January 18, 2013

[Link Fixed] Modern v. Postmodern arguing and the latest academic freedom disaster from Canada

Here's a long post (link fixed) by a Canadian professor Kenneth Westhues applying my ideas and those of Alastair Roberts to the tragicomic abused of another professor in Canada, Malcolm Mason.

112 comments:

Anonymous said...

The link has a trailing ']'

Anonymous said...

link not working

LemmusLemmus said...

The link doesn't work.

Anonymous said...

link doesn't work

Hallie Scott Kline said...

Is there something wrong with that link?

Anonymous said...

Steve,

Your link has an extraneous bracket character ] at the end that needs to be removed for the html link to work.

Existing link

http://arts.uwaterloo.ca/~kwesthue/regiftedxmas12.html]

Corrected link

http://arts.uwaterloo.ca/~kwesthue/regiftedxmas12.html

Anonymous said...

Dead link, Steve.

Anonymous said...

The link doesn't work.

Anonymous said...

Your link doesn't work...

That's a shame because it is a very interesting article...

Here is the correct link:

http://arts.uwaterloo.ca/~kwesthue/regiftedxmas12.html

Anonymous said...

you've got a ']' at the end of the url. You needn't publish this, I'm sure a million have written correcting this.

CJ said...

Bad link. Gotta remove that ] character at the end.

Anonymous said...

Steve, the link's broken.

Nick South Africa

Jon Claerbout said...

Broken link?

Jon Claerbout said...

Broken link?

Anonymous said...

Rushton was among the most cited psychologists in the world.

I very much doubt this.

B.B.

Anonymous said...

The requested URL /~kwesthue/regiftedxmas12.html] was not found on this server.

Anonymous said...

Steve: The link in your post seems to be broken. Or the professor was made to take down his post, which appears to be hosted on university servers.

Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zv0WlHbBhdc

Mike said...

An extra "]" at the end of the link

FWG said...

Darn, it's coming up as a dead link on my phone.

Anonymous said...

Bad Link.

Anonymous said...

Delete final character of link.

Anonymous said...

OT but Canadian Television uncovers a topic that iSteve readers knew about from a long time.


Chinese 'birth tourists' having babies in Canada

Shakes said...

Link doesn't work

eah said...

Bad link (remove the last character).

abused

abuse

The abuse is way more tragic than comic.

Anonymous said...

Link doesn't work and I can't find the post with a quick look.

Maybe he's frit of being a thought criminal?

Anonymous said...

OK, your link's got an extra bracket on it.

http://arts.uwaterloo.ca/~kwesthue/regiftedxmas12.html

Juan Bautista said...

Eschewing the labels, the first form considers the picture, the second form considers the frame.

The picture is the province of the fully formed mind, who can place it in any frame he chooses.

The frame offers assurance to the lost, the infirm, the unformed, who cannot approach matters substantial without doctrinal supervision.

Hunsdon said...

Westhues said: The giver was American conservative pundit Steve Sailer, whose blog is a year-round Santa's sleigh.

Hunsdon: Hear, hear.

Anonymous said...

Over the past half century, a competing mode of discourse, the one I call postmodern, has become steadily more entrenched in academe. Following are ten of its hallmarks, as Roberts and Sailer describe on their blogs:
• "persons and positions are ordinarily closely related," with little insistence on keeping personal identity separate from the questions or issues under discussion;
• "sensitivity, inclusivity, and inoffensiveness are key values";
• priority on "cooperation, collaboration, quietness, sedentariness, empathy, equality, non-competitiveness, conformity, a communal focus";
• "seems lacking in rationality and ideological challenge," in the eyes of proponents of modern discourse;
• tends to perceive the satire and criticism of modern discourse as "vicious and personal attack, driven by a hateful animus";
• is oriented to " the standard measures of grades, tests, and a closely defined curriculum";
• lacking "means by which to negotiate or accommodate such intractable differences within its mode of conversation," it will "typically resort to the most fiercely antagonistic, demonizing, and personal attacks upon the opposition";
• "will typically try, not to answer opponents with better arguments, but to silence them completely as ‘hateful’, ‘intolerant’, ‘bigoted’, ‘misogynistic’, ‘homophobic’, etc.";
• has a more feminine flavour, as opposed to the more masculine flavour of modern discourse;
• results in "stale monologues" and contexts that "seldom produce strong thought, but rather tend to become echo chambers."


Has this poor guy never heard of the Frankfurt School?

He's writing as though all of these techniques just suddenly & randomly appeared right out of the ether.

Heck, let me quit being so subtle about it and be a little more blunt instead: Anyone who talks about these matters - but fails to address the fact that all of this was foisted on us intentionally, and fails to address just who it was who foisted it upon us - is someone who has already lost the war before the first shot has even been fired.

