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Author: Briggs

April 15, 2018 | No comments

Summary Against Modern Thought: How Things Are Ordered To Their Ends

Summary Against Modern Thought: How Things Imitate Divine Goodness

Previous post.

Question: What is the final cause? Answer: Yes.

How Things Are Ordered To Their Ends In Their Various Ways

1 It can be shown from the foregoing that the last thing through which any real being is ordered to its end is its operation. Yet this is done in various ways, depending on the diversity of operations.

2 One kind of operation pertains to a thing as the mover of another, as in the actions of heating or sawing. Another is the operation of a thing that is moved by another, as in the case of being heated or being sawed. Still another operation is the perfection of an actually existing agent which does not tend to produce a change in another thing. And these last differ, first of all, from passion and motion, and secondly from action transitively productive of change in exterior matter.

Examples of operations in this third sense are understanding, sensing, and willing. Hence, it is clear that the things which are moved, or passively worked on only, without actively moving or doing anything, tend to the divine likeness by being perfected within themselves; while the things that actively make and move, by virtue of their character, tend toward the divine likeness by being the causes of others. Finally, the things that move as a result of being moved tend toward the divine likeness in both ways.

Notes An example of the perfection of an actually existing agent is you reading St Thomas. I.e. not all change is movement. Which is a (minor) proof the world is not entirely physical.

3 Lower bodies, inasmuch as they are moved in their natural motions, are considered as moved things only, and not as movers, except in the accidental sense, for it may happen that a falling stone will put in motion a thing that gets in its way. And the same applies to alteration and the other kinds of change. Hence, the end of their motion is to achieve the divine likeness by being perfected in themselves; for instance, by possessing their proper form and being in their proper place.

4 On the other hand, celestial bodies move because they are moved. Hence, the end of their motion is to attain the divine likeness in both ways. In regard to the way which involves its own perfection, the celestial body comes to be in a certain place actually, to which place it was previously in potency. Nor does it achieve its perfection any less because it now stands in potency to the place in which it was previously. For, in the same way, prime matter tends toward its perfection by actually acquiring a form to which it was previously in potency, even though it then ceases to have the other form which it actually possessed before, for this is the way that matter may receive in succession all the forms to which it is potential, so that its entire potentiality may be successively reduced to act, which could not be done all at once. Hence, since a celestial body is in potency to place in the same way that prime matter is to form, it achieves its perfection through the fact that its entire potency to place is successively reduced to act, which could not be done all at once.

5 In regard to the way which involves movers that actively move, the end of their motion is to attain the divine likeness by being the causes of others. Now, they are the causes of others by the fact that they cause generation and corruption and other changes in these lower things. So, the motions of the celestial bodies, as actively moving, are ordered to the generation and corruption which take place in these lower bodies. Nor is it unfitting that celestial bodies should move for the sake of the generation and corruption of these lower things, even though lower bodies are of less value than celestial bodies, while, of course, the end should be more important than what is for the sake of the end.

Indeed, the generating agent acts for the sake of the form of the product of generation, yet this product is not more valuable than the agent; rather, in the case of univocal agents it is of the same species as the agent. In fact, the generating agent intends as its ultimate end, not the form of the product generated, which is the end of the process of generation, but the likeness of divine being in the perpetuation of the species and in the diffusion of its goodness, through the act of handing on its specific form to others, and of being the cause of others. Similarly, then, celestial bodies, although they are of greater value than lower bodies, tend toward the generation of these latter, and through their motions to the actual eduction of the forms of the products of generation, not as an ultimate end but as thereby intending the divine likeness as an ultimate end, inasmuch as they exist as the causes of other things.

Notes Eduction = to bring out or deduce; here the former usage. Contrast induct for the latter.

