Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Scholarly discourse


Over the years, as we’ve written on this, that, and other things, we’ve imagined what fun it might be to be a practicing ‘scholar,’ sitting in a warm, cozy, spacious office, thinking and reflecting on whatever subjects strike our fancy at the moment, and then writing learned treatises that illuminate the central issues.  We could satiate our never-ending thirst for knowledge, revel in our intellectual curiosity, and bore the living crap out of the general populace and our readers.

We’d take a vow to be gentle to our fancy, because at our age, we’re not sure how much more striking it can survive.

A few weeks ago, we told you of an event to be held here in Brunswick, specifically addressing the focus of ‘higher education’ in the modern era.  It was organized by the National Association of Scholars (NAS), and sponsored jointly by that organization and the Maine Heritage Policy Center.


We attended the event, and were duly impressed.   We resolved to become a member of NAS, and finally got around to it today.  As we navigated their web site to do so, we noticed this posted item: 

Indignation: Abusing the Language of Dignity

The opening paragraph reads as follows:

The academic left has created a great deal of mischief by appropriating wholesome words for unwholesome ends. This game has been perfected with diversity, inclusion, social justice, and sustainability—all words that mean roughly the opposite of what they sound like.  Diversity on college campuses denotes both lockstep conformity on identity group politics and radical stereotyping of people by race.  Inclusion means excluding anyone who dissents from the prevailing orthodoxy.  Social justice often means overriding fundamental freedoms and individual rights to impose arbitrary rule by elite redistributionists. Sustainability means transferring authority to decide how to use our resources from the marketplace to ill-informed bureaucrats. 

We find this brief introduction to be exceptionally pithy and ‘spot on,’ as the British like to say.  You can read the entire column here.

We commend this column to you, and the National Association of Scholars as well.  Take a look around their web site, and if you feel so moved, read more published columns, and maybe go so far as to join and/or follow the organization.

Then you can become one with the ‘intellectual corridor’ running between Brunswick/Bowdoin College and Boston.  This won’t lower your property taxes, but you should feel a good deal more altruistic for paying them in such high measure.


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