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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Closet conservatives on campus

Although the BLM crowd has been kowtowed to by various campus administrators, it's hard to believe that every last college official has really been that fully brainwashed. All of these administrators know that it's worth their jobs to depart from the party line, so they all pay lip service to the proper pieties.

But there must be some academics who harbor secrets doubts about the current hothouse atmosphere on campus.

It's a little reminiscent of the atmosphere during Chairman Mao's Cultural Revolution of the 1960's. His Red Guard made sure that people toed the party line, or else. Anyone who didn't demonstrate the proper revolutionary attitude risked getting sent to a "reeducation camp" or being purged from party rolls.

Today, if you offend the politically correct cadres on campus, you might get sent to a "sensitivity training seminar." Or, you might even lose your job.

Mao Zedong wanted to promote 'true' Communist ideology in the country by purging remnants of capitalist and traditional elements from Chinese society. Barack Obama has said that he wants to "fundamentally transform" this country. So far, at least on the campuses, he seems to have taken a great leap forward.

But there must be some college flunkies out there who have secret misgivings about this new Cultural Revolution.

After watching the BLM-types run roughshod over the meekly cowed white students while simultaneously demanding "safe spaces," some college officials must think things are a bit awry.

Some of them must have reservations about equating words with "violence."

Some of them must wonder if clamping down on free speech is really such a great idea.

Some of them must wonder if dictating what is and is not an acceptable Halloween costume is the proper bailiwick of university administrators.

And some must wonder if the "rape epidemic" on campus is in fact real.

I can't imagine that all college officialdom swallow the party line whole. They can't all be that dumb.

Can they?

My guess is that there are quite a few faculty and administrators who feel nothing but contempt for the current wave of hysteria, but don't speak out because they need their jobs. 


Anonymous said...

Oh I'm sure there are tons of closet conservatives but they are cowering in fear. We live in a thug state.


Dave Moriarty said...

The irony is these schools ( Dartmouth and Amherst among others) boast about generating leaders. Leaders who stand against the tide on the basis of the principles and belief.

So now the faculty as the one in Amherst where they unanimously support this they look like sheep.

safe spaces at Amherst?? safe from what? snow is the biggest threat there?

I think the kids who have been treated with special handling due to any number of perceived unique things are now in college and expect-demand- to have the specialness perpetuated.

when my son was 7 in 1993 we had a birthday party with 7-8 kids over for cake and ice cream and a a game of hide and seek.
by the time my youngest kid turned 7 we figured why not cake and ice cream again. but when we invited these kids we go detailed responses from parents:
kid#1 was allergic to peanuts so no peanuts in the house lest she get an attack . kid# 2 was nervous about dogs so the dog had to be away , kid #3 was going to be Olympic soccer star and she need special whole grain something or other, kid # 4 was lactose intolerant and need special permitted drinks on basis of her dietician. kid # 5 needed gluten free food kid # 6 had add and was planning to take some sort Adderall before hand so give her some room.

we cancelled the cake and ice cream festival and took her for hibachi an had a little cake with just family. but now all these kids are in college and expect-/demand special treatment everywhere because they are "special".
we as a generation of parents have created monsters who have zero ability to handle the least bit of adversity without collapsing and whining to Mommy.

as for the sheepish faculty lets see if they are unanimous on getting rid of an old outdated institution that has outlived its role in the marketplace - tenure

John Craig said...

Dave --
I agree with your comment in general, but the thing is, all of the recent protests have been by the BLM group, which is mostly black (with a few white hangers-on), and I've never gotten the impression that the black students were brought up by helicopter parents to the same degree that white students were. On practically any campus, a higher percentage of the black students will be from poorer backgrounds than the white students will be. The white students, who to a larger extent ARE the result of helicopter parenting, have for the most part just put their deeds down and kept their mouths shut during these rallies, so the spoiled/special snowflake explanation doesn't really explain what's been going on recently. (It might explain why some white students are clamoring for victim status due to their sexuality etc, but that hasn't been what the ruckus has been about this fall.)

But I do think that the recent brouhaha has been due to a similar sort of phenomenon: the huge double standard when it comes to race in this country. The white students have been taught that they'd better walk around on eggshells when they're around blacks, and no utter any words that might be deemed racially offensive, or else. And the black students have been taught that they are victims of microaggressions etc, and therefore can act out in any way they want, and no one will say a word to them. So, in a larger group identity sort of way, they are spoiled, but in a different way than the white students are.

Yes, agree wholeheartedly about the faculty. As a matter of fact, I'd go further and suggest that everybody who is pro-immigration ought to be willing to give up his job to an immigrant; let's see how the journalists etc. feel about immigration then.

Dave Moriarty said...

Hi John,
Thank you for your reply. I agree with your distinction. I also agree with the faculty recommendation.
one fallout form this I believe with be diminished regard for faculty. already "everyone" thinks they exists in very tower and have no sense of real world. Now people will think they are "know it all" who live in fake world and should be ignored.

