Conquest’s Second Law of Politics and the Heterodox Academy

That’s not necessarily true, Lindsay? And what’s not necessarily true? “That all perspectives in a university are valid.”

But let me work back from where I was to how I found this video. It was in an article on Jordan Peterson fires new salvo against Wilfrid Laurier in already fiery academic freedom battle. The core of the story was:

The fervent debate over academic freedom involving Jordan Peterson is rekindled for a new school year with Peterson saying in court documents that Wilfrid Laurier University’s contention he benefited from the controversy is like saying “those who survived the Holocaust should be grateful to their oppressors for teaching them survival skills.”

Peterson filed fresh legal documents Tuesday, including another lawsuit against the Ontario university — his second in three months — claiming Laurier further defamed him in its public defence against his June claim.

Not hard to believe he was defamed, but let me note where I found this article. It was from The New York Times: Attack of the Right-Wing Snowflakes subtitled, “Angry men go to court to silence their critics”.

The Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson, sometimes seen as a free speech warrior, has twice sued Ontario’s Wilfrid Laurier University for defamation, part of a controversy that arose after a teaching assistant there was chastised for showing a video of Peterson in class. He has also threatened to sue Kate Manne, a writer and assistant professor at Cornell, for calling his work misogynist. The failed Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore sued four women who accused him of sexual abuse.

Defamation is an illegal form of speech. You cannot say anything you like about anyone else. And it is wondrous that Roy Moore ends up, not just in the same story but in the same para, as if these accusations were not highly defamatory if they were untrue. But where did I find this NYT article? It came from The Heterodox Weekly Bulletin where that same quote is found as the lead-in. Heterodox Academy was, I thought, to defend free thought and free speech against those who would shut it down if they could, such as organisations like the NYT. It is Jordan Peterson whose views need protecting, not the NYT nor Wilfred Laurier University. All of which reminded me of Conquest’s Second Law of Politics:

Any organization not explicitly right-wing sooner or later becomes left-wing.

Quoting a New York Times article contra Jordan Peterson makes me think the Heterodox Academy is well on its way.

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