Society & Culture

Farewell to P.C.

“It is true that Professor Esolen enjoys academic freedom,” said Madame Lafarge, who now numbers among my former colleagues, “but academic freedom must be used responsibly.”  The assembled students, almost all of them from the political left, cheered and clicked their “clickers,” a form of public approbation I had not witnessed or even heard of before.

Bait and switch, bait and switch.

I was being condemned for suggesting that you really should not talk about how much you love cultural diversity if you are at the same time attacking the most culturally diverse course that your school offers, a course that each year introduces a thousand freshmen to ancient Babylon and Israel, Athens in her golden age, the Near East after Alexander, republican and imperial Rome, the early Church, European monastic life, the pagan and then Christian Germanic tribes, the Vikings, the schoolmen, the France of Louis IX and the Italy of Dante and Giotto, then the Italy of Michelangelo and Leonardo, Tudor England, Spain under Philip II, and the Puritan revolution—with a thousand sophomores taking it from there to the current unpleasantness.  It is as if Hygelac falling in his raid on Frisia were just the same as Heraclitus stepping into his river twice, and the same as Hezekiah the king watching his sundial, and holy Mr. Herbert composing lyrics in his mind as he traveled afoot to visit the sick...

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