‘The current situation is not a pendulum that has swung too far and will self-correct…it is a train hurtling full speed toward a cliff,’ professors wrote
Two academics critical of social justice ideology outlined a new program for resisting it.
“The Enlightenment, humanism, and democracy are under attack by an illiberal, postmodernist movement known as Critical Social Justice,” University of Southern California chemistry Professor Anna Krylov and statistician Jay Tanzman wrote Oct. 1 on the blog Heterodox STEM.
“Universities, whose primary mission is education and truth seeking, have become complicit in censorship, scholarship suppression, indoctrination, and intimidation,” Krylov (pictured) and Tanzman wrote.
“The current situation is not a pendulum that has swung too far and will self-correct; it is a train hurtling full speed toward a cliff,” they continued.
Krylov and Tanzman, both outspoken opponents of social justice ideology, were two of the 27 co-authors of the April paper “In Defense of Merit in Science,” The College Fix reported at the time.
In their recent Heterodox STEM post, the two academics suggested six ways to resist the dominant ideology and stand up for truth.
First, “educate yourself,” the professors wrote. To understand the philosophical origins of critical social justice in Marxism and postmodernism, they recommended the book “Cynical Theories: How Activist Scholarship Made Everything about Race, Gender, and Identity,” by Helen Pluckrose and James Lindsay.
Next, use universities’ mechanisms to resist them at their own game.
“Today, we can work within the system of our universities and professional organizations, even if they have already been ideologically corrupted,” the authors wrote.
This can be done by participating in surveys, bringing concerns to leadership, nominating candidates to office and voting against CSJ proponents.
As a third piece of advice, the authors told readers to avoid playing the social justice advocates’ game by working with the DEI bureaucracy.
“This bureaucracy is founded on ideas that are in direct opposition to the liberal enlightenment and humanism,” the authors wrote. “Their goals are not your goals; consequently, you cannot ally or compromise with them. We must, instead, focus our efforts on stripping the DEI bureaucracy of its power, ideally, ridding the institution of it completely.”
“This will not be an easy fight, but neither is it an impossible dream,” they said.
Fourth, the authors advised their readers not to fear personal attacks.
“When you take on CSJ, there is something you will need to come to terms with: you are going to be called names, and your views and beliefs are going to be distorted and misrepresented,” Krylov and Tanzman wrote. “Since the adherents of CSJ have adopted an ideological, rather than a rational, worldview, they cannot rationally defend it; so they use the only tools they have: personal attacks and strawman arguments.”
Fifth, “do not apologize,” Krylov and Tanzman wrote.
Apologies are read as a sign of weakness and “will not absolve you,” according to the authors.
“Apologies to the illiberal mob are like drops of blood in the water to a pack of sharks,” they wrote.
Last, the authors advised their heterodox readers to build up their community.
They suggested as friendly organizations Heterodox Academy, the Foundation Against Intolerance and Racism, FIRE and the Academic Freedom Alliance.
University of Chicago geologist Dorian Abbot established Heterodox STEM as a Substack blog on New Year’s Eve 2021, The College Fix reported.
Abbot told The Fix the goal of the blog was “to set up a place where scientists can post their thoughts on issues pertaining to science and society that would be unlikely to be published in many other forums.”
IMAGE: University of Southern California