EXCLUSIVE: Top 10 Reasons that Academic Freedom Is a Dead End
The news out of academia is atrocious. About a million times I’ve said, it cannot get any worse. And then Berkeley bursts into flames, Catholic colleges ban Chick Fil-A to placate the legions of Sodom, Carol Swain quits her job at Vanderbilt, a Chicano lesbian gets a sitting US Senator no-platformed at a black college in Texas over same-sex marriage, and the AAUP–the professorial advocacy group most responsible for our language of “academic freedom”–rushes to defend the crazy white woman from your local bookstore’s attic, Melissa Click. The AAUP wouldn’t help me when a gang of racists drove me out of my job in L.A., presumably because most of the racist ringleaders were homosexuals. But they’re on the case when a redheaded white woman incites goons to attack an Asian American reporter.
As I’ve written a bunch of times, academia is horrendous and won’t improve unless somehow people find a way to cut off all federal money to it. Chances of that happening are slim to none. Since my last English Manif post on the topic, in which I basically tell everyone to give up on higher ed, I have received more missives saying, “you can’t say such things!” from conservatives who think that somehow if they are just even more groveling, desperate, and cloying, a few liberals will convince the rest of academia to treat us like human beings. Fat chance!
I am reminded of a passage from the Book of Malachi, which I recently covered in my daily devotionals:
“Look, I am going to rebuke your descendants, and I will spread animal poo all over your face-the crap left over from your festival sacrifices-and you will be thrown out with the poo.” –Malachi 2:3
As is often the case, the Word of God cuts to the point better than any human language could. From the campanile of Berkeley to the bus stops at the public commuter school, from the tea parlors of Vanderbilt to the desecrated cloisters of Catholic Fordham, the situation is the shame. Academics have produced a lot of poo and God is surely getting ready to smear their faces with it.
It is for this reason that I decided, ultimately, that the departures of Carol Swain, John McAdams, and Tony Esolen from the academy might not be signs the devil is beating us. It might be God calling all His chosen favorites out of an academy that the Lord is fixing to smite. It’s like Abraham fetching Lot and his family and telling them to rush out of Sodom before the sulfur clouds form overhead. How the judgment will fall on the academy, I don’t know. I just know it’s going to be as ugly as people having poo smeared in their faces and thrown on dung heaps like the trash they have become.
So given the Biblical scale of depravity that we’re witnessing on college campuses, I have a huge confession to make. I am tired of people plugging “academic freedom” and “free speech on campus.” The Chronicle of Higher Education has published a listicle of states in which conservatives have submitted free-speech bills to protect the first amendment on college campuses. Here’s a general point of information about life: when the Chronicle is covering your ideas respectfully, you’re getting played. They only pimp out proposals they know will keep the academy’s gravy train of Democratic kickbacks and tenured tithing intact.
I want to state that I have the utmost respect for Campus Reform, College Fix, and FIRE, all organizations that live out their values. They really do stand up for free speech on campus and I mean them no disrespect.
But when in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one former free-speech enthusiast to call for a change in rhetoric even among his closest allies, a decent respect for the opinions of mankind requires him to explain the reasons for his decision. So here are my top ten reasons.
1. Nobody wants free speech for everyone so let’s stop pretending that anyone really does.
At the same time that conservatives were furious over Ann Coulter‘s being denied a venue at UC Berkeley, they were also furious that Linda Sarsour was being given a platform in New York City. I would never equate Ann Coulter and Linda Sarsour, but neither would a liberal, who would delight at hearing the scarf-covered Sarsour sing odes to sharia but would consider Coulter’s views on building a border wall the same thing as having sulfuric acid poured on their heads.
I am not endorsing the cock-eyed notion that speech can be dangerous and can cause harms en par with physical violence. So please do not classify me with the no-platformers in Berkeley who said they were acting in “self-defense” when they smashed bookstore windows in order to stop Milo from giving a speech. But I am saying, some people are straight-up crazy and there’s nothing unusual about people choosing to opt out of listening. They can say what they want to say. In this day and age, they can even shout it over Twitter. But all of us have stuff we just don’t want to listen to. It’s not honest to pretend that we don’t.
2. Our fight with the left isn’t really about free speech, it’s about the crazy stuff the left tells people.
Following from #1, we have to stop pretending that we think the left has legitimate viewpoints. They encompass the vast majority of professors, Hollywood celebrities, the civil service, lawyers, and people in the media. Large numbers of people can get together and convince each other of real stupidity like, “let’s invade the Soviet Union while we are fighting a war with the United States!” They have masses on their side, but leftists believe a bunch of stuff that’s absolutely insane. We have done everyone including the left a huge disservice by not just telling them, “you’re completely wacko!” (I tried to start this with my book, Wackos Thugs & Perverts.)
The problem with focusing on free speech is that we never get around to telling the left what lunatics they are. Instead we go back and forth about we have a right to share our opinion, when that isn’t really true. We don’t have a right to share our opinion. We have a duty to tell the truth. We have an obligation to stop them from spreading their opinions, because they’re kookoo.
For example, gay sex is unsanitary, unhealthy, and abnormal. Any objective observation of reality, any religious scripture, and any honest assessment of cultural history will attest to the fact that it is not clean, healthy, or normal for men to allow other men’s private parts into the part of the body that expels feces. We won’t get into details–if you want, consult this podcast with Paul Church–but suffice it to say, nothing the left says about LGBT makes sense when everything they say is based on the fanatical delusion that it’s normal and healthy for men to traumatize each other’s bowels for pleasure.
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