Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Grievance Studies: What to Do?

 

Like a great many conservatives, I spend too much time pondering the decay of academia. (I’m trapped in it. Forgive me.) As much as anyone else, I’d like to see more ideologically diverse universities. But that desire is a qualified one.

Were I made university president for a day, I’d be tempted to borrow a page from Viktor Orbán’s playbook and dissolve all “[insert nom de jour] studies” departments. Immediately (and ironically), the halls of academe would erupt with volcanic fury. I’d be accused of threatening freedom of inquiry and suppressing free speech. The modern-day augurs who populate the endangered departments would send out a volley of op-eds calling for my resignation.

I’d sympathize with them, certainly. I understand the inclination to assume that what I care about must be valuable because even I have felt it. Still, I submit that the “studies” disciplines are fundamentally different from academia’s other offerings. They don’t belong in the university. If they’re to be pursued, they should be pursued somewhere else. Here’s why:

Most academic disciplines coalesce around a given subject or phenomenon. A historian is a historian because of what he studies, just as a biologist is a biologist because of what she studies. Scholars of English literature devote their attention to fictional works written in English, much as mathematicians strive to understand quantity and number. Ideological debates might erupt within fields, but those fields’ outer boundaries are determined, ultimately, by topic. (Whatever their respective merits, Keynesians and Austrians alike are economists.) By and large, this holds true across the traditional university landscape.

The “studies” disciplines aren’t like this. They’re defined not by their subject matter, but by their method — not by the what, but by the how. What, exactly, does an expert in “women’s studies” actually, well . . . study? Not women as such. Rather, the label “women’s studies” — like “race studies,” “queer studies,” “disability studies,” and a thousand other hyphae in the ever-growing mycelium of critical-theory disciplines — designates a particular canon of interpretation which can be applied (in theory) to any subject. Hence feminist glaciology and all the other hilarities we conservatives love to hate.

In such corners, scholarship is reduced from a truth-finding exercise to a form of intellectual self-pleasuring — a sort of cognitive puzzle in which the goal is to find the most creative route from conclusion to evidence. In this puzzle, the starting and ending points are fixed; the fun part is filling in the bits in the middle by mining texts, customs, and ideas for hidden nuggets of racism, patriarchy, heteronormativity, and ableism.

Is it really worth subsidizing what amounts to a self-righteous, socially destructive version of the Wiki Game? I don’t think so. But perhaps I’m wrong. Perhaps some tiny fraction of the world’s “studies” faculty do have something to contribute to intellectual life. Perhaps academic freedom is too valuable a thing to justify remodeling by flamethrower. If so, convince me, Ricochet.

There are 30 comments.

  1. tigerlily Member

    I dunno. I view all of the various “studies” programs as nothing more than political indoctrination.

    • #1
    • August 26, 2019, at 5:47 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  2. The Reticulator Member

    Kephalithos: a sort of cognitive puzzle in which the goal is to find the most creative route from conclusion to evidence.

    Interesting description. I’ve thought about the problem of “studies” and how they are out of place in higher education, but never came up with this. I’ll keep it in mind. 

    • #2
    • August 26, 2019, at 5:56 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  3. Kephalithos Member
    Kephalithos

    The Reticulator (View Comment): Interesting description. I’ve thought about the problem of “studies” and how they are out of place in higher education, but never came up with this. I’ll keep it in mind.

    The thought occurred to me during a conversation with a critical theorist. She told me about her love of “making connections” between things.

    Making connections is well and good, but making connections without reference to truth, or common sense, or caution is . . . well, it’s what conspiracy theorists do, isn’t it?

    • #3
    • August 26, 2019, at 6:02 AM PDT
    • 11 likes
  4. Saint Augustine Member

    Kephalithos: Perhaps academic freedom is too valuable a thing to justify remodeling by flamethrower. If so, convince me, Ricochet.

    Is it academic freedom that protects pseudo-fields of study?

    Or does a decline in academic freedom actually help them?

    • #4
    • August 26, 2019, at 6:11 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  5. The Reticulator Member

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    Kephalithos: Perhaps academic freedom is too valuable a thing to justify remodeling by flamethrower. If so, convince me, Ricochet.

    Is it academic freedom that protects pseudo-fields of study?

    Or does a decline in academic freedom actually help them?

    I don’t think anybody has the freedom within those disciplines to examine them objectively. Not when a certain type of advocacy is a requirement in order to be part of them.

