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Ed Driscoll

The Cliché of Tyranny

November 23rd, 2013 - 1:49 pm

Macro-aggression:

Some are describing this as “America’s anger epidemic.” And there are a few reasons: uncertainty in the job market and the economy, working long hours — on average about one month more now than they did in the 1970s and with less vacation.

So if it seems like Americans are angrier these days it’s because we are.

What has you seeing red? Maybe it’s the traffic or the ups and downs of the stock market. For one guy seen on a viral video, he threw a tantrum over a city street trombone player. I guess he didn’t like the tune.

And of course, there are the celebrity meltdowns, like Alec Baldwin’s epic fail last week when he blew up at Fox 5 reporter Linda Schmidt.

Micro-aggression:

More crushing injustice on campus, this time at the UCLA Graduate School of Education & Information Studies:

In a letter sent to colleagues in the department after the sit-in, [Professor] Rust said students in the demonstration described grammar and spelling corrections he made on their dissertation proposals as a form of “micro-aggression.” “I have attempted to be rather thorough on the papers and am particularly concerned that they do a good job with their bibliographies and citations, and these students apparently don’t feel that is appropriate,” Rust said in the letter.

You see, by highlighting spelling and punctuation errors, the professor is contributing to an “unsafe climate for students of colour.” Reminding students of the basic rules of English apparently helps to create “a hostile and toxic environment” in Professor Rust’s classroom. Such are the mental and emotional traumas of the modern grad school intellectual. These, remember, are people studying for master’s degrees and doctorates. Advanced learning. For those of you interested in the policing of tiny tragedies, “micro-aggressions” are defined by an official UCLA report as,

Subtle verbal and nonverbal insults directed toward non-whites, often done automatically and unconsciously. They are layered insults based on one’s race, gender, class, sexuality, language, immigration status, phenotype, accent, or surname.

However,

It is not clear whether any workable definition of discriminatory conduct is capable of capturing every such microaggression.

No of course not, as life once again imitates Jonah Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism:

This is not to say that there are no racist conservatives. But at the philosophical level, liberalism is battling a straw man. This is why liberals must constantly assert that conservatives use code words—because there’s nothing obviously racist about conservatism per se. Indeed, the constant manipulation of the language to keep conservatives—and other non-liberals—on the defensive is a necessary tactic for liberal politics. The Washington, D.C., bureaucrat who was fired for using the word “niggardly” correctly in a sentence is a case in point. The ground must be constantly shifted to maintain a climate of grievance. Fascists famously ruled by terror. Political correctness isn’t literally terroristic, but it does govern through fear. No serious person can deny that the grievance politics of the American left keeps decent people in a constant state of fright—they are afraid to say the wrong word, utter the wrong thought, offend the wrong constituency.

Offend students by pointing out the wrong punctuation. Congratulations Frankfurt School — you’ve sown the seeds of discontent remarkably well: