Academic Hoax, American constitutionalism, Brent Weinstein, dog park rape, Heather Heying, Helen Pluckrose, James Lindsey, penises cause climate change, Peter Boghossian, post modernism, President Trump, socialism, Sokal Hoax, the Moral Majority, the rule of law
As regular readers know, my pal bookworm is on my daily “to read” list. She’s a brilliant thinker and writer, and all around swell person, and you, gentle readers, will thank me for encouraging you to bookmark her site. Her perspective is particularly interesting in that she is a recovering progressive, writing from behind enemy lines in California. Her thinking often parallels mine, and her writing often inspires me, as it has once again.
You may have read two articles: (1) Grieving Grievance Studies: The Continuing Scam (10-28-18), and (2) Grieving Grievance Studies: The Continuing Scam Revisited (01-13-19). They are the story of James Lindsay, Helen Pluckrose and Peter Boghossian, academics all, who, inspired by the famous Sokal Hoax (background in the first link above), wrote 20 academic papers, which they submitted to prestigious academic journals.
What’s remarkable about this is they set out to prove the editors and peer reviewers–professors with doctorates in their respective fields–could not tell the difference between actual scholarship and absolute nonsense couched in contemporary social justicey eduspeak. One of the papers was a rewrite of Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf. The paper was titled: Our Struggle is My Struggle: Solidarity Feminism as an Intersectional Reply to Neoliberal and Choice Feminism. They made up the names and affiliations of the “authors.” Another was The Conceptual Penis: A Social Construct,which blamed climate change on penises (That one’s probably true; there’s nothing they can’t do). My favorite, however, was Human Reactions to Rape Culture and Queer Performativity in Urban Dog Parks in Portland, Oregon.
Thesis: That dog parks are rape-condoning spaces and a place of rampant canine rape culture and systemic oppression against “the oppressed dog” through which human attitudes to both problems can be measured. This provides insight into training men out of the sexual violence and bigotry to which they are prone.
These, and more, were accepted and published, or were in the process of acceptance and publication, when The Wall Street Journal exposed the hoax a bit earlier than Lindsay, Pluckrose and Boghossian intended. The three are card-carrying academic Leftists, though Lindsay is not currently employed in a college teaching position.
Bookroom has provided–take this link–an interview of Boghosssian and Lindsey conducted by Dave Rubin. It’s about an hour and nine minutes long, and more than worth your time for two reasons: (1) If you’re not aware of the hoax, it’s a good summary, as are my two articles, and (2) It demonstrates how difficult it is for Leftists to completely abandon their Leftist faith, regardless of their intellect, and the evidence staring them in the face, and often, smashing in their noses.
The authors conducted their hoax not expecting to find the success they encountered. They naively hoped to help academics see how corrupt their publication processes and scholarship have become, but their hoax papers were such absolute nonsense–often making no grammatical or academic sense whatever–they at first found their success hilarious, but soon, horrifying. As Boghossian said:
They [the journal editors and peer reviewers] couldn’t distinguish between this silliness and their own scholarship.
Both called this tendency “post Modernism,” and compared the academic nonsense being published as actual scholarship to religious faith. They worry, even today, that Leftists want to impose their ideas on everyone, and asserted the right wing “religionists” would too. They pointed out contemporary academic papers amount to circular evidence. Academics publish nonsense in supposedly scholarly journals, and then teach the nonsense, asserting: “studies say…” They very much want to see genuinely scientific evidence and academic rigor in the social sciences, rightly thinking the kind of nonsense getting published damages the public’s confidence in higher education, and also damages science.
Both are still buying socialist orthodoxy that asserts Christians want to impose Christianity on everyone. They are apparently unaware that the closest Christians ever came to thinking that way in the modern age was during the heyday of The Moral Majority from 1979, until the movement died sometime in the late 1980s. Members and sympathizers did indeed try to pass laws that paralleled their moral thinking, but had limited success, and the endeavor fell of its own hubris. Most involved in it, most notably Cal Thomas, realized God’s battle is never political, and nothing remotely like that kind of thinking has been a factor since. Faith is a matter of choice, as those involved in any way with the Moral Majority have come to understand. The Left is all about compulsion.
Boghossian seems the most thoughtful, noting that racism, and gender issues, are pushed by the Left, and it’s impossible to have adult conversations about those topics, because they inevitably scream “racist!”
It’s a toxin, it’s contagious, it’s destroying our society…and it’s coming from one place…you can’t engage their ideas.
He worries that people, particularly in higher education, are being told what to think and say, or at the least, are afraid to diverge from accepted socialist speak. He also provided a fundamentally rational, very non-Leftist suggestion when he said we should never elect to public office people steeped in identity politics.
Boghossian’s academic career is in doubt. His college–Portland State University–is investigating him for violating research protocols. One line of attack is Boghossian violated procedures for human experimentation. And who were the humans upon who he experimented? The editors and peer reviewers that accepted absolute drivel as brilliant scholarship. Apparently other academics reading and praising absolute, incomprehensible idiocy as scholarship somehow comprises research abuse by Boghossian. He’s also charged with fabrication of data.
This is, of course, absolute nonsense. Boghossian and Lindsey noted that the response to their hoaxes has been 90% positive and supportive. But the problem is, as Lindsey said: “you got ‘em and they know you got ‘em.” He was referring to the comments of professors in the humanities from a variety of institutions, whose names he dare not mention.
Boghossian, Pluckrose and Lindsey exposed the absolute corruption of the Academy. They did not experiment on people, unless asking them to read is experimentation. And while they may have “fabricated data,” there was never any intent to defraud anyone. Their only intent was to encourage the academy to reform, to once again become honest, and to reject leftist drivel masquerading as scholarship. But in so doing, Boghossian embarrassed the Left, which is what the modern academy is. They will get their pound of flesh.
Lindsey, perhaps more than Boghossian, is still mired in Leftism, despite knowing just how corrupt and destructive it is. He said:
Trump is a borderline unmitigated disaster…he’s the most dangerous thing that’s happening in the world right now…I think that Trump is a result of the regressive left.
He observed that Trump is saying what Leftists cannot themselves say, and will not allow others to say, and not realizing “the power of that:
I’m afraid we’re going to get that [Trump] again.
He also noted that the International Olympic Committee is going to allow trans men to compete in Women’s sports in the next Olympics. He also noted the “trans bathroom thing is a huge wedge issue.” He worried that the Olympics are going to happen a few months before the next presidential election, but he still can’t see the Left as the real problem, thinking they just need to understand it’s their messaging that is going to get Trump reelected.
Interestingly, they also brought up former Evergreen State College Professor Brent Weinstein, who, with his professor wife Heather Heying, was ejected from Evergreen for daring to disagree in the least with socialist orthodoxy. Weinstein and Heying, like Boghossian and Lindsey, despite seeing and being able to accurately speak of the corruption and viciousness of the Left, remain committed leftists. Bayonetted on the battlefield by their own, they still think them worth saving, and able to accept rationality.
Lindsey particularly, reflects the Left’s characterization of socialism as a viable alternative, indeed, a superior moral alternative, to American Constitutionalism. In so doing, they actually continue to support totalitarian power to prevent what they see as the disaster of Trump, who represents American’s fidelity to American constitutionalism and the rule of law.
By all means, gentle readers, take an hour and nine minutes to better understand what honest Leftists think. Perhaps if they one day take their own advice, they too might come to Bookworm’s understanding of the inherent danger of Leftism and join those that see the Constitution, rather than Socialist lunacy, as America’s salvation.