John Craig said...

Dave --
thanks for your comment. And yes, it's been a long time once academics in general were looked upon as reliable authorities by the outside world. (In the social sciences, anyway.)

And by the way, aren't you committing a microaggression by referring to academia as an "ivory tower?" Doesn't that connote excessive whiteness?

High Arka said...

This is what tenure was meant to guard against--a culture's intellectual class unable to speak for fear of economic retribution. Another in the endless stream of American ironies now is that conservatives were tricked into helping destroy the idea of academic tenure, because they were told that it allowed Marxist professors to have lifetime employment. The result is that now, almost no one is tenured, so faculty get hired yearly to teach courses, and if they speak out of line, they become a non-academic.

The counter-irony is that the liberals who advocated for the tenure system were, at the same time, in favor of denying tenure to anyone who didn't say/study the right things. It was nearly a unanimous vote in favor of censorship.

All window dressing, though. Once the Fed implemented an income tax to collateralize human livestock for perpetual tyranny, of course the university system is going to become corrupt.

John Craig said...

High Arka --
Interesting, I hadn't realized that that was originally what tenure was designed to do. Makes sense.

And yes, count on the liberals to twist whatever institutions exist to their own benefit. The parallels between now and "1984" have been amply documented elsewhere, but now it's gotten to the point where 2015 is actually outdoing "1984."

Anonymous said...

I am an academic in the humanities and have been talking with some of my colleagues to see what they make of the craziness that is sweeping the campuses. While a few are horrified by what is happening, and complain about how easily the students and colleagues fall into groupthink, as well as about the absurdities of safe spaces, micro-aggressions, and the like, there is strong resistance to breaking with the politically correct line and defending freedom of speech. It is the case that many are convinced of the enduring power of such things as structural racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, transphobia, etc., and they feel that they have more to fear from the backlash from right-wing whites than they do from underclass crime. A key issue here is abortion - the moves to limit access to abortion is proof positive for them of the undiminished strength of right-wing Christians in the USA. Likewise, they are more troubled by incidents of police brutality than they are by the rising crime rates and the prospect of their loved ones being victimized by crime. The world now appears totally different whether one is a liberal or a conservative - it's as though the right-wing and left-wing media are reporting on different realities, so that one will get a different set of facts depending on what one reads and views.

There is the attitude among the academic left that the campus protests is the necessary breaking of eggs to make omelettes. At the same time, these academics do not want to be told that this is what is happening, that in order to make an omelette, one must break some eggs. The line they'll take is that the media focus on the outrages committed by the protesters is an attempt to discredit all left politics and distract Americans from the real issues of income disparity, global warming, structural racism, sexism, transphobia, etc. Most academics are true believers. So it’s a pretty closed world that we're dealing with here. There’s always an answer they can give for not upholding free speech or for not defending those who are harassed and insulted by the protest movements, like those students in the Dartmouth library.

Can there be change? I don't think that it can come from within. It is impossible to discuss important issues without worry about being exposed as a closet reactionary. One always worries about moving too far into the land of Mordor, into the territory of things many liberals suspect to be true but do not want to be true. This state of wishing produces anxiety and thus reinforces efforts to tamp down on dissenting viewpoints. Doubt is more powerful than belief as a motive for eliminating the opposition.

If one truly believes that the Constitution is an alibi for rich white males to dominate society, then there is no incentive for maintaining rule of law. For the left, white men cannot be blamed enough - it is always safe to attack them. Black men and women cannot be protected enough - one must always defend them, regardless of questions of culpability and responsibility.


John Craig said...

Cattleman --
Thank you for that analysis (even though it's a little discouraging). It really does seem to be a case of mass insanity out there. And facts simply don't matter to this group. They get hysterical at the mere mention of a statistic that doesn't fall in line with their world view. All I can say is, I don't think you're alone out there, there have to be some academics other than you who see the insanity of it all. I think your view is a little bit skewed by being in the Humanities; people in the social sciences tend towards innumeracy, so have little sense of numbers, statistics, proportion, and cause and effect. I suspect if you spoke more with your colleagues in the hard sciences you'd find more people who feel as you do.

Anyway, thank you for that.

Anonymous said...


Marxism is actually gotten more popular, as cultural Marxism has expanded also. This is because focusing on class struggle enables those who believe in it to avoid having to confront such problems as inherent differences in talent and ability.

But I'm glad that there are forums like yours where dissidents can express their thoughts.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.


John Craig said...

Cattleman --
Amazing that 25 years after Marxism/communism topples under its own weight it's enjoying a resurgence in the US, of all places. The number one lesson of the 20th century was that it doesn't work, but I guess the new generation has to learn that all over again.

Now if only you were a shepherd instead of a cattleman, you could help get the sheep moving in the other direction.

Thank you, and Happy Thanksgiving to you.