When I was 30 credits into a philosophy major at a small northeastern private college, it dawned on me, during a class on ecofeminism, that Western philosophy had largely become degenerate. At that time, it also stuck me as odd that many of my Nietzsche quoting colleagues failed to see this. Since, I’ve watched the degeneration progress on pace. What originally riffed me was the growing hegemony of liberal thought. And the unwillingness give justice to counter-positions. Witkerk, well captures the current state of affairs:
<a href="Cole is at pains to refute the family of arguments developed within liberal theory that claim to show that immigration restrictions exercised by liberal nation-states are ethically justifiable.
[M]y aim is to show that these arguments fail to be ethically consistent with liberal theory’s own central moral principles.
No doubt such an argument can easily succeed on its own terms. As Professor Cole says, the central principles of liberalism are equality and universality. The very existence of nation-states is a violation of these principles: nation-states by definition must distinguish between insiders and outsiders, and treat the two groups differently. To cut to the chase, Professor Cole is mainly concerned with what he calls “exclusion based on racism.” He takes an extremely dim view of “racism”—kind of like Professor Wellman and the Nazis—and he is confident that all readers will concur with him:
Racism as an issue is more or less absent from philosophical discussions of immigration controls, probably because all of the participants are strongly antiracist. [My emphasis.-MW]
Professor Cole offers a brief history of what he considers to have been “exclusions based on racism,” including the Chinese Exclusion Act, the White Australia Policy, the United Kingdom’s Aliens Act (1905), as well as restrictive legislation in the history of Canada, New Zealand and Natal (South Africa). If by “racism” Professor Cole means attention to ancestry, I am happy to concur with him: a great deal of immigration policy has been, and still is, motivated by such concerns. Are you thinking of applying for citizenship in India? It helps to be Indian. If you have China or Taiwan in your sights, best to be Chinese. South Korea gives preference to Koreans. Liberia and Haiti have both imposed constitutional requirements that citizens be of African ancestry. Is this regard for the ancestry of immigrants “racism?” Professor Cole doesn’t say. All his examples of “racist” immigration law involve white countries excluding various swarthy peoples. Professor Wellman’s views on this issue are also dubious, although at one point he explicitly holds that Norway belongs to the Norwegians. Yet elsewhere he makes this revealing remark:
It seems to me that there must be something wrong with a country’s denying admission on the basis of race. I must confess, however, that I find it surprisingly difficult to provide an entirely satisfying argument for this conclusion.
Recall that Professor Cole similarly refused to argue against “racism” on the grounds that everybody already agreed with him.
What might explain such strongly-held but rationally unsupported convictions on the part of these two learned philosophers?”
There is often little interest in providing rational defenses of PC positions contra serious criticism. And frequently opposition views are simply dismissed on specious grounds. Why is less than obvious. While Philosophy is largely an act of rationalizing and justifying normative positions, traditionally it has also been, and equally so, an act of critique and destruction. As Bruce Charlton has noted, one would expect some clever philosophers to come and, in the spirit of agon, in a demonstration adroitness, demolish the numerous indefensible or unsupported positions.