City Journal Autumn 2014

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Fred Siegel
The Collapse of American Pluralism « Back to Story

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A hypothesis: the bilge peddled by academic administration and some faculty is an attractive means of self-aggrandizement in a world which has only very circumscribed use for those peddling this tripe. The people with MEd. degrees in the dean of students' office and the professors in the arts-and-sciences faculty would rather not acknowledge that their efforts are a bloated and elaborate system of labor market signaling, hence they endow themselves with an architectonic mission of redeeming their student charges of the (largely imagined) vices of their suburban upbringings. Recall Thomas Sowell's observation (or was it T.S. Eliot?) that half the harm in the world is caused by people who want to feel important.

Leftoid politics in our time is often reducible to two statements: "I'm better than you" and, especially, "I'm smarter than you". So long as the faculty and administration remain dissatisfied with their position in society and contemptuous of other elements of it, college campuses will be episodically disagreeable places for those challenging the regnant orthodoxies therein.
"But reading Marsden on Kuyper, you wouldn’t know that the intolerance of Dutch-based Muslims drove the Somalia-born writer and intellectual Ayaan Hirsi Ali to seek refuge in America for fear that she would be killed for apostasy. Similarly, Marsden seems unaware of the rise of what might be described as an American neo-paganism, centered on ecology, on the one hand, or narcissism, on the other."


American neo-pagan here. And I have absolutely no idea what you're talking about, Fred. There are some centered on nature; considerably fewer, on "ecology." Are you saying that neo-paganism is intolerant? For that matter, are you saying that narcissists are intolerant?

If you're going to belittle groups, please do so with a little more specificity.
There may be a right or at least near universal agreement, to allow life property action thought and speech to all as each pleases, so long as the ACTIONS don't damage the lives or the property of others, or prevent their thinking, saying, or doing as they please within those same limits.

There are not and can not be any other rights, if that or those are rights. And if there are other rights, then there are none at all, only yet more ways of giving competitors excuses for bad behavior.
Mr. Siegel,

Kuyper was prime minister of the Netherlands around the turn of the 20th century. There's no reason to connect events from 100 years later (involving Ayaan Hirsi Ali) to him. It makes me wonder how much you've paid attention to Marsden's book.
Political correctness slams the door shut after tolerance and open-mindedness step over the threshold of Marxist class and gender resentment and become imprisoned by semantics and impugned motives.

American neo-paganism burns these prisoners in fay ritual sacrifice of the diversity non-conformers.



political correctness has battered religious and political pluralism on campuses.....
I'd say that political correctness was the cover and motivator for the indoctrination of marxist beliefs.
"American neo-paganism" - loved this concept as it ties together many things happening in our culture and media.
Siegel's review encourages me to read Marsden book, because it cast doubt on so many of my unexamined liberal views. Who knows ? I just might become a conservative. And a black to boot.
Right wing ideologues like Siegel can kvetch ....but you can swim in rivers now that were deadly before we commie hippies got to work.

No more lynchings too...

"Is it illegal now to oppose the right to keep and bear arms?"

Some conflate the nature of opposition. Traditional classically liberal, and admittedly more socially tolerant these days than in the past, Americans would allow for dissenting views and welcome the debate. Increasingly, the Prog Left does not brook divergent views and even has called for criminalization of, say, climate change "denial." At the very least, from campuses to network boardrooms, social ostracism and political-economic boycotts are the penalties for not conforming to Progressive, and ironic, monocultural values of "diversity, "inclusion" and statist-crony administration of "social-economic justice."

Thought-crime has become an effective tool of the Left, since we've allowed foundational negative liberties to be replaced by an ever growing list of added positive rights.
"If, for instance, there is a right to gay marriage, then opposition is literally illegal"

That depends on the nature of the opposition, but not generally. Is it illegal now to oppose the right to keep and bear arms?
No one lies like the brainwashing, history revising, their own hypocrisy whitewashing, Alinsky smearing, and Goebbels media commandeered Left. How can a culture thrive with a dishonest intelligentsia that harbors no respect or goodwill for other citizens and which further punishes thought-crime? How can this country survive a new crony class-conscious oligarchy so smug and insecure simultaneously that it must undermine all chances for others by destroying the middle classes via policy and social reorientation?

Our self-styled elites own and use a massive media-entertainment-communications machine to distract, dumb down, and renorm all of the rubes' values into conformity with their own: namely, that since they know and are our betters, we must realize traditional American notions of individual liberty, free association, love of family, and self-reliance are dangerous, exploitative, parochial, and reactionary. Indeed, we're taught the very idea of an exceptional America standing in a world of sovereign nations is a hateful throw-back attitude contra the inevitable progressive march to one-world globalism.

Real pluralism hasn't a chance, anymore. In the name of tolerance, powerful scum "elites" are fashioning a monoculture that is ruinously oppressive for everyone but themselves.
Just 11 years after she arrived in the Netherlands from Africa, she rode into parliament on a wave of anti-immigrant sentiment, only to leave again last year, this time for America, after an uproar over lies she had told to obtain asylum.
http://www.economist.com/node/8663231