The flight of Kokkarinen has prompted many comments across a great many blogs, most of which touch on similar points: 1) freedom of speech in Canada seems rather weak when something like this happens; 2) PC-mania is out of control; 3) Kokkarinen was wrong to capitulate and scuttle his blog. But no post I have seen expresses all of this with the contempt that Mr. Ellila musters up here:
This “apology”, which is a thinly veiled parody, is a pathetic attempt by Ilkka to lick the jackboots of feminazi thugs in order to keep his job at the Soviet university by making the thoughpolice believe he genuinely repents his thoughtcrime.
Ilkka reminds me of the ghetto Jews who cooperated with the SS in the false hope that they would save their own asses.
In stark contrast, when Hans-Hermann Hoppe, professor of economics at the University of Nevada, was attacked by the thoughtpolice for saying homosexuals are less interested on the average in planning for the future as heterosexuals because the former generally don’t have children and the latter do, he refused to surrender, and successfully sued the university for breach of job contract, and managed to get a lot of positive public attention, thereby humiliating the Soviet-style inquisitors who wanted him to give up his Goldsteinism. ~Mikko Ellila
Over the top? In some ways, possibly, but Mr. Ellila hits on this as an aspect of what I have been calling the inquisitio nova–the dedicated persecution of the thought crimes of various kinds of prejudice in an attempt to maintain a sense of ideologically defined moral purity and control over the definitions of what is and is not acceptable thought.
If Dr. Kokkarinen really believes that his blog was nothing but an exercise in nattering negativism and cynical hostility, it is strange that he should have started commenting on matters of controversy at all. Any blog that touches on cultural and political topics, if it is not to become an echo chamber for the partisans of the state or the ruling party, has to be contrarian, oppositionist and frequently dissident. A certain degree of cynicism is unavoidable when confronted with the endless waves of half-truths and deceptions that flow from the official sources of information, the pretentious theories of academics and the governments of the world.
Frankly, I think cynicism, like pessimism, has received a bad name from people who benefit from ignoring its criticisms, mostly because these people frequently confuse it with nihilism–a belief in nothing–when it has been at its best a kind of humanist critique of the pretensions and idols of this world. A Cynic motto was: Deface the coin (which had clear associations with ruining counterfeit currency–”deface the coin” was a call to cut through the webs of fraud and deception). The Cynics themselves were often personally quite objectionable people, and their contempt for all convention was excessive and unbalanced, but in this they also possessed a keen eye for recognising cant and denouncing frauds when they were put in places of honour. It seems to me that this could contain perils for the person who assumes the Cynic pose, and certainly contemptus mundi without the love of God can become nothing but a purely vicious resentment, but in their detachment from the glories of this world the Cynics (exemplified by Diogenes meeting Alexander while seated in his bathtub) possess the first half of the wisdom of the later ascetics. The second half of wisdom was, of course, to leaven the bitter bread of criticism with the fullness of the Truth. The obvious corollary of defacing the (counterfeit) coin is to respect the legitimate coin. There is nothing wrong with naysaying as such; it is when there is never anything to which one would say yea that a habit of criticism can become soul-destroying. Yet, in my experience, those who object to paper schemes, ready-made answers and the armed doctrines of this world have strong commitments to an affirmative vision of order that they are trying to protect against the sophists and schemers. I would much rather be among those calling it as we see it, who pull at the loose threads of ideological tapestries, who mock those who have position but not authority, than to be one of the legion of excuse-makers and apologists for the powerful of this world, who, I’m sorry to say, make up a surprisingly large proportion of the allegedly independent media of blogs. In the end, it is far better to speak the truth mixed with some bitterness than to speak deceitful words smoother than oil and sweet to hear.