    • #5
    • August 26, 2019, at 6:13 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  6. Dr. Bastiat Member

    Kephalithos: Hence feminist glaciology and all the other hilarities we conservatives love to hate.

    I clicked on your link. It did not disappoint. I’ll take the liberty of pasting the “abstract” of the “research” published in this “academic journal” below. It’s just wonderful. 

    I don’t think this is satire. Link looks legit. If someone finds out that this is a put on, let me know and I’ll delete this.

    But if this is real, oh my heavens it’s wonderful. Check out this abstract for their “scientific study”:

    Glaciers are key icons of climate change and global environmental change. However, the relationships among gender, science, and glaciers – particularly related to epistemological questions about the production of glaciological knowledge – remain understudied. This paper thus proposes a feminist glaciology framework with four key components: 1) knowledge producers; (2) gendered science and knowledge; (3) systems of scientific domination; and (4) alternative representations of glaciers. Merging feminist postcolonial science studies and feminist political ecology, the feminist glaciology framework generates robust analysis of gender, power, and epistemologies in dynamic social-ecological systems, thereby leading to more just and equitable science and human-ice interactions.

    • #6
    • August 26, 2019, at 6:26 AM PDT
    • 13 likes
  7. Kephalithos Member
    Kephalithos

    Saint Augustine (View Comment): Is it academic freedom that protects pseudo-fields of study?

    Or does a decline in academic freedom actually help them?

    They certainly drive a decline in academic freedom.

    Still, I wonder whether they aren’t like those people who take advantage of the First Amendment in order to attack the American political order — a regrettable cancer, but one we must live with, for principle’s sake.

    • #7
    • August 26, 2019, at 6:29 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  8. Full Size Tabby Member

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    Kephalithos: Hence feminist glaciology and all the other hilarities we conservatives love to hate.

    I clicked on your link. It did not disappoint. I’ll take the liberty of pasting the “abstract” of the “research” published in this “academic journal” below. It’s just wonderful.

    I don’t think this is satire. Link looks legit. If someone finds out that this is a put on, let me know and I’ll delete this.

    But if this is real, oh my heavens it’s wonderful. Check out this abstract for their “scientific study”:

    Glaciers are key icons of climate change and global environmental change. However, the relationships among gender, science, and glaciers – particularly related to epistemological questions about the production of glaciological knowledge – remain understudied. This paper thus proposes a feminist glaciology framework with four key components: 1) knowledge producers; (2) gendered science and knowledge; (3) systems of scientific domination; and (4) alternative representations of glaciers. Merging feminist postcolonial science studies and feminist political ecology, the feminist glaciology framework generates robust analysis of gender, power, and epistemologies in dynamic social-ecological systems, thereby leading to more just and equitable science and human-ice interactions.

    If the link is legitimate, stupid is proliferating faster than we can keep up. This followed by @richardeaston bringing to our attention Hulu and CNN demanding equal numbers of women and men representations in statues https://ricochet.com/667082/cnn-is-now-counting-statues/

    • #8
    • August 26, 2019, at 6:34 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  9. GrannyDude Member

    A professor of American History could specialize in the history of black America; an English Lit scholar could focus on female writers, and just about anybody can find fascination in the the sexually unusual, but since the intent of -Studies isn’t really discovery or elucidation but (ultimately) de-construction/ruination, it’s hard to see how the -Studies scholar could survive the dissolution of xer department via lateral transfer. 

    Inevitably, the interdisciplinary, intra-institutional transfer of -Studies scholars will be confined to the humanities, since math n’ science is (or at least was) incapable of, as well as uninterested in, teasing out the racial bias implicit in algebraic equations, or the (mis)gendering of glaciers. Indeed, since the saving grace of science is that it is (eventually) self-correcting, scientists aren’t even going to be able to fake interest in gender for a whole lot longer (though of course they, like all of us, will remain quite interested in sex). So the humanities will be further clogged and wrecked by -ism and -phobia unless you, as University President for a Day, are willing and able to sack the -Studies folk wholesale, tenure be damned.

    Could you, or your board of directors, tolerate the instantaneous diminution of Diversity? The loud lamentations in the Quad as a bunch of middle-aged ‘Studies professors realize they are about to be flung out into the real world where they’ll (plural) prove inadequate even to the requirements of a job as Starbucks Barista given that they’re neither cute nor friendly?

     

     

    • #9
    • August 26, 2019, at 6:37 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  10. Full Size Tabby Member

    Kephalithos: Were I made university president for a day, I’d be tempted to borrow a page from Viktor Orbán’s playbook and dissolve all “[insert nom de jour] studies” departments.

    Steve Hayward suggests on the PowerLine podcast #139 (in the second head of the double header) that you might get farther in correcting overall university rot by firing at least half the administrators (and he says it probably doesn’t matter which half). But I know that doesn’t help with your question about the value of “studies” departments.

    I am a lawyer with an engineering degree, so my personality is heavily biased toward results rather than process. Some of my problem with “studies” is that they delve ad nauseam into superficial processes and never seem concerned about whether anything is making forward progress toward some conclusion that will do someone some good. “Navel gazing” is the old-fashioned term for endlessly pondering something with no real objective in mind. Although they use language that sounds like they want to examine “root causes,” they always seem to get lost on some surface issue and never really get to real roots. 

    • #10
    • August 26, 2019, at 6:45 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  11. Saint Augustine Member

    Kephalithos (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine (View Comment): Is it academic freedom that protects pseudo-fields of study?

    Or does a decline in academic freedom actually help them?

    They certainly drive a decline in academic freedom.

    Still, I wonder whether they aren’t like those people who take advantage of the First Amendment in order to attack the American political order — a regrettable cancer, but one we must live with, for principle’s sake.

    Reasonable concerns. But I tend to think a First Amendment solution fits that First Amendment problem.

    • #11
    • August 26, 2019, at 6:45 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  12. Goldgeller Member

    I don’t read too much in say women’s studies or any of that stuff. I’m sure, like in many social science fields, you will find good and bad. To categorically reject narrow areas of study and call them grievance studies, I get it. But to me, that seems to miss the point of academia.

    Maybe academia is bad, but that is a separate topic. When you go into these fields professionally, you study very narrow areas of specialization and you get a question or two. It isn’t about being widely read, it is about answering very narrow topics or questions. So, if you study black people, women, sexuality– if that is essentially what you study, it makes sense to just have your own journal and language to talk about that stuff without having to force your narrow question to be a broader one about say “the economy” or “congress” or something like that. 

    I get that there are a lot of excesses but that is mainly because it is fun to talk about the excesses in those fields. Its cool. But it shouldn’t be surprising that there are these specialized journals and funding streams. That’s just how it works, at least in social sciences.

    • #12
    • August 26, 2019, at 7:02 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  13. OldDanRhody, 7152 Maple Dr. Member

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):
    Glaciers are key icons of climate change and global environmental change. However, the relationships among gender, science, and glaciers – particularly related to epistemological questions about the production of glaciological knowledge – remain understudied. This paper thus proposes a feminist glaciology framework with four key components: 1) knowledge producers; (2) gendered science and knowledge; (3) systems of scientific domination; and (4) alternative representations of glaciers. Merging feminist postcolonial science studies and feminist political ecology, the feminist glaciology framework generates robust analysis of gender, power, and epistemologies in dynamic social-ecological systems, thereby leading to more just and equitable science and human-ice interactions.

    Judging from the above quoted abstract, Carey, et. al. (authors of this “study”), may have the requisite skills (spreading it with a trowel) for selling cannabis futures or some similar product.

    • #13
    • August 26, 2019, at 7:09 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  14. Kephalithos Member
    Kephalithos

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment): . . . human-ice interactions.

    “Well, you could start by not putting kids in cages!”

    • #14
    • August 26, 2019, at 7:30 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  15. Old Bathos Moderator

    Federal student loan programs and accreditation bureaucracies are preventing a market solution to this problem. No one in his or her right mind believes that a degree in Intersectional Origami or Grievance Theater has any value in the job market (except in academia). Universities starved of the funds and other incentives to maintain highly paid assistant deans for doctrinal enforcement and male-hating could and should move away from commissar-controlled education.

    Student loans should be capped in light of the statistical range of likely employment outcomes for a a degree in a particular major at a particular school. 

    The other problem is that influential persons with degrees from prestige colleges have an enormous vested interest in a system that continues to privilege graduates from such schools even if the quality of that degree is greatly dissipated. Elitism with no standards moral or otherwise has been disastrous.

     

    • #15
    • August 26, 2019, at 7:54 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  16. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member

    Abolishing the grievance studies departments would not solve the problem, as this strange, post-modern thinking has permeated a great many other departments. My impression is that it has taken over the humanities, education, social work, psychology, and almost all of the social sciences (perhaps not economics).

