the imaginative conservative logo

The modern university’s idea of “diversity” excludes all dissident opinions to the one accepted definition of “diversity” which it “values”…

We live in strange and ominous times in which coherence and cohesiveness have been replaced by newspeak and doublethink. As readers of George Orwell’s 1984 will know, newspeak is the corruption of language, and therefore meaning, for the purposes of political propaganda, whereas doublethink is the ability to hold contrary and contradictory opinions or beliefs simultaneously, especially as a consequence of political indoctrination. Both of these manifestations of meaning-corruption were prevalent in an article in the Chronicle of Higher Education about the recent shenanigans in Charlottesville. The article’s author, Chad Wellmon, an associate professor of German studies at the University of Virginia, asked how the university’s “values” of “diversity and inclusion” could be defended in the wake of the neo-Nazi presence on the UVa’s campus. “What kind of goods are these,” Professor Wellmon asks, “and why do we defend them?” He continues:

They are not ends in themselves, but they contribute to the primary purpose of the modern university—to create and care for knowledge and to pass that knowledge on by teaching our students. Diversity is good for learning…. Our common pursuit of knowledge is richer and truer when it seeks contributions from the broadest diversity of peoples.

The problem is that the modern university’s idea of “diversity” excludes all dissident opinions to the one accepted definition of “diversity” which it “values.” There can be no diversity of opinion on issues of “gender,” even though the present dogmatism that the modern university “values” was not even conceivable in any human societies and cultures until the past few decades. Should those with diverse opinions on the topic of “gender” endeavor to voice their opinions on modern university campuses they will be subjected to the threat of physical violence. And what is true of issues of “gender” is true of other issues, such as marriage, sexual ethics, abortion, et cetera. No genuine diversity on any of these issues is tolerated by the modern university, which outlaws all such diversity on the grounds of “diversity” and excludes all dissident opinions on the grounds of “inclusiveness.” If this isn’t newspeak and doublethink at their most egregious, it’s hard to know what is. Big Brother would be proud.

And yet the greatest and gravest irony is to be found in Professor Wellmon’s concluding paragraph:

When I welcome my students this Saturday, I will discuss white supremacy and the march, but I will use language different than the one my wife and I used with our three children. To them we spoke in the language of our faith tradition—in terms of the image of God, the church, and Christian love. When I speak to my students, I will do so in the language of the university and its traditions—in terms of open debate, critique, and a love of knowledge.

Does Professor Wellmon not perceive the irony? The fact is that he could not discuss white supremacy to his students in the language of his family’s faith tradition, nor could he condemn neo-Nazism in terms of the image of God, the church, and Christian love. All such discussion is banned from secular universities. The Christian understanding of love is not part of the permitted “diversity.” It is excluded in the name of “inclusion.” If Professor Wellmon were to tell his students what he tells his own children he would probably receive threats of violence and the president of the university would probably receive threats of violence. The consequence of such threats would probably be the unceremonious removal of Professor Wellmon from the university’s faculty. He would find himself excluded in the name of “inclusion.” The fact is that Professor Wellmon and all others who teach at modern secular universities are unable to discuss anything “in terms of open debate, critique, and a love of knowledge.” Were they to try to do so the Thought Police would report them to Big Brother. The real problem is not the handful of neo-Nazis who paid a pathetic and fleeting visit to the University of Virginia’s campus, never to return. The real problem is the neo-Nazis who are still there.

Books by Joseph Pearce may be found in The Imaginative Conservative BookstoreThe Imaginative Conservative applies the principle of appreciation to the discussion of culture and politics—we approach dialogue with magnanimity rather than with mere civility. Will you help us remain a refreshing oasis in the increasingly contentious arena of modern discourse? Please consider donating now.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
"All comments are subject to moderation. We welcome the comments of those who disagree, but not those who are disagreeable."
4 replies to this post
  1. “Irony”?
    Whereof do you speak, dear sir?’
    In a time when “conservatives” pursue the most ephemeral of spirits, and “antifa” squadristi clad themselves in Blackshirts, there is no remaining niche for irony. Or satire.
    By admitting there is no rationale, beyond brutality and raw force, for the hallowing of any opinion, policy or fact, the Temples of Learning have willfully descended into a darkness grater than that of the Dark Ages which they so gleefully excoriate.
    Sic transit mundi, or something.

  2. It does seem that a movement arose that denigrated the learning of the West. I have not had the “pleasure” of experiencing this phenomena myself but throughout the academic world, with some exceptions, the trend appears to be an attempt to denigrate the body of knowledge that is our foundation. If everything is fluid nothing is stable, nothing as roots. Is it possible that those who are considered our tutors are betraying a trust, a legacy?

  3. Great article! You can share it with us here, but don’t bring it into a govt School. God Bless you and your work.
    I believe the Rosary is the only weapon against the demonic that is everywhere right now.

Please leave a thoughtful, civil, and constructive comment: