January 9th, 2017

The quest for knowledge, leftist-style


This isn’t just a case of political correctness run amok. It’s a case of academic censorship in the name of race redress, and of a purposeful historic revisionism and willful drive towards ignorance.

But isn’t that where the left has always been heading?

The story (no, this is not The Onion, nor does it appear to be “fake news”):

…[S]tudents at a prestigious London university are demanding that figures such as Plato, Descartes and Immanuel Kant should be largely dropped from the curriculum because they are white.

The student union at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) insists that when studying philosophy “the majority of philosophers on our courses” should be from Africa and Asia…

The student union at SOAS, a leading centre for the study of Asia, Africa and the Middle East, stated that “decolonising” the university and “confronting the white institution” is one of its priorities for the academic year.

It said that “white philosophers” should be studied only “if required”, adding that their work should be taught solely from a “critical standpoint”. “

Note that this university is in London. I suggest, if the students really want to make an anti-colonial stand, that they attend a university in some third-world country in Asia, Africa, or the Middle East. My guess is that, not only will they be supporting said countries, but they might find to their surprise that Kant and Plato are actually taught there.

Just a guess. [*see NOTE below]

But such men are part of the tradition of philosophy that belongs to what used to quaintly be called the human race.

The sort of thing going on at SOAS has its roots in the 60s (although the real roots are even earlier), in particular in a crisis at Cornell which I’ve written about several times (see this post especially). The students back then were demanding that courses in areas such as Black Studies be instituted or expanded, and they sometimes used violence to get their way. The guilt-ridden adminstrations mostly capitulated, and so the fields of special studies were born. But what was initially a demand for inclusion of the history of racial minorities has now become a demand for exclusion of members of an influential majority, merely by virtue of race.

[*NOTE: I wrote “just a guess,” but then I decided to look up an example in order to check it out. Sure enough, on my first try (University of Nairobi philosophy department), I struck pay dirt (see this). Most people trying to get a degree in a third-world country aren’t into playing PC games. That’s just a guess, too, but I bet I’m correct.]

15 Responses to “The quest for knowledge, leftist-style”

  1. Konrad Says:


    Usually I don’t agree with you on anything you write, but this time I tend to agree with you and with Power Line who stated http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2017/01/white-hot-rage-of-the-left.php

    “If you don’t want to study Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas, Descartes, Spinoza, Locke, Kant, Schopenhauer, Wittgenstein, fine. Don’t. But then don’t pretend that you are studying philosophy.”

    The only explanation I can come up with is that the “School of Oriental and African Studies” (SOAS) is just one college, affiliated with the University of London. As a distinct department or college it doesn’t claim nor need to claim to provide a general university’s curriculum. On the contrary, given the research and teaching focus of the SOAS, it may even be prudent to ask the student to spend his not unlimited time of his studies on the issues at hand, i.e., the study of languages, cultures, religions, and philosophies of the geographical areas he chose.

    Given that, I can understand when the student union insists that “when studying philosophy ‘the majority of philosophers on our courses’ should be from Africa and Asia.” But that has pretty much nothing to do with “de-colonization” (or other snowflake worries) and all about how to spend the limited time one has.

    Personally I doubt that one can understand other cultures’ philosophies and theologies without a prior basic grasp of one’s own intellectual heritage. (In that I would support the teaching staff’s decision to include Western authors as basic requisite.) But given the economic constraints of today’s higher education, decisions with regard to the curriculum need to be made. And with that I can support the suggestion of the student union to increase the amount of material from authors of the respective areas.

    Regrettably, the student union seems to confuse two disparate topics. But they’ll learn. That’s why they attend a university. Or so one should hope.

  2. neo-neocon Says:


    When you write “they’ll learn,” you’re being a lot more optimistic than I am.

  3. Sam L. Says:

    It certainly seems that learning is not what they’re after.

  4. anonymess Says:

    I hope the system will right itself.

  5. parker Says:

    Time for white, heterosexual males to go on strike for 30 days. Lets see what the world looks like after those 30 days. (This comment is not homophobic, I don’t care what adults do in private. It is not anti-women; my grandmothers, mother, wife, daughter, and granddaughters were/are femals.)

  6. CW Says:

    >>”But what was initially a demand for inclusion of the history of racial minorities has now become a demand for exclusion of members of an influential majority, merely by virtue of race.”

