How the Long March Left are Erasing the Enlightment

As I wrote recently, it’s a grave mistake to write off the erudite circle-jerking of academics as nothing more than ivory-tower nuttiness. Eventually, the nonsense that’s passed off as “scholarship” filters down to the real world, with often devastating consequences.

Marxism especially has been a font of truly dangerous nonsense that’s unleashed tidal waves of blood from the ivory towers.

British academic Helen Pluckrose has the same warning.

Corrupt activist scholarship in gender, queer and other identity fields is training the teachers who shape children and executives who run business, warns visiting culture critic Helen Pluckrose.

“This is not a problem confined­ to esoteric arguments between intellectuals — liberal academia has great cultural power,” Ms Pluckrose, a Britain-based medievalist, said last night in a Sydney lecture at the Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation.

“A generation of students were exposed to these ideas and went on to become leaders of various industries.

“(Activist academics) turn out the teachers of our children and the heads of our industries.”

I’ve also warned that the left’s deceitful language games are a constant threat to all of us. Shifting language and definitions, and then pretending that they were right all along, and anyone who disagrees is not just wrong but deluded, is a favourite tactic of the Left. Pluckrose agrees.

In her lecture, The Rise and Whys of Grievance Studies, Ms Pluckrose traced the rot to postmodernism in the 1980s-90s, its rejection of objective truth, and a French-inspired variation which portrays society as a power struggle between the victim and the oppressor groups using language and knowledge as tools of control.

“Because of this, language is analysed in a highly paranoid and offence-seeking way,” she said.

“Micro-aggressions are detec­ted, racism and sexism identified. Heteronormativity, acting as though heterosexuality is the defaul­t sexuality, is called out. Cisnormativity, acting as though people usually identify with the sex their reproductive systems indicate­, is condemned.”

Her comments go to controversies such as the Safe Schools gender fluidity campaign in ­Victoria and the clash between Christian footballer Israel Folau and corporate sponsors sensitised to identity politics.

It’s no surprise that these leftists despise Enlightenment, Western values. Individual rights, scientific universalism and freedom of thought are anathema to their authoritarian, dogmatic mindset. New Zealanders will also be grimly familiar with so-called “human rights” activists.

Ms Pluckrose said individual human rights had been overthrown in favour of collective guilt (as in structural white rac­ism), and biology had been banished so scholar-activists could pretend gender identities and any male-female differences were “socially constructed” and therefore amenable to “social justice”.

“Freedom of speech and viewpoint diversity are not valued within this system,” she said.

Idiotic leftists who attack the West conveniently ignore that the West was, for instance, one of the last cultures to adopt slavery, and the first to abolish it. When honking Islamo-clown Yassmin Abdel-Magied shrieked about the West’s “legacy of colonialism and slavery”, she neglected to mention that the Islamic world had overseen some of the most brutal colonial conquests in history, and only relinquished slavery, under duress from the West, as late as the 1980s.

Officially, that is. Slave markets still operate openly in some Islamic countries, such as Libya.

Ms Pluckrose defended the Enlightenment, Scientific Revolution and other achievements of the modern period: “We know the modern period saw slavery, colon­ialism, tyranny of monarchs and the church, war, genocide, famine, racism, sexism and homoph­obia.

“So did every other period. Modernity was the one in which we gained the capacity to realise they were wrong.

“So uncommon to human societies was this that the societies that have benefited from it are referred to as WEIRD societies — Western, Educated, Industrialised, Rich, Democratic.

“They are the reason I, an atheist woman, am able to read and develop my own ideas and speak and write them. They are also how I travelled across the world in a day to speak to you, having not died in childbirth.

“Progress is no myth. It is measur­able in ways including poverty, education, fatal diseases, as well as human rights. (Yet postmodernists) see modernity as a time of empire, exploitation, patriarchy and white supremacy.”


If there’s one thing the left hate, it’s facts. Facts are hate-speech in their world-view.