Another day, another screed. This one certainly gave me a good laugh, as it seems I now have a religion. I guess we SJWs are upsetting everyone these days. Tsk. Be sure to put your melodrama meters away, critical levels here, of the “I’m a libertarian, of course I’m right!” kind.
NEW YORK — There’s a new religion exploding on the campuses of American universities and colleges, says Thomas Cooley professor of ethical leadership at New York University, Jonathan Haidt. And if it isn’t stopped, it might just be better to shut them all down in the next 10 or 20 years.
The religion of fundamental social justice sweeping across college campuses is so alarming, intense, and dripping with such extreme liberal fundamentalism, says Haidt, it has created an existential crisis for American academia while punishing heretics with public shame.
“There is an extremely intense, fundamental social justice religion that’s taking over, not all students, but a very strong [space] of it, at all our colleges and universities. They are prosecuting blasphemy and this is where we are,” Haidt warned an audience about the religion at a lecture billed “The American University’s New Assault on Free Speech,” organized by the Manhattan Institute in New York City this week.
When social issues like racism or sexism are treated as sacred, he says, it becomes difficult to have honest conversations about them.
“So if that’s the basic psychology and as religion itself has been retreating and kids are raised in a more secular environment, then what takes the place of that? There are lots of sacred spaces. Fighting racism, a very, very good thing to do, but when you come to sacred principles, sacred, this means no tradeoffs,” Haidt said.
“There is no nuance, you cannot trade off any other goods with it. So if you organize around fighting racism, fighting homophobia, fighting sexism, again all good things, but when they become sacred, when they become essentially objects of worship, fundamentalist religion, then when someone comes to class, someone comes to your campus, and they say the rape culture is exaggerated, they have committed blasphemy,” he said.
This religion of fundamental social justice is so frightening, even liberals are worried about it. But they aren’t speaking up, says Haidt, who describes himself as a libertarian.
“The great majority of people are really alarmed by what’s happening. There is a small group on campus of illiberal people. The illiberal left against the liberal left. The liberal left is uncomfortable but has so far been silent,” Haidt said. It is this illiberalism on campus that has given rise to groups such as Black Lives Matter where “nobody can say no to them.”
Haidt, however, doesn’t think life will continue down this road for American academia pointing to a growing counterculture movement involving projects such as the Heterodox Academy. […] So we are doing all these projects to use market forces to swamp the illiberals and basically take advantage of people’s disgust with the current situation.”
The two page screed is here.