THERE CAN BE NO FREEDOM WITH A RACIAL ORTHODOXY | 2001-03-24
Needless to say, the Thought Police are now in charge of any discussion of genetics on campus.
The Human Genome Project is based on the ground-breaking research of three scientists. To prove his political orthodoxy, one of them donated all his prize money for the project to the Black Panthers.
Anyone who wants to do genetic research must first make his declaration of ideological orthodoxy up front. The Human Genome Project declared that race does not exist. Otherwise, it would not exist.
Books like "The Bell Curve" demonstrate the impossibility of liberal -- and now conservative -- orthodoxy on race. So does real history. But truth has nothing to do with what is now allowed on campus, and no one will enforce racial orthodoxy any more fanatically than respectable conservatives.
So every conservative discussion begins with, "I'm not talking about race" and continues somewhere in the middle with a declaration of personal orthodoxy on race. They end with a tribute to the liberal days of the "neocons" and a salute to Saint Martin Luther the King and all he stood for.
The neocons are right when they say that no free society can allow this kind of ideological Goodthink to be enforced and obeyed. But that orthodoxy was necessary for their own earlier liberal policies (which, like all liberal policies, don't WORK) to be enforced.
Contrary to respectable and "neo" orthodoxy, this problem did not suddenly appear yesterday. Liberal policies, even the holy racial policies, don't WORK. So the only way they can be enforced is by suppressing serious opposition as naziswhowantokillsixmillionjews and so forth.
Mr. Botstein, president of Bard College in New York, said there was another common misperception
"Anybody who tells you once upon a time you could say anything you want on campus is romanticizing the past," he said. "Once upon a time you were labeled a communist."
Many today say you cannot discuss racial questions freely today because different races are on the campus. In other words, a multiracial society cannot be a free society (though no one is allowed to put it that way).
But the previous orthodoxy had the same excuse. Back when Communism and socialism were deadly epithets, a very small percentage of the people went to college. Students were from relatively well-to-do families, or were working to become rich.
Back then, anyone who discussed anything relating to income distribution was directly insulting those who paid the bills and the families of most students. It seemed impossible that such topics could ever be broached on a college campus.
So what happened to that orthodoxy?
What happened was that mainstream liberals finally had the guts to say that there could be no freedom of speech until even Communists were allowed to share in it.
There was a time when liberals hid under the table every time income redistribution was mentioned. They, like respectable conservatives today, asked only that if the ruling establishment was lynching heretics, they be allowed to lead the mob and prove their orthodoxy.
Only when liberals stood up and demanded free speech for extreme leftists did the old orthodoxy end.
As long as everything conservatives say reads like the argument I outlined above, as long as neoconservatism remains the only position anyone is allowed to take on the right, you can forget freedom of speech.
And if you can forget freedom of speech, you can soon forget all freedom.
If no discussion is allowed unless it "is not about race," then liberals know what to do. They inject race into every discussion, one way or another, and then bring in a black spokesman to shriek for them and scare off the conservatives.
And they are perfectly right to do so. Race is central to modern America. No great issues can be dealt with without race entering somehow into it. Leftists are going to use that hammer as long as the so-called opposition keeps hiding under the table.