Sonntag, März 29, 2015

"Die Campus-Linke beginnt zu implodieren"

Anhand von drei Artikeln versucht der Weekly Standard nachzuweisen, dass die Risse selbst innerhalb einer dogmatisch-feministischen Linken, die im akademischen Bereich herrscht, immer größer werden.

Der erste Beitrag wurde anonym in einer Studentenzeitung veröffentlicht und stammt von einem radikalen Studenten, der von der Radikalität seines Umfelds immer befremdeter ist. Seine Worte könnte man bis hin zu Rolf Pohl auch vielen deutschen Radikalfeministen ins Stammbuch schreiben:

First, dogmatism. One way to define the difference between a regular belief and a sacred belief is that people who hold sacred beliefs think it is morally wrong for anyone to question those beliefs. If someone does question those beliefs, they're not just being stupid or even depraved, they're actively doing violence. They might as well be kicking a puppy. When people hold sacred beliefs, there is no disagreement without animosity. In this mindset, people who disagreed with my views weren't just wrong, they were awful people. I watched what people said closely, scanning for objectionable content. Any infraction reflected badly on your character, and too many might put you on my blacklist. Calling them 'sacred beliefs' is a nice way to put it. What I mean to say is that they are dogmas.

Thinking this way quickly divides the world into an ingroup and an outgroup - believers and heathens, the righteous and the wrong-teous. "I hate being around un-rad people," a friend once texted me, infuriated with their liberal roommates. Members of the ingroup are held to the same stringent standards. Every minor heresy inches you further away from the group. People are reluctant to say that anything is too radical for fear of being been seen as too un-radical. Conversely, showing your devotion to the cause earns you respect. Groupthink becomes the modus operandi. When I was part of groups like this, everyone was on exactly the same page about a suspiciously large range of issues. Internal disagreement was rare. The insular community served as an incubator of extreme, irrational views.

(...) The danger of the crusader mentality is that it turns the world in a battle between good and evil. Actions that would otherwise seem extreme and crazy become natural and expected. I didn't think twice about doing a lot of things I would never do today ...

Perhaps the most deeply held tenet of a certain version of anti-oppressive politics - which is by no means the only version - is that members of an oppressed group are infallible in what they say about the oppression faced by that group. This tenet stems from the wise rule of thumb that marginalized groups must be allowed to speak for themselves. But it takes that rule of thumb to an unwieldy extreme ...

Der zweite, ebenfalls anonyme Beitrag stammt offenbar von einem eher der Linken zugehörigen College-Professor, der den akademischen Betrieb unter dem Einfluss dogmatischer Aktivisten zunehmend als Alptraum wahrnimmt. (Beim Lesen sollte man daran denken, dass mit dem amerikanischen Ausdruck "liberals" Linke und eben keine Liberalen in unserem Verständnis gemeint sind.)

Personally, liberal students scare the [$h*t] out of me. I know how to get conservative students to question their beliefs and confront awful truths, and I know that, should one of these conservative students make a facebook page calling me a communist or else seek to formally protest my liberal lies, the university would have my back. I would not get fired for pissing off a Republican, so long as I did so respectfully, and so long as it happened in the course of legitimate classroom instruction.

The same cannot be said of liberal students. All it takes is one slip-not even an outright challenging of their beliefs, but even momentarily exposing them to any uncomfortable thought or imagery - and that's it, your classroom is triggering, you are insensitive, kids are bringing mattresses to your office hours and there's a twitter petition out demanding you chop off your hand in repentance ...

There are literally dozens of articles and books I thought nothing of teaching, 5-6 years ago, that I wouldn't even reference in passing today. I just re-read a passage of Late Victorian Holocausts, an account of the British genocide against India, and, wow, today I'd be scared if someone saw a copy of it in my office. There's graphic pictures right on the cover, harsh rhetoric ("genocide"), historical accounts filled with racially insensitive epithets, and a profound, disquieting indictment of capitalism. No way in hell would I assign that today. Not even to grad students.

Here's how bad it's gotten, for reals: last summer, I agonized over whether or not to include texts about climate change in my first-year comp course. They would have fit perfectly into the unit, which was about the selective production of ignorance and the manipulation of public discourse. But I decided against including them. They forced readers to come to uncomfortable conclusions. They indicted our consumption-based lifestyles. They called out liars for lying. Lots of uncomfortable stuff. All it would take was one bougie, liberal student to get offended by them, call them triggering, and then boom, that's it, that's the end of me.

Der dritte Artikel stammt von Judith Shulevitz und wurde bereits früher von Genderama verlinkt.

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