7.12.16

DENY COHERENT BELIEFS OF ANY KIND, ENJOY THE INCOHERENCE.

Rod Dreher elaborates.  He quotes at length from a message originating somewhere in the fever swamps.
I go to faculty meetings with these people and listen to English and History professors congratulate themselves for the “unlearning” they do, and cheer each other for “freeing” their students from Judeo-Christian tradition. This is the whole point of the Critical Theory movement: professors are to always and everywhere fight discourses of power, and the best place to do that is the classroom, where they still hold some semblance of authority. It’s especially bad at conferences and in journals, where total groupthink has taken hold. I do a lot of scholarly writing on conservative thinkers, and I’ve had journal editors tell me flat-out that they will not publish anything that does not explicitly challenge conservative thinking because the backlash from other professors is so brutal: such journals would be seen as being complicit in oppression. I mean that totally seriously.

Consider the terms of choice among humanities professors in how they describe their work: trouble, interrogate, destabilize, critically examine, problematize, and on and on. These are not the terms of people who see themselves as part of an institutional tradition. I cannot stress this enough: they see their core mission as disrupting that very institution.

So what we are left with is essentially an insurrection. And it will come crashing down, of course: as we saw in the French Revolution, you can’t preach the subversion of all authority from an authoritative position and expect to remain in that position forever.
Perhaps all that deconstruction is abetted by vulgar use of "disrupt," which itself is already being vulgarized by business gurus, but the rot has been a long time in coming.  But it leads to precisely the kind of irony a serious postmodernist might appreciate: the Trump vote on campus as protest against the way things are.

1 comment:

David Foster said...

"Consider the terms of choice among humanities professors in how they describe their work: trouble, interrogate, destabilize, critically examine, problematize, and on and on. These are not the terms of people who see themselves as part of an institutional tradition."

These are also not the terms of people who think deeply, but rather of those who follow intellectual fads. The writer Andre Marois has suggested that those who are fad-followers tend to be intelligent men who are not in any way creative...and that those who are not capable of formulating a system for themselves tend to throw themselves "voraciously" on those they come across, and to apply them more vigorously than would their inventors.