There is a school of legal scholarship that blends some of the most radical theories extant in legal circles today, christened "radical multiculturalism" by Daniel A. Farber and Suzanna Sherry, law professors at the University of Minnesota; in their book, Beyond All Reason
, they give us plenty of reasons to worry about it. According to Farber and Sherry, both long-standing liberals, radical multiculturalism gives liberalism a bad name. It is a system of thought that admits no objective reality, no truth, no hope of a just or equal society. Its proponents--everyone from critical race theorist Richard Delgado to feminist Catharine MacKinnon--posit that such values are merely tools of the dominant society (white males) used to keep everyone else subservient. In such a world, then, it doesn't matter whether or not O.J. Simpson killed his ex-wife; the objective truth in that case is less important than the fact that a black man was put on trial in a white-dominated society, making him at least as much a victim as Nicole Simpson.
Farber and Sherry write with restraint and patience, but there's no doubt that they're seriously alarmed by what they see as the disproportionate power that radical multiculturalists wield in the legal world. Though their numbers are small, proponents of this kind of legal thinking are vocal and aggressive; their influence is being reflected more and more by the choices of law school professors and deans, the slant of curriculums, and eventually in the thinking of the students they teach. To Farber and Sherry, such a turn of events is cause for deep concern, for what hope can there be for real justice--real peace--in a legal system that rejects the existence of truth--or worse, denies that it matters.
"Although I disagree with every word of this book, I found it utterly absorbing and uniquely provocative."--Laura Kalman, Professor of History, University of California, Santa Barbara
"Professors Farber and Sherry have given us a sober and passionate defense of the liberal Enlightenment faith against its most serious intellectual assault in a generation. More effectively than any scholars I know, they remind us of the moral, legal, and political stakes in the current academic battles between the party of reason and party of emotionalism and subjectivity."--Jeffrey Rosen, Legal Affairs Editor, The New Republic
"At a time when some on the right as well as the left are trying to turn individual liberties into swear words, these good old causes could use some help. They get it here."--Walter Olson, The Wall Street Journal
"A vigorous critique of present-day radical, postmodern multiculturalism in legal academia."--David Wagner, The Washington Times