Yo, Sherb...

George KGeorge K Super ModeratorPosts: 9,892 Senior Member
I only wish I could express this thought this well. It is columns like this that make Brooks my favorite conservative Republican.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/21/opinion/the-crisis-of-western-civ.html?hpw&rref=opinion&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=well-region&region=bottom-well&WT.nav=bottom-well
Keep your stinkin' government hands off my Medicare.

Replies

  • sherbsherb Senior Member Posts: 3,838 Senior Member
    I read that earlier today. Very good stuff.
  • Shawn C.Shawn C. Senior Member Posts: 6,817 Senior Member
    Thought provoking. A few points if I may:

    1) I think Mr. Brooks is reading a bit much into the college campus flare-ups. That is a reaction to having a very un-fit and very troubling man in the WH. In the context of the arc of Western Civilization, it isn't really worth mentioning.

    2) Sure, the ideals of W Civilization aren't lauded and taught like they once were. I think we can all agree that a balance needs to be struck in teaching the positives while still acknowledging the atrocities. White guilt shouldn't be a way of life!

    3) Brooks seems to be laying the blame for the fall of reasoned discourse on the above two. While certainly contributing, what about the right's role in this? I know I'm a broken record on this but who is to blame for so many turning their backs on science, education and diversity? We have whole media complexes that are committed 100% to spreading fear and lies! In short, the problem is more widespread than his column portrays.

    4) Man, this Erdogan/Turkey thing is bad. Real bad.
  • Shawn C.Shawn C. Senior Member Posts: 6,817 Senior Member
    BTW, I really like D. Brooks. So measured and reasonable. I love when he and Mark Shields or EJ Dionne have a real conversation about an issue on NPR or PBS News Hour.
  • WetdogWetdog Senior Member Posts: 5,149 Senior Member
    I usually like Brooks......good article but the campus **** come about from little more than emotion and the certainty of youth. They emotionally are children. Many of the same people didn't vote because their choice didn't make it. That's why Trump won. You don't have look into history, this has always been the same. Though interesting, on this subject Brooks is over complicating it. It's immaturity. I saw it in the 60s, nothing is different. Most of them get over it, others become Ralph Nader and end up angry all their lives. I know a couple of them as well.
    I find the assault on free thought disturbing,
    I find the willingness to give it up frightening.
  • FishTXFishTX Super Moderator Posts: 7,971 Senior Member
    Shawn C. wrote: »
    BTW, I really like D. Brooks. So measured and reasonable. I love when he and Mark Shields or EJ Dionne have a real conversation about an issue on NPR or PBS News Hour.

    Yep. I like him on NPR too.
    "We have to find someone who can not only fly this plane, but who didn't have fish for dinner."

    Crooow:This music would work better with women in bikinis shaking all over the place. I guess that's true of any music really.
  • fishingcomicfishingcomic Senior Member Posts: 23,762 Senior Member
    Shawn C. wrote: »
    BTW, I really like D. Brooks. So measured and reasonable. I love when he and Mark Shields or EJ Dionne have a real conversation about an issue on NPR or PBS News Hour.

    Not a fan or Dionne.
    'I've spoken of the Shining City all my political life. …In my mind it was a tall, proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, windswept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace; a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity. And if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here. That's how I saw it, and see it still.'" Ronald Reagan
  • fishingcomicfishingcomic Senior Member Posts: 23,762 Senior Member
    Shawn C. wrote: »
    Thought provoking. A few points if I may:

    1) I think Mr. Brooks is reading a bit much into the college campus flare-ups. That is a reaction to having a very un-fit and very troubling man in the WH. In the context of the arc of Western Civilization, it isn't really worth mentioning.

    They were annoying long before Trump.
    'I've spoken of the Shining City all my political life. …In my mind it was a tall, proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, windswept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace; a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity. And if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here. That's how I saw it, and see it still.'" Ronald Reagan
  • sherbsherb Senior Member Posts: 3,838 Senior Member
    They were annoying long before Trump.

    fact check: true.

    And I think Wetdog is right that a lot of campus activism is the low-hanging fruit of radical thought, easily picked apart and evincing a lack of mature thinking. But there definitely is something to what Brooks is saying. Brooks doesn't link to them in the piece, but there were two articles published last week in school newspapers which came in for a fair amount of rightly-deserved criticism. Both pieces contain what might be called the latest and greatest in radical political thought. Leaving aside the terrible writing, both pieces demonstrate a poor understanding of the cultural and literary capital reserves needed to bolster and defend their claims, and the reason is that both arguments lack any kind of grounding in Western philosophical thought.

    Here's the first:

    http://thewellesleynews.com/2017/04/12/free-speech-is-not-violated-at-wellesley/

    Not sure what $65K a year gets you at Wellesley, but English composition it ain't. Anyway, once you get past the abysmal writing, the premise is fairly straightforward: hate speech is not free speech. The minor premise that follows from the major is that its perfectly acceptable to police that hate speech. But that's wrong. Its legally wrong, factually false, completely at odds with the mission of a liberal arts college-and most importantly for our purposes-violates the scientific spirit at the heart of the Enlightenment. A dose of Western Civ could only help, if for no other reason than to force the students to think through their claims.