    I don’t think that the problem started in the grievance studies area. I think that the problem traces to post-modern neo-Marxism, arising out of a set of Marxists called the “Frankfort School” and the early post-modernists (Derrida, Foucault, and Rorty, I think).

    The creation of the grievance studies departments was a natural objective for the post-modern neo-Marxist ideology.

    I suspect that racism and sexism (in the form of so-called “affirmative action”) contributed to the problem, by admitting and promoting fairly large numbers of minority and female students who were not competitive in rigorous disciplines. Such students would naturally be drawn to grievance studies, or related theories in other humanities or soft-science departments, in which they were permitted to excel on the basis of an ability to spout a resentful, hateful, and very simplistic post-modern and deconstructionist critique of almost anything.

    • #16
    • August 26, 2019, at 10:02 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  17. Kephalithos Member
    Kephalithos

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    Abolishing the grievance studies departments would not solve the problem, as this strange, post-modern thinking has permeated a great many other departments. My impression is that it has taken over the humanities, education, social work, psychology, and almost all of the social sciences (perhaps not economics).

    I don’t think that the problem started in the grievance studies area. I think that the problem traces to post-modern neo-Marxism, arising out of a set of Marxists called the “Frankfort School” and the early post-modernists (Derrida, Foucault, and Rorty, I think).

    The creation of the grievance studies departments was a natural objective for the post-modern neo-Marxist ideology.

    Rorty? Do you mean Rawls?

    In any case, I agree fully. Critical theory will be the downfall of our civilization.

    Perhaps the best thing a university president could do, then, is to sneak into each and every classroom building, light a match, and . . . kidding, kidding! Or am I?

    • #17
    • August 26, 2019, at 10:08 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  18. TBA Coolidge
    TBA

    Kephalithos (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment): Interesting description. I’ve thought about the problem of “studies” and how they are out of place in higher education, but never came up with this. I’ll keep it in mind.

    The thought occurred to me during a conversation with a critical theorist. She told me about her love of “making connections” between things.

    Making connections is well and good, but making connections without reference to truth, or common sense, or caution is . . . well, it’s what conspiracy theorists do, isn’t it?

    And literature people who look for symbolism and subtext. I would suggest the cancer came from those boundaries-poor disciplines but grew too large to be contained. 

    When ‘what does this mean’ is traded out for ‘how does this make me feel’, we shouldn’t be surprised that our institutions turn out some of the most sensitive feels generators the world has ever known. 

    These are exciting times. There is a machine on the UC Berkley campus that can accurately detect pico-aggressions in white lab males. 

    • #18
    • August 26, 2019, at 10:58 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  19. James Gawron Thatcher
    James Gawron Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Kephalithos:

    In such corners, scholarship is reduced from a truth-finding exercise to a form of intellectual self-pleasuring — a sort of cognitive puzzle in which the goal is to find the most creative route from conclusion to evidence. In this puzzle, the starting and ending points are fixed; the fun part is filling in the bits in the middle by mining texts, customs, and ideas for hidden nuggets of racism, patriarchy, heteronormativity, and ableism.

    Is it really worth subsidizing what amounts to a self-righteous, socially destructive version of the Wiki Game? I don’t think so. But perhaps I’m wrong. Perhaps some tiny fraction of the world’s “studies” faculty do have something to contribute to intellectual life. Perhaps academic freedom is too valuable a thing to justify remodeling by flamethrower. If so, convince me, Ricochet.

    Keph,

    My father did quite a bit of pure research in biochemistry before he became the Graduate Dean of the University. As Graduate Dean he once explained to me his duties. He said that really he had very little to do but that he was responsible for the reputation and accreditation of the entire University and other than that he really had nothing to do. He had a dry sense of humor and would sneak up on you with this kind of joke.

    I miss him but perhaps it is a blessing that he is not alive today to see the waste & idiocy. He couldn’t stand charlatans not because he was on his high horse, but he was furious with them because there were ten regular people lined up who needed the grant money, all with good ideas and the capability to do the work. Both they and society as a whole would be better off if one of the ten had got the grant money instead of the idiot.

    I don’t think he would enjoy today’s university. The waste and mendacious phonies running loose would drive him nuts.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #19
    • August 26, 2019, at 11:09 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  20. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Old Bathos (View Comment):
    Federal student loan programs and accreditation bureaucracies are preventing a market solution to this problem. No one in his or her right mind believes that a degree in Intersectional Origami or Grievance Theater has any value in the job market (except in academia).

