Top Dissident Academics

It is common knowledge just how widespread intolerance and anti-intellectual groupthink has become on university campuses. One of the most worrying things about this phenomenon is how it is aided and abetted by academics and university lecturers, whether by their active encouragement or conspicuous silence.

There are, however a few who have risked their careers to speak out against political correctness on campus. I’ve put together a short list of some of the most well known ones: Read More…

Jordan Peterson on the Joe Rogan Show

The dissident Canadian academic Jordan Peterson was recently interviewed on the Joe Rogan podcast where he spoke about his struggles against all-pervasive political correctness and ideological conformity at the University of Toronto.

The clinical psychologist and tenured professor of psychology at U of T recently made international headlines when he refused to use “gender neutral” pronouns, what he terms “compelled pronouns”.

In a wide-ranging interview, which covered numerous issues including safe spaces, trigger warnings, and no-platforming, Peterson argues that true intellectual diversity is no longer tolerated on modern university campuses, and even says that he believes university does more harm than good. One profound point that he makes is that you do not  make a person stronger by shielding them from challenging ideas, you actually make them weaker.

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome to Dystopia University

imagine-athena-safe-space

I didn’t go to university to have my preconceptions challenged, or to open myself to weird knowledge and dangerous ideas. I wasn’t seeking to push my personal boundaries or take intellectual risks. It’s not that I don’t think those are valuable experiences, it’s just that such things can be done by anyone, anywhere, without the empty validation of a reading list and a final exam.

University life wasn’t that far removed from not-university life anyway—sure, there were a few misanthropic left-radicals who were angry and judgmental, but they were an avoidable fringe. Not many people were trying to force your worldview, show off about correcting social justice or, even worse, blame you for social injustice. If there were people like that, they were easily ignored from the depths of the SU bar.

Which is why the current state of politically correct academic culture is so troubling. Ideological fanatics, with the backing of fully complicit college authorities, are fostering a campus environment that looks far removed from the norms of everyday life. In this sealed-off, Lord of the Flies echo chamber irrational ideas are being allowed to exert control, and it’s all been officially signed off at the top. Read More…

Stand Firm And Don’t Give The Bullies The Moral High Ground

stop funding hate

The most disturbing aspect of the recent Ellen Degeneres controversy was not so much that she was falsely accused of being a racist and isn’t one, but the fact that a mere allegation inspires such dismay in our culture that she was forced to acknowledge and deny it. She paid verbal fealty to a spurious narrative that is sustained only through fear.

Of course, Degeneres is a celebrity who is probably hyper-conscious of her public image, so she’s going to do everything she can to prevent any damage to that. It’s not so easy to ignore denunciations of that kind when it affects your bottom line.

But the reason I was opposed to her acknowledging the moronic witch hunters on Twitter is that I think that even the slightest flinch before their finger-pointing only encourages them to do it again. Especially, if they can make a seemingly untouchable megastar like Degeneres react. Read More…

Is Charlie Hebdo Racist?

Listen to this really illuminating podcast that’s been widely shared on social media this week.

It features a discussion between John Semley, a high profile Canadian critic of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, and his fellow Canadian, the cartoonist “Eiynah”, pseudonymous author of the blog Nice Mangos.

It’s fascinating to observe the dynamic between the moderately progressive Eiynah, an ex-Muslim atheist who writes a blog on Islam and sexuality, and Semley who also self-identifies as a “progressive”.

As a former Muslim, who turns a wry eye on conservative Islamic culture and its attitudes to sex, Eiynah argues for solidarity with publications, such as Charlie Hebdo, who do the same; whilst Semley, the consummate western liberal progressive, believes it to be a racist monstrosity, unworthy of support from his political kin.

Eiynah argues that Islam is not a race; after all, she considers herself to be “ex-Muslim”.

He describes Charlie Hebdo as “pudgy French intellectuals drawing Mohammed’s asshole.”

You would not think that their positions would diverge so wildly on this subject, but they do.

 

 

 

Tim Hunt Didn’t Matter. The Narrative Did

Cultural Marxism

How is it that a distinguished Nobel Laureate was completely undone by fourth-hand gossip? Silly tittle-tattle, spread by people who have not achieved one iota of what he has.

It is because Tim Hunt, as an individual, doesn’t really matter; it is “the narrative” which must be preserved at all costs: the narrative that the STEM industry is rife with anti-woman bigotry and it is men like Hunt, who spitefully perpetuate it.

To that end, what a juicy prospect he must have seemed.

This narrative will inform you, with a straight face, that a major scientific figure like Tim Hunt is so filled with misogyny and resentment at having to work alongside female scientists that he willingly risked his entire career just to spew hatred at them. The man is simply bursting with bigotry, apparently.

A similar narrative was at work recently when a fraternity at the University of Virginia was falsely accused of committing a crime of extreme depravity. This story, the invention of a young female fantasist, was gleefully repeated by Rolling Stone magazine and the world’s media, until it was eventually completely discredited and retracted.

The innocent members of that fraternity, however, were just sacrificial lambs to the ignoble narrative: there is a rape epidemic on college campuses.

In my last piece on Tim Hunt I said, “the lessons that can be drawn from this are that the institutions we trust to protect free speech and individual liberty have shown themselves to be pusillanimous in the face of brute force by fanatics, but ordinary people are starting to push back now. Truth will out, eventually.”

Another lesson is that there is endemic political partisanship in the media, which we have to be very aware of (GamerGate originally criticised this in games journalism). We’re not always dealing with honest brokers who report the truth objectively. These are ideologues playing a power game.

Sign up for our newsletter and receive a free copy of Athena eBook Psyche in the City:

Featured Image Credit: The Remorse of Orestes, where he is surrounded by the Erinyes, William-Adolphe Bouguereau, 1862 Source: WikiCommons