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Academics Busily Purging Its Enemies, Real & Imagined

This was written a while back, and part become an item in the Insanity & Doom update. I would have trashed it, except that since the events detailed below, Gilley gave some interviews on the matter and here. The pertinent part for us is that Gilley is being investigated by his university because—wait for it—some students complained. His crime? I’ll let you figure that out. It’s doubtful any student even read the paper. You wonder how many of them can even read.

It’s not only a good swathe of college students who are mollycoddled overly sensitive ears-in-fingers intolerant know-nothings who demand and erect barricades blocking them from facts and ideas that hurt their feelings. Many professors are the same way.

Take how professors reacted when Bruce Gilley wrote and published “The case for colonialism” in Third World Quarterly.

He dared to say that “Western colonialism was, as a general rule, both objectively beneficial and subjectively legitimate in most of the places where it was found.” And he said, “The countries that embraced their colonial inheritance, by and large, did better than those that spurned it.”

Worst of all was this: “Anti-colonial ideology imposed grave harms on subject peoples and continues to thwart sustained development and a fruitful encounter with modernity in many places.”

His work was greeted with all the calm and courtesy of certain religious leaders who learned Jesus performed a miracle on the sabbath. Many academics emulated the less sanitary habits of monkeys deprived of their bananas. It was a full Level Five freakout.

Fifteen academics who served on the board of the journal resigned. Thousands more circulated a petition demanding not only the paper be retracted (burning e-journals not being an option), but insisting Gilley, and anybody who had even heard of Gilley, apologize.

This wasn’t the end of it. No, sir. Some bloodthirsty clowns threatened the journal editor with bodily harm. So horrifying and persistent were the threats, that the journal tucked its tail firmly between its legs, yanked the paper, and issued a fear-filled Withdrawal Notice.

The paper made no identifiable error, used no false sources. It passed through peer review. It’s not even clear if there was so much as a typo.

But still it was crammed down the memory hole by the publisher Taylor & Francis because the journal editor “received serious and credible threats of personal violence…linked to the publication of this essay” (emphasis added).

The retraction was not a smart move.

What Taylor & Francis might have done is announced they were working with law enforcement to find, prosecute, and punish the criminals making the threats. Or, since law enforcement did not appear especially interested in their pursuit, T&P could have announced they were hiring private investigators to find the brutes.

What Taylor & Francis should have done is followed the example of Christian professor Mike Adams. When he receives a threat on his person, he responds by offering the criminal the choice of weapons Adams will defend himself him.

What Taylor & Francis should not have done is run away from the fight. Why?

We now suspect that any future paper published at this journal, and probably at any journal controlled by the publishing giant, will either have met the test of ideological purity or it will be a banality. Why bother reading anything they print?

The criminals who issued the threats, and their would-be emulators, must feel pretty good about themselves. “Hey, who should we threaten next?” they are surely saying to themselves, “It worked before. Why shouldn’t it work again?”

That’s true. Why shouldn’t it?

Even if no future threats appear, there is always self-censorship to look forward to. What academic would depart from progressive dogma and commit the secular heresy of saying colonialism was not always evil?

Self-censorship is already here. Hiding and keeping quiet is what even moderate professors must do on many campuses.

Rajshree Agarwal, who is by no means a denizen of the right, learnt her lesson. She was asked at an academic conference “what businesses can do to create social value.” She said, “They can do good business.”

Wrong answer.

My research supports this defense of profit, and I was ready to engage in civil discourse. Instead, two colleagues turned on me. “Milton Friedman, are we?” the first person said. “Didn’t you take money from the evil Koch brothers?” the other added…

Agarwal is the founding director of the Ed Snider Center. She said “faculty members who have aligned interests do not want to publicly associate with the Snider Center, for fear of retribution from colleagues.”

Rod Dreher published letters from two professors who expose the sad state of ideological conformity.

The first remarked on “a significant shift since the last election.”

One colleague wanted to confirm that I didn’t vote for Trump — he wasn’t sure how he could work with someone who did. Another noted how she was checking Facebook and Instagram to make sure she didn’t take on any students who were Trump supporters.

The second quit academics.

I saw the increasingly taken-for-granted “all life as praxis” presumption (read: research ought to be political activism; teaching ought to be political activism; mentorship ought to be political activism; scholarship ought to be political activism; parenthood ought to be political activism; etc.) to be a betrayal of the best traditions both of the Humboldtian university and of the institutions that preceded it in western history.

