2013 May 11 Saturday
USG Pushing Unconstitutional College Speech Codes

The government which rules over Americans is trying to further reduce free speech on college campuses. Militant leftist feminism. What Obama voters chose.

WASHINGTON, May 10, 2013—In a shocking affront to the United States Constitution, the U.S. Departments of Justice and Education have joined together to mandate that virtually every college and university in the United States establish unconstitutional speech codes that violate the First Amendment and decades of legal precedent. 

"I am appalled by this attack on free speech on campus from our own government," said Greg Lukianoff, president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), which has been leading the fight against unconstitutional speech codes on America's college campuses since its founding in 1999. "In 2011, the Department of Education took a hatchet to due process protections for students accused of sexual misconduct. Now the Department of Education has enlisted the help of the Department of Justice to mandate campus speech codes so broad that virtually every student will regularly violate them. The DOE and DOJ are ignoring decades of legal decisions, the Constitution, and common sense, and it is time for colleges and the public to push back." 

The constitution is no match for democracy.

In a letter sent yesterday to the University of Montana that explicitly states that it is intended as "a blueprint for colleges and universities throughout the country," the Departments of Justice and Education have mandated a breathtakingly broad definition of sexual harassment that makes virtually every student in the United States a harasser while ignoring the First Amendment. The mandate applies to every college receiving federal funding—virtually every American institution of higher education nationwide, public or private. 

The letter states that "sexual harassment should be more broadly defined as 'any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature'" including "verbal conduct" (that is, speech). It then explicitly states that allegedly harassing expression need not even be offensive to an "objectively reasonable person of the same gender in the same situation"—if the listener takes offense to sexually related speech for any reason, no matter how irrationally or unreasonably, the speaker may be punished. 

Evolutionary psychologist Geoffrey Miller, author of The Mating Mind, sees this new federal mandate as a threat to the ability to teach the truth about human nature:

I am reminded of the Dark Enlightenment series by Nick Land. (same here)

Civilization, as a process, is indistinguishable from diminishing time-preference (or declining concern for the present in comparison to the future). Democracy, which both in theory and evident historical fact accentuates time-preference to the point of convulsive feeding-frenzy, is thus as close to a precise negation of civilization as anything could be, short of instantaneous social collapse into murderous barbarism or zombie apocalypse (which it eventually leads to). As the democratic virus burns through society, painstakingly accumulated habits and attitudes of forward-thinking, prudential, human and industrial investment, are replaced by a sterile, orgiastic consumerism, financial incontinence, and a ‘reality television’ political circus. Tomorrow might belong to the other team, so it’s best to eat it all now.

Truth has great value. But the Left has made ignorance about human nature a status signal for moral superiority. The Left seeks to silence realists and the Left has made great strides in that direction. For example, the Left has managed to hit the Mute button on the manager class in America when it comes to human nature. The labor law and lawsuit consequences of speaking the truth effectively silences managers. Academics without tenure are silenced. Even those with tenure have to look at where their grant money comes from and behave accordingly. The result: the ranks of those with free speech have shrunk for decades. the Left keeps trying to push further. Students have more freedom than working adults. Well, the Left wants to change that. Similiarly, the Left works to silence think tank writers who dare point out the emperor has no clothes. Most of the Right responds in a cowardly fashion. The decline continues.

Update: Read Ron Unz's essay Our American Pravda. Democracy in America is not working well. The press in America performs far worse than we need it to. This has been the case for many decades. We need better mechanisms for detecting falsehoods and bringing attention to what is important.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2013 May 11 08:03 AM 

FredR said at May 11, 2013 11:04 AM:

"Civilization, as a process, is indistinguishable from diminishing time-preference"

Ok, but as Norbert Elias pointed out, the civilizing process in Europe involved a lot of social pressure for people to be less crude and explicit in their speech. To me, PC rules like this look like too much civilization, not too little.

Phil said at May 11, 2013 2:44 PM:

FredR is right.

How are rules PC rules like this out of step with "civilization"?

Civilization is about centralized control. Obviously people saying, let alone doing, whatever they want is always going to be a threat to centralized control.

Sgt. Joe Friday said at May 11, 2013 5:27 PM:

Well, Phil, then obviously the old USSR was the most civilized place on the planet.

