Monday, May 30, 2016

SJWs Deny Freedom

For John, BLUFSay goodby to the idea of "Free Speech", at least for a while.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

‘Bye, Christakises, Said The Greengrocer

This is about Yale, a private university, and how Social Justice Warriors (SJWs) are suppressing intellectual life on campus.  It actually goes back to before Halloween of last year.  The source is The American Conservative and the author is Mr Rod Dreher.  The dateline is 27 May of this year.

Here is the lede:

I read in Conor Friedersdorf’s post that controversial Yale academic couple Nicholas and Erika Christakis have stepped down from their roles as faculty-in-residence at Silliman College within the university.  Mrs. Christakis has already resigned her academic position at Yale; her husband will stay on faculty.  All this as the final result of those privileged crybaby students, supported by some faculty, throwing a vicious fit because Erika Christakis suggested in an e-mail that maybe the Yale administration shouldn’t be telling students what kind of costumes they shouldn’t wear on Halloween.
The author turned to Vaclav Havel, the first President of a free Czechoslovakia to help us understand:
In his 1978 essay “The Power of the Powerless,” then-dissident Vaclav Havel captured Yale’s mentality in his character of the greengrocer under communism:
The manager of a fruit-and-vegetable shop places in his window, among the onions and carrots, the slogan:  “Workers of the world, unite!”  Why does he do it?  What is he trying to communicate to the world?  Is he genuinely enthusiastic about the idea of unity among the workers of the world?  Is his enthusiasm so great that he feels an irrepressible impulse to acquaint the public with his ideals?  Has he really given more than a moment’s thought to how such a unification might occur and what it would mean?

I think it can safely be assumed that the overwhelming majority of shopkeepers never think about the slogans they put in their windows, nor do they use them to express their real opinions.  That poster was delivered to our greengrocer from the enterprise headquarters along with the onions and carrots.  He put them all into the window simply because it has been done that way for years, because everyone does it, and because that is the way it has to be.  If he were to refuse, there could be trouble.  He could be reproached for not having the proper decoration in his window; someone might even accuse him of disloyalty.  He does it because these things must be done if one is to get along in life.  It is one of the thousands of details that guarantee him a relatively tranquil life “in harmony with society,” as they say.

And here is the concluding paragraph of the American Conservative article:
The whole thing is so demoralizing. But then, that’s exactly what the SJWs want to happen.  Shoot two Christakises, teach a thousand.  Sooner or later, though, faculty members are going to start taking stands for truth, quit kowtowing to this crap, and demanding that their employers find a spine.  One of these days, some campus leader at a major university is going to refuse to hang the sign in his window to avoid trouble.  That day is probably far off, but it cannot come soon enough.
The problem is, the day may never come and we will be a poorer nation for it.  We may even be a conquered nation, as we will have forgotten how to fight, which is significant on this Memorial Day.  For sure, the advancement of knowledge will suffer.  No one will be willing to wonder off the beaten path.  If it is history or law it might not be a major cost.  But, economics, sociology, medicine?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

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