ELISE HILTON on MONDAY, APRIL 14, commented on Ross Douthat’s most recent musings on our toxic culture. She was writing on the Acton Institute blog.
Both of them, Douthat and Hilton (pictured), are alerting us to a much deeper malaise in our civilisation than this or that threatened value which we might consider important – regard for life, marriage, family and freedom of conscience. It is as though we have now abandoned our Geneva protocol about the manner in which our disagreements should be resolved in the culture wars. One side in the war has now opted for the indiscriminate use of poison gas as a way to eliminate the enemy.
The organizations focused on by Douthat and Hilton – giant corporations and universities – Harvard, Brandeis, Mozilla, most recently – have now created atmospheres of toxic untruths: what we say isn’t really what we mean. We are using words that mean something, but we aren’t using them that way. We will say “diversity” but mean “lock-step.” We’ll say “academic justice” but mean “only liberals need apply.” This, Douthat says, is what is bothering him: the toxic lies of what is now liberalism.
Douthat’s problem isn’t so much that these organisations have taken illiberal measures against people in the name of liberalsim:it’s that those charged with publicly discussing the issues seem so bent on lying.