Cultural Revolutions

A New Champion

Political correctness has found a new champion on our college campuses. Professor Betty Jean Craige of the University of Georgia argued in the Chronicle of Higher Education last January that truth has not been subordinated to political goals in American higher education; students today simply "examine critically long-standing 'truths' about race, gender, and our civilization's past." Using antipathy to Darwin's theories as analogy, Craige maintains that "conservative" scholars criticize feminism and multiculturalism for the same parochial reasons they denounced Darwin. "Conservatives fear a vision of human society as a continuously evolving system of interdependent individuals and cultures," she notes.

Presumably the diversity emerging from this dynamic is anathema to conservatives who, according to Craige, resist change. They resist because change undermines a natural order. "No natural law decrees that whites should be considered superior to blacks or that men should be considered superior to women. Diversity is natural, even desirable." Ergo, any model of the good, true, and beautiful is suspect. Her Darwinian dynamism is incompatible with a literary canon, indeed incompatible with the ranking of anything, especially culture, race, or gender. As Craige maintains, "humanists are challenging the very possibility of objectivity."

From the myth of...

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