The ‘preppy’ totalitarians

The story about Charles Murray and his speech at Middlebury College in Vermont is being discussed around the Internet. The fact that a (typically leftist) professor at that college was also assaulted by the ‘student’ thugs adds a twist to it. Surely she is ‘one of their own’, having the correct politics and the kinds of views which are the only kind these apostles of ‘tolerance’ will tolerate.

One thing I’ve noted in the various online comments on the incidents: many are referring to the ‘preppy’ character of the school and the student body, as if it adds to the shocking nature to imagine WASP-y, wealthy students behaving this way. No doubt some of the worst of the ‘social justice’ brownshirts are White students from wealthy homes in the supposedly very White Northeast. But just look at the photo in the linked article; that audience does not look ‘hideously White’ nor very ‘preppy.’ It does not look all that different from the mixed crowd at the community college in the college town near me. So I looked up the demographics of the student body. For a start,  the student body contains only 4% Vermonters. Students come from 42 states, plus the District of Corruption Columbia. They come from no less than 40 countries.

So the student body does not reflect the demographics of the setting, of rural Vermont or New England, or even much of America, come to that.

One other factor: not all the students at that college need be wealthy, considering the prevalence of financial aid. And if diversity is mandatory and of the utmost importance (as these colleges all say it is), then by all means be generous to students without the money to pay the high tuition, but with the requisite amount of ‘vibrancy’, to entice them to come and enrich the diversity-deficient Whites.

If the students of that University are overwhelmingly indoctrinated leftists, as it appears they are, is this because it is in liberal New England, or is that just the nature of college campuses all over America now? I have acquaintances who sent their child to Christian schools (in a non-diverse community) K-12, at considerable expense, and then to one of the most conservative (supposedly) Christian colleges. That college turned their child into a raving SJW in very short order. So it’s everywhere now.

The people who put much stock in Colin Woodward’s conjectures about the ‘nations’ of America place the blame on the old Puritans for the liberalism of New England. In this case, it seems as though the diversity that has been visited on New England since at least the mid-19th century is still having its effect, and the presence of all the ‘diversity’ at Middlebury in 2017 has its effect too. When you introduce outsiders into what has been a homogeneous culture, you make people more self-conscious about the opinions of those ‘Others’ and soon free speech is not so free; we can’t offend anyone or hurt anyone’s feelings. Diversity=death to free discourse and honesty.

Sham altruism

Those who can feel righteous indignation only about things that directly affect them may have some moral deficiency in their character, and it seems that such deficiencies are more common in our postmodern, narcissistic culture.

On the other hand, I’ve commented here that there is something bizarre and unnatural, not to say phony, about the left’s tendency to get outraged about some wrong that they perceive happening to people in far-off lands, or to their minority clientele/mascots. They have this maddening habit, these lefties, of taking offense on behalf of others who haven’t themselves complained of being offended. Example: the ongoing protests of athletic teams with names like ‘Braves’ or ‘Indians’. Polls have shown that many American Indians (‘Native Americans’, in PC-speak) say they find nothing offensive in such names; some even say the names have a positive connotation to them — yet leftist Whites and other minorities often show outrage on behalf of American Indians. Can’t the supposedly offended speak for themselves? Aren’t the lefties being condescending and paternalistic by claiming to be offended for them? The same thing happens when say, White Republicans set up a howl about how the Democrats ‘keep black people on the plantation’ or ‘liberals destroyed the black family/black community.’ I suspect those complaints originated in the minds of politically correct White people, not from black people themselves. I don’t think most black people would bite the (liberal) hand that feeds them, and provides ‘programs’ for them, programs that are the main source of income for many minorities.

On the Reason.com website, there is a piece about this kind of vicarious moral outrage on the part of the ‘social justice’ crowd.

“When people publicly rage about perceived injustices that don’t affect them personally, we tend to assume this expression is rooted in altruism—a “disinterested and selfless concern for the well-being of others.” But new research suggests that professing such third-party concern—what social scientists refer to as “moral outrage”—is often a function of self-interest, wielded to assuage feelings of personal culpability for societal harms or reinforce (to the self and others) one’s own status as a Very Good Person.”

Two professors, Rothschild and Keefer, conducted studies which, to sum up, shows a definite self-serving aspect to this phenomenon — which is just what I would think. We give these meddling lefties far too much credit to ascribe ‘altruism’ to them.

“Ultimately, the results of Rothschild and Keefer’s five studies were “consistent with recent research showing that outgroup-directed moral outrage can be elicited in response to perceived threats to the ingroup’s moral status,” write the authors. The findings also suggest that “outrage driven by moral identity concerns serves to compensate for the threat of personal or collective immorality” and the cognitive dissonance that it might elicit, and expose a “link between guilt and self-serving expressions of outrage that reflect a kind of ‘moral hypocrisy,’ or at least a non-moral form of anger with a moral facade.”

It’s a veneer of morality and solicitousness but the motivation behind it is to present a moral pose, a front to the world, and to claim the moral high ground.

Don’t let’s be fooled by it.

H/T to commenter ‘Anonymous’ at Steve Sailer’s blog for the link.