    Colleges did not originate as employment factories. If they could be untangled from government, or a separate system could be instituted without legal interference, I would like to see more diversity of purpose and methods among colleges. 

    Modern colleges include various goals which do not belong together. Not all education is for one purpose. Let the degree mills, the research labs, the stewards of history, the practical workshops, and think tanks be separated.

    • #20
    • August 26, 2019, at 11:19 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
  21. Barfly Member

    What to do? Good question, and I noticed you didn’t get very far towards an answer. I’m not going to be much help, but perhaps this will clarify matters a little:

    The progressive project is and has always been to transfer wealth, status, and power from those who produce to those who persuade. It has never had any other goal.

    The dividing line that separates people of the left and right is their fundamental world view. People of the right are oriented towards reality. The religiously oriented among us hold reality to be God’s mind, but there are plenty of us on the right who are satisfied to simply call it objective reality. A focus on the real world naturally leads us to produce things. People of the right produce all the wealth of the world, both spiritual and material.

    [I trust you see that distinction easily in your particular example of academia. It’s equally true in all realms of human effort.]

    People of the left have chosen, by way of ten thousand decisions made in haste, weakness, and fear, to value the content of their own mind over reality. Their existence is driven by the subjective. They do not create; they do not produce in any real sense. They can only live by two means: they must either persuade us to support them or they must work outside the system like financiers, lawyers, and criminals.

    With that perspective, the answer to your question “What To Do?” is simple: we must impoverish them. How to do that without breaking the society is the next question.

    • #21
    • August 26, 2019, at 1:21 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  22. Richard Finlay Member

    GrannyDude (View Comment):
    teasing out the racial bias implicit in algebraic equations

    Ah, but when you graph the equation, the x [chromosome] axis is flat, while the y [chromosome] axis soars. Cartesian coordinates were named (of course) for a white male without hint of redeeming trans-ist characteristics. (That I know of, this might need more study. Any grant money out there?) And the solution (x= …) is imposed on x by the manipulation of y.

    A ripe field for inquiry, I’d say.

    • #22
    • August 26, 2019, at 2:20 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  23. Barfly Member

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):

    Colleges did not originate as employment factories. If they could be untangled from government, or a separate system could be instituted without legal interference, I would like to see more diversity of purpose and methods among colleges. 

     

    Good eye – they have become employment factories. Not for their students, obviously, nor even their academic faculty, but for their administrators. That’s what we need to correct.

    • #23
    • August 26, 2019, at 2:27 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  24. TBA Coolidge
    TBA

    Barfly (View Comment):

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):

    Colleges did not originate as employment factories. If they could be untangled from government, or a separate system could be instituted without legal interference, I would like to see more diversity of purpose and methods among colleges.

     

    Good eye – they have become employment factories. Not for their students, obviously, nor even their academic faculty, but for their administrators. That’s what we need to correct.

    And a return to the crappy cafeteria food that made America an educational leader! 

    • #24
    • August 26, 2019, at 2:31 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  25. Cow Girl Thatcher

    Interesting topic…twenty-five years ago, I lived in SoCal, and was finishing my extra two years required to get my teaching certificate–above the bachelor’s degree I’d already earned. We were required to take a certain group of classes in the “studies” fields: African-American Child, Mexican-American Child, Asian-American Life, among others. I listened to my teacher in the African-American Child class talk about circumstances that existed in the life of a modern-day black child, and kept recognizing things that were the same about my childhood/upbringing. (Which was definitely NOT black, urban, poverty, etc.)

    At first, I’d raise my hand, and say how that was just like my childhood, and could it have been related to being in a big family? Or maybe a big, religious family; or maybe both parents had to work really hard, so the siblings took over some things; or maybe…maybe?

    She got so AGGRAVATED at me! I was messing with the whole theory of the class! Which was: many of these traditional ways of being a black child in the USA were just customs passed on from slave days, and also were connected to African traditions that got passed on through the slave people to modern times.

    So I learned to just be quiet, and do what she wanted, so I could pass the class and get my teaching certificate. But…my life still reflected many of those theories that she postulated–big kids taking care of the little kids so mama and daddy could work all hours; close relatives; religion was a big part of life; etc. etc.

