Friday, December 11, 2015

Jonathan Chait on P.C. 'Thought'

Jonathan Chait

In a New York Magazine article titled "Can We Start Taking Political Correctness Seriously Now?" Jonathan Chait looks at p.c. students' successes in shutting down free speech in universities on various topics, and he notes:
That these activists have been able to prevail, even in the face of frequently harsh national publicity highlighting the blunt illiberalism of their methods, confirms that these incidents reflect something deeper than a series of one-off episodes. They are carrying out the ideals of a movement that regards the delegitimization of dissent as a first-order goal. People on the left need to stop evading the question of political correctness - by laughing it off as college goofs, or interrogating the motives of p.c. critics, or ignoring it - and make a decision on whether they agree with it.
I wish the Left would open up on this issue. I know that many of the New Left opposed restrictions on speech back in the Sixties, but their commitment has softened under the decades-long pressure of culture-critical questioning of liberal values, and the fact that some groups have historically been deprived  of a voice becomes a 'legitimate' reason for shutting down voices that have not been historically suppressed.

Why? Resentment, mostly, I reckon. Teach 'em how it feels! The Left is all about 'feelings' now, not rigorous argument, so whoever can shout the loudest in resentful voice and gain the coveted crown of victimhood wins by being the biggest loser.



At 6:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This whole PC crap has gone way too far and hopefully we are starting to see it back off a bit in the near future. A sportscaster get suspended from his job because he posted a personal opinion, which happened to close to factual - "Only 5-10% of Muslims are extremists. In 1940, only 7% of Germans were Nazis. How'd that go?"

Or just today, a national news reporter gets suspended for posting this tweet regarding congress passing a bill to limit Syrian refugees - "House passes bill that could limit Syrian refugees. Statue of Liberty bows head in anguish".

Not only are people losing jobs, in all walks of life, over personal opinions that are now being seen by many versus a few without utilizing social media, they are also being persecuted by the very people/press who denounced them. It is almost to the point where if an LGBT person is referenced as a HE/SHE, i.e. the traditional sexes, then that is insensitive and demeaning!!

Sorry for the double exclamation marks but this whole topic kind of chaps my hide! Damn-it, now I have gone and offended all the cows and pigs......Will I ever learn?


At 6:25 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

I've given up on remembering all the 'new' genders. I'm an old dog, cain't be taught new tricks!

Jeffery Hodges

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At 4:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I wish the Left would open up on this issue."

The very nature of Left "dialectics" is diametrically opposed to openness. If the Left was open to free speech in the past or in its nascent stages, it was because it was the best way to kick the "dialectic" in the direction they wanted it to go. Once free speech and openness were no longer expedient, they were shut down. And this applies to both the "intelligentsia" level, and also to the "juvenile" (undergraduate) level.

As for: "Why? Resentment, mostly, I reckon. Teach 'em how it feels! The Left is all about 'feelings' now, not rigorous argument, so whoever can shout the loudest in resentful voice and gain the coveted crown of victimhood wins by being the biggest loser."

I think this is somewhat true in considering the program/methods/posture/mentality of the undergraduates, but in application to a consideration of the senior levels of the Left, it is naive. At that level they are about power, and dominance. Where there is overlap, or where the senior and junior levels most resemble each other is to be found in the characterization/concept of "bullies."

At 4:38 AM, Blogger N.E. Brigand said...

It may be worth emphasizing that Chait considers himself to be a liberal (one of his most widely-read essays is surely this 2003 piece in The New Republic which expands upon this opening sentence: "I hate President George W. Bush"--and that was back when Chait was still a supporter of the Iraq War, a position he later decided was a mistake) and that he is often at pains to distinguish liberalism from leftism.

At 10:34 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Anonymous, thanks for the comment. In concise wording, you've given me a lot to think about.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 10:36 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Thanks, NEB, for the reminder.

Jeffery Hodges

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