Those doing the purging don’t see their actions as a betrayal, of course. They look forward to the future, where each professor believes only what he’s told to believe.

10 thoughts on “Academics Busily Purging Its Enemies, Real & Imagined Leave a comment

  1. The flying fickle finger of fate pauses and points, and having pointed, moves on.
    The two minutes hate will continue until Emmanuel Goldstein renounces his evil ways and loves Big Brother.

    We are in a war for our culture and our souls. Our enemy must be not just defeated, but crushed, for they cannot and will not allow us to continue to exist.

  2. The prophet of this sort of enforced academic conformity was Eric Hoffer, author of The True Believer, who warned about the consequences of failing to conform to the prevailing and dominant non-conformists in one’s immediate environment. I’m sure there are other sacred cows of anti-colonialism, such as taboos against noticing that aboriginal peoples tended to undermine their position vis a vis encroaching European powers by selling each other out for tribalistic advantage by forging alliances with the whites to prevail temporarily in warfare against neighboring hostile tribes.

    The reality is, so called peer review in academic life has been perverted into enforcement of ossified orthodoxy even in the so called hard sciences, making a mockery of any concept of academic freedom. Publish or perish could now be taken as meaning that one must get published in order to transition into full time independent employment as a writer so that one can afford to leave academic life permanently, in order to escape the miserably useless academic community itself, which is no longer even worth belonging to.

  3. McChuck: “We are in a war for our culture and our souls. Our enemy must be not just defeated, but crushed, for they cannot and will not allow us to continue to exist.”

    Right you are, McChuck.

    The barbarians are not at the gates. The barbarians didn’t even sneak in the gates. The barbarians were masters of the dark arts of covert influence. They only had to reach into the hearts of a few cultural influencers, who sold their souls, and the soul of our nation, for personal motivations.

    The barbarians then moved on, and in fact were overtly destroyed and defeated. But the power and seductiveness of their fake “moral message” mushroomed, spreading like kudzu through our culture.

    And now, as Briggs so ably documents, the kudzu is wrapped around the throat of our culture–strangling freedom and Normal-America.

    The question remains though: How to fight? How to win?

  4. Obviously violence, or the threat of violence — aka extortion (mob style) or terrorism (international) — works. Both ways…though only one “side” tends to apply this tactic — and that because they are fanatics, a distinctive personality type –

    Eric Hoffer provides many insights, many profound, in his book, “The True Believer” (e.g., that those that pursue certain types of causes gravitate to emotion/faith-based doctrines that undermine rational objectivity — “fact-proof screens between the faithful and the realities of the world”; and, that “a sharp sword must always stand behind propaganda if it is to be really effective”, quoting Nazi J. Goebbels).

    “You believe that reality is something objective, external, existing in its own right. You also believe that the nature of reality is self-evident. When you delude yourself into thinking that you see something, you assume that everyone else sees the same thing as you. But I tell you, Winston, that reality is not external. Reality exists in the human mind, and nowhere else. Not in the individual mind, which can make mistakes, and in any case soon perishes: only in the mind of the Party, which is collective and immortal. Whatever the Party holds to be the truth, is truth. It is impossible to see reality except by looking through the eyes of the Party. That is the fact that you have got to relearn, Winston. It needs an act of self- destruction, an effort of the will. You must humble yourself before you can become sane.”

    “We are not interested in those stupid crimes that you have committed. The Party is not interested in the overt act: the thought is all we care about. We do not merely destroy our enemies, we change them. Do you understand what I mean by that?”

    ” […] in the end we broke them down. I took part in their interrogation myself. I saw them gradually worn down, whimpering, groveling, weeping – and in the end it was not with pain or fear, only with penitence. By the time we had finished with them they were only the shells of men. There was nothing left in them except sorrow for what they had done, and love of Big Brother. It was touching to see how they loved him. They begged to be shot quickly, so that they could die while their minds were still clean.”

    The Party ultimately vaporizes captured rebels, but not before converting, reforming, and reindoctrinating them – thereby ensuring continued and undying loyalty.

    – Above quotes are those of O’Brien, torturer/reprogrammer, Orwell’s 1984 [book/movie])

  5. Ken,

    You’re on the right track, quoting from Orwell’s 1984. But then why use a Nazi propagandist to open? Orwell had nothing to do with Nazis. In fact, Orwell is writing here from his personal experience as a communist apparatchik. He served the Comintern’s espionage and propaganda arm in the Spanish Civil War. He at least saw, and probably participated in, the activities you quote.

    The Nazis really did not care about destroying the will or humanity of their victims, or about turning them into cogs in their Utopian wheel. They just annihilated their targets. No re-education. No molding. No re-shaping of minds or wills. Just pure application of Darwinian theory–identify the “undesirable” elements, and eliminate them.

    On the other hand, apropos to the topic of discussion here, the Communists, through the USSR and the Comintern, were all about building Utopia. Their tactics included re-shaping the imperfect human material they had to work with.

    Orwell’s description of the process and the results was spot-on. The Communists interrogation and forcible manipulation of their victims created pitiful wretches who would say anything, believe anything, do anything to please their masters.

    For an excellent real-life example, see the book, The Forgotten Spy. It chronicles the destruction and ultimate death of an American Comintern spy, Cy Oggins. While the text is excellent, the researcher found Oggins’ file in the KGB archive, during the short period the archive was accessible. The file includes visual evidence of the results of the process Orwell describes: “…hey were only the shells of men. There was nothing left in them except sorrow for what they had done, and love of Big Brother. It was touching to see how they loved him. They begged to be shot quickly, so that they could die while their minds were still clean.”

    On the left is Cy Oggins the night of his KGB arrest; the right is Oggins after 8 years of processing, just before he got a bullet to the back of the head:

    https://whittakerchambers.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/cyoggins19381947_480x240.png

    For more details, here’s the book:

    http://www.thelostspy.com/

  6. Note that Rajshree Agarwal is a holy-Brown person and a woman. Yet they turned on her. It is hard to keep track of the oppression rankings in the Progressive totem pole.

  7. Kent – It has to be an offensive on multiple fronts. We must retake the high ground to be successful. Education, entertainment, news media, the courts, and the legislatures. Those strong points we cannot take we must bypass by creating our own. We must also take back the streets, and meet violence with superior violence.

    Where are the right wing ideologue investors? Where is our George Soros? Where are the hundreds of interlocking charities and NGOs? Where are the armies of lawyers, on retainer for both defense and offensive lawfare? Where are the boycotts and demonstrations? Where are the busloads of “temporary resident” voters, such as those that recently decided a special election in Pennsylvania? Where are the home schooling foundations and organizations? Once we control sufficient news coverage, then and only then can we utilize passive resistance tactics in the streets to influence the undecided middle. (The Left enjoys violence, and delights in splitting heads.) Where are the militias?

    Where are the right-wing think tanks? Not the Conservatism-Inc. job placement boards – actual intellectuals, dedicated to the cause of advancing the Right by any means available. Where is our Frankfurt School? Where are our right-wing indoctrination centers, better known as universities? Where are our right-wing teacher’s colleges, where the future is programmed?

    Where are the right-wing comedians and entertainers? Steven Crowder is great, but he’s only one guy. Where are the right-wing movies? As the Left had the “Lethal Weapon” series, so must the Right build entertaining dramas with explicit and implicit values and messages.

    In the end, it may very well come down the street lamps and ditches. That’s not where it needs to start. But we need to be prepared, because when things go pear shaped, it happens unbelievably quickly.

  8. Kent RE: “…why use a Nazi propagandist to open? Orwell had nothing to do with Nazis.”

    About “why?” Why not?

    The topic is about Leftist tactics in academia… those tactics includes heavy-handed abuses, perhaps not to the extreme as some groups (e.g Nazis), but certainly somewhere on the abuse spectrum. Orwell describes similar tactics often employed by the Left.

    In other words, analogies.

    Analogies are use to illustrate, in this case, methods being used. Getting sidetracked on debating the specific nuances of an illustrative example, or how examples (analogies) relate to each other, loses sight of the main point — the abusive tactics observed in academia [and elsewhere] are are right out of the same “bag of tricks” of tyrannically coercive behavioral modification.

    Rebutting any of their (Leftist) arguments, etc. with reasoned debate/logic is generally pointless because the views and “rationale” never arose from reason in the first place.