Anonymous said...

I will be a bit sarcastic and unfair here.

Is this imposition, this almost violent imposition of feminine values on society how women are thanking us men for going along with gender equality and feminism ?

Camel Hare said...

It's a long post because the guy is too verbiose. But its an interesting topic....

Nexin said...

You could just as easily label this 'male thinking' vs. 'female feeling'.

dearieme said...

His distinction between enlightenment thinking (which he calls modern) and burn-the-heretics/kill-the-apostates thinking, which he calls postmodern, is made very well. How did the medieval-postmodern buggers come to be in charge of the universities, though?

Anonymous said...

Scots Irish I mean dead link

candid_observer said...

One of the interesting aspects of these different approaches is the generational one.

I have no doubt that the HBD revolution will come, because it's baked into the science. But by whose hand will it come?

It is a melancholy experience to see that those who offend the post-modern crowd, and defend the modern approach, so often come from older generations -- professors emeriti, etc.

Who among the rising generation of scholars is so devoted to standards of objectivity and intellectual rigor that they might be capable of leading such a revolution? Who among them has not been corrupted, having been steeped in an academic culture that defends group sensitivities first, foremost, and sometimes exclusively?

With the passing of many of the eminent figures on the hereditarian side, including Arthur Jensen himself, one wonders who's left who might return us to a rational place.

Anonymous said...

Why must you approve more than one of these comments about the link being broken?

The article is long and boring, after the early part about the two styles of debate. He doesn't do a great job summarizing those either.

Anonymous said...

As I understand Mason's ouster, "academic mobbing" is too fancy a term to place on it. Margaret Wente called it a "mugging" in her column in the Globe & Mail.

The best name for it would be a "smugging".

My guess is that Sweden or Canada must have the highest smugging-rate worldwide.

Anonymous said...

Hey, has anyone let you know that the link was broken at one point?

Anonymous said...

You're able to publish 30 comments about a broken link but anything referencing the Scots-Irish has a 50/50 chance of getting shot down?

Anonymous said...

to the tragicomic abused of another professor in Canada, Malcolm Mason.

Maybe I am insufficiently sensitive, but it seems that abused is wrong above and that it should be abuse.

Anonymous said...

Great essay, thanks for passing it along.

Perhaps copies should be distributed to profs in all of Canada and the US.

BTW, what is it in the Canadian character that makes so many of them jump so fast to "never say anything that might possibly offend anyone, anytime."

While the same practice exists in the US, I think its adoption has other motives.

Auntie Analogue said...


Can it be serendipity that the originally broken link served as a metaphor for the civilizational rupture between Modern and Postmodern forms of discourse?

At this point in time can I be alone in considering it useful to compare and contrast the emotion-rooted arguments made by the "anti-gun" crowd-herd-mob fond of "gun control" vs. the constitutionally and historically based arguments made by independent-minded supporters of Americans' Second Amendment right?

Anonymous said...

the link has a bracket in it, did you type that bracket or copy it from the source code to a reddit comment?

Tanstaafl said...

See Kevin MacDonald’s The Boasian School of Anthropology and the Decline of Darwinism in the Social Sciences, is Chapter 2 in “Culture of Critique”, subtitled “An Evolutionary Analysis of Jewish Involvement in Twentieth-Century Intellectual and Political Movements”:

Several writers have commented on the “radical changes” that occurred in the goals and methods of the social sciences consequent to the entry of Jews to these fields...

A zillion more writers still pretend they can't see or aren't interested or that it doesn't matter why the methods of discourse have changed so radically. The, uh, post-modernists will come for them too, eventually.

JeremiahJohnbalaya said...

At some point it just becomes tiresome to point out who is really open-minded and who is the totalitarian.

Dennis Dale said...

After reading Westhues' analysis, and having been in a couple of these conversations with lefties, I've come to believe that the honorable "modern" mode of discourse is itself an offense to the postmodern thinker. Content isn't important--note the petty and confused nature of the charges. The more exquisitely conditioned student recoils before aggressive curiosity. He has been trained to think of it as something of a trick--the machinations of socerers, which not only mustn't be allowed, but mustn't be understood, lest the morally marginal take them up.

The devout have a justified distrust of the free-thinking, and if you want to understand these curious people who call themselves "progressives" it's as the defenders of a faith, not as truth-seekers. Blank slate, queer, women's and critical race theory; these are the tenets. They've come to view the classroom as akin to religious services; you go, you genuflect and recite, and you leave, faith fortified--but you have to keep going, lest you lapse into the chaos of a faithless world.

But Westhues relates the Summers sacking as a moment when otherwise rational scientists instantly switched over to irrationality--yet what was the end result of that farce? Didn't they fork over a ton of money for women's studies? Nothing is more rational than a shake-down operation.

