In the past week at the University of Oxford, their Student Union adopted a motion that stated course reading lists should come with ‘trigger warnings’ and no student should have to come into contact with “hate speech” against particular groups. Such a story is not the first of its kind.
Every time such an incident occurs conservatives reply with the usual response: such a measure is nothing short of censorship. Indeed, that is completely true, but it misses the much bigger point. The real point is not that the Left don’t want to argue , the real point is that the Left can’t argue.
Of course, if the Left are unable to argue, the question is how did they manage to become the dominant ideology in the education system?
The answer is that they battered our country into submission. Education was the key, the gateway to the long march to socialism. The irony of the story is that when the intellectuals took over the Left, the ability to argue diminished.
At first, all that was needed to justify Leftism in the eyes of many was to look at the working man’s condition and the lack of dignity with which he was often treated. The working classes’ were impoverished, and the Left did provide some solutions. The tripartite education system is one example.
Leftist movements of this time could at least to some degree say they were by the working class, for the working class. Aneurin Bevan, for example, the architect behind the NHS, was the son of a coalminer.
This movement, too, had features the conservative would proudly have claimed as his own. Their unabated patriotism and their devotion to Christian principles truly showed them to want what was best for Britain.
Unfortunately, however, the movement soon fell under the dominance of intellectual middle-class types. There is no problem with being intellectual or middle-class, but in this case, it robbed them of the experience that the previous Leftists had. It despised what the poor genuinely wanted and their actual beliefs; patriotism was despised as jingoism and Christianity seen as nonsense.
Sterile dogma, now fills the minds of the Left: an empty commitment to ‘equality’ above anything else.
The damage done to education proves that a priori dogma now triumphs over argument deriving from experience. The concern was not with the quality of the education that one should receive, but the outcomes that education was producing. The fine selective education system we once had was turning students from the most modest of beginnings into opponents of socialism. Conservative Prime Ministers Edward Heath, the son of a builder, and Margaret Thatcher, the daughter of a greengrocer, were the fruits of the system.
When generations were lucky enough to have the fine education of grammar schools, in which one was given a proper education in true academic freedom, people were choosing to reject socialism, and quite vehemently too.
Concerns over outcome and results completely ignored the experience of those who were under the system. Not only in the freedom to reject socialism as they often did, but in the fact that the majority of people getting into grammar schools were from modest backgrounds as highlighted in the Gurney-Dixon Report of 1954.
Once this system was abolished, the long march to socialism was unlocked. In all spheres of life, this form of intellectual socialism took over, in which the ability to argue was absent because it was devoid of the genuine experience of the working class they feigned to care about. In the name of the dogma of equality, they enforced Leftism on all kinds of spheres where it did not naturally fit with people’s experiences.
In the sphere of morals, education did its work, particularly in the idea of ‘sex education’. The Christian morals previous generations previously knew had to be replaced with the socialist one, and for that sex education did its work.
It is in this exact same mould that the trigger warning fits in. Their appeal to ‘harm’ in favour of the ‘trigger warning’ proves this point. It is not an argument about the rightness of their viewpoint, but an appeal to the dogma of ‘equality’ to enforce an odd intellectual standard nobody actually shares in experience.
This nonsense of the “New Left” is exactly that: nonsense. They are a movement abandoned of any experiences of the working class or interest in them. As long as that is the case, nonsense like the ‘trigger warning’ will continue, and nobody should be surprised by it.
Photo by brett jordan on Flickr.