A disgusting title for an essay, if there ever was one. As the years pass, the number who will misunderstand the phrase are few.
At Yale, both the university’s president and the African-American dean of Yale College have capitulated to student demands for sensitivity training, expanded minority programs and courses, and have offered abject public apologies for “failing” Yale’s black students over similar assertions of racial bias on campus, including an e-mail questioning the need to censor Halloween costumes. Meanwhile, the master of one of Yale’s twelve residential colleges was confronted and verbally assaulted by a group of student protesters, who screamed profanity at him and refused to engage in any type of reasoned debate.
Student Protests, Victor Davis Hanson
And from another:
The University of Missouri campus police now request that students — a group not known for polite vocabulary — call law enforcement if someone disparages them with hurtful names.
On the same campus, a media professor shouts for students in the vicinity to strong-arm a student photographer to stop him from taking pictures in a way that she does not approve. Other staff members try to block and push away a journalist they find bothersome. Since when do thuggish faculty, in Michael Corleone fashion, call in muscle to intimidate students who are exercising their First Amendment rights?
University Protests, Victor Davis Hansen
What Hanson and Americans at large are missing is the possibility that the order and organization of mass protests might be managed by a vanguard. Americans are used to mass protests as a vehicle for justice and human rights. They are not permanently imbued with these guarantees. The leaders of the “second revolutions,” in fact, depend on the public waves of outrage that culminate in the collapse of control. That’s when the vanguard can take control.
An essay that all students, both the wariest of advocates for Jeffersonian freedom, and the canniest of Leninists, is Lenin’s What Is To Be Done? It certainly deserves download and scrutiny. Aside from neatly explaining “vanguardism” and demonstrating the handoff from the intellectuals to the thugs, it lays out the plans for the “second revolution” in all but name.
However, what is happening on campus is not Red but Brown. (The color difference actually means nothing at the heart of it.) It is redolent of the principle of Triumph of Will, that Reality is only apparently Real while the Throne of the Master is empty. Seize power! Bend reality!
Die Fahne hoch! Die Reihen dicht geschlossen!
SA marschiert mit ruhig festem Schritt.
Aside from appallingly clunky meter for a song, the topic became a passionate vehicle for Fascism. The underlying principles are laid out here on the 21th century internet, and hundreds of millions of Americans once understood them – and rejected them.
Henry Wallace wrote a stirring essay at home, called The Danger of American Fascism, