Jeopardising the ability of civilisation to continue to function

This is the brilliant picture that comes with this story: After Academia. It begins with a quote from Bret Weinstein that captures much of the intent, but if you have time, read it all.

I keep being invited to talk about free speech on college campuses and every time I’m invited I make the same point: that this isn’t about free speech and this is only tangentially about college campuses. This is about a breakdown in the basic logic of civilisation, and it’s spreading. College campuses may be the first dramatic battle but of course this is going to find its way into the courts; it’s already found its way into the tech sector. It’s going to find its way to the highest level of governance if we aren’t careful, and it actually does jeopardise the ability of civilisation to continue to function.

I will only add that the academic world is mostly about preserving and passing on ancient learning and culture, which it could do so long as universities were repositories of our Christian civilisation. Now they can still teach physics, medicine and perhaps the law, but the social sciences and humanities are a dead zone for original thought and cultural depth. Here is a bit from near the start of the actual article to give you a taste.

Premchand Brian, a friend of mine from Singapore, was until recently studying for a PhD in neuroscience at the University of Edinburgh. By his own account, he joined the UoE’s Black and Minority Ethnic Liberation Group but was ejected within a couple of months for wrongthink. “I said that ‘cultural appropriation’ is an invalid concept,” he told me, “because 1) nobody can own a culture, 2) even if ‘stolen’ the original owners still have it, and 3) cultural exchange was historically important in human progress and still helps combat bigotry. I was told my ideas were ‘triggering,’ ‘offensive,’ and ‘making people of colour feel ‘unsafe,’ so I was told to retract them. I refused and got kicked out.”

It really is gruesome.

Europeans have a culture of their own and you are fortunate indeed if you are part of that culture

Picked up myself randomly: You’ve Got to be Carefully Taught, that is, mis-taught. Here are the two paras out of four that make the point:

The ebb and flow of the internet brought to me the woebegone maunderings of a (presumably) white and (arguably) somewhat credentialed Millennial, who in her search for meaning and purpose in her life wound up involved in those anti-pipeline protests near the Sioux reservation. The ukase of her lament seemed to be that she had no native culture, not in comparison with those charming and dignified tribal elders. She appeared to view them as benign, terribly exotic, definitely ‘other’ – pretty much the same lens with which the old National Geographic viewed and photographed those interesting aboriginal peoples in far distant foreign lands all these decades ago.

And it was terribly sad to read, because the poor child does in fact, have a culture of her own – just that she has been deprived of it; deprived by intent or by cultivated sloth on the part of those who should have taught it to her; the unimaginably rich canon knowledge of western culture – our history, art, literature, music, technology, folkways. Homer and Cervantes, Shakespeare, da Vinci, Bach, Beethoven, Wagner and Rossini, Dickens and Twain, Michelangelo and Machiavelli, Brunel and Bruneschelli, the Brothers Grimm, the Brothers Wright, Don Juan of Austria and Ulysses S. Grant, the Duke of Wellington and whoever it was invented the toilet flush valve and the first working sewing machine. Likely all this and more were never taught to her, or what is worse – badly taught and as examples of western racism or whatever. To live without a sense of history is to be adrift in a kind of cultural sensory-deprivation tank, as exhibited by that child.

If you have never read a play by Shakespeare or heard a Mozart opera and yet you live in a Western country, you are as culturally deprived as it is possible to be.