Of course it had to have come out of twenty-first century academe, that witch’s cauldron of horrible ideas for wrecking our country’s culture, politics, and institutions. I first remember coming across it in a book I was reviewing a decade and more ago by a couple of professors, names long forgotten, who wrote of “truth” as something requiring a “constituency.” I can still feel the shock with which I was pulled up short by those words. Surely, I thought, we are all constituents of the truth? But then I realized that what the authors were saying was that they, and presumably the audience for which they were writing, had already abandoned any idea of truth in that sense—truth that was true for everybody in every time and every place—as out of date. Now, advanced thinkers like themselves understood truth to be always and everywhere political and therefore contingent. In...


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