Anonymous said...

Tangentially relevant: new review of a recent World War II documentary, "A Warning from History."

Perspective said...

Academic mobbing in Canada does not surprise me in the least. In the last decade or so we have gone from a country that has produced many comedians, to a country that has become a tragic comedy skit of what happens when cultural marxism takes over.
Anyone remember what happened to Jared Taylor when he tried to speak at Dalhousie Uni in Halifax. An actual mob forced it self in and removed him from the podium.

Anonymous said...

"Rushton was among the most cited psychologists in the world."

I very much doubt this.

B.B.


Well, it depends on how you look at it. According to Google Scholar, Rushton has about 8,500 lifetime citations. This easily puts him at least in the top one percent among academic psychologists. On the other hand, there are plenty of psychologists with more citations than him.

Anonymous said...

Fascinating thread.

reader #24,601 said...

I could be wrong but I believe the link works now. There's writing there and everything.

How did offense trolls become so suddenly common on the Right? I felt it had something to do with the Nat Review-associated "Media Research Center"/Newsbusters, blasting out e-mails for outrage-of-the-hour which then got picked up by the less imaginative radio hosts. About 10 years back in his conservative phase Andrew Sullivan was a reliable exemplar of it (always bestowing a lame "award" sarcastically on some other writer/rival).

Anonymous said...

Imagine how abused researchers are going to be when people figure out that the Visual Word Form Area might be less developed is some groups.

Svigor said...

A lot of false notes in there, as I think I pointed out the first time around, here.

Everything in there should be subjected to the "who-whom?" test. Much of his opening statement failed that test, I think. I doubt I'll have time to get to it tonight, but I'll probably give it a go tomorrow.

george said...

An intellectual look at PC.

Anonymous said...

http://www.japansociety.org.uk/27740/asia-for-the-asians-china-in-the-lives-of-five-meiji-japanese/

FWG said...

Interesting paper by Mr. Westhues. On a related note, I have to add that I too was impressed by your civility in the Kevin Drum article. I'm sure it took willpower to not take down some of those punks. I was tempted to jump in there myself.

Anonymous said...

Assume that should be "latest" in the title?

wren said...

What the heck is all this about gifting this and regifting that in his first few paragraphs? Seems too postmodern to me. I think he's thinking memes, but maybe those are passe now, or pre-postmodern or whatever.

But, let me be clear, this is a conversation we should have.

Hunsdon said...

Reader #24,601 said: How did offense trolls become so suddenly common on the Right?

Hunsdon hazarded: National Review has not been "on the Right" for most of my lifetime. I cannot stand offence trolling, particularly on the Right. It's playing the Left's game, and even when it works (which is seldom, since it's the LEFT'S GAME, after all), it's demeaning, undignified, and childish.

As for Andrew Sullivan, I am able to dismiss him with the epithet (from whom I do not recall) "Excitable boy."

TD said...

How did offense trolls become so suddenly common on the Right? I felt it had something to do with the Nat Review-associated "Media Research Center"/Newsbusters, blasting out e-mails for outrage-of-the-hour which then got picked up by the less imaginative radio hosts.

I think it started as a hoist-them-by-their-own-petards kind of thing. "So 'being offended' is the ultimate moral trump card? OK then, check out how you 'offended' us, you hypocritical nitwits!"

After a while, though, that initial good-for-the-gander motivation got obscured, and the whole exercise transmogrified into an actual sense of victimhood and an ongoing game of one-upsmanship with the left.

Anonymous said...

Ive just been looking at Steve's comments at Mother Jones, the lead threads. There are a few hard-core acolytes of the accepted wisdom posting too, Steve's tolerance for those mouth-breathers is a wonder to behold.

Keep track of Steve's Disqus comments: disqus.com/stevesailer

Ive been voting for him there but only making one or two comments myself.

Anonymous said...

The reference in the essay to the Governor of South Carolina being a "man of Punjabi origins" is erroneous: the governor in question is a woman.

Anonymous said...

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2013/feb/07/disturbing-misleading-zero-dark-thirty/

Anonymous said...

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2013/jan/10/how-he-got-it-right/

Anonymous said...

dearieme said

"How did the medieval-postmodern buggers come to be in charge of the universities, though?"

Through their high IQ. Particularly verbal part. And, as you know, networking is more important in academia than anywhere else.

Anonymous said...

There's only one way to deal with a postmodern thinker.

And that's to engage them in argument and while they are screaming "Bitch, Bitch!!"

You take something out of your breast pocket...let's call it a pocketwatch

You take out your pocketwatch and ...

Problem solved.

Anonymous said...

"After a while, though, that initial good-for-the-gander motivation got obscured, and the whole exercise transmogrified into an actual sense of victimhood and an ongoing game of one-upsmanship with the left."