    That’s the problem with liberals. Every cause is driven by the need to gratify their egos, but their egos are insatiable. There will ALWAYS be a higher bar that must be met, a higher hoop that others must jump through. And still they won’t be satisfied.

  7. OM Says:

    Cdrdalamander has many good points on “knowledge, leftist style” that is playing out in Germany.


  8. Esther Says:

    There was something I read recently suggesting that liberals–so all academia?– aren’t interested in the study of history or philosophy because the progressive mindset is: been there, done that, who cares about the past, we know best now.

    As a revolutionary idea, “Shut up” is pathetic.

  9. Manju Says:

    Well, as Konrad notes, it is the School of Oriental and African Studies.

    I mean, If I went there I’d expect Sun Tzu, Not Machiavelli.

  10. Manju Says:

    But that has pretty much nothing to do with “de-colonization”

    To make matters worse, “de-colinization” is an idea that emerges from Western Philosophy.

    I mean, it’s probably most associated with Frantz Fanon, but he’s just applying Marxist class analysis to racism and imperialism…with an added dash of relativism.

    I think Allan Bloom called this the Nietzschization of the Left. This probably sounds like word-salad, but I’ll break it down later if anyone is interested.

  11. Artfsldgr Says:

    Dont bother us guys, we are inferior… dont ya know

    talk to the harridends and femnazi’s… they took over college and kicked us guys out, and now complain that there isnt guys to marry up to… (and they dont want to marry down)…

    The Origins of Political Correctness – Accuracy In Academia
    An Accuracy in Academia Address by Bill Lind

    Where does all this stuff that you’ve heard about this morning – the victim feminism, the gay rights movement, the invented statistics, the rewritten history, the lies, the demands, all the rest of it – where does it come from? For the first time in our history, Americans have to be fearful of what they say, of what they write, and of what they think. They have to be afraid of using the wrong word, a word denounced as offensive or insensitive, or racist, sexist, or homophobic.


    We call it “Political Correctness.” The name originated as something of a joke, literally in a comic strip, and we tend still to think of it as only half-serious. In fact, it’s deadly serious. It is the great disease of our century, the disease that has left tens of millions of people dead in Europe, in Russia, in China, indeed around the world. It is the disease of ideology. PC is not funny. PC is deadly serious.


    If we look at it analytically, if we look at it historically, we quickly find out exactly what it is. Political Correctness is cultural Marxism. It is Marxism translated from economic into cultural terms. It is an effort that goes back not to the 1960s and the hippies and the peace movement, but back to World War I. If we compare the basic tenets of Political Correctness with classical Marxism the parallels are very obvious.

    First of all, both are totalitarian ideologies. The totalitarian nature of Political Correctness is revealed nowhere more clearly than on college campuses, many of which at this point are small ivy covered North Koreas, where the student or faculty member who dares to cross any of the lines set up by the gender feminist or the homosexual-rights activists, or the local black or Hispanic group, or any of the other sainted “victims” groups that PC revolves around, quickly find themselves in judicial trouble. Within the small legal system of the college, they face formal charges – some star-chamber proceeding – and punishment. That is a little look into the future that Political Correctness intends for the nation as a whole.


    Like the plant in little shop of horrors, or black mold, its better if you do something early on!!! but if your the only one trying to do something, the people you try to stimulate to some form of action, before they lose what they are not protecting, will dislike your attempt…

    You either leave ppl that dont want to hear it or discuss it alone, or you leave them to their fate – note they will force you to let the bad happen…

    even marx said the trick was to stop talking and start acting…

    but this was also part of the progressives plan:

    Let us go back and distinguish between the two things that we want to do; for we want to do two things in modern society. We want one class of persons to have a liberal education, and we want another class of persons, a very much larger class, of necessity, in every society, to forego the privileges of a liberal education and fit themselves to perform specific difficult manual tasks.

    You cannot train them for both in the time that you have at your disposal.

