Chapter 14 of Human Diversity (2020) is the first of two concluding chapters in which Murray looks ahead and speculates. I always believed envy and lust for power were the main reasons Leftists want to control your life, confiscate your wealth and tell you what you can and cannot say or think. I now think it is intellectual fear. Murray begins his book with a quote:
I remember once being entreated not to read a certain newspaper lest it might change my opinion upon free-trade. “Lest I might be entrapped by its fallacies and misstatements”, was the form of expression. “You are not”, my friend said, “a special student of political economy. You might, therefore, easily be deceived by fallacious arguments upon the subject. You might, then, if you read this paper, be lead to believe in protection. But you admit that free-trade is the true doctrine; and you do not wish to believe what is not true.”
Murray introduces the final section of his book with another quote that rings with intellectual courage:
The future of the liberal arts lies, therefore, in addressing the fundamental questions of human existence head on, without embarrassment or FEAR, taking them from the top down in easily understood language, and progressively rearranging them into domains of inquiry that unite the best of science and the humanities at each level of organization in turn. That of course is a very difficult task. But so are cardiac surgery and building space vehicles difficult task. Competent people get on with them because they need to be done.
Quillette’s Panics and Persecutions – 20 Tales of Excommunication in the Digital Age (2020) addresses cancel culture head on – exposing the fear and insidious conceit on display from a mob egged on by Leftist academics. One of the essays tells of a mathematics paper cancelled because a university deemed it sexist. The cancelled professor was told that they support openly discussing provocative ideas BUT other, “presumably less sophisticated, readers will just see someone wielding the authority of mathematics to support a very controversial, and potentially sexist, set of ideas”. …. in MATH!
The condescending Left sincerely believe that we are too dumb and bigoted to be exposed to certain ideas. But many are now rebelling against these arrogant and meddlesome overlords.
The self-appointed arbiters of truth want to protect you from harm by cancelling certain thoughts that they deem inappropriate or taboo – forbidden knowledge labeled racist, sexist or transphobic. I am grateful for those fighting for freedom and open inquiry in the marketplace of ideas. I cheer on fellow thought warriors calling out cancel culture witch hunts.
This is from the Rush song Witch Hunt (1981):
Mob moves like demons possessed
Quiet in conscience, calm in their right
Confident their ways are best
The righteous rise
With burning eyes
Of hatred and ill-will
Madmen fed on fear and lies
To beat and burn and kill
They say there are strangers who threaten us
Our immigrants and infidels
They say there is strangeness, too dangerous
In our theatres and bookstore shelves
Those who know what’s best for us
Must rise and save us from ourselves
Quick to judge
Quick to anger
Slow to understand
Ignorance and prejudice
And fear, walk hand in hand