6 Now, we should keep in mind that a thing participates in the likeness of the divine will, through which things are brought into being and preserved, to the extent that it participates in the likeness of divine goodness which is the object of His will. Higher things participate more simply and more universally in the likeness of divine goodness, while lower things do so more particularly and more in detail. Hence, between celestial and lower bodies the likeness is not observed according to complete equivalence, as it is in the case of things of one kind. Rather, it is like the similarity of a universal agent to a particular effect. Therefore, just as in the order of lower bodies the intention of a particular agent is focused on the good of this species or that, so is the intention of a celestial body directed to the common good of corporeal substance which is preserved, and multiplied, and increased through generation.

7 As we said, since any moved thing, inasmuch as it is moved, tends to the divine likeness so that it may be perfected in itself, and since a thing is perfect in so far as it is actualized, the intention of everything existing in potency must be to tend through motion toward actuality. And so, the more posterior and more perfect an act is, the more fundamentally is the inclination of matter directed toward it. Hence, in regard to the last and most perfect act that matter can attain, the inclination of matter whereby it desires form must be inclined as toward the ultimate end of generation.

Now, among the acts pertaining to forms, certain gradations are found. Thus, prime matter is in potency, first of all, to the form of an element. When it is existing under the form of an element it is in potency to the form of a mixed body; that is why the elements are matter for the mixed body. Considered under the form of a mixed body, it is in potency to a vegetative soul, for this sort of soul is the act of a body.

In turn, the vegetative soul is in potency to a sensitive soul, and a sensitive one to an intellectual one. This the process of generation shows: at the start of generation there is the embryo living with plant life, later with animal life, and finally with human life. After this last type of form, no later and more noble form is found in the order of generable and corruptible things. Therefore, the ultimate end of the whole process of generation is the human soul, and matter tends toward it as toward an ultimate form. So, elements exist for the sake of mixed bodies; these latter exist for the sake of living bodies, among which plants exist for animals, and animals for men. Therefore, man is the end of the whole order of generation.

Notes And, of course, angels are not generable and corruptible, and are of a nobler form than we.

8 And since a thing is generated and preserved in being by the same reality, there is also an order in the preservation of things, which parallels the foregoing order of generation. Thus we see that mixed bodies are sustained by the appropriate qualities of the elements; Plants, in turn, are nourished by mixed bodies; animals get their nourishment from plants: so, those that are more perfect and more powerful from those that are more imperfect and weaker.

In fact, man uses all kinds of things for his own advantage: some for food, others for clothing. That is why he was created nude by nature, since he is able to make clothes for, himself from other things; just as nature also provided him with no appropriate nourishment, except milk, because he can obtain food for himself from a variety of things. Other things he uses for transportation, since we find man the inferior of many animals in quickness of movement, and in the strength to do work; other animals being provided, as it were, for his assistance.

And, in addition to this, man uses all sense objects for the perfection of intellectual knowledge. Hence it is said of man in the Psalms (8:8) in a statement directed to God: “You have subjected all things under his feet,” And Aristotle says, in the Politics I [5: 1254b 9], that man has natural dominion over all animals.

Notes Evidently this includes blogs.

9 So, if the motion of the heavens is ordered to generation, and if the whole of generation is ordered to man as a last end within this genus, it is clear that the end of celestial motion is ordered to man, as to an ultimate end in the genus of generable and mobile beings. Hence the statement in Deuteronomy (4:19) that God made celestial bodies “for the service of all peoples”.

April 14, 2018 | 6 Comments

Insanity & Doom Update XXIX

Item WWI ‘Peace Cross’ memorial ordered torn down due to ‘religious message,’ court rules

A 40-foot memorial dubbed the “Peace Cross,” erected in 1925 in honor of 49 men who lost their lives during World War I, must now be torn down, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.

The memorial, in Bladensburg, Maryland, was created by the American Legion and is shaped like a cross.

“Today’s decision sets dangerous precedent by completely ignoring history, and it threatens removal and destruction of veterans memorials across America,” First Liberty Institute attorney Hiram Sasser said, according to Fox News.