    The other is different, more radical, more theoretical. Its a letter to the school administration in response to the school (Claremont) reaffirming its commitment to free speech.

    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1_y6NmxoIBLcZJxYkN9V1YfaPYzVSMKCA17PgBzz10wk/edit

    These guys swing for the fences. there's no bougie hand-wringing over the difference between "free speech" and "hate speech" here. They go straight for the rhetorical throat: truth is a Euro-centric concept that serves the goals of white supremacy. And the thing is, this argument can be made. Its been a staple of postwar continental philosophy for 70 years. But the problem is that the argument is hard; the concepts require a certain level of intellectual rigor to understand, and the people who can make this argument work draw from a deep well of French and German philosophy that enables them to understand the counterarguments and respond to them accordingly. The students don't. And the reason that they don't is that they lack the grounding in Western Civ that their intellectual forbears had at their fingertips.

    Its easy to poke holes in these arguments, but wouldn't it be better if the students could actually defend their opinion?
  • George KGeorge K Super Moderator Posts: 9,892 Senior Member
    We survived 1950s complacency, 1960s radicals and the Me Generation. The sun will continue to rise and we will survive these naifs as well.
    Keep your stinkin' government hands off my Medicare.
  • StevenSteven Senior Member Posts: 3,366 Senior Member
    Why is it not legally acceptable for a university to police against hate speech?
    The First Amendment protects against seditious libel, it doesn't mean that a university has to give a soap box to everybody.

    That said, I don't believe hate speech isn't free speech. Just that free speech is protected from government interference.
  • sherbsherb Senior Member Posts: 3,838 Senior Member
    I've typed out and deleted several responses to this. I can't quite wrap my head around it.

    Sorry, for the obtuseness, but what exactly are you getting at?
  • StevenSteven Senior Member Posts: 3,366 Senior Member
    As you noted, the premise of the Wellesley editorial is fairly straightforward: hate speech is not free speech.

    You then say (which I agree with) that the minor premise that follows from the major is that its perfectly acceptable to police that hate speech. You then say this is legally wrong.

    I'm questioning why it's legally wrong for a university to police hate speech on its campus. Or did I misunderstand your point?
  • sherbsherb Senior Member Posts: 3,838 Senior Member
    Because of the doctrine of viewpoint restriction, but that wasn't really my point. My real point was that there's no such thing as "hate speech." As a legal category, it doesn't exist in any context. There's threats, but that's a very, very narrow exception to the general principle.
  • StevenSteven Senior Member Posts: 3,366 Senior Member
    Ah. So I misunderstood your point.

    What is the "doctrine of viewpoint restriction?" I googled, but came up empty.
  • sherbsherb Senior Member Posts: 3,838 Senior Member
    Sorry, viewpoint discrimination. Wrong term.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R.A.V._v._City_of_St._Paul
  • StevenSteven Senior Member Posts: 3,366 Senior Member
    But again, that's a government entity restricting speech.
  • StevenSteven Senior Member Posts: 3,366 Senior Member
    Here's my question...

    So, I'm out on Sproul Plaza spewing all kinds of racial hatred. Can the University of California boot me off the premises?
  • sherbsherb Senior Member Posts: 3,838 Senior Member
    Steven wrote: »
    But again, that's a government entity restricting speech.

    True. So is Berkeley.
  • sherbsherb Senior Member Posts: 3,838 Senior Member
    Steven wrote: »
    Here's my question...

    So, I'm out on Sproul Plaza spewing all kinds of racial hatred. Can the University of California boot me off the premises?

    Perhaps they could make out a valid time, space, and manner requirement, but I don't see how they could boot you for content. And I assume (without knowing) that Sproul plaza is a place open to the public.
  • StevenSteven Senior Member Posts: 3,366 Senior Member
    True. But the University isn't the government and the First Amendment applies to the government.
  • sherbsherb Senior Member Posts: 3,838 Senior Member
    I'm gonna have to think about this because I don't want to get it wrong, but generally public universities are considered governmental entities for purpose of the 1st Amendment.
  • StevenSteven Senior Member Posts: 3,366 Senior Member
    Ok.
    Sproul Plaza is on university grounds, fwiw.

    Something else to think about. Cal is a public university, but Wellesley is private. Does that change things?
  • sherbsherb Senior Member Posts: 3,838 Senior Member
    I've been thinking about that.

    I would have to say that Wellesley being private changes the first Amendment analysis. in other words, yes, Wellesley can engage in viewpoint discrimination. But, that doesn't change my point that there's no such legal entity as hate speech. Keep in mind that the editorial acknowledges the imperatives of free speech, but says hate speech is not free speech. Private or not, the legal analysis is still wrong. And private or not, I'm sure that somewhere in Wellesley's charter is some aspirational statement about the importance of free speech and academic freedom.
  • StevenSteven Senior Member Posts: 3,366 Senior Member
    Yes. Free speech encompasses hate speech.
  • fishingcomicfishingcomic Senior Member Posts: 23,762 Senior Member
    I personally believe the best way to counter hate speech is to allow it and then expose it for what it is.
    'I've spoken of the Shining City all my political life. …In my mind it was a tall, proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, windswept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace; a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity. And if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here. That's how I saw it, and see it still.'" Ronald Reagan

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