Well, it has actually happened. Academia has finally cracked.
The following is from Independent Journal Review online, 10/27/13:
The University of Georgia’s Student Government Association (SGA) held an unusual ‘dinner and dialogue’ during Social Justice Week in opposition to the notion of ‘success stories.’
The event ‘No More Success Stories: Dinner, Dialogue, Making A Difference’ was scheduled for October 23rd (pace the flyer), and listed panelists for the ‘final event of Raise Your Hand for Equality!’ Day at the U. of Georgia. The premise of the forum is that minority ‘success stories’ diminish the stature of other minorities. The flyer, for example, features the openly gay CNN news anchor Anderson Cooper in the background, and poses: ‘1 in a Million Means 999,999 left behind.’
The organizers of the event put their views best:
It seems like whenever a minority identifying individual ‘succeeds,’ he or she is identified as a ‘success story.’ We will be featuring successful members of different minorities speaking of their own story and success, with a focus on how this idea of ‘success story’ shouldn’t exist. The idea that minority success is ‘outstanding’ means it’s not the norm—we don’t want ‘success stories.’ We just want stories.
The whole event, aside from being a psychological and cultural obscenity, is a contradiction in itself.
It’s a celebration or a commemoration of ‘ nothing. You don’t hold events to commemorate or celebrate something—even nothing—when you’re against the concept of ‘superiority’ or value that any celebration implies.
You see, we’re at the absolute dead end of where subjectivist, postmodern, nihilistic philosophy inevitably had to take us: Absolutely nowhere.
For decades, we have been told that success stories are bad, because they usually involve the accomplishments of straight, white men. In many schools, children were forbidden to win contests or earn trophies, or become valedictorians, because it was considered unfair to elevate some above others.
The implication was always that success does exist; it just doesn’t happen enough to non-white, non-male, non-straight individuals. So we have to disregard or minimize it when it occurs with someone white and male, and celebrate or even exaggerate it when it happened with anyone else.
This was the ‘liberal’ or leftist (i.e., cultural establishment) line of thinking for a long time.
But it always ran contrary to nihilistic and subjective philosophical trends. These trends taught us that the mind is impotent to know reality, that there are no absolute or objective truths.
For awhile, diversity for its own sake ruled, even as philosophy kept pushing the idea that there is no right or wrong, good or bad, inferior or superior, no matter what your ‘naïve and unsophisticated’ common sense may tell you.
But how long can you celebrate diversity as a value when you hold the premise that values by definition—any values of any kind—are untenable, impossible and immoral?
In a twisted sort of way, I almost find it a relief that we’ve finally arrived at this absurd yet utterly inevitable dead end. When you reach such a ludicrous ending point, the way is finally cleared to start questioning your most basic premises—and hopefully reversing course. I’d venture a guess it’s too late for these students pushing the idea of “no more success stories,” and it’s certainly too late for the teachers who encourage them. But what about the rest of us?
Required course reversals?
There is such a thing as objective reality.
There are facts, and logical assertions that may be proved with the aide of facts, reason and logic.
Some accomplishments are better than others.
The academics, politicians, psychologists and other elites who insist this is all naïve, unrealistic and simplistic—are simply wrong! They’re frankly idiots, and always have been.
If we feel guilty or foolish for admiring an objectively superior swimmer, football player, entrepreneur, astrophysicist, electrician, plumber or home builder—well, the error is our own.
It’s flatly wrong to insist that no one person is better than another. Sure, in a free country we must all be equal under the law, and enjoy equal individual rights. But it doesn’t follow that everyone is equal in ability or even moral stature, for that matter. (Would you prefer to deal with an honest person over a dishonest person, or does it not matter?) Anybody who has lived an intellectually honest life for more than ten minutes knows all this to be true.
For decades, the irrationality of racism or other prejudices (homophobia, sexism) has been used as an excuse to obliterate the feasibility of objective truth.
But just because racists and others are wrong when they claim to assert irrational positions as objective, must it follow that objective truth as such is impossible?
This was the question we were never asked to consider. And this is how we ended up with a student government championing the cause of “No More Success Stories.”
For a long time now, our supposed intellectual ‘superiors’ who inhabit the philosophy and social science/humanities departments of academia, not to mention government, have relied on our reasonable distaste for racism and prejudice to advance a philosophy that says the human mind is impotent with regard to certainty, and incapable of knowing objective truth.
The problem with such an approach and set of premises should be obvious. None of us would survive the day if we thought this way, but we applaud our political and intellectual leaders whenever they state, or imply, these very things.
If you’re not prepared to make “No More Success Stories” your own personal credo, you had better start questioning the ideas and beliefs of many of the people you have held to be your intellectual superiors. They are not your friends.
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