“This memorial has stood in honor of local veterans for almost 100 years and is lawful under the First Amendment. To remove it would be a tremendous dishonor to the local men who gave their lives during The Great War,” Jones Day attorney Michael Carvin said. First Liberty Institute and the Jones Day law firm are representing the American Legion in this legal battle…

In 2014, the American Humanist Association filed a lawsuit contending that the cross-shaped memorial is unconstitutional.

The group’s foundation believes in “being good without a god.” In their lawsuit, they asked for the memorial to be demolished, altered or removed.

Non-religious pretending to be horrified, or, worse, actually being horrified, to see a cross? Pathetic. Being good without God is of course impossible; being good while disbelieving in Him can be done.

Freedom “from” religion guarantees that the State must become god. As proof of that, the next item.

Item China Insists on Control of Religion, Dimming Hope of Imminent Vatican Deal

China will not allow any foreign interference in religious affairs in the country, a senior official said on Tuesday, dousing expectations of an imminent deal with the Vatican over control of the Roman Catholic Church here.

“I think there is no religion in human society that is above the state,” the official, Chen Zongrong, said during a briefing on religious affairs in China, underscoring the government’s intention to maintain strict control over all religious organizations and their believers.

Zongrong has correctly spoken the communist view. But he didn’t speak the whole truth. It is true the State must be worshiped in the absence of God, but what Zongrong should have reminded readers was that the State is comprised of men. Therefore worship of the State is the worship of man. There is no more depressing religion than that. As the next item demonstrates.

Item We are witnessing St. John Paul II’s prophesy of an ‘anti-Church’: Catholic priest

St. John Paul II’s 1976 prophetic warning about the rise of an “anti-Church” that would preach an “anti-Gospel” is being fulfilled today by leaders within the Catholic Church, even at the highest levels, said a priest in a talk given at a Catholic conference today in Rome.

Fr. Linus Clovis of Family Life International said in his talk at the Rome Life Forum, organized by Voice of the Family, that the anti-Gospel of the anti-Church is often “indistinguishable from secular ideology, which has overturned both the natural law and the Ten Commandments.”

“This anti-Gospel, which seeks to elevate the individual’s will to consume, to pleasure and to power over the will of God, was rejected by Christ when tempted in the wilderness. Disguised as ‘human rights,’ it has reappeared, in all its luciferian hubris, to promulgate a narcissistic, hedonistic attitude that rejects any constraint except that imposed by man-made laws,” he said.

Fr Clovis is black, a priest “of color”, so that if you reject his words you are a racist.

Item ‘Women Might Get Raped If They Debate Men’, So This College Debate Tournament Banned Men

It’s unfair. It’s sexist. And women might get raped.

That’s why a “special [debate] tournament” held at the University of Vermont this past weekend banned men from competing, organizers and participants in the North American Women’s and Gender Minorities Debate Championship told the Associated Press.

Rather than admit the deep sexism inherent to their view, they claim that women “have to be that much better than men to overcome bias on the part of many judges” and “point to statistics that show they are less likely to reach the top echelons of the activity”:

“There is also a lot of sexual predation that happens in the debate community,” said UVM debate director Helen Morgan-Parmett.

“The tournament, I think, provides a safe space where people feel they are debating other women, and their bodies aren’t necessarily on display.”

It is logically possible women may be raped at a debate. It is logically possible the rapists will be Women’s Studies professors. Many things are logically possible. That doesn’t make them not asinine or likely.

April 13, 2018 | 6 Comments

Another False Flag? — Guest Post by Ianto Watt

How do you go from saying ‘We’re going to leave Syria to the other guys’, to saying ‘We’re going to bomb your brains out’ in one short week? That’s the question Donald-watchers have to find the answer to. My answer is this: Donald seems to be cornered. He must think that by reacting forcefully to all the chemical weapons trash talk, he will gain favor, or at least some time. And with the invasion of his lawyer’s offices by the Federal Bureau of Intimidation, that time may be minimal.

