to move, generally by veering further into absurdity. And so we end up with agonised Guardian articles about being oppressed by free cake, and the menace posed by heteronormative pastries and spellcheck software, and about how men discussing barbecues is not only “oppressively penetrating,” but about as “oppressively penetrating” as a thing can be. And students with the moral wherewithal to resist this narrative may find themselves being denounced by their so-called educators.
Victor Davis Hanson on the social corrosive called “diversity”:
For history’s rare multiracial and multi-ethnic republics, an e pluribus unum cohesion is essential. Each particular tribe must owe greater allegiance to the commonwealth than to those who superficially look or worship alike. Yet over the last 20 years we have deprecated “unity” and championed “diversity.” Americans are being urged by popular culture, universities, schools and government to emphasise their innate differences rather than their common similarities… Some hyphenate or add accents or foreign pronunciations to their names. Others fabricate phony ethnic pedigrees in hopes of gaining an edge in job-seeking or admissions. The common theme is to be anything other than just normal Americans for whom race, gender and ethnicity are incidental rather than essential to their character.
Taken at face value, “diversity” is the belief that the less we have in common, and feel we have in common, the happier we will be.
And again, and not entirely unrelated, on illegal immigration:
The avenue where I have lived for 65 years in terms of the fundamental metrics of civilisation—sanitation, single-family zoning, building codes, mosquito abatement, dog licensing and registration, and sanctions for illicit activity—has regressed a half-century or more. Officials apparently assume that visiting these places can become a lose-lose-lose situation: the miscreant will not comply with citations, the bureaucratic costs of enforcement are not offset by collectable fines, and the touchy subject of illegal immigration may earn either unfavourable press coverage or censure from politically sensitive county and local officials. In other words, we are a world away from Nancy Pelosi’s gated Napa estate, or Dianne Feinstein’s $40 million hilltop Pacific Heights mansion but not from the results of their ideology.
As usual, feel free to share your own links and snippets, on any subject, in the comments.