The left behaves in such an infantile manner. They seem like little girls who've found themselves in a boys' game of tag where the tag applied is simply "toooooo haarrrrrrd for me!"

TontoBubbaGoldstein said...

Hundson said :
As for Andrew Sullivan, I am able to dismiss him with the epithet (from whom I do not recall) "Excitable boy."

TBG inquired :
Warren Zevon?

Mr. Anon said...

Anonymous Hunsdon said...

As for Andrew Sullivan, I am able to dismiss him with the epithet (from whom I do not recall) "Excitable boy.""

Or, rather, "excited by boys".

Mr. Anon said...

I have no respect for these effete academics who have turned argument and/or discussion into "discourse", books into "texts", and truth into "narratives". The inability to speak in a straightforward fashion indicates the inability to think straightforwardly too.

Svigor said...

Reader #24,601 said: How did offense trolls become so suddenly common on the Right?

Hunsdon hazarded: National Review has not been "on the Right" for most of my lifetime. I cannot stand offence trolling, particularly on the Right. It's playing the Left's game, and even when it works (which is seldom, since it's the LEFT'S GAME, after all), it's demeaning, undignified, and childish.

As for Andrew Sullivan, I am able to dismiss him with the epithet (from whom I do not recall) "Excitable boy."


No, it's the left's tactic. And they've been winning for quite some time now (though probably more through aligning with elite interests than through tactics). Personally I'm all for using the left's tactics against them. The key is to a) know how to argue like you have a brain, b) know how to argue like a neanderthal, and c) know when to do which.

I think we should "offense troll" the other side as much as they do us.

I think it started as a hoist-them-by-their-own-petards kind of thing. "So 'being offended' is the ultimate moral trump card? OK then, check out how you 'offended' us, you hypocritical nitwits!"

After a while, though, that initial good-for-the-gander motivation got obscured, and the whole exercise transmogrified into an actual sense of victimhood and an ongoing game of one-upsmanship with the left.


I don't see this as a bad thing. But then, I'm one of the only "rightists" I know who's perfectly willing to openly advocate that we use the left's shrill tactics against them, that we fight fire with fire, and that it takes a tribalist to beat a tribalist.

Svigor said...

I think it's important that we not let them shout us down. I guess that's my take-home point on this stuff. If your opponent jumps up and gets in his face, you jump up and get in his. If he raises his voice, you raise yours. If he calls you a racist, you call him a racist.

Allowing yourself to be punked because you're too genteel is a loss. Don't let the other guy show everyone watching that he's the true believer. Shout over him, get right back in his face, insult him back, interrupt him in return.

Svigor said...

"How did the medieval-postmodern buggers come to be in charge of the universities, though?"

Through their high IQ. Particularly verbal part. And, as you know, networking is more important in academia than anywhere else.


Ethnocentrism. The ethnocentrist is working toward a consistent purpose while the other guy is counting angels on pinheads.

jeremiahjohnbalaya said...

How did the medieval-postmodern buggers come to be in charge of the universities, though?"


Through their high IQ. Particularly verbal part. And, as you know, networking is more important in academia than anywhere else.

Oh, nonsense. The modernists' belief in free inquiry required that that they let the marxists, feminists, etc in. And the latter has returned the favor by running the former out. Anyone with first hand experience knows this.

Dahlia said...

Steve,
Those are both interesting reads.

This discussion of discourse brings something to mind I've noticed about some of your commenters. Unfortunately, I have not read many of the threads lately due to time, so I only have a sense from what I've seen, but not a more holistic picture including who and when.

You have new trolls here.
That's neither new or that interesting, but what is is that I strongly feel that one of them is employing a method of trolling I've never seen before, a variation of the Moby troll: playing stupid (rather than evil) to reflect badly on the host.
It is meant to strike at the heart of something that has always earned you praise: the high caliber and entertaining factor of your commenters.

I have a hunch that is has something to do with exposing yourself at Kevin Drum's blog and the terrible quality of his commenters, but those are just hunches I'm not investing in.

I can hear the jokes about stupid commenters now, but I've read Steve's blog for years and my intuition says this guy was not stupid or joking and was acting with malevolent intent. This commenter also showed up with more traditional trolls.






Anonymous said...

Through their high IQ. Particularly verbal part. And, as you know, networking is more important in academia than anywhere else.

Honestly, it's more at the "networking" end of things, via the in-group maximization strategies.

We're starting to see the same thing with the Hindi and the "Confucians" and whatnot - entire departments [or subspecialties within departments] becoming Hindu ghettos or "Confucian" ghettos.

If your in-group comes to dominate the tenure committee, then you choose who gets tenure.

If your in-group comes to dominate the tenure-track faculty recruitment committee, then you choose who gets offered the tenure track positions.

