How All My Politically Correct Bones Were Broken

Originally published at: How All My Politically Correct Bones Were Broken – Quillette

In my first 10 years of college teaching, from the mid-60s to mid-70s, I modeled myself on my best teachers—men and women who questioned my ideas vigorously. They let me know that I mattered to them, they praised when praise was due, and they pushed me hard. Often I balked, and they continued to push.…


This is a very sad story about how easy it is, when trying to save the world, to Make Things Worse.

I use two books to understand what is going on here.

The first is The Anatomy of Revolution by Crane Brinton. He argues that when the revolution fails to bring on the promised Heaven on Earth, the revolutionaries don’t give up. Not at all. They amp it up – with Reigns of Terror and the like – until the inevitable Thermidorian Reaction.

The second is When Prophecy Fails by Festinger et al. about a UFO cult in the US around 1950. When the UFO failed to appear and rescue the cultists and take them to another world, the cultists did not give up. Not yet. In fact they went public with their prophecies. But after about a year the cult faded away.

Think about our liberal friends. They knew they were going to change the world, to bend the arc of history towards justice with their glorious Civil Rights Revolution. Only they have Made Things Worse. So they have amped things up and accused everyone of being racists and called English Whiteness Studies and protected unprepared students from the truth of their ignorance.

Until the moment when the Earth stands still.


It’s clear what the end point is: a Trumpian solution of closing these institutions and discrediting the entire model. It’s become a time and money sink like no other, a giant waste.


A great article. Stating the unsayable has never been so eloquent. It should also be noted that this constitutes a form of feedback racism- a type of systemic racism which is purely caused by white guilt and atonement, or the desire to help (often in ways which cause more harm than good). It’s the soft bigotry of low expectations 2.0.

I written about it on my substack, which is free to view and comment:


A well-intentioned and heartfelt piece, but the vague plea at the end ("Let us . . ") offers no meaningful solution. When every card is a race card it’s time to fold, and walk away from the game. To paraphrase Bernard Lonergan: “Any attempt to reform corrupt institutions will usually fail, as any arguments brought to bear were already rejected in order to bring about the corruption in the first place.” At this point, perhaps the only hope is a disaster that destroys such institutions (most universities, city governments) leaving the way open for their replacement. Maybe we are seeing just this in the aftermath of Covid.


May I suggest the Canadian approach? Absolute, unconditional surrender with apology and compensation. No, really. Colleges like the above should be handed over to total wokeness. If any white instructors remain, they must, one and all, be Allies, who pre-grade all Victim-Identity students with A’s irrespective of any work done.

“Erroneous medical charting? Misunderstanding a care plan? Misreading a decimal point? So dangerous!”

Yes, and engineers who don’t know what ‘modulus’ means and scientists who don’t know what a proton is. We want our power plants run by people who don’t know what a transformer is. The sooner are harder this hits, the better. Meanwhile we need explicit Universities of Whiteness where students actually learn something. I normally like a moderate, centrist approach to things but this is an exception – we need to go all in. Total wokeness vs. total whiteness and let the results manifest themselves for all to see.


I can just imagine some CCCP official reading this lament with glee. What better way to beat the USA than to decrease its technical prowess by lowering teaching standards.

The article is excellent. Teacher writes well.

Identity politics, or collectivism, sucks.


This all sounds very unpleasant, so I sympathize. Our CEO has foisted a few idiotic DIE presentations on us, as well as something called “listening sessions” which I intentionally avoided taking any part in. I anticipate this will only get worse, and I’m struggling with the idea of how to push back without self-immolating my career.


So in other words “Sharing Circles” ?
Hippies I hung out with in the 90s couldn’t bring themselves that far.
In 50 years we’ll have ‘Masculine Studies 101’ where they teach and chant 'Down with the Matriarchy!!

But really, as others have said, this essay was a great read.


Might not take that long! This could be an opportunity for a tenure track job my brothers! :man_student:t2: