Davey the Fat Boy wrote:What both he and Peterson both obfuscate on is the fact that PC isn’t just a reaction to individual microaggressions. It is a reaction to systemic inequalities.
Fry at least certainly acknowledges that in the debate. But what he questions is whether PC is now ultimately an effective or useful response to what you call systemic inequalities, in the final estimation. I think what he identifies is that the PC orthodoxy has now become a zero sum game in which a kind of new censoriousness dictates what one may or may not say, or think.
Yes, there is an overwhelmingly strong argument that in any civil society a spirit and social code of friendliness, acceptance and reasonable tolerance of difference and diversity should prevail. And I would wholly agree with that.
But if we go back to the debate about campus censorship, and the student groups demanding that certain speakers should be banned from speaking on university and college campuses in the UK and US, you'll see that this spirit of acceptance and tolerance of difference is not exemplified in the campaigns that are now manifest to silence anyone who transgresses the new orthodoxy of what may be heard on campus.
And the likes of Copehead will trot out their usual arguments ad absurdum about skinheads turning up to wreak havoc on campus. But this is a diversionary tactic employed by people backing those who would happily censor a far wider range of speakers on campus. Who would happily censor anyone who disagrees with them.
Let me give you an example. At the university where I work, there was a concerted campaign not that long ago to ban from speaking Julie Bindel, one of the most eminent feminist writers and thinkers of our time, simply because she has expressed doubts about the new orthodoxy on transexuals. You are not going to get violent feminists turning up on campus at a Julie Bindel event to beat up people they disagree with. In fact based in the evidence so far, what you're more likely to have is trans activists (sometimes men) being violent towards women at these events. But there was a vocal minority campaigning for her not to be allowed to speak on campus. Simply because they disagreed with what she was saying.
The same happened to Germaine Greer too, very recently. To paraphrase a comment I read the other day, who exactly is going to be scared of Germaine Greer speaking on campus?