    When a ‘movement’ is underway (e.g. much of the Leftist fanatical acts noted in academia) ideology tends to dominate the adherent’s views, and that ideology is almost always founded on emotion.

    But once something is taken over, the dynamics change markedly — and those in control always [history shows] hone to a very different value system than the overt propaganda that let them to power. Hoffer describes this well.

    “…the Communists, through the USSR and the Comintern, were all about building Utopia”
    — that is utter BS & you of all people should recognize that.

    The communists in power were all about maintaining their grasp on power, though they used the earlier ideology as a facade and control mechanism. They SAID they were about building a utopia, but their actions make clear a much baser motive — retain & maintain power & control.

    This is well illustrated under Stalin & Mao when their plans to quickly modernize their countries were in only partial respects successes and other ways horrible failures leading to starvation on massive scales (millions) — their reactions to that were those of the typical narcissist, protect their image and kill anyone who threatened that image. And let the masses die. No way their behavior [in contrast to their sweet words] can be construed as a pursuit of some utopia. If utopia was the objective, objective analysis showed better ways to get there–but those ways undermined the existing power structure. Given the leadership’s choice between maintaining their power vs advancing their society, retention of their power was an inviolate priority.

    One fundamental flaw in any ideologically-driven movement is that the leadership invariably has a charismatic figure on top … and those tend to be narcissists (almost exclusively focused on themselves). That kind of power will be won by those most driven to obtain it — brutality, abuse, etc. invariably follow. That has been the record of human history when power is concentrated in one or a few at the top of any society.

    It was a happy coincidence of factors in the governing structure of medieval fiefdoms in Britain such that when King John’s abuses got too severe the nobles could survive their initiative to create the Magna Carta, and then not only survive but see that governing structure evolve in a wholesome way. Real structural change in social power & control. Similar fiefdom-ish social structures existed thru-out Europe and in much of civilized Asia, yet nothing like the Magna Carta and a more balanced form of governing arose to survive anywhere else. The Magna Carta became the foundation/inspiration (in the then new U.S.) of the republican/representative form of government that now includes by design the so-called “checks & balances” created under the recognition that future leaders would be sick despots–if they could–and a means for keeping them in check [by equally sick leaders in other government positions] worked to the greater good of the public.

    For as much as many of us take a republican form of representative government for granted, one can get a sense of how tenuous this is by observing the curious devotion the Brits have [a sizeable number of them at least] for their useless monarchy.

    Or, observe the Left bashing Trump — a U.S. President has relatively little power as so much legislation and spending priorities are dictated by what a split [House & Senate] Congress provide for signature/veto. Signing/vetoing is a power to be reckoned with, as are some others, but those have clear limits. Ultimately, laws & govt-led social priorities are a committee effort. Yet the press & those on the Left, especially in the media, approach social affairs as if the President had kingly powers no president ever had.

    There’s something in human nature that leads people to want to be led by a powerful figurehead to such an extent many can see a President as such an authority when he is not…not even close…

  9. Ken,

    I think you may have misinterpreted my comments.

    ““…the Communists, through the USSR and the Comintern, were all about building Utopia”
    — that is utter BS & you of all people should recognize that.

    “The communists in power were all about maintaining their grasp on power, though they used the earlier ideology as a facade and control mechanism. They SAID they were about building a utopia, but their actions make clear a much baser motive — retain & maintain power & control.”

    Yes, maybe I should have put in quotation marks “building Utopia.” That is what communists stated goal always is. That is the goal of all communists. It is the received goal of all PC-Progressives in the USA today. Of course I know they are unable to build Utopia. Of course I know their methods will never build Utopia. But that doesn’t change the fact that is what “they were all about.” The folly of Communism is that their high-minded Utopian goals result in Hell on Earth. That’s my point.

    “Or, observe the Left bashing Trump…”

    Who is the “Left” that opposes Trump?

    Bill Kristol? Charles Krauthammer? Lindsey Graham? John McCain?

    The Republican candidates, who all signed a pledge to support the Republican candidate, and then reneged when the candidate was Trump: Kasich, Bush, Fiorina, Graham, Pataki?

    GHW Bush?

    Bill Cohen? Bob Gates? Mukasey? Colin Powell? George Schultz? Max Boot? Robert Kagan?

    Misunderstanding of who opposes Normal-America and Normal-Americans is very dangerous.

    “The Left” has no meaning.

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