And if your in-group comes to dominate the grad student recruitment committee, then you choose who gets offered grad student positions [and stipends and fellowships etc etc etc].

Traditional American "White" people think to themselves, "Jesus H Christ, who wants to do that idiotic bureaucratic bullshit? What a bunch of losers!"

But Scots-Irish and Hindi and "Confucians" think, "He who controls the committees controls the future."

And things aren't going to change in this country [in academia or gubmint or anywhere else] until traditional American "White" people take off the gloves and quit playing by Marquess of Queenbury rules.

Anonymous said...

"Excitable Boy" is a song by the late Warren Zevon (as well as the name of the 1978 album that includes the song). How quickly we forget.

Anonymous said...

OT. Interesting blog for aging eusocials. http://mdw-growingold.blogspot.com/?m=1

Anonymous said...

Two styles of debate:

1) Where both people have the same aim - to get as close to the truth as possible - and agree to effectively share brains in the form of a rules-based mental duel to achieve that goal.

2) Where one or both people involved want to *win* rather than get at the truth, either for a practical advantage that will result from winning or simply ego, then you get a pointless waste of time - except not as if you don't fight they win by default.

The conclusion is you need to be consistently reciprocal. If you're debating with someone in group (1) then play the game and share brains. If you're debating with someone in group (2) use every dirty tactic in the book.

Consistent reciprocity - very fair.

Anonymous said...

Forgot to add, bad link btw, arf.

beneath the African sky said...

Stay focused; new research on how to close the achievement gap. (Economist's review of: 'How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity and the Hidden Power of Character')

Oh - and you had a ']' after your link :p

Anonymous said...

"Girls and women 'hit the hardest' by global recession"

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-21088042

"Women and girls have been hit the hardest by the global recession, according to child rights and development organisations."

Anonymous said...

@DennisDale

The Closing of the American mind:

"As Hegel was said to have died in Germany in 1933, Enlightenment in America came close to breathing its last during the sixties. The fact that the universities are no longer in convulsions does not mean that they have regained their health."

/Loki

Glaivester said...

As for Andrew Sullivan, I am able to dismiss him with the epithet (from whom I do not recall) "Excitable boy."

It's from a song by Warren Zevon.

Art Deco said...

1. Perhaps Dr. Westhues would care to explain where he would locate Norman Finkelstein's published work or his dissertation within the conventional subdisciplines of political science.

2. Perhaps he would also care to identify other professors considered for tenure track positions at research universities after noodling around in visiting and adjunct positions for 15 years.

3. Perhaps he would care to explain why most of Norman Finkelstein's published articles are to be found in one academic publication, Journal of Palestine Studies.

4. Perhaps he would care to explain why Norman Finkelstein's quasi-historical writings make little or no use of primary sources.

5. Perhaps he would care to explain why Norman Finkelstein calls himself a 'forensic scholar'. (Hint: if you are an ill-mannered opinion journalist who produces no original research, how do you trump that up?)

Anonymous said...

http://www.the-tls.co.uk/tls/public/article1195447.ece

Anonymous said...

Where is Steve?

--Worried reader

Anonymous said...

I have my own theory about how the post-modernists came to be in charge of the universities. I speak as a (former) academic who watched the process as it happened in Canadian universities.

In the late 1970s, there were a number of Marxists or quasi-Marxists in Canadian history and literature departments. Although Marx was himself a modern rather than post-modern thinker, the Marxists had long since developed the habit of proclaiming that truth should be at the service of advocacy. They also enjoyed using abusive and vulgar language to their students, to try to shock them out of their supposed bourgeois complacency. I saw this done by any number of history professors, in particular, but I don't doubt it happened in other departments. Would it surprise you to learn that such professors particularly enjoyed playing épater the bourgeois with pretty young female history students? I remember one professor sneering, "Your attitude is so typical of middle-class women. You never seem to think you need to learn anything about the world around you. " Equally, would it surprise you to learn that they also liked to use ethnic epithets in their mocking condemnation of those who resisted Marxist theory? "You're a typical petit-bourgeois Italian, of course you're ideologically blind..."

The Marxist humanists I knew in the early 1980s were in general graduates of the years between 1960-68. They still clung to certain assumptions about the universal meanings of freedom. They still taught that ethnic and other identities were fictions introduced by industrial overlords to deceive the workers. In the later 1970s, however a new crop of professors had quietly begun to enter our schools. They graduated from "women's studies", "Black studies", "Ethnic studies" programs. If they were teachers of literature, they had learned to parse books for what they did not say. Their identities were rooted in identity politics. They knew far less history than their predecessors and didn't seem to think that they needed to, because history was written by the winners and they wanted to change all that.

