Beyond All Warnings: The Radical Assault on Truth in the Law

Beyond All Warnings: The Radical Assault on Truth in the Law, by Andrew Klavan.

For more than a generation, a coalition of radical scholars has been schooling students in doctrines they consider above criticism. In doing so, they have successfully smeared their enemies while perverting progressive aims of racial and sexual equality, and have replaced them with a regressive and authoritarian philosophy of power above all.

The philosophy behind this movement, known as Critical Legal Theory, has its roots in the 1970s, when postmodern neo-Marxist radicals began challenging and overturning accepted norms and standards. …

Good ol’ Karl. Started an ideology that people prefer to reality.

The fundamental premise of critical legal theory was that the Western justice system was not a neutral or unbiased body of laws and procedures. On the contrary, the system is a tool of power, and pre-existing legal theories and structures were little more than frauds perpetrated by white male heterosexuals to consolidate their own power. …

Like any set of academic theories, it was once subject to the kind of lively criticism one would expect of enlightened institutions dedicated to the pursuit of the truth. But, sometime in the 1990s, its proponents hit upon a clever way of advancing their case that would place their philosophy above criticism. When their fellow professors would point out fundamental conceptual flaws, they would simply smear them as racists, sexists and the contemporary equivalent of being alt-right. And it worked beautifully. …

[The] radicals replaced a belief in objective truth with a focus on power relations. …

Like Peterson, Farber and Sherry repeatedly faulted radicals for politicizing scholarship, for confusing politics with truth, and for rejecting universal values in favour of an “intellectual totalitarianism that privileges the subjective preferences of whoever happens to be in power”. Law Professor Anne Coughlin noted their critique was “devastating, and, from the perspective of traditional liberal scholars, largely unanswerable.” Yet despite this “devastating” critique there was no fundamental review of the critical project and its cornerstone, privilege theory. …

These ideas have now become mainstream, “institutionalised” if you like, albeit in a highly polarising manner feeding into the expanding culture wars. For instance, the 2017 US Pew Survey found nearly eight in ten Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents said white people benefited from ‘white privilege’, while the views of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents were nearly the exact opposite. …

How name-calling and general unpleasantness works:

In the 1990s conservatives abandoned the US academy, leaving liberals and leftists in the ascendancy, and viewpoint diversity all but vanished.

Jonathan Haidt has demonstrated that in the 1960s US academics voted Democrat over Republican at a rate of 2 to 1. This remained the same until the 1990s, whereupon there was a rapid shift brought on by the baby boomers retiring. By 2016 the ratio was somewhere between 17 and 60 to 1 in favour of Democrats.

Plus, of course, only hiring people like themselves.