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Identity politics is crap. We all know it’s crap, yet we still keep talking about it. Constantly. Not that it’s not important to fight what’s become known as the “culture wars” — with practically every major institution collapsing under the weight of its own smarmy leftist bromides, you’d be a fool not to notice something amiss. As Andrew Doyle (the comedian behind the Titania McGrath SJW parody Twitter account) remarked recently, “When the United Nations is asking you to avoid words like ‘boyfriend’ or ‘wife’ for the sake of inclusivity, the idea that the culture war is just a fringe concern is simply not sustainable.”
Conservatives (or really anyone who cares about the West) must push back against this stuff. Nowhere is it worse than in the academies of higher education, where our finest young minds are systematically stultified with a drab, dogmatic philosophy of resentment. In more and more of our once-great universities, even just reading guys like Shakespeare and Homer is becoming suspect. It’s a mess out there.
But we fall into a trap when we spend all our time shaking our fists and railing against the illiberal harridans who have taken over our campuses. Arguing with idiots is always frustrating and rarely good for the soul. What we need more than anything is an appreciation of our cultural heritage on its own terms, a new sense of what makes the West great and worth preserving. That’s why I’m launching the Young Heretics podcast. I’m an academic with a PhD in classics with a lifelong devotion to ancient texts but I’m sick and tired of the petty nonsense that has overcome our so-called elite universities.
So every week on Young Heretics, I (and my guests) set the culture wars aside and just focus on culture — the great triumphs of literature, history, philosophy, and music that have made the West great.Published in