Jonathan Haidt: The Rise Of Ophobophobia

The American university is being transformed into a sacred space for the propagation of an orthodoxy of a new secular religion:

“When a mob at Vermont’s Middlebury College shut down a speech by social scientist Charles Murray a few weeks ago, most of us saw it as another instance of campus illiberalism. Jonathan Haidt saw something more—a ritual carried out by adherents of what he calls a “new religion,” an auto-da-fé against a heretic for a violation of orthodoxy.

“The great majority of college students want to learn. They’re perfectly reasonable, and they’re uncomfortable with a lot of what’s going on,” Mr. Haidt, a psychologist and professor of ethical leadership at New York University’s Stern School of Business, tells me during a recent visit to his office. “But on each campus there are some true believers who have reoriented their lives around the fight against evil.” …

Students and professors know, he adds, that “if you step out of line at all, you will be called a racist, sexist or homophobe. In fact it’s gotten so bad out there that there’s a new term—‘ophobophobia,’ which is the fear of being called x-ophobic.” …”

The new sins against political correctness are racism, sexism, nativism, anti-Semitism, xenophobia, transphobia, homophobia, Islamophobia, misogyny and white privilege.

You don’t want to be out of step with the “mainstream” now do you, goy?

There are other central themes of the narrative like the notion that we are a “nation of immigrants” and that “diversity is our strength.”

Where did these ideas from? Surprisingly, they were all coined by various academics and leftwing activists. They were propagated by the mass media after the Second World War which began calling itself the “mainstream.” They didn’t come from the West’s great religions or philosophers. We threw traditional morality in the garbage and replaced it with The Narrative as revealed by television.

This is how it happened with “racism” from 1935 to 1945:

American racial attitudes were transformed in that ten year window:

Imagine the realization that must have occurred to these mid-20th century media elites: because of the rise of film, television, radio and nationally circulating newspapers and magazines, they suddenly had the power to disrupt and transform organic cultures from thousands of miles away. In a matter of ten years, they had completely transformed the way White Americans thought about race.

If this could be done so easily with race, what else could the same model be applied to? Couldn’t you rewrite our sense of identity in attempt to create a “New Man”? In a nutshell, that’s how we got to where we are today as the –isms and -phobias multiplied while various cultural traditions and voices were declared to be outside the “mainstream” and were suppressed.

In order to make it work, you need a loyal opposition. That’s where respectable conservatism comes in at exactly the same time that the “mainstream” was being born.

Note: The discourse about “hate” and “hate groups” and “hate crimes” is a narrative the “mainstream” uses as a lens to describe its enemies.

Hunter Wallace
the authorHunter Wallace
Hunter Wallace is the founder and editor of


  • Glad someone’s keeping tabs on this stuff as I lost track of it 5 or 10 years ago. All the Middlebury protesters remember is The Bell Curve, which hit the bookshelves before most of them were born. Yet Murray used no genetic arguments at all in Losing Ground, his excoriating 1984 critique of the Great Society package driving out-of-wedlock birth rates among blacks to the 70% level, the resultant crack smokers on the sofas and gangs on the streets then raising a chaos where young blacks could not develop the values needed to be competitive in a free society. The crux of the issue is it doesn’t matter whether genes, which are involved alongside environment in nearly all human behavior patterns, are behind this one. India has discovered what happens when you try to shoehorn 26 languages, races, and religions into a single democratic republic.

  • This is good news. That Mr. Haidt can say this and acknowledge it without repercussion is progress.

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