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The tyranny of “diversity, equity, and inclusion”

A dangerous totalitarian ideology is degrading American universities

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The tyranny of “diversity, equity, and inclusion”
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A slow-rolling revolution is happening in American and Canadian universities. A dangerous, totalitarian ideology is pushing out science, freedom, and dissent from the party line. If this is allowed to continue much longer, universities will be degraded to the level they were in the old Soviet Union to the detriment of our entire society. We will be intellectually, spiritually, and materially poorer as a result. As a society, we will also be more susceptible to demagogues and manipulative sociopaths who will exploit the situation to gain power over us. The situation is that dangerous.

The new ideology pushing out science, logic, and debate is known as “diversity, equity, and inclusion.” Its real purpose is not what you might think. Its real goal is to decrease diversity of thought, exclude anyone who dissents from the party line, and deny fairness to those who stand in its way. Its effects are the opposite of its language.

Confusion abounds because these slogans are pure propaganda. The words “diversity,” “inclusion,” and “equity” are used for their emotive value, but they are redefined in ways that make them a justification for a less tolerant, less diverse, less critical, and less equal society. You can debate whether this is some form of Marxism, but it makes little difference. Like Marxism, this ideology is incompatible with liberal democracy, and so regardless of whether it is a form of Marxism, it is extremely dangerous. Liberal democracy is under severe and unrelenting attack. The replacement ideology will be illiberal, replaced by fascism, communism, or something else.

Princeton Professor Robert P. George highlighted an example of this destructive ideology at work recently. MIT recently canceled the Carlson Lecture, scheduled to be given at on Oct. 21 by Dr. Dorian Abbot, a geophysicist at the University of Chicago.

Why was it canceled? Student activists demanded that it be canceled, and the university administration shamefully capitulated to that pressure. The lecture was on the climates of extrasolar planets, and the professor’s expertise in the field was never questioned. He was not even lecturing on politics. Instead, the mob targeted him because of an article he co-authored in Newsweek in which he criticized the ideology of “diversity, equity, and inclusion.”

Apparently, today’s students think that anyone who dares to express a contrary opinion must be shut down by force. And university administrators cannot stand up to the mob, let alone discipline students for bad behavior. On most campuses liberal student activists are now in control.

Note that what was shut down was not political speech but scientific discourse. Science itself was sacrificed by the mob (and by MIT) for the sake of political ideology. Think about that for a moment. The advocates of “diversity, equity, and inclusion” are so fanatical about enforcing their dogma that they would shut down academic discourse itself to silence and cancel their critics. To strike against scientific discourse is to aim a dagger at the heart of the university. Take away free scientific debate, and you undermine reason, research, and progress. It is an attack on the mission of the university.

For MIT to acquiesce in this totalitarian behavior should send shock waves through the academy. Robert P. George is right to raise the alarm, and, to his credit, he has been doing just that along with a few others such as Peter Boghossian, Glenn Loury, Bari Weiss, and others. Princeton, to its credit, hosted the lecture. The MIT administration comes off looking utterly craven, however. The problem is that there simply are too few Robert Georges in academia. Such things are now commonplace, and we are now accustomed to such attacks on science and reason. What is happening?

We must admit that the desire for freedom is slowly eroding. The political order we live in is a compromise between Enlightenment principles and a moral view of the world derived from Christianity. As the influence of Christianity wanes, the procedures we rely on to protect freedom and dissent reveal themselves too weak to stand up to totalitarian ideologues animated by self-righteousness, fueled by hate, and determined to impose their will on cowardly institutions and morally vacuous leaders.

To bow before their illiberal demands is to abandon freedom and dissent. Those bowing to the ideologues imagine retaining freedom even as they adjust their behavior to avoid the chanting mob. But they are only fooling themselves. Don’t be fooled.

Craig A. Carter

Craig A. Carter is the research professor of theology at Tyndale University in Toronto, Ontario, and theologian in residence at Westney Heights Baptist Church in Ajax, Ontario.

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