What you can’t say

Am I the only one who finds this incredibly tame? I mean, for a piece with the transgressive title “What can’t you say”, I looked in vain for nuggets that could get one into serious trouble (such as fired from a job). I did appreciate Stephen Fry’s support of Israel, but still: though Hamas may be more popular than Israel among the intelligentsia, I don’t think voicing support for Israel can quite get you fired yet.

I was mildly amused to see Slavoj Žižek there — wasn’t he the guy caught plagiarizingwhite supremacist” Jared Taylor? The irony is too rich, since Taylor’s mild-mannered prose in fact registers radioactive on the Geiger counter of what can and cannot be said in polite company. How much more honest would it have been of Žižek to just directly quote Taylor there!.. Not as honest as compensating Taylor monetarily for stealing his material, but still a nice gesture. Too much to expect from a Marxist (and likely a coward to boot).

Other reliable generators of what-you-can’t-say material are of course John Derbyshire and Steve Sailer. Derbyshire is a fan of Israel while Sailer is not. Still, I’m a fan of Sailer, and I liked his recent column, where he correctly points out that the social sciences, even when done honestly (i.e., without the widespread fraud that plagues the field), hardly merits the term “science” — it’s more like market research. To which I add that at least market research, when done correctly, produces actual knowledge. Contrast this with various grievance studies that produce no knowledge whatsoever.

Correction (5 Jun): The author Žižek had plagiarized was not Jared Taylor but Kevin MacDonald, who published in Taylor’s magazine.

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