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  • Peter Thiel on Political Correctness, Courage and the Corrosion of Conformity

    Posted by Lexington Green on October 29th, 2014 (All posts by )

    “The core problem in our society is political correctness.”
     
    “We’ve become a more risk-averse society,” he said, “we’ve lost hope in the future.” The problem isn’t one of intelligence, but of character. “We live in a world in which courage is in less supply than genius.”

    “The Wisdom of Peter Thiel“, from First Things — RTWT.

    Incidentally, I recently read Thiel’s book Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future. It is very good.

    I see significant overlap between Thiel’s message and some of the themes in America 3.0: Rebooting American Prosperity in the 21st Century-Why America’s Greatest Days Are Yet to Come. I hope to write more about this soon.

     

    8 Responses to “Peter Thiel on Political Correctness, Courage and the Corrosion of Conformity”

    1. David Foster Says:

      Related: my old post Conformity Kills

    2. MikeK Says:

      ” “The universities face the same crisis the Catholic Church faced five hundred years ago.” They are secularism’s church, and “Secular salvation requires that you go through it” in order to reach secularism’s paradise. Professors are its priests, campuses are its seminaries, with one difference: “There was more diversity in the Catholic Church back then than there is in the university now.”

      Boy, is that true ! The amazing thing to me is the speed with which this overtook the universities. I attribute some of this to the Vietnam War when thousands and hundreds of thousands of left wing students avoided the draft and stayed in graduate school. They began as merely anti-war and ahistorical. They found so many with the same ideas in academia that it became a critical mass.

      I was in college in the 1950s and, in 1960 because student loans were not available to pre-med students, I became an English Major as I did my pre-med. I enjoyed the classes and even have a few of the textbooks still. I had been an engineer but did not get my BS so I was still an undergraduate. I have clear recollections of my professors. One, I remember well, told us that he booked a trip on a tramp steamer one summer with only Spenser’s The Faerie Queene to read. He did so, he told us, because it was so dull that the only way he would ever read it was alone on a sea voyage with nothing else to read.

      They had no idea of the dullards with “critical theory” who would replace them and wreck English Literature as a course of study.

    3. MikeK Says:

      David, this line from your essay strikes me as too simple.

      “Perhaps jobs that offer high security tend to attract people who are not risk-takers.”

      My English professor could spend a summer on a tramp steamer reading a dull English long poem to understand his discipline better. That was what tenure was supposed to do. What we have instead is the necessity of publishing useless articles in a literature no one reads to promote one’s career. This applies to medicine as much as Humanities.

    4. David Foster Says:

      Mike….so maybe you have to publish useless articles *before* you get tenure…but why do you need to continue doing so *after* you are tenured?

    5. MikeK Says:

      “why do you need to continue doing so *after* you are tenured?”

      Good question. Probably status and professional associations.

    6. Roy Says:

      MikeK, I think you would find well worth reading George Marsden’s “The Soul of the American University: from Protestant Establishment to Established Unbelief”. He provides cogent, scholarly details that definitely support your contention. The book has enough status that it may be available from or thru a city library.

    7. Will Says:

      Corrosion Of Conformity? I can’t believe they are still together…oh wait..

    8. Ted Hilliard Says:

      I just read Closing the Book on Santa Claus by Ron Chandler. This is a fictionalized narrative of why a Merry Christmas law is needed for our local schools. It is about a father who tries to save his daughter’s holiday celebration after it is cancelled at the local school. He organizes a rally at city hall, but unexpected calamity prevails. Mr. Chandler shows why character education is as important to children as the memorization of facts and figures. I would recommend this book to other readers. It also includes four additional stories that will brighten everyone’s holiday season. I recommend reading this emerging writer because he reflects the conservative values that we need in our society today.