Thursday, February 26, 2015

Quoted: Richard Rorty on leftist regression

One thing that is very likely to happen is that the gains made in the past forty years by black and brown Americans, and by homosexual, will be wiped out. Jocular contempt for women will come back into fashion. [...] All the sadism which the academic left has tried to make unacceptable to its students will come flooding back. All the resentment which badly educated Americans feel about having their manners dictated to them by college graduates will find an outlet. -- Richard Rorty from Achieving Our Country: Leftist Thought in Twentieth-Century America
In the fifteen years since Achieving Our Country, a book based on a series of lectures Rorty gave at Harvard, was published, his prediction hasn't entirely come true, but looking back, it's easy to recognized the seeds of today's PC mania. However, I don't agree that all unacceptable prejudices will come "flooding back." In many areas. they never left, and I thin it's representative of Rorty's academic privilege to not have noticed. The last sentence makes me extremely uncomfortable because I actually do agree, and it's also a common classist trope. Openly expressed bigotry is a problem of those people, not mannered, educated, white people. That working-class people don't want their "manners" dictated to them by college graduates is the result of that.