Untethered Virtue and Other Spooky Thoughts

“Respect for rationality and the rights of the individual; a commitment to the ideals of disinterested criticism and color-blind justice; advancement according to merit, not according to sex, race, or ethnic origin: these quintessentially Western ideas are bedrocks of our political as well as our educational system. And they are precisely the ideas that are …

They Feel Good All Over

“Like most modern tyrannies, the dictatorship of the politically correct has freely used and abused the rhetoric of virtue in its effort to enforce conformity and silence dissent. This is part of what makes it so seductive. How gratifying to know that one is automatically on the side of Virtue simply because one espouses the …

Intellectual Carnage

“There is perhaps no more dramatic index of the disaster that has befallen liberal arts education in this country than the contempt in which the new academic orthodoxy holds this constellation of ideas about the nature and goals of higher education. It would be difficult to overstate the resulting intellectual carnage” (Roger Kimball, Tenured Radicals, …

Deconstructing Nehushtan

“There is another sense in which we can ‘burn incense’ to a work of art. We can overmystify it, ascribing to it supernatural or religious functions The passage on the destruction of the serpent image says that ‘it was called Nehushtan.’ The Hebrew is rather ambiguous here, but the King James Version, in what scholars …

Sounds Like Some People I Know

“Many codes explicitly encourage charging a student with sexual harassment even if his intent is innocent . . . The City University of New York warns that ‘sexual harassment is not defined by intentions, but by impact on the subject.’ As Herbert London, a dean and a professor of humanities of New York University, notes, …