From Mark Lilla at Wall Street Journal:
As a teacher, I am increasingly struck by a difference between my conservative and progressive students. Contrary to the stereotype, the conservatives are far more likely to connect their engagements to a set of political ideas and principles. Young people on the left are much more inclined to say that they are engaged in politics as an X, concerned about other Xs and those issues touching on X-ness. And they are less and less comfortable with debate.
Over the past decade a new, and very revealing, locution has drifted from our universities into the media mainstream: Speaking as an X…This is not an anodyne phrase. It sets up a wall against any questions that come from a non-X perspective. Classroom conversations that once might have begun, I think A, and here is my argument, now take the form, Speaking as an X, I am offended that you claim B. What replaces argument, then, are taboos against unfamiliar ideas and contrary opinions.
Rod Dreher adds at the American Conservative,
The Damore debacle at Google is a perfect example of what Lilla disdains in his book. Google engineer James Damore wrote an impolitic memo criticizing the way diversity is handled at Google. He said there are scientific reasons why Google’s diversity initiatives aren’t working to change Google’s male-female employee ratio. He said clearly that he favors diversity, but thinks that science shows there are more effective ways to achieve it. And he criticized Google for being the kind of place where people who disagree with cultural progressivism cannot speak out.
This got him fired. It also energized the mob of left-wing witch hunters, who piled onto Damore for his alleged sexist bigotry. Much of the hysteria had nothing to do with Damore’s actual arguments. It bashed him on identity politics grounds. Never mind that Damore said in the memo that he favors diversity, and that he thinks racism and sexism are real problems. Never mind that he simply complained that the way Google pursues diversity is unfair to men. And never mind that Google provided the internal forum precisely so that its workers can discuss workplace issues. More.
Reality check: Lilla is self-deluded if he thinks that the junior jackboots of We’ll Fix U are in any sense liberal. They’ll just freeze him out now. Why should they think when they can riot? Why should they persuade when they can enforce?
See also: It’s not just Google