Welcome to the new Dark Age

Caption: An academic is reprimanded for denying that gender is a social construct.

The great Enlightenment thinker Voltaire was reputed to have made sure that the servants weren?t listening before he and his chums got ?round to discussing their atheist views. Blasphemy was still a capital crime in 17th century France. Some ideas were just too dangerous to be discussed openly.

The Age of Enlightenment, in which Voltaire played so prominent a part, led to three centuries of free enquiry and political, social and scientific advancement in the West. Now that?s coming to an end.

Its death is nowhere so starkly apparent as in the sciences. Once again, some ideas are just too dangerous to be discussed openly. Quote:

That we have ever come ? or, rather, come back ? to this point again is the sad indictment of the intellectual climate throughout Western academia: An international group of university researchers is planning a new journal which will allow articles on sensitive debates to be written under pseudonyms. They feel free intellectual discussion on tough issues is being hampered by a culture of fear and self-censorship.

The Journal of Controversial Ideas will be launched early next year. End of quote.

Academics should hang their heads in shame that such a journal is even necessary. Quote:

Jeff McMahan, professor of moral philosophy at University of Oxford, and one of the organisers, said: ?It would enable people whose ideas might get them in trouble either with the left or with the right or with their own university administration, to publish under a pseudonym?The need for more open discussion is really very acute. There?s greater inhibition on university campuses about taking certain positions for fear of what will happen?. End of quote.

I have personally spoken to scientists who admit that they keep their true opinions strictly secret because otherwise, their careers would be instantly over. This pall of silence particularly cloaks such contentious areas as climate science and the social sciences. Papers have been banned and academics literally chased out of their offices, simply for daring to challenge academic dogma. Quote:

He and his colleagues are establishing an intellectually diverse international editorial board with representation from the left and the right, as well as religious and secular thinkers, to ensure the journal is not identified with a specific viewpoint. They will soon issue a call for papers. End of quote.

Let?s not kid ourselves which side of politics is responsible for this new climate of intolerance. Quote:

I can?t really recall academics getting into trouble ?with the right? for their output, and certainly not living in fear and self-censoring themselves on the account of a threatening right-wing backlash, which does not exist within universities and does not affect universities from without, vigorously as they guard their academic independence from outside interference and criticism.

Western universities are?oases of ideological monoculture, with virtually no classical liberals, conservatives or libertarians teaching and researching, and the spectrum of views represented ? and often pushed relentlessly onto students ? ranging from the mainstream centre-left to the far left?

?The Journal of Controversial Ideas? will for all practical purposes be ?The Journal of Non-left Ideas?, because these are the only ideas at the moment controversial enough amongst our intellectual elite to land those who pursue them in trouble with their colleagues and administrators. End of quote.

There is a sad truth, these days, to the joke that ?the opposite of diversity is university?. Numerous surveys have demonstrated the overwhelming left-wing bias of academia, especially in the Humanities. Practically the entire faculties of some disciplines identify as ?radical left?, and a significant proportion as open Marxists.

Marxists have unfailingly demonstrated their brutal intolerance of free inquiry. Possibly the worst anti-science movement of the 20th century were the Lysenkoists of the Soviet Union. Under Lysenko?s baleful influence, anyone who advocated ?bourgeois? (i.e. non-Marxist) scientific ideas was denounced. The fortunate were merely sacked and their careers ruined.

Most telling, many were confined in grim Soviet psychiatric hospitals. Having declared that Marxism was ?science?, it naturally followed that anyone who denied Marxism was denying reality, and therefore insane. The modern left, with their mania for declaring any disagreement a ?phobia?, which is to say, a mental illness, shows that the same mentality prevails.

Besides its personal effect on the lives of dissenting scientists, Lysenkoism led to the retardation of Soviet biological science for nearly a century. Worse, it directly contributed to the horrifying famines which killed tens of millions in the Soviet Union and China.

Today?s Lysenkoist inquisitors are likewise not just damaging the advancement of science, they are directly responsible for crippling Western economies, and for the mutilation of a generation of children’s bodies and minds.