I’d like to pose a few questions that may reflect on Donald’s ability to maneuver, or even to survive. First of all, have you noticed that the phrase ‘chemical weapons’ has replaced WMD’s in the lexicon of the War Parties (notice, that is plural)? Somehow, this is the new ultimate crime. Why? Because it kills innocent women and children, so the narrative goes. And bombs don’t? Bullets don’t? Artillery, anyone? And the stories, front page everywhere, in neo-con and neo-lib rags alike, are all accompanied by colour pictures showing adults carrying lifeless children from some ghastly scene, surrounded by weeping mothers. It’s enough to make you want to cry. And to cry out for vengeance. And Donald, evidently, must succumb to this emotion, or else.

Surely Vlad Putin is a clever guy. At the very least, a cold-blooded realist. And his puppet, Mr. Assad no less so. I find it very hard to swallow the idea put forth by so many voices that Vlad somehow cannot totally control Mr. Assad, and that’s why these chemo/gas attacks keep happening. And that Assad has drug Russia to the brink of confrontation with the West. Again. Wasn’t it just a year ago this same thing happened, and Donald threw dozens of cruise-missiles at Assad’s armed camp? And hasn’t this repeated use of chem-weapons resulted in further airstrikes over this past year? Isn’t that the backdrop of this whole scenario? This whole script is so Pavlovian that I want to retch. Ring the bell, watch the dog salivate. Repeat.

All of which leads me to question this whole thing. Let’s start with the weapon itself. I am amazed that Mr. Assad supposedly seems to think that he needs chemical weapons to kill people. After all, he seemed to be doing that quite well, for what, six years now, all with conventional munitions. Why the need to spin the tech dial and shift gears? Does gas kill better? No, I don’t think so. Does it target better? It didn’t during WWI, when the vagaries of the wind often turned the weapon on the aggressor himself. So, what’s the point of using this? Is it the terror it inspires? Now I think we’re getting somewhere. But I don’t think the terror quotient is part of Assad’s plans. I’m thinking of someone else. I think most of Assad’s enemies (and their women and children) realize that dead is dead, regardless of the method. Was the slaughter of Homs more humane just because it used conventional weapons? And what about starvation, another Assad favorite? If you knew that you and your family were going to die, would you rather see your children starve to death, over an agonizingly extended period of time, or would you prefer the quick action of the gas?

So that’s my basic question, why in the world would Assad (and by extension, Vlad) resort to the small-scale use of this un-predictable weapon? And don’t ask me to believe Vlad can’t control this guy. All he has to do is pull his troops out and Assad is toast. Actually, Vlad could target him and put in a replacement quite easily. So, no, I don’t believe there’s a hair-breadth of space between these two. They understand each other perfectly. Which is why Vlad is so willing to go to bat for Assad. The Syrian regime is on a very short chain. Yes, the dog is vicious, but his owner’s no fool. For those who have forgotten, chess is the game Russians love to play, and they play it very well. They think out the repercussions of every move. Cold-blooded men don’t make hot-blooded moves. That’s for the Americans, who never question the front-page portrayal of some heinous event. They scan the headlines, look at the colour pictures (red is so graphic, no?) and then they decide we have to do something. And do it now! Which is what Donald appears to be doing.

So then, assuming something other than the surface story is actually at work, I wonder if we aren’t being maneuvered into something. Something we won’t like. Something like a ‘missile-gap’ moment, perhaps? Something that turns ugly (like our missile-launching ship getting sunk) and becomes the cause for a new round of war? Or our whiz-bang weapons fizzle in the face of Russian air-defenses? Or our troops in Syria get crushed in retaliation if our missiles do get through? Do we really want to know how cold-blooded Vlad can be? Is that the real point? To see if he will back down? Maybe we should ask some of his former victims about this thought.