Today we hear all the time about how the left defeated the right on campus. It's less well-know that these two branches of the left fought a pitched battle, and the Marxists were the losers. Their aggressive tactics with their students and other faculty had made them unpopular. In fact, they were sitting ducks for the new post-modern professors. Among these new faculty, you didn't have to pretend not to be bourgeois, or boast that your father was a miner. You could claim the moral high ground by pointing out that you were female, or black, or "ethnic," and thus a natural victim. All you had to do was learn to speak the language of victimhood, inclusion and sensitivity, and rip the throat out of anyone who failed to do so. Women, bourgeois students, ethnic minorities, all those who had tired of the pointless nastiness of Marxist teaching styles, were quick to embrace the new discourse. The Marxists either adapted, or pretended to - or were slowly elbowed out of their faculties.

Alias Clio

Wade said...

After reading Kennether Westhues’s post on this (I had already read yours and Alastair’s), it occurred to me that the distinction between the two modes of discourse mirrors almost exactly the subtle differences between the male and female brains in general.
There’s this theory I read about that while autism is kind of like an “extreme male brain”, psychoticism is like an “extreme female brain.” Tests that diagnose autism by detecting “hypo-intentionality” or the lack of perception of other’s motivations can also detect “hyper-intentionality” or seeing human agency in every phenomena even when it’s not there. For the neurotic, everything that happens in this world must be by design and so they perceive themselves and others to be hapless victims when anything bad happens to them.
This description really stood out to me: “tends to perceive the satire and criticism of modern discourse as ‘vicious and personal attack, driven by a hateful animus’" …sounds a little neurotic if you ask me.
I’m not saying that all women think like this but I really believe that this is precisely the type of personality disorder that goes along with professional feminism as I’m sure Asperger's is very common in science, economics and other fact or math-based professions.
A feminist is handicapped in the unfettered marketplace despite her relatively high intelligence – as she goes around over-interpreting the actions of others, all male confidence is chauvinism, inequality is injustice-- her success is stunted by an overarching belief that all women including herself are hapless victims of the evil patriarchy, never fully comprehending all the ways people can suffer when nobody had any ill-intent.
At the university, that nice little incubator of leftist irrationality, she’s provided with succor so that all her neurotic theories can make it to print or be foisted on her long-suffering students. My first English class at university was taught by a lesbian/feminist. Early in the course she told us a little about her personal life which included a part time job working in the drive-through of a fast food restaurant. She talked like having to work a cash register was some kind of traumatic experience that even caused her to break down crying on the job one day. Customers were soooo mean and rude! In her characterization, she was clearly a victim in the whole affair. No one should ever have to work at such a horrible job. Apparently one day she decided to spit in a customer’s coke and wanted our class to discuss the ethical ramifications of the sort of action in which the customer does not know they are a victim of anything (obviously her class was an irony-free zone). The rest of the semester was feminism 101. I wondered how someone smart enough to have a PHD could have found running a cash register so hard.
Anyway, it’s a mystery to me that it was women’s entrance into the university that ushered in the era of post-modernist discourse in academia.

hbd chick said...

ot (but on the topic of new yorkers) - from the nyt:

What Is Middle Class in Manhattan?

Reg Cæsar said...

How did the medieval-postmodern buggers come to be in charge of the universities, though? --Dearieme

The university itself is a medieval product, so maybe it's just returning to its roots.

Anonymous said...

No new post for awhile. Is there any truth to the rumor that Sailer is dead?

Anonymous said...

Why on earth do you keep this blog going? You're obviously not the original contributors. Even more obvious is that you have a weak grasp of the subject matter.

Just end the thing & leave some archives somewhere. This slow death is painful to watch.

Anonymous said...

No inauguration coverage? Cmon, BHO coincident with the 50th anniversary of the dream speech? Dude, you dedicated a significant portion of your early elderly/pre-alzheimers adult life writing a book about the Rock/Barack, on some borderline gay stalker type stuff, and no love today?! Ugh, what a hater....

Anonymous said...

You're productivity is way down. The readers are not getting their zero-dollar's worth.

Silver said...

Today we hear all the time about how the left defeated the right on campus. It's less well-know that these two branches of the left fought a pitched battle, and the Marxists were the losers.

You'd think the leftist identity politics sickos would be worlds easier to mock into oblivion, so why is it only the fringe doing the mocking?

Anonymous said...

Mr. Kenneth Westhues asks "Always, the question is why". Why is there workplace mobbing? And then he goes on to attempt an explanation: it is the result of the clash between two groups wielding radically different discourses -- the modern and the postmodern.

This seems like begging the question -- it doesn't explain much. OK, people have different discourses, but how did these discourses arise? Westhues does not attempt to trace back to the roots of the postmodern discourse and explain how it was lodged in the minds of countless professors and their students and now in society at large. If he had done this, his analysis would be of much greater value.

