Apparently VDH isn’t the only one to feel the wrath of the secular priesthood lately. Inside Higher Ed gives us a foretaste of what freedom of speech will look like once we have achieved “human flourishing.” Here’s the blurb;
Eau Claire Professor Facing Punishment for Anti-Gay E-Mail
Administrators at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire say they will punish a professor who sent an e-mail discouraging students there from holding a gay film festival because he decries “attempts to legitimize (homosexuals’) addictions and compulsions,” the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram reported. The student had sent an e-mail to a group of employees last month asking for faculty support in publicizing the Eau Queer Film Festival, a new event that took place last week. In reply, the newspaper said, Tom Hilton, chairman of the university’s information systems department, sent what university administrators characterized as a “hurtful and condescending” reply, saying that gay people, “our fellow humans, deserve our best efforts to help them recover their lives. We only hurt them further when we choose to pretend that these walking wounded are OK the way they are, that their present injuries are the best they can hope for in life.” Hilton told the Telegram Leader that he had worded his e-mail “very badly” and said that he was sorry and would cooperate if the university punishes him.
Charming! If only he’d asked for the “Supreme Measure of Punishment” it would have been a perfect caricature of one of Stalin’s show trials, with the unfortunate professor in the role of a Trotskyite. As Instapundit puts it, “Academia, where dissent flourishes.” When the grab bag of evolved human emotions we share with other animals, and collectively refer to as Morality, are jury-rigged to run modern human societies, whether university systems or states, this sort of abject groveling must be the inevitable result. The process of natural selection culminating in human moral behavior never took into account the fact that liberty and freedom of speech might someday be critical to our survival, allowing us to grope towards finding a way to accommodate behavioral traits that evolved hundreds of thousands or millions of years ago in small groups of hunter-gatherers to modern societies that are utterly alien to that primitive world. Good never comes without Evil, and rulers who would defend the Good must punish the Evil that threatens it. In our day that Evil comes in the form of heresy, the expression of opinions that are out of step with the prevailing moral paradigm. Perfect morality implies perfect tyranny.
Would you learn more about how humans can be made to grovel and live on the intellectual level of ants? You need look no further than the morality-based utopias of the past and present. Read, for example, Roy Medvedev’s account of Stalinism in Let History Judge, or Yuan Gao’s account of Mao’s Cultural Revolution, or observe the behavior of the current population of North Korea, or consider the manner in which dignified professors in academia are made to crawl on their bellies. Those societies are the real face of morality-based “human flourishing.” I personally don’t consider them immoral. I have no objective standard on which to base such a judgment. As an individual, however, I would prefer not to live in one of them. If there are other individuals who agree with me, it would behoove us to consider how we might best live together in the future in societies that account for moral behavior, but don’t enshrine it.