    • #25
    • August 26, 2019, at 3:55 PM PDT
    • 11 likes
  26. CarolJoy, Above Top Secret Coolidge

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    Kephalithos: Perhaps academic freedom is too valuable a thing to justify remodeling by flamethrower. If so, convince me, Ricochet.

    Is it academic freedom that protects pseudo-fields of study?

    Or does a decline in academic freedom actually help them?

    I don’t think anybody has the freedom within those disciplines to examine them objectively. Not when a certain type of advocacy is a requirement in order to be part of them.

    There is also a Pandora’s box worth of problems that would be opened up should current day academic oppression be replaced by some new type of academic oppression, which comes into power through its adherents’ insistence on the need for regulating academic freedom. Whether things are improved would have to do with just who it is who gets to do oversight on academic freedom.

     Today our big problem as a society is how people do not engage in logical processes any more. We really need to ensure that every single college graduate has had a semester on each of the following: rhetoric, poetics and dialectics.

    • #26
    • August 26, 2019, at 4:15 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  27. Saint Augustine Member

    CarolJoy, Above Top Secret (View Comment):

    Today our big problem as a society is how people do not engage in logical processes any more. We really need to ensure that every single college graduate has had a semester on each of the following: rhetoric, poetics and dialectics.

    That would help, although I would have said grammar/language, dialectic/logic, and rhetoric.

    • #27
    • August 26, 2019, at 4:17 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  28. TBA Coolidge
    TBA

    Cow Girl (View Comment):

    Interesting topic…twenty-five years ago, I lived in SoCal, and was finishing my extra two years required to get my teaching certificate–above the bachelor’s degree I’d already earned. We were required to take a certain group of classes in the “studies” fields: African-American Child, Mexican-American Child, Asian-American Life, among others. I listened to my teacher in the African-American Child class talk about circumstances that existed in the life of a modern-day black child, and kept recognizing things that were the same about my childhood/upbringing. (Which was definitely NOT black, urban, poverty, etc.)

    At first, I’d raise my hand, and say how that was just like my childhood, and could it have been related to being in a big family? Or maybe a big, religious family; or maybe both parents had to work really hard, so the siblings took over some things; or maybe…maybe?

    She got so AGGRAVATED at me! I was messing with the whole theory of the class! Which was: many of these traditional ways of being a black child in the USA were just customs passed on from slave days, and also were connected to African traditions that got passed on through the slave people to modern times.

    So I learned to just be quiet, and do what she wanted, so I could pass the class and get my teaching certificate. But…my life still reflected many of those theories that she postulated–big kids taking care of the little kids so mama and daddy could work all hours; close relatives; religion was a big part of life; etc. etc.

    “These are some black things and we are teaching about them because you don’t understand.”

    “Actually, I’ve experienc -”

    “What part of ‘you don’t understand’ do you not understand?/

    • #28
    • August 26, 2019, at 4:18 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  29. lowtech redneck Coolidge

    Barfly (View Comment):

    With that perspective, the answer to your question “What To Do?” is simple: we must impoverish them. How to do that without breaking the society is the next question.

    Seeing as society is broken if we don’t, that’s not much of a dilemma.

     

    • #29
    • August 26, 2019, at 4:49 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  30. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member

    Kephalithos (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    Abolishing the grievance studies departments would not solve the problem, as this strange, post-modern thinking has permeated a great many other departments. My impression is that it has taken over the humanities, education, social work, psychology, and almost all of the social sciences (perhaps not economics).

    I don’t think that the problem started in the grievance studies area. I think that the problem traces to post-modern neo-Marxism, arising out of a set of Marxists called the “Frankfort School” and the early post-modernists (Derrida, Foucault, and Rorty, I think).

    The creation of the grievance studies departments was a natural objective for the post-modern neo-Marxist ideology.

    Rorty? Do you mean Rawls?

    In any case, I agree fully. Critical theory will be the downfall of our civilization.

    Perhaps the best thing a university president could do, then, is to sneak into each and every classroom building, light a match, and . . . kidding, kidding! Or am I?

    Nope, I mean Richard Rorty. I like Lou Rawls:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0QTrCBAqTyM

     

    (I do know that you meant John Rawls.)

    I haven’t read the post-modernists in the original. My main source is Jordan Peterson’s lectures and this book, Explaining Postmodernism, by Canadian philosopher Stephen Hicks. This is a pdf of the full book, if you’re interested.

    • #30
    • August 26, 2019, at 6:34 PM PDT
    • 4 likes