One of the central facts of twentieth century history was the Soviet's cultural attack against the West. Much can be explained by their influence on Hollywood (read Radosh's Red Star Over Hollywood). Since the 1930's the KGB stealthily planted here the seeds of a new mentality, one which Americans and Canadians came to think of as their own, but which was clearly an artificial implant concocted to undermine the original and native Christian value system. It took. And no wonder. Here is Ralph de Toledano quoting Jerry Rubin in his book "Cry Havoc": "We've combined youth, music, sex, drugs, and rebellion - and that's a combination hard to beat." (See also http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/17976).

Today's American and Canadian elites use words and expressions -- and value judgments -- created by infiltrated Soviet change agents such as Willi Münzenberg, a pioneer in the field (see McMeekin, The Red Millionaire). This mutation in the West's mentality created the conditions, after decades of psychological preparation, for the acceptance of this new value system. And then, and only then, was the so-called "postmodern discourse" able to thrive and become responsible for so many "muggings" in the workplace, forcing the likes of Mr. Westhues to blindly seek an answer to this overwhelming question.

Anonymous said...

Anon:
"One of the central facts of twentieth century history was the Soviet's cultural attack against the West. Much can be explained by their influence on Hollywood. Since the 1930's the KGB stealthily planted here the seeds of a new mentality"

Ah, THAT is who owns Hollywood! KGB! "KGB Century". Thanks for the laughs - very creative.

Anonymous said...

I don't know I'd say especially on foreign policy the paleocons aren't very modern in their discourse.Basically one asshole who has been driven from every one of his mainstream right sinecures wrote a shitty article about Iraq war opponents and all of a sudden every supporter of aggressive foreign policy is guilty of questioning paleocons patriotism. This when most paleocons constantly question neo-cons loyalty. I mean look at the Hagel fight. Mainstream right makes substantive criticisms of Hagel and the paleocons response is bawk bawk bawk chicken hawk and tel aviv tel aviv.

In other words discourses are a function of power the paleocons are aligned with the current media hegemonity on Iraq and Hagel so they argue with the childish but exhilarating post modern methods. It's fun to ascribe flaws to your enemies. Larison is a perfect example of this the second he feels like he has a winning issue (i.e. that the media is on his side) it's all he posts about. Say what you want about the mainstream right but they have successfully defanged the media before the paleocons can only ride the leftist media dragon if they want a win.

Anonymous said...

Somebody is using "Soviet" as a euphemism for "Scots-Irish".

BTW, the real "Soviets" are now re-criminalizing sodomy.

I'm thinking about emigrating.

Gene Berman said...

Svigor:

"advocate that we use the left's tactics against them"

I think (and hope) you're wrong on this (though I have far less confidence than formerly). Once you've grappled in close with a Tar Baby, you might as well be one of 'em.

NOTA said...

Silver:

I've certainly seen people mocking it my whole life, constantly in private, but often enough, at least around the edges, in public. Often driving the new converts to the ideology to great anger and outrage, as with the old joke:

Q: How many feminists does it take to change a light bulb?

A: THAT'S NOT FUNNY!

One phenomenon I've noticed a lot online and in media both: how controversial an idea is has little to do with whether it makes any sense, and a lot to do with whether there are people with a voice who will complain, and how hard they'll complain. Thus, you can say incredibly controversial things that are transparently true (AIPAC has a lot of power in Washington, affirmative action in universtiy admissions means the black students are underqualified and the Asian ones overqualified), because there are lots of people with a voice who will speak up when you say those things. And there are plenty of utterly goofy but uncontroversial things you can say (we're fighting the war on terror for freedom and democracy, banning assault rifles will have a big impact on the murder rate) because, at least within the sort of people the MSM listens to, they won't trigger much outcry.

Anonymous said...

"From no women in colleges in 1830 to three-quarters of all American colleges admitting women by 1900 was a change in educational culture that was unprecedented in modern history. We see, within seventy years, an absolute revision of the all-male enclaves that colleges had been for over a millennium. There were, of course, schools that remained all-male some even to the present day but the college experience was ineluctably changed by the gradual influx of young women. This is not the place to detail the horrified objections, the often frantic attempts to safeguard the portals, the manifold arguments advanced against coeducation (see Woody). Women were on the move and would not be denied. And where women and men went to college together, the atmosphere and curricula changed as a result the atmosphere and tone of life with startling rapidity, and the curriculum more slowly but just as certainly"

http://unmaskingfeminism.wordpress.com/2013/01/04/the-feminization-of-rhetoric/

Anonymous said...

"KGB Century"

In the end, KFC beat KGB.

