The West is soaked in academic drivel

The fatuous ideology of diversity

People in the West live, writes Dalrymple,

in a totalitarian condition in which they are afraid to say some things and—what is worse—are required to say others. They are obliged to deny what they believe and assent to what they do not believe. There is no better way to destroy the personality. People become cynical, time-serving, increasingly self-absorbed. Their impotence breeds apathy. Once they start to utter things for the sake of their careers or their peace and quiet that they do not believe, they lose self-respect and probity and thus their standing to resist anything. People without probity are easy to control and manipulate; the purpose of political correctness is not to enunciate truth but to exercise power.

The threat comes not from government

but from the universities and the semi-intellectuals that they turn out. The governments of once-liberal democracies lamely follow the fashions and obsessions that emerge from universities, and few politicians have the courage or stamina to resist. To do so would require a willingness to present an intellectual case against them, not once but repeatedly, as well as a rhinoceros hide to be unaffected by the opprobrium and insult to which they would be subjected (insult these days being the highest form of argument). We do not live in times propitious to patient argumentation by politicians about matters of principle. What cannot be said in three words will not be heard, so that surrender is the default setting.

A dictatorship of virtue

Dalrymple notes that even applying for a job, particularly in US universities,

is a kind of Calvary for the person who does not share modern academic-bureaucratic obsession with race and sexual proclivities. The applicant must fill in forms about his attitude towards diversity—there being no permissible diversity in attitudes towards diversity.

Many universities demand a personal ‘diversity statement’ from the applicant. It requires of the successful candidate a full commitment to modern orthodoxies.

To admit that all you want to do is study the life and times of, say, William the Silent, the Khedive Ismail or José Gaspar Rodríguez de Francia, and convey your enthusiasm for this subject to others, would be fatal to your chances. You must want, in the cant phrase of our times, to make a difference. You must bring your straw to the fires of resentment, so that the diversity bureaucracy will never extinguish them and never be out of a job.

Newton need not apply

Could not have secured even the most modest teaching post in any modern Western university

Human Resources Maoism

You might have thought, writes Dalrymple,

that there was little opportunity for Diversity Thought in disciplines such as biology, the physical sciences, or engineering. You would be wrong. The applicant has to promise to promote racial, sexual, and class diversity in the physics lab, though this would mean discriminating against the best people as established by such socially retrograde criteria as research record.

He cites the opening sentence of a diversity statement recommended as a model for those who are applying for a post in a university department of science and engineering:

I am well aware that being a scientist or researcher does not mean just being successful in research. At the same time one should be excellent in his/her interactions with the community and the students, in his/her role to lead the academic society and in responsibilities to transform the community.

Dalrymple comments:

No Isaac Newton need apply, then, because he was notably not excellent in his interactions with the community, nor were his numerological and alchemical speculations likely to transform it.

Champlain College is hiring!

Situation vacant: assistant professor of interdisciplinary studies

The institution of higher education in Burlington, Vermont, USA, states in its advertisement:

We specifically welcome candidates with interdisciplinary teaching expertise in one or more of the following areas:

  • postcolonial studies
  • decoloniality
  • critical race theory
  • queer of color critique
  • ethnic studies
  • indigenous and/or settler colonialism studies
  • disability studies
  • feminist theories
  • gender and sexuality studies
  • transnational studies
  • composition and rhetoric with a specialization in any of the above areas

As we strive to create the most intellectually diverse, equitable, and inclusive institution that we can, we especially encourage candidates from historically underrepresented groups to apply.

Johnson loses track of reality

Dalrymple notes that the difference between investment and expenditure seems to escape British politicians such as Boris Johnson, as does the fact that, while expenditure is certain, returns are not. He points out that HS2

has a projected construction cost of over $130bn. The projected costs have risen 300% since the scheme was mooted. Each hour’s journey-time saved will have been bought at enormous expense. It will cost many times more to build than it would anywhere else in the world.

It has, says Dalrymple,

never been less necessary, from a purely economic point of view, for people to get quickly from one city to another.

The episode reflects

the sclerosis, corruption, and incompetence of successive British governments — symptomatic of a steep cultural decline.

Why did such a brilliantly gifted person waste his talents on politics?

Enoch Powell’s political concerns were, writes Dalrymple,

responses to Britain’s precipitous national decline, the steepest part of which occurred in his lifetime, but which is continuing apace to the extent that Britain might cease to be a nation.

Powell

was born in a great power and died in an enfeebled country with no industrial or military might, precious little patriotism, and no sense of grandeur or collective purpose. That this decline — relative rather than absolute, except in such fields as the maintenance of law and order — was inevitable given the conjunctures of the age, was evident to Powell (though not at first).

This relative decline

was implicit in Disraeli’s dictum that ‘the Continent will not suffer England to be the workshop of the world’.

Britain’s festival of disorder

Poor man! If only he had been given the opportunity of rehabilitation and repentance, perhaps he wouldn’t have taken the cyanide

In Britain, one of the effects of the abolition of the death penalty has been downward pressure on prison sentences. Your average British murderer, Dalrymple explains,

serves 15 years before release. His life sentence is for life only in the sense that, for the rest of his days, he may be recalled to prison if it is thought that he is misbehaving or breaking the conditions of his release.

