Back in 1987 philosopher Allan Bloom published The Closing of the American Mind, which was an early critique of the emerging culture of political correctness and all things mad from the Left. The main argument was against the emergence of moral and cognitive relativism, rejection of the objectivity of science and knowledge, and Bloom asserted the need to defend Western civilisation, including the canon of great and classic literature. But, in the years up to today, this return to the classics has not occurred, and Western civilisation faces a relentless attack in the universities. This comes from the ageing boomer academics, as well as the more recent clones from gen X and Y, who ape them. Added now to this lamentation about the state of the university, comes The Coddling of the American Mind (2018), by Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt, a lawyer and psychologist. The book deals with updated themes discussed by Bloom and other “cultural wars” authors, but the book is very toned down, in my opinion, due to the authors being liberals, which is their right, of course.
Thus, the dissent Right come out as Nazis and the like (p.12), and the election of Donald Trump is beyond the pale, (p.140), and they proclaim, after discussing numerous incidents of the suppression of mainstream views that: “the shock of Trump’s victory must have been particularly disillusioning for many black students and left-leaning women. Between the president’s repeated racial provocations and the increased visibility of neo-Nazis and their ilk, it became much more plausible than it had been in a long time that “white supremacy,” even using a narrow definition, was not just a relic of the distant past.” (p.140) never mind that although left women would have opposed Trump, millions of Blacks voted for him. Thus, Lukianoff/Haidt Trump directly equate Trump to extremism, but we do not see the liberal Left so equated with the actions of Antifa, also discussed in the book. The Charlottesville protests are equated to a bunch of “Nazis” bashing people (pp. 90-91), even though these people were in an absolute minority. Again vDare has dealt with all aspects of this, including the distortion of Trump’s claim, that there were “very fine people on both sides” (p.91), which they take as an endorsement of extremists from the Right, which hardly follows. Lukianoff and Haidt would then have to claim that everybody from the Dissent Right was a “Nazi,” which is just the sort of distortion that they argue against elsewhere in their book, like on page 89, where they talk of “labelling running wild – a list of serious accusations made without supporting evidence.” (p. 89) Did they examine everyone present at the protest? Of course they did not. Again the vDare site has numerous article refuting much of their claims, with Ann Coulter leading the charge. Hopefully she will debate these authors and put them in their place.