Leftists Still Struggling With Terrorists

By AR - No, not literally - just with the definition. University of NSW professor Gavin Kitching inadvertently explains the problem in his new book, The Trouble With Theory. From The Australian:
POSTMODERNISM is hobbling Australia's best and brightest university students by locking them into narrow, prescriptive and politically correct ways of thinking and using language.

The domination of postmodern theory, especially in humanities courses, is setting up a generation of students for educational failure, University of NSW professor Gavin Kitching argues in a book to be published this week. Based on an analysis of all honours dissertations written by politics students at the university over 23 years, Professor Kitching concludes that the students had abused their intelligence in writing their theses.

In the book, The Trouble With Theory, he says even the best students produce radically incoherent ideas and embrace the "extraordinary proposition" that language uses people rather than being a tool manipulated by people. Professor Kitching, who describes himself as being politically left-wing, said postmodernism had become identified with being left-wing.

"It's postmodernism as intellectual radicalism - if you're on the Left politically you have to believe in all of this," he said.
But before you think the professor has been hit by a truck full of clues, he goes on to reveal the actual problem - not students skewing postmodernism, but that leftists really are sick on the inside:
From his analysis of the theses, Professor Kitching said students were captive to a form of linguistic determinism that held that language forces people to think in certain ways.
Students equate the way language is used with the meaning of words, so that the word "terrorist" always means a person using extreme violence for political ends, and anyone called a terrorist is actually a terrorist.
But he said such thinking excluded sentences such as: "Calling these people terrorists distracts attention from the justice of their cause. They have a very narrow idea of how we use words."
There's no chance it might be the killing of innocent people that distracts attention from the justice of their cause. No, it's just the word "terrorist," and all its nuancy connotations.

There is another possibility - that the professor is referring to postmodernist student essayists calling Bush a terrorist. In this case a terrorist is not a terrorist, but students are inextricably bound to the definition of "a person using extreme violence for political ends" by their blinkered leftist mindset. OK, it's just a possibility...

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