Friday, February 18, 2005

The Inquisition

is upon us says Jonah at NRO. I don't disagree.

Larry Summers is being burned at the stake.

The full text of his remarks here.

I like the inquisition analogy. As Jonah Goldberg writes:

It seems to me that Summers' sin is that, despite saying he's just being provocative, he really does believe there is a strong genetic component to the cognitive differences between men and women. Of course, he's making a statistical point. There are more male geniuses and there are more male morons while women tend to be in the middle of the distribution. This doesn't mean, at least from what he's saying, that there aren't women who are just as brilliant as the most brilliant men, it's just that there are fewer of them compared to men. He allows that better socialization and tougher anti-discrimination efforts could and should boost the numbers of women at the top, but he seems to believe the underlying statistical difference reflects a basic reality that can never be completely erased.

And there you have it. Because he believes something the Harvard faculty do not want to concede even might be true, he must say it is not true. That fits the pattern of inquisitions perfectly. Recant what you believe to be scientifically true because a sophisticated mob says you must.

Even more than an inquisition, though (the left has been doing this for years) is that the academic world within the university context is the left's last bastion of dominance, its last true cultural monopoly (except for maybe the public employee's unions, but that won't ever change). Conservatives have taken over or heavily infiltrated the branches of government, which lefties see as their rightful place and the media as well. There is no longer a left-wing monopoly and the left, fearful of conservative infiltration of academe is hysterical. Those reasons further explain the Summers kerfuffle. They are fearful of an end to their dominance in academe. They should be.