Everything is rigged against you. Tear it all down, now, or you'll be a loser forever!The stories of Whelan and Butler have nothing to do with whether one thinks Kavanaugh and Ronell did nothing at all or behaved appallingly. They have everything to do with the current crisis of American elites in many fields, to include the law and higher education. For the lawyer and the professor are exquisitely similar. Their academic pedigrees are magnificent: Harvard Law School, Yale University graduate school. Their positions in their professions are eminent, if detached from the rest of the world. If you are a liberal you probably do not know or care that Whelan writes often for National Review and is a leading figure in conservative legal circles; if you do not know, or care to know, much about critical theory, the writings of Butler are academic in the unflattering sense of that term. But in their worlds they are, if not royalty, lords of the realm.
Their motives here are also similar: Eminent friends are being taken down at the peak of their professional careers by someone who is, in their worlds, a nobody. It’s outrageous, and it has to be stopped. And if, by so doing, you defame a classmate of Kavanaugh’s, accusing him of attempted rape, or effectively threaten to obliterate a graduate student’s career by lending a mob of literature professors the imprimatur of the MLA, so be it. That is the point and that is the sin: the willingness to stomp hard on a defenseless little guy in order to protect your highly privileged pal.
Of the many forms of cruelty, that directed against those who are weak or powerless is one of the worst. Of itself, it undermines whatever legitimacy a person can claim by virtue of intellectual or professional distinction. Societies and governments will have elites—that is simply inescapable, except perhaps in an ancient city-state, and probably not even then. But in a free society, for those elites to exercise their power—their very real power, as those subject to it well know—they have to do so with restraint and good judgment. The alternative is, sooner or later, revolt, which is why higher education often finds itself battered by angry citizens who, in a different setting, conclude that the legal system, too, is rigged.
Sunday, September 23, 2018
These United Snakes Rotting From
The Head Down
by M. Bouffant at 12:39
Scum of the elite on parade.