Monday, March 13, 2006

Let's be honest.. except on campus.

Cruel, cruel Summers: "Chew on that for a bit, why don’t you: blunt speaking (candor? honesty? impassioned defense of ideals?) leads to trouble in academe. Instead, “sensitivity,” or, to use the more loaded word, “tolerance”—the primary directive being to hurt no feelings (unless the feelings are those of the ruling / oppressor class, who by definition can’t be materially injured, given their position of social power)—is the new ideal. Which leads, almost invariably, to an insulated cult of homogeneity, where disagreement is discouraged because, well, it can be so very unpleasant. “Consultation,” in the sense Piereson uses it here, is akin to the UN (and European) idea of consensus: gone are the days of defiant individualism (at least, pre-tenure); instead, departments—particularly in the Humanities—are run on group agreements that have the effect of officially watering down the beliefs of intellectual outliers."

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