A flag flies at half mast over Gonville and Caius College at the University of Cambridge in England, March 14, 2018. (Chris Radburn/REUTERS)
Cambridge has rescinded the offer of a visiting professorship to Jordan Peterson. The language of the announcement exemplifies the by-now familiar Orwellian mode: Cambridge, they say, is an “inclusive environment,” which is why those who are different and unpopular must be excluded: “There is no place here” for such disagreement, the university’s statement said. “Inclusive” and “there is no place here” are funny companions.
The university also insisted that Peterson’s “work and views are not representative of the student body.” Peterson is not running for office, and he is not obliged to act as anybody’s representative. The job of a professor is not to represent students, but to educate them: educate, to lead them out, by presenting them with knowledge, ideas, and views with which they are not already familiar. An education that is representative of the student body is a recipe for perfect — and eternal — ignorance.
This is shameful, but not unexpected. Our institutions have been entrusted to petulant careerists who are too terrified of criticism — from spoiled little girls and boys — to defend the intellectual integrity of the organizations they purport to lead and to serve. And they wonder where their institutional prestige has gone.
Strange that people so indifferent to religion have, in the end, only managed to reinvent the Inquisition.