    They must make a selection, and you must make a selection. I do not mean to say that in the manual training there must not be an element of liberal training; neither am I hostile to the idea that in the liberal education there should be an element of the manual training. But what I am intent upon is that we should not confuse ourselves with regard to what we are trying to make of the pupils under our instruction. We are either trying to make liberally-educated persons out of them, or we are trying to make skillful servants of society along mechanical lines, or else we do not know what we are trying to do.

    and so they took over the schools, prevented the parents, and more… i put up whole lists of relevant stuff way before some item came up that would wake ppl up…

    Political correctness – Wikipedia
    Early-to-mid 20th century
    In the early-to-mid 20th century, the phrase “politically correct” was associated with the dogmatic application of Stalinist doctrine, debated between Communist Party members and American Socialists. This usage referred to the Communist party line, which provided “correct” positions on many political matters. According to American educator Herbert Kohl, writing about debates in New York in the late 1940s and early 1950s,

    The term “politically correct” was used disparagingly, to refer to someone whose loyalty to the CP line overrode compassion, and led to bad politics. It was used by Socialists against Communists, and was meant to separate out Socialists who believed in egalitarian moral ideas from dogmatic Communists who would advocate and defend party positions regardless of their moral substance.
    — ”Uncommon Differences”, The Lion and the Unicorn Journal

    right and left are sovietisms too..
    as are other things..

    remember we used to make fun of them for thinking the way we do now!!!!!!!!!!!

    in the 1970s, the American New Left began using the term “politically correct”.[32] In the essay The Black Woman: An Anthology (1970), Toni Cade Bambara said that “a man cannot be politically correct and a [male] chauvinist, too.” Thereafter, the term was often used as self-critical satire. Debra L. Shultz said that “throughout the 1970s and 1980s, the New Left, feminists, and progressives… used their term ‘politically correct’ ironically, as a guard against their own orthodoxy in social change efforts.

  12. Artfsldgr Says:

    The second purpose of this is the ideological component. Other progressives would hear this and immediately fully understand, because they speak a different language, a loaded language. This is where reading sideways becomes important.

    This is along the same lines of what Wilson stated in 1909, that “The purpose of a university should be to make a son as unlike his father as possible.”

    Bet they dont tell you THAT in the pamplets!!!!!

    He literally means separating out the “best and brightest” so that they can be fully indoctrinated progressives who will then go on to be America’s dictators and rulers, or entrenched bureaucrats for life, under the disguise of being democratically elected. That’s how progressives think. They talk a good game because they’re master propagandists, but on substance all progressives fall short of the mark.

    The elite sons must be progressives. None can be left behind. There cannot be any of the best and brightest who go over to the other side. The elite sons must worship government. The elite sons must desire never ending expansive government. The elite sons must be fully agenda oriented. The best sons, the most charismatic, the most seemingly trustworthy and outwardly intelligent. All must be captured for the collective.


    they have patience like the people who built cathedrals..

    Patience is the progressives most deadly weapon

    what does the Bull Moose party platform advocate? The Bull Moosers, the progressive party’s 1912 party platform calls for these following things:

    * A National Health Service to include all existing government medical agencies.

    * Social insurance, to provide for the elderly, the unemployed, and the disabled

    * Limit the ability of judges to order injunctions to limit labor strikes.

    * A minimum wage law for women

    * An eight-hour workday

    * A federal securities commission

    * Farm relief

    * Workers’ compensation for work-related injuries

    * An inheritance tax

    did they get it?

    You will see much of the modern progressive agenda in this old proclamation, in which they still fight for these things in 2016 – keep in mind this was written in 1912. That’s how patient the progressives are. They plan for longer than their own lifespans. They plan forward for longer than their children’s lifespans.

    In Theodore Roosevelt’s time, when the progressives wanted government healthcare, everybody involved with that effort – they’re all dead.

    the progressives are patient, patient, patient. And they do not let death of the physical body halt them. They just complete the circle with the next guy in line. Here’s another one:

    * A strong, centralized government.

    * An Executive arm growing at the expense of the legislative and judicial arms. In some countries, power is consolidated in a dictator, issuing decrees.

    * The control of banking, credit, and security exchanges by the government.

    * The underwriting of employment by the government, either through armaments or public works.

    * The underwriting of social security by the government – old-age pensions, mothers’ pensions, unemployment insurance, and the like.

    * The underwriting of food, housing, and medical care, by the government. The United States is already experimenting with providing these essentials. Other nations are far along the road.

    * The use of the deficit spending technique to finance these underwritings. The annually balanced budget has lost its old-time sanctity.

    * The abandonment of gold in favor of managed currencies.

    * The control of foreign trade by the government, with increasing emphasis on bilateral agreements and barter deals.

    * The control of natural resources, with increasing emphasis on self-sufficiency

    * The control of energy sources – hydroelectric power, coal, petroleum, natural gas.

