Wednesday, April 27, 2005
Givin’ it up to the GForce
GForce, of course, being the alter ego of one Graham Larkin, humanities fellow at Stanford University and professor of art history. This diffident blog salutes Larkin not merely for penning the exquisite phrase, “this is classic Horowitziana — a complete lie mired in a mighty river of bullshit,” but for his whole essay, sure to be read in the weeks and months to come as the definitive word on the subject. Highly recommended!
And while I’m looking over some of Larkin’s concluding paragraphs—
By lying about the AAUP, Horowitz hopes to divert readers from the fact that this fine organization came out categorically against all university speech codes in a resolution approved in 1992. That document, reprinted in AAUP’s fully-indexed Redbook, unambiguously asserts that “[o]n a campus that is free and open, no idea can be banned or forbidden,” and that “rules that ban or punish speech based upon its content cannot be justified.”
Why is Horowitz so eager to make us think that the AAUP actually supports speech codes and “political thought police”? Mainly so he can then construe their reasoned resistance to his efforts to police knowledge and relativize truth as an unreasonable affront to student liberty. This rhetorical inversion of the truth is part of the larger strategy of doublespeak that leads him to couch his coercive speech legislation in the language of freedom and diversity, as if it were some kind of newly fortified version of the First Amendment.
-- I figure this might be as good a time as any to announce that I’ve recently been elected to the National Council of the AAUP. A fine organization, indeed.