Say what? Yes, I want to take just a minute to draw attention to how holding radical beliefs harms YOU.
Ideas, my critics tell me, matter. Usually when I hear someone point out this fact it is from a position that views MY ideas as dangerous and not their own. Conservatism is dangerous, I'm told, because it justifies harsh punishment of offenders. Biological theorising is dangerous because it invites scientific racism. IQ is dangerous.....sex differences are dangerous......
There is, of course, room to use any idea, any political theory, as an instrument of oppression. But what happens to the people who hold those views?
There is a strong tendency amongst leftist scholars to assume the worst about their fellow citizens. It seems the further to the left you move, the more likely they are to automatically assume that others, and not themselves, are evil. For example, blacks are suspended more often than whites because, they argue, teachers are racist. Blacks are arrested more often because cops are racist. Women don't get paid the same as men because men are sexist.
Believing the worst about people takes a toll on you emotionally and spiritually. It saps your positive energy, colours your interactions with others, and cuts you off from sources of support. It also requires constant vigilance for transgressions. In short, believing the worst about others brings out the worst in you....and you pay a terrible toll.
Read the article titled "Confessions of a Recovering Tumblr Feminist" recently posted on The Quillette (link below). Here are a couple of tidbits:
"...feminist ideology taught me that any opinions that were conservative, or just didn’t align with the party line were violence. It also taught me that the best way to fight opposition is to try to silence it. Don’t like what someone says? Protest them. Shut their event down. In retrospect, the fact that I openly embraced an ideology that claimed that holding a conservative viewpoint is the same as life-threatening violence, isn’t just absurd, it’s embarrassing. How was I so deluded?"
"Social justice theory also taught me about microaggressions. Rarely did I go a day without interpreting what someone said as such, as a personal affront to myself or one of the 7 marginalized identities that feminist social-justice Tumblr gifted me."
"Social justice theory also taught me that anyone who said anything I didn’t agree with was sexist or homophobic. For example, if someone brought up the fact that some research suggests lesbians and gay men have a disproportionately higher rate of engaging in domestic violence, the feminist rebuttal would essentially be to accuse the other person of being a homophobe instead of engaging in dialogue."
Ideas do have consequences. They have consequences for how we, individually, see our world and the people next us. An ideology that justifies resentment, that formalizes bitterness, and that cultivates a sense of justified hatred towards others damages people who hold those beliefs. I know of no ethical system that places value on self-destruction. Unfortunately, hatred and bitterness are often wrapped up in colourful and attractive packages that come along with an open invitation and call to arms.
Maybe we should rethink campus radicalism as a form of abuse of students?
See link here _