December 31, 2013
P.C. EDUCATION LED TO LIBYA DEBACLE:
Finally on this point, why does the American MSM almost never mention tribes, except occasionally as an afterthought, and never speak about how countries like Libya are organized socially, and how that affects their politics? There are so many examples of this that it cannot simply be a coincidence. This is not the place to go into detail, but it comes down, I think, to a form of political correctness that tacitly prohibits any mention of what might be taken even to imply that Libyans (or Yemenis or Syrians or Egyptians, or Pashtuns, or…) might in some way be pre-modern, as we understand the term. (Actually, they’re less aptly described as pre-modern than simply as different, but lowest-common-denominator Enlightenment universalism is very bad at acknowledging the dignity of difference.) That kind of appellation is considered just this side of racist in the higher etiquette of American Enlightenment liberalism, deeply dented, as it has been, by the nonsense of anti-“Orientalism” regnant now for more than a generation in academe. Yes, it was at university where our elite press reporters and their august editors learned this stuff.
As long as our elite press censors itself in this manner, an objective socio-political description of these (and other) countries will remain impossible, and a distorted understanding will inevitably feed misbegotten policy adventures like the Libya war. I would like to be able to assure you that what ails the academy and the press does not afflict the clear-eyed professionals at the CIA and the State Department and USAID and the NSC and the officer corps of the uniformed military. Yes, I would like to… but a lot of these guys went to those same universities.
America has been ill-served by its higher education establishment in a number of ways.