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  1. Some great points but how does it support critical thought to argue to “defund” a department whose methods you take issue with. That’s just censorship. In an ideal world of dialectical progress, you’d hope that we just argue for the truth and if we’re right programs that are full of shit will shrivel up and die naturally, from lack of interest.
    To try and silence the opposing thought, on the other hand, seems to defeat our stated goal.

  2. “A friend of mine is a physician and she told me an interesting story. She had a guy to come in to see her who was born biologically female who transitioned to male. Who by every indication looked like a male — beard, the whole thing. And he came in because he had a yeast infection.” — So, what exactly is this meant to prove?
    Well yeah, shocking news, there are actually men who have vaginas. There are also men who menstruate; some are even able to have babies.

    The idea that not only gender (as a social concept) but even sex is an abstraction that – being an abstraction – often fails to grasp individual specific characteristics is by itself dialectical. I don’t see what’s not to get about that. So yeah, most people do identify with their gender assigned at birth, most people match the biological criteria associated with a certain sex, but some don’t, and that’s what the whole discussion is about: how society deals with the dissonance between abstract concept and individual reality.

    I’m always baffled about people who are professional thinkers have trouble wrapping their heads around such basic philosophical insights.

  3. I’m French. What the article describes, the rise of radical left in Academics, happened in France 50 years ago, and can be traced back to the fight waged by Sartre onto Camus. This has since poisoned the country so deeply, that it is now a cesspool of hate. In this respect, Tocqueville, when he described the old Europe and its probable fate, was sadly right on point.

    On the radical left side – Sartre – for whom existence precede essence, individuals can be (re)-educated, re-programmed since their life experience is the primary driving force of their beliefs. There’s no limit to what can be done, except what diminishes the political strength of their ideas. Humans become a means to an end.

    On Camus’ side – the humanist & classical liberal – there is a transcendence that pertains to human beings. Anything and everything isn’t permissible. Humans are an end in itself.

    It is important to note that at the time by French liberals – and there were many – made the mistake to fight on the battleground of ideas. It was never about ideas on Sartre’s side and his supporters. It was all about power. And the rise to power is all about logistics, nothing more.

    Back then, gender was a matter of debate, but not a mainstream issue, so the political vehicle was ‘work’ in its philosophical and economical sense. It would take too long to describe why this was important to the French mindset, and so crucial to its identity. Sociology became the fortress of the radical left, producing armies of jobless citizens, who in turn would vote for more radical policies.

    It’s now the US’s time. ‘Work’ is still unconnected to philosophy, and there’s acceptance that mobility is part of the deal. That won’t last for very long, considering the recent US elections, but in fine, the initial vehicle will be different. It’ll be gender and race (then work), which by all means, have become the reasons to die, to kill, or to hate for. I’m sure Camus would appreciate the irony.

    To the left, these topics are just conduits leading to power. I see many US classical liberals making the same mistake as their French counter-parts, back in the 50s/60s and 70s. Oppose with ideas.

    That won’t work, simply because the goals aren’t gender or race. There’s only one goal, and it is power. The left’s framework will adapt, morph, mutate, to escape any form of counter-arguments, to the point where only a few are allowed to participate (as in ‘do you know enough to warrant our attention?’). By that time, they’ll control the logistics.

    It’s the first time I read ‘defund gender studies’, said by someone whose primary goal are ideas. Defunding something isn’t about ideas, it’s about logistics. I’m glad a philosopher has finally decided to do something with his hands (wink to E. Kant, just in case.)

    Please, do carry on that path. In Europe, we did otherwise – we used common sense -, with admittedly very limited results.

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