    * The control of transportation – railway, highway, airway, waterway.

    * The control of agricultural production.

    * The control of labor organizations, often to the point of prohibiting strikes.

    * The enlistment of young men and women in youth corps devoted to health, discipline, community service and ideologies consistent with those of the authorities. The CCC camps have just inaugurated military drill.

    * Heavy taxation, with especial emphasis on the estates and incomes of the rich.

    * Not much “taking over” of property or industries in the old socialistic sense. The formula appears to be control without ownership. it is interesting to recall that the same formula is used by the management of great corporations in depriving stockholders of power.

    * State control of communications and propaganda.

    That’s from Stuart Chase, who was an adviser to FDR. He called this “political system x”.


    That’s only a speedbump, an inconvenience, a distraction. That’s a serious amount of patience to have. You may still be thinking that I’m kidding. Ok, check this out.

    A man named Hamilton Fish was a close friend with Theodore Roosevelt and a partisan hack progressive back in the day. Hamilton Fish was an actual Bull Mooser.

    Hamilton Fish had a son named Hamilton Fish
    who in turn also had a son named Hamilton Fish
    who finally again, had a son named Hamilton Fish

    Where is Hamilton Fish today?

    Hamilton Fish the fifth is the current publisher of the magazine The New Republic.

    go look at valerie jarrets wiki and lineage
    go look a ayers…
    go look at any of the people behind the people

    then you MIGHT start to understand what your up against, and what is going on in schools..

  13. Artfsldgr Says:

    Those of you who don’t realize that Progressivism is it’s own stand-alone “ism”, will realize how closely this does look like the points in the communist manifesto. That doesn’t make it communist. What it means is that there’s only so many ways that you can be a dictator, there’s only so many ways you can centrally plan society. There’s bound to be some overlap. This is a great example of why I focus somewhat heavily upon Fabianism, because Fabians were always different than Marxists, yet so closely resemble progressives. And Stuart Chase was a Fabian. This is not just some unimportant historical figure. Stuart Chase coined the term “New Deal” and was a part of FDR’s brainstrust. This is a heavy hitter in the history of progressivism.

    Socialism without state ownership; by the excessive use of regulation, is called progressivism. In their own words. We should call them by their name. It’s changed, and has gone under changes in the past. The Marxian communists could hardly be called Owenites. Owenism had largely become outdated by that time. Now, it’s regulation. Not socialism. They’ve progressed past state ownership. Yeah, they’ll still do state ownership directly, but they’ve come to realize that they don’t need it anymore. And this is what makes Cass Sunstein the most dangerous man in America. Because he does it all via regulation, instead of direct state ownership, you’ll never see him coming. Why is Obamacare 2800+ pages? It’s all social regulation, for the purpose of changing society. Fundamental transformation, to use Obama’s words.
    last post

    and pc is a very big way to get people to toe the line
    as it did in russia, and nazi germany..
    which is why the people couldnt fight back the way the young here believe they should have and think they would have.

    you dont see them fighting much back against pc stuff, do you? well, they are fighting back LESS than the people in germany did, which is why the smart ones ended up leaving if they could… jews and gentiles alike.

  14. Chester Draws Says:

    right and left are sovietisms too..

    It arose during the French Revolution.

    I have to assume that much else of what you write is made up too, if you are so blinkered you can’t even get elementary facts right.

    Yes, there were “left Communists” and “right Communists”, but left and right were in common use long before that. You might as well say that “tractor” is a Sovietism, given their love affair with them.

  15. Nick Says:

    I’d read the OA before, and it didn’t strike me as a problem. I’d bet that a lot of ethnic studies curricula don’t have any philosophy courses. They’re studying Africa and Asia, and they want the majority (not all) of the philosophers to be African or Asian. Do you have to read Kant to understand Asia? I’m not even sure that reading Kant helps you to understand Kant.

    If I were teaching a philosophy class for the program, I’d want to include Plato and Aristotle, because frankly you can’t even begin to discuss philosophy without them. I’d want Marx, because he’s been influential in the Third World (particularly among the activists and academics). Otherwise? Confucius, Buddha, Avicenna, Averroes, Al-Ghazali, and a little Mao should keep a student busy. (The “African” part is nonsense, though. I can’t think of a single influential African philosopher unless you want to count St. Augustine.)

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