In one per cent of cases,

a life sentence may mean permanent incarceration without possibility of release, though the European Court of Human Rights (that giver of lessons to the world) has ruled that such a sentence breaches fundamental human rights because it does not allow for the possibility of repentance or rehabilitation. It goes to show how lacking in realism, imagination and compassion the ECHR is.

Dalrymple points out that punishment has to be roughly proportional to the gravity of the crime, but

if murder attracts only 15 years’ imprisonment de facto, what sentences can be meted out to those who commit lesser, but still serious, crimes? Moreover, the charge of murder is often reduced to the lesser crime of manslaughter, in which sentences – as a consequence – are often derisory.

It is scarcely any wonder, he says, that Britain

has gone from being a well-ordered, non-violent, law-abiding society to being a society with the highest rate of violent crime in Western Europe.

He notes that

it was not inevitable that the abolition of the death penalty should have had this effect, if conviction for murder had carried a sentence of incarceration for life. But in order for this to have been the case, society as a whole, and the governing class in particular, including intellectuals, would have had to have sufficient faith in a moral authority to impose it. The abolition itself, in my view justified per se, was — in the manner in which it was carried out — a symptom in itself of the decline in that faith.

The governing class and intellectuals

believed only in their own moral authority to defy the ‘primitive’ wishes and apprehensions of the unlettered majority. They replaced the moral view of human existence by the sociological and psychological one, with all its explaining and explaining away.

The long march of sentimentality

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Sudesh Amman

The absurdity of British criminal-justice policy over several decades at the behest of penological liberals

The British criminal-justice system, writes Dalrymple, is one of

elaborate and ceremonious frivolity.

The frivolity

is serious in its effects, not only for its immediate consequences on Britain’s crime rate but also because it undermines the legitimacy of the State, whose first and inescapable duty is to maintain enough order to secure the safety of citizens as they go about their lawful business.

Remission of prison sentences is automatic,

turning all judges into liars. When a judge says, ‘I sentence you to three years’ imprisonment,’ what he means is: ‘I sentence you to 18 months’ imprisonment.’

Appalling as terrorist violence is, the average person in Britain is many times more likely to be the victim of violent common crime than of terrorism, so that Boris Johnson’s announcement that the laws governing the sentencing of terrorists will be made more severe,

by fixing attention on what remains an uncommon problem and ignoring a far more prevalent one, may be doing a disservice.

Dalrymple says that good sense on criminal justice in Britain

will be difficult to put into practice, for a long march of sentimentality has occurred through the minds of the intelligentsia and élites in general. The father of the last man to be murdered by a terrorist recently released from prison said that he hoped his son’s death would not be used as an argument for more drastic sentencing of terrorists.

Screenshot 2020-02-11 at 08.34.03

Does one laugh or cry?

The fruits of liberation

Screenshot 2020-02-08 at 08.14.24Dalrymple notes that the first fruit of the liberation of the former Rhodesia was

repeated massacres in Matabeleland.

The second fruit was

to turn a land of immigration into a land of mass emigration, thanks to corruption and idiotic economic policies — without any increase in individual freedom.

Liberation meant

only the replacement of white by black government.

The liberation movement

was fighting for power, not for freedom. The wish for access to power is not the same as the wish that others be free.

Pronunciamento of the philosopher-shrinks

Screenshot 2020-02-05 at 08.23.27An attempt to invalidate the political opinions and choices of opponents on spurious, potentially dictatorial, psychiatric grounds

Dalrymple points out that the assertion by a group of psychiatrists that Donald Trump is unfit psychiatrically to be president of the USA is

absurd and unethical.

It is

political prejudice masquerading as medical diagnosis and prognosis.

The psychiatrists

presumably take comfort in the unanimity of their opinion, as did the 100 German physicists who denounced relativity theory because Einstein was Jewish. If they had been right, said Einstein, one would have been enough.

Regarding the president’s paranoid style of thought, Dalrymple notes that

if Mr Trump did not believe that there were plots against him, if he were convinced that there were not, this would be delusional. For him blandly to say that he had no enemies in Congress, and that no members of Congress were meeting together to plan his downfall, would be a sign of madness, a loss of grasp of the most obvious reality.

The quack psychiatrists

must have a very unflattering view of the United States and its system of government—something like an electoral tinpot dictatorship—if they suppose that the fate of the country, indeed the world, rests upon the mental state of one man.

It seems, says Dalrymple, that they

would prefer the rule of philosopher-psychiatrists to that of people with psychiatric pathology (the vast majority of the population, if the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is to be believed).

The philosopher-shrinks believe in

a version of the basket-of-deplorables hypothesis. People who voted for or supported the president did not have a different opinion, they had an illness. Mr Trump is incapable for medical reasons of making a rational choice, and this applies to millions, tens of millions, of Americans.

Dalrymple points out that psychiatry

is not an exact science, and much of it—psychoanalysis, for example—is not a science at all. To leave the State to the discretion of psychiatrists is like leaving industrial policy to alchemists or public health policy to astrologers.

Educated voters for, and supporters of, Trump

are well aware of his character defects, which require no very great psychological acuity to descry, but prefer him to the alternatives for political and economic reasons.

Why politicians want to lower the voting age further

Screenshot 2020-02-02 at 07.52.21

Mila

Dalrymple notes that

the widening and lengthening of education has gone hand in hand with a decline in the civility of discourse.

Adolescence

is the age neither of good taste nor of wisdom, which no doubt is why some politicians want to lower the voting age even further. After all, what many politicians most value in voters is gullibility.

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