Here’s another puzzle to me. This supposed poisoning of the spy defector and his daughter in London a few weeks ago. I keep asking myself, how did the KGB botch this operation? A double botch. How did they both survive? And she just got released from the hospital. Hmmm. Somebody in Moscow must not have checked the expiration date on that batch of poison. Or else…or else we’re back to the chemical weapons meme. We’re back to shrinking in horror at the thought that some peaceful guy sitting in a park with his daughter could be attacked in such a barbaric manner. Barbaric. That’s the way chemical weapons are always portrayed. As if a bullet to the back of the head is any less brutal. And why dope her? How would that further any Russian goal, other than terror? And why, why, why, would Vlad and his men resort to such a thing when they know that it will excite the world to such a frenzy that the public seemingly will bear any cost in retaliation? What is the point here? Why would Vlad be so unbelievably stupid? There is no logic here. Only emotion. And that’s what the media sells. On behalf of their client. Who might that be? Cui bono?

So let’s be a little Machiavellian here and ask something. If indeed the Russians were behind all of this, in Syria over the last year and London this past month, what have they gained by all of this supposedly-smart terror-inducing chemical activity? Let me see. Wow. I can’t think of a single thing they’ve gained. Don’t tell me it makes Vlad look tough in the eyes of his fellow Russians (or their client states). Vlad has always looked tough to them, and his polls have always shown it. As if he needs polls anyway. He’s firmly in control in Russia, regardless of what anybody here or there thinks.

But I can see what they’ve lost. Add it up, worldwide condemnation, sanctions, loss of trade, a weakened stock market, a falling ruble, and now, a possible head-on military confrontation that could upset their grand strategy of the gradual enervation of the West. A strategy that has been working quite well for at least a decade. Why would Vlad (and his puppet) risk that? For what? To kill a few dozen women and children? To off an old turn-coat? And by the way, just exactly how do we know that this guy (and his daughter) were actually poisoned? Says who? Isn’t it amazing that within hours of this supposed event the government experts were able to identify the substance, and the only country that produced it? Even to the point of telling us exactly where in Russia it was produced? Yet these same intelligence geniuses weren’t able to detect the plot to poison this guy in time to prevent it. How can these guys be so smart and so dumb at the same time? Which of these attributes is false? And isn’t there another more accurate attribute missing? Something like ‘scheming’?

What does all of this Western chemo-hysteria produce in that part of the world that doesn’t believe the Western press? Someplace like China, perhaps? Do we see them denouncing Russia and Syria? Do we see them backing away from their economic, military and political ties to Vlad? No, quite the opposite. They are as close as Siamese twins. They’ve figured out how to play us, now that our Armed Forces can no longer fight two major wars simultaneously. Guess where our carrier groups are right now. Nowhere near Syria, in case you haven’t guessed. No, the Chinese are laughing at us, as we ‘pivot to Asia’, leaving the rest of the world to be played by Vlad. So now, we have China and her hand-puppet, Rocket Man, tying us down in the East, while Vlad and Syria and Iran have free rein in the West. All of which is why Donald mused about leaving Syria to ‘other people’.

Now let’s look at the Muslim world. You know, that third of the world that is so dedicated to human rights and peaceful co-existence. Those regimes of moral rectitude that would shrink in horror at the idea of barbaric behavior. Right? Regardless of any feigned outrage emanating from any of these nations, I can’t really believe there is any genuine reticence to do anything similar to what Assad is accused of. Especially in Turkey. We’ve been here before, remember? The first time I wrote for Professor Briggs, I questioned the validity of assuming that the press was right. Specifically, right about the supposed coup attempt against Erdogan back in 2016. I said it was a false flag operation designed to cement Erdogan in power. All of which has seemingly come to pass. But I also said later in that post that Erdogan was in the grip of a three-front war with Russia, and only one could emerge as the master of his own fate. So, let’s see how this has worked out.