Phil said at May 11, 2013 9:46 PM:

It's not obvious at all, Sgt. Joe Friday. There are different ways to achieve centralized control. Subtle methods may be far more effective at achieving centralized control.

Black Death said at May 13, 2013 8:39 AM:

Thanks for the links. The last paragraph of Unz's article is especially chilling:

Consider the fascinating perspective of the recently deceased Boris Berezovsky, once the most powerful of the Russian oligarchs and the puppet master behind President Boris Yeltsin during the late 1990s. After looting billions in national wealth and elevating Vladimir Putin to the presidency, he overreached himself and eventually went into exile. According to the New York Times, he had planned to transform Russia into a fake two-party state—one social-democratic and one neoconservative—in which heated public battles would be fought on divisive, symbolic issues, while behind the scenes both parties would actually be controlled by the same ruling elites. With the citizenry thus permanently divided and popular dissatisfaction safely channeled into meaningless dead-ends, Russia’s rulers could maintain unlimited wealth and power for themselves, with little threat to their reign. Given America’s history over the last couple of decades, perhaps we can guess where Berezovsky got his idea for such a clever political scheme.


I'm not so sure that Berezovsky really failed, but, anyway, the Russian elites have got to be impressed (and maybe frightened) at how successfully the American elites have implemented his program. The US has two major political parties, one vaguely social-democratic, the other, neoconnish and mildly conservative, which struggle bitterly for control, but nothing seems to change very much, no matter who wins. The MSM channel public discourse into contentious issues (gun control! the deficit! Obamacare! Benghazi! gay marriage! the IRS! abortion! etc.! etc.! etc.!) which stir passions on both sides but in the end seem to matter very little. Congress changes hands, one president comes and another goes, but everything continues just the same. Nothing of significance changes. Anyway, not much we can do about it. Life is currently pretty good for the prosperous American elite. The problems we have here, although serious, seem small when compared to the rest of the world. So relax and enjoy it while you can. And if you're not in the elite, well, you're probably screwed, but there's not much you can do about that either.

Toddy Cat said at May 13, 2013 9:47 AM:

You seem to be confusing "Civilization" with "Totalitarianism". Probably a natural mistake. for one of your political persuasion.

map said at May 14, 2013 8:40 AM:

Black Death -

That is a very interesting argument, but the problem is simple: why would Republicans want to play the whipping boy in this particular game? Remember, the system is not merely set up to have two opposing views. The system is set up to ridicule and marginalize one set of opposing views while treating the other set as sacrosanct. Even if the issues are meaningless and simply burn up popular energy, why would anyone want to be a Republican politician and be reated the way Republican pols are treated? Why not simply try to take power and destroy the democrats?

FredR said at May 15, 2013 9:54 AM:

"You seem to be confusing "Civilization" with "Totalitarianism"" - Phil

"The boons of civilization are so noisily cried up by sentimentalists that we are all apt to overlook its disadvantages. Intrinsically, it is a mere device for regimenting men. Its perfect symbol is the goose-step. The most civilized man is simply that man who has been most successful in caging and harnessing his honest and natural instincts-that is, the man who has done most cruel violence to his own ego in the interest of the commonweal. The value of this commonweal is always overestimated. What is it at bottom? Simply the greatest good to the greatest number—of petty rogues, ignoramuses and poltroons." - Mencken

Check it out said at May 15, 2013 3:20 PM:

My old personal plans were to return to the U.S. eventually when things got better, but now I think I'll continue to stay away from it.

Sure, Latin America is pretty messed up economically speaking, but for what I've been seeing and hearing, living in the U.S. at this time seems much worse. Given the choices, I prefer to continue living in a poor country before living in bondage.

Maybe it's time for some -or many- of you to seriously start thinking about leaving the "Land of Liberty" and be able to breathe again. Maybe even own the product of your work.

By the way, Latin American females still like to be whistled at and sexually pursued or "chased" by non-castrated males. Latin American females usually laugh at men who are too careful in their sexual advances. Something tells me that soon American women will either turn to toys for some kind of a sex life or they will start asserting their right to say to males: "You have one hour to get your hands off!" or "Stop harrassing me, but please don't let me go, baby!" or "Will you finally kiss me already!?"

Mthson said at May 15, 2013 4:50 PM:

Check it out,

A woman wanting to be whistled at surely correlates with being r-selected (short time horizon, low sophistication, etc.).

Men who are drawn to that tend to be r-selected themselves.

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