“Censorship is the midwife of stupidity,” journalist Brendan O’Neill said in a recent talk. “It makes you stupid.”
If you live inside a ‘safe space,’ he says, you are making yourself an idiot. Dogmatic. Petty. Oversensitive. Narrow. And on.
You only sharpen your thoughts through open resistance, through debate. As Cardinal John Newman once said, “The energy of the human intellect does from opposition grow.”
One doesn’t have to venture far to see how a lack of opposition affects the psyche. The vast majority of colleges today are breeding grounds of electrically-starved neurons. And the minions, knowing they have no leg to stand on, aren’t content with just clamping down on words, either…
They also seek to control how people look, feel about themselves and interact with the world.
If you wear something “offensive,” it’s probably because of cultural appropriation. (One needs only to fill in the blank as to why.) If you look too healthy or fit, you should feel bad for perpetuating “unrealistic” body images. If anything at all happens to you in life, it’s not due to anything you did, but, rather, due to your gender, race or sexual preference.
The minions see themselves as radicals, here to usher in the equitable utopia. These “radicals,” though, are anything but.
“Students who try and clamp down on hate speech always present themselves as radicals, but actually they are foot soldiers of a top-down tyrannical attempt to oppress the expression of ideas that started in the Soviet Union and was in the ‘60s and ‘70s embraced by Western powers.”
If you want a glimpse of just how much the Western powers have embraced this censorship doctrine, let’s go down the chain, top-down… and then see how professor Jordan Peterson, the man the Canadian censors love to hate, suggests we combat it.
National Security Cinema
Even something as innocuous as entertainment is being subtly swayed to make you think certain ways.
In the book National Security Cinema, authors Matthew Alford and Tom Secker detail how the Pentagon and intelligence agencies force directors to slip their thought programs into blockbuster Hollyweird films and TV shows.
James Bond, Transformers, and movies from the Marvel and DC franchises have all been forced to rewrite their scripts to be more PC in the eyes of — or to promote the many agendas of — the military-industrial complex.
“A similar influence,” the authors say, “is exerted over military-supported TV, which ranges from Hawaii Five-O to America’s Got Talent, Oprah and Jay Leno to Cupcake Wars, along with numerous documentaries by PBS, the History Channel and the BBC.” (Shocker.)
The Surveillance State
A study published by Oxford University’s Jon Penney shows that the mere knowledge of the existence of a surveillance state breeds fear and conformity and stunts public intellectual debate.
To boot, a study from PEN America found that 1 in 6 writers censored themselves out of fear of surveillance. And those were just the ones willing to admit it.
“There are also numerous psychological studies,” Glenn Greenwald wrote in The Intercept, “demonstrating that people who believe they are being watched engage in behavior far more compliant, conformist and submissive than those who believe they are acting without monitoring. That same realization served centuries ago as the foundation of Jeremy Bentham’s Panopticon: that behaviors of large groups of people can be effectively controlled through architectural structures that make it possible for them to be watched at any given movement even though they can never know if they are, in fact, being monitored, thus forcing them to act as if they always are being watched. This same self-censoring, chilling effect of the potential of being surveilled was also the crux of the tyranny about which Orwell warned in 1984:
There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment. How often, or on what system, the Thought Police plugged in on any individual wire was guesswork. It was even conceivable that they watched everybody all the time. But at any rate they could plug in your wire whenever they wanted to. You have to live — did live, from habit that became instinct — in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized.
Changing it from the bottom-up
Beneath it all, this is a war of ideas.
The colleges recognize this fact and have put on a full frontal attack on the ideological bedrock of Western civilization. And those who choose to censor themselves in the face of it have already given up their power to what Jordan Peterson calls the “cult of postmodernism.”
According to the Canadian professor and anti-postmodern powerhouse, the change needs to happen from the bottom up. Students need to know they run the risk of being indoctrinated — and they need the intellectual freedom to choose.
He says in a recent speech:
“Postmodern neo-marxist doctrine is nothing but a cult. Not only is it a cult, it’s a failed cult. So it has to be subsidized by the public person in order to exist at all. That’s a pretty damn pathetic cult. Normally, if you’re a decent cult leader you can at least pick the pockets of your victims in the manner that enriches you.”
The postmodernists, says Peterson, should be starved at their source: “And I don’t use that terminology lightly. I think that what needs to happen is that freshmen and second-year university students and students coming into university through high school need to be educated about the postmodern cult and they need to be encouraged to not take the courses. To just drop the courses and stay the hell away from them.”
The humanities, fortunately, have been on a decline since the ‘60s: “Why in the world would you go, as a half-confused high school student, into university to get whatever shreds of culture you’re still clinging to to keep your poor head above water in this sea of chaos that threatens to surround you taken away by your professors… so you’re stripped bare of anything but some vague sense that maybe you’re a horrible racist unconsciously in some manner that you can’t detect. And then be left with nothing but that for your $100,000 investment and your bloody student loan. So people are smart enough maybe not to continue to enroll in that sort of thing over time. And the humanities have been being decimated since the 60’s as a consequence. But it’s time for that process to accelerate.”
“I am hoping that with concerted effort it will be possible to identify the corrupted and ideologically-possessed university disciplines across campuses worldwide and to drive down their new enrollment by 75% over the next five years.
“As of now a website is being designed to help students (and their parents) identify postmodern cult courses from course descriptions, so that those who would rather be educated than indoctrinated can make a choice (and, I suppose, for those who wish the opposite to make a choice as well). Stay posted.”
Click here to see Peterson’s latest talk at the recent Canadian Freedom Summit, hosted by Ben Shapiro.
Managing editor, Laissez Faire Today
P.S. Have something to say? Say it! Chris@lfb.org.