Latte Leftie explores the dangers of allowing freedom of association on campus (or anywhere else)
Dear LL – If you’ll pardon the pun, I’m facing a devilish dilemma. I’m a student council official at a local uni. I need to adjudicate on whether the Satanist society should be deregistered for requiring its members declare their faith in the Dark Lord and the imminent dawning of the Benighted Aeon in which all truth and beauty will be extinguished. One the one hand, I’m all for banning anything unpleasant from campus: dead white males, live white males, white males wearing culturally appropriative sombreros, dangerous reactionaries such as Germaine Greer, uneducated proles too self-centred to support an open-door refugee policy and so on. On the other hand, Satanists have some serious runs on the board when it comes to being marginalised. And one of the more theologically fluid Satanists also identifies as a Wiccan high priestess (yet again, a gold medal-winning performance in the oppression Olympics).
If I make the wrong decision I could end up with some UN supranational court gaoling me for human rights abuses or being ritually disemboweled in front of goths maniacally fornicating to the music of Marilyn Manson.
LL replies: Having had a man crush on Aleister Crowley in my wayward youth, my sympathy is for the devil worshippers. Nonetheless, one can’t risk making exceptions and thereby throwing away the Left’s hard-won reputation for a complete lack of discrimination. What kind of society would it be if people of shared interests or background were able to gather together freely and even form voluntary associations? Exactly the kind of racist, sexist, transphobic, specieist dystopia we now exist in and which visionary student activists are doing such noble work transforming. Do your progressive duty and deregister the Beelzbub-botherers, even if it means a life – or death – sentence!
Email your dilemma to firstname.lastname@example.org.