Anonymous said...

calling it "postmodern discourse" seems excessively civil. too often there is only tepid criticism of what are, in fact, outrageous illogical points of view, such as judicial activism as a school of thought. Note: the US is just one Sonya Sotomayor away from an end to hate speech.

Anonymous said...

Silver (2nd para.) wrote in answer to me (1st para.)

"Today we hear all the time about how the left defeated the right on campus. It's less well-know that these two branches of the left fought a pitched battle, and the Marxists were the losers.

"'You'd think the leftist identity politics sickos would be worlds easier to mock into oblivion, so why is it only the fringe doing the mocking?''

And my response to his comment: In fact, I tried to explain this in my comment. The reason is that the Marxists had made many enemies on campus, and the postmodern leftists had something to offer for almost everyone. The earliest on-campus exponents of postmodernism were good at exploiting the weaknesses of academic Marxism, and in those days they also had a sense of humor. Today, I doubt any of them knows enough about Marxism to undercut it effectively, because historians don't read "secondary sources" or study the "history of philosophy" any more. Nor do postmodern historians show any signs of humor.

I will say for my profession, though, that it was and remains much less influenced by postmodern discourse theory and the so-called linguistic turn than other humanities departments. If you're a historian, you only saw off your own branch when you insist that texts are never transparent and that they only reveal the reader's prejudices, and nothing about their writers.

Alias Clio

NOTA said...

Anon 6:16:

My impression is that the main attacks on Hegel from the right are accusing him of being insufficiently deferential to Israel. The only substantive criticisms I've seen have been from the left and right, pointing out that he's been largely behind the Obama administration's assassination of citizens program, about which we are not allowed to learn even the legal reasoning used to justify it. (My guess is the legal justification is "Because we can."). The other criticisms I've seen of him are empty.

As far as name calling, it's human nature that we remember insults thrown at us, and not insults thrown by our side at the other side. So absolutely everyone can remember hearing people say their side was a bunch of idiots or traitors or thugs or whatever. That said, the signature neocon policy achievement was the Iraq war, which was justified by a threat that turned out not to exist in any substantial form, cost way more than it was projected to cost, cost us a few thousand dead soldiers and maybe ten times that many crippled, and doesn't seem to have improved things for us in the region. (It clearly was a win for Iraqi Kurds and to a lesser extent for Shiites, not so much for Christians or any minorities (including Shiites) who didn't flee their homes in time when their neighbors got into an ethnic cleansing mood.) So, blaming them for all the world's ills or claiming they're all Israeli shills is nonsense, but they didn't exactly cover themselves with glory the last time they had a lot of power over foreign policy, and I can't see why I would want to see them back in the driver's seat, as they would be if a Republican president had mainly neocon foreign policy advisors.

ben tillman said...

My impression is that the main attacks on Hegel from the right are accusing him of being insufficiently deferential to Israel. The only substantive criticisms I've seen have been from the left and right, pointing out that he's been largely behind the Obama administration's assassination of citizens program

Hegel??????????

Thesis and antithesis??????????

Norville Rogers said...

"Dahlia" said: ...the high caliber and entertaining factor of your commenters...

Uh... what? You mean this blog? Seen some choice ditties from time to time, sure. It ain't exactly curated though. I grok Steve's un-selective policy in theory; in practice it renders the comments of the posts typically worth skipping. Hey, only reason I saw your complaint (a bit overlong btw) is because he slowed down this month. I heard scientists determined late January is the "most depressing" time of year

Gene Berman said...

Norville Rogers:

"late January is the 'most depressing' time of year."

Hmm. If those scientists are right,
maybe we could just change the name?

JeremiahJohnbalaya said...

mobbing in gov't science, DOI

Last year, Dr. Houser raised these concerns and was subsequently fired by the DOI. “I put my concerns forward and immediately thereafter I was pushed out of the organization,” he stated. The agency sent a clear message to the rest of their employees and scientists - Salazar’s dam busting agenda cannot be subject to any internal scientific scrutiny. Goebbels would be proud. Truth must be repressed when it contradicts the objective.

Dr. Houser did the right thing. He did his job. His integrity as a scientist was more important than a paycheck. But he remains concerned about his colleagues in DOI, “There are a lot of good scientists that work for the government but they are scared, they are scared that what happened to me might happen to them. This is an issue (about) the honesty and transparency of government and an issue for other scientists in government who want to speak out.” A few weeks ago Dr. Houser settled a wrongful discharge case with the DOI. Terms of his settlement are not public.

Now, seven more DOI scientists working on the Klamath Project have filed a complaint with PEER (Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility) claiming they have been reassigned or terminated for disagreement with the integrity of the science used to support dam removal. They have charged DOI’s Bureau of Reclamation’s management with “coercive manipulation, sublimating science to political priorities, censorship, and scientific misconduct.”