How We Got This Way
A Discussion Of Crispin Sartwell’s
The Postmodern Intellectual Roots
Of Today’s Campus Mobs.
The major problem in discussing today’s political affairs is dealing with the authoritarian position of the Liberals as to the indisputable certainty of their views. They are so certain that they are willing to use physical violence to enforce this view on everyone. One is reminded of the Communist Soviet Union of the 1920s and 30s.
Crispin Sartwell examines the development of this state of mind in the above referenced essay. Unfortunately the essay appeared in the Wall Street Journal of 3/25/17 and the Journal’s policy prevents its republication; hence no link.
Sartwell attributes the attitude’s rise to what he calls ‘the second great era of speech repression in academia.’ Apparently his professor, Richard Rorty was instrumental in propagating the attitude. In 1998 Rorty published his views in book form: Achieving Our Country: Leftist Thought In Twentieth Century America.
Sartwell quotes Rorty, ‘objectivity is a matter of intersubjective consensus among human beings, not of accurate representation of something nonhuman.’ A perhaps interesting opinion but that leaves us with the task of explaining what ‘intersubjective consensus’ is and how it is to be obtained. We’re dealing with a lot of alchemical air here in which subjective thought is transmuted into objective thought by being shared by humans and Rorty means the whole of humanity. To me it sounds like something along the lines of J.G. Jung’s ‘collective unconscious’ in which the racial subconscious is somehow transmitted from generation to generation, and just as subjective.
What it amounts to is that a number of ‘human beings’ get together and agree to agree that something is so whether it is or is not and having once ‘objectified’ their subjectivity by agreeing with other they are willing to punish anyone who disturbs their pleasant utopian fantasy. In other words, twenty-first century Communism by another name with new terminology by a collectivity promoting their unsubstantiated viewpoint.
Something like Des Cartes: I think, therefore I am. While this formula takes the young by storm and they go around repeating it as though irrefutable truth actually I am therefor I think is more logical. A thought requires a thinker to think it not the other way around. I am, therefore I think.
Thus adherents to Rorty’s viewpoint having devised this reformulation of Communism have set about to impose their utopia by force.
Rorty condemns any opposition as heretical:
It is doubtful whether the current critics of the universities who are called ‘conservative intellectuals’ deserve this description, for intellectuals are supposed to be aware of, and speak to issues of social justice.
So, the ‘intersubjective consensus’ controls the narrative while determining the rules of the game. We may understand ‘social justice’ to be the Party line and any deviants don’t the name of ‘intellectuals’ or thinkers. To the outer darkness with them.
And then Sartwell says: ‘By that logic it is defensible to eliminate such people from graduate programs, to deny them tenure, even to shout them down.’
Yea, verily, even to beat them up, prevent their entry to campus and deny them voice. Eventually to murder them as the Soviet Communists did to dissenters in the nineteen twenties and thirties.
Thus, we have the attitude towards President Trump in which any objective view that looks outward at the object instead of inward at wishes is denied validity. One doesn’t describe the situation per se but the utopian, that is the Communist political correct diktat.
The real problem with President Trump and the Liberals then is not Donald Trump himself but the fact that he denies the ‘the intersubjective consensus’ viewpoint. He points derisively at the naked emperor. This cannot be tolerated by them. He must be impeached before he opens his mouth.
During the campaign then you saw criminal violence committed against the Trump voter. Many were beaten fairly seriously while the disruption of Trump’s rallies was so severe that his Chicago rally was cancelled by the Communist mayor for ‘fear that Trump’s rally would cause rioting.’ That shows how violent these people are prepared to be supported by the authorities. Of course the rioting and burning of cars after the inauguration confirms this. Other examples…but they are well known.
Let us hope the President can defuse this situation without having to resort to equally repressive measures. Let us just say that the Liberals are tempting fate.