In Turkey, our cheerful ally Recep Erdogan is firmly in power. But only internally. He’s in power because he’s so beloved by everyone, right? Sure. Never any violations of human rights in Turkey, eh? So, what do we see there, in the land of the second largest NATO military ally? How strong is Erdogan now against his traditional enemy, Russia? What has he done to stand up to Russia since he shot down that Sukhoi jet in late 2015? Is Erdogan denouncing Vlad for his presence in Syria? Or is he busy edging away from NATO, the US and Europe? Is Erdogan busy buying more arms from the West, or is he busy buying the latest Russian air-defense systems? He’s already said Turkey no longer needs EU membership. No, he’s busy signing new trade agreements agreements with his ‘enemies’ in Russia. And surely Erdogan understands the meaning of the A2/AD bubbles Vlad has already emplaced in Crimea and Syria?

Maybe now we’re getting a little closer to the real motivations of those truly responsible for this repeated use of banned weapons. Maybe the War Party is getting nervous over the thought that they may not be able to control things any longer in the middle east. Especially if Donald cedes the Syrian theatre to Russia and Iran. And by default, to Turkey. So then, what would Vlad be willing to do in order to get Turkey to finally withdraw from NATO, and thus reinstate the Montreux Convention that bans non-Black Sea states from sending warships through the Bosporus? Would Vlad be willing to sacrifice the Kurdish card in return? Hasn’t this move already happened? Aren’t the Turks stepping with impunity into Syrian territory to pound the Kurds, without a peep from Vlad? And without a word of opposition from Iran, the other patron of Assad. And the other enemy of the War Party. It looks to me like the Syrian question is being addressed without any input from the US, who by the way, backs the Kurds. As long as they are useful, that is. And this looming loss of Imperial influence seems to me to be the driving force in this forthcoming fight.

The bottom line for me in all of this manufactured hysteria is that Donald is being herded towards something he doesn’t really want. Confrontation with Russia. And because he has failed to vanquish his domestic foes, they are free to use his own governmental apparatus to force him to acquiesce to their globalist agenda. After all, if Donald was willing to cooperate with the globalists, all would be forgiven. Including his past offences against women. He could be Bill Jr., and they would laud him. He could even gas them. If only he would relent. Which he won’t. But he keeps giving his (and our) enemies new cudgels with which to beat him about the head. And now his foes have seized his own lawyer’s trove of data. And they have somehow inserted John Bolton, the premier neo-con Warhawk, into his inner circle. Surely the generals that serve Donald are cringing at the prospect of this coming confrontation that will lead to nothing that enhances true American security.

There’s only one nation that will benefit from all of this, and it isn’t us. Nor does Russia want this showdown. Syria wasn’t looking for this either, so why would it use those weapons? The Iranians don’t want a further deterioration of relations with the US. And Turkey can only lose, long-term, if this showdown leads to an outright win by either Russia or the US. Why? Because Erdogan’s relative freedom depends on there being someone who might restrain the Russians when they finally decide they can take Tsargrad and the Straits. Erdogan’s a kept woman now, but he’ll be looking for the battered women’s shelter if either of the US or Russia is gone. As much as he hates the thought (and he does), he needs the continued stand-off between the US and Russia. His only freedom lies in his ability to play one side off of the other. He needs to maintain the current balance of power.

Where then is the motivation for anyone to use these weapons that are being used to drive this frenzy towards war? Nobody I’ve mentioned, with the exception of the Warhawks, stands to gain an inch of anything. And the Warhawks don’t seem to realize they may lose a lot if their calculations are off by any significant amount. Yet they seem willing to risk it. To risk everything. But not just to bring down Donald (although that is certainly a large part of this). No, there is a long-term game here, and it is at risk. And these Warhawks evidently feel that they have to make their move now, or else they may lose it all.

This is a dangerous moment. There’s too many chips on the table now. Nobody can afford to lose here. Everyone keeps raising the ante. And no one is dropping out. I have to say, I don’t see anything good coming from all of this. This may be a hand that everyone loses. Everyone except the player I haven’t named.

April 12, 2018 | 10 Comments

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.