Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Tom Wolfe on Political Correctness

This is an insightful interview with author and sociologist Tom Wolfe. He discusses a variety of topics including political correctness, coed dorms, and feminism. The general theme is that many people and institutions today are too concerned with ephemeral goods like social status, and for the sake of them sacrifice timeless goods like courage, temperance, and intellectual integrity.

Concluding paragraph:
People in academia should start insisting on objective scholarship, insisting on it, relentlessly, driving the point home, ramming it down the gullets of the politically correct, making noise! naming names! citing egregious examples! showing contempt to the brink of brutality! The idea that a discipline should be devoted to “social justice” is ludicrous. The fashionable deconstructionist doctrine that there is no such thing as truth, only the self-serving manipulation of language, is worse than ludicrous. It is casuistry, laziness, and childishness in equal parts. Sociology in this country didn’t start with Max Weber. It started with an act of pious charity on the part of Protestants concerned about life in the slums. Today the discipline, if it can still be called that, has returned to sheer sentiment. Only this time the pious are from the puritanical order of political correctness, preying with the rhetoric of Rococo Marxism, which means steering clear of the by-now totally discredited “vulgar Marxism,” all that tired old business of the proletariat, the peasants, the capitalists, the bourgeois elements, the infantile leftists, since all they really care about is preserving Marxism’s greatest joy: the Manichaeistic take on life. Everything is light or darkness! Black or white! No irksome middle grounds or shades of grey! How much simpler the taxing stone-hard task of analysis becomes! He good! He bad! That’s the right idea!
(HT: Uncommon Descent)


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