GABlog Generative Anthropology in the Public Sphere

July 27, 2006

The Free Exchange of Ideas

Filed under: GA — ericgans @ 12:42 am

[Lecturer at the University of Wisconsin-Madison] Kevin Barrett told a Milwaukee talk show host in June that he believed that the U.S. government used “controlled demolitions with explosives” on Sept. 11 to bring down the World Trade Center buildings and later said that the idea of a hijacked plane hitting the Pentagon was “preposterous.” He plans to discuss these beliefs over one week of the 15-week course for undergraduate students. …

School officials say they have no reason to oust Barrett because free speech protects academic freedom.

“We cannot allow political pressure from critics of unpopular ideas to inhibit the free exchange of ideas,” said Patrick Farrell, the school’s provost.  (complete article)

Thus the most preposterous idiocy is considered an “unpopular idea” if it comports with victimary thought. Once again, postmodern skepticism about truth is not across the board. 9/11 denial and Holocaust denial belong to the “free exchange of ideas” because they reinforce antisemitism and anti-Americanism. An absurdity becomes an “idea” only under such conditions; we cannot trust our “objective” judgment in such cases because we might tend to favor ourselves.

Perhaps the sheer mind-boggling stupidity of Mr. Farrell’s remarks will help persuade a few more people that White Guilt is not a coherent philosophy.

-eric gans

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