Sunday, April 13, 2014

"I can live with the progressivism. It’s the lying that gets toxic."

Ross Douthat today, in "Diversity and Dishonesty," on the recent controversies involving Mozilla and Brandeis's withdrawal of the invitation to Ayaan Hirsi Ali:
.... I am (or try to be) a partisan of pluralism, which requires respecting Mozilla’s right to have a C.E.O. whose politics fit the climate of Silicon Valley, and Brandeis’s right to rescind degrees as it sees fit, and Harvard’s freedom to be essentially a two-worldview community, with a campus shared uneasily by progressives and corporate neoliberals, and a small corner reserved for token reactionary cranks.

But this respect is difficult to maintain when these institutions will not admit that this is what is going on. Instead, we have the pretense of universality — the insistence that the post-Eich Mozilla is open to all ideas, the invocations of the “spirit of free expression” from a school that’s kicking a controversial speaker off the stage.

And with the pretense, increasingly, comes a dismissive attitude toward those institutions — mostly religious — that do acknowledge their own dogmas and commitments, and ask for the freedom to embody them and live them out.

It would be a far, far better thing if Harvard and Brandeis and Mozilla would simply say, explicitly, that they are as ideologically progressive as Notre Dame is Catholic or B.Y.U. is Mormon or Chick-fil-A is evangelical, and that they intend to run their institution according to those lights.

I can live with the progressivism. It’s the lying that gets toxic. [more]
Patterico comments: "What’s particularly interesting about this column are the comments generated. A great number of them example, without the slightest hint of self-awareness, the point Douthat closes with: I can live with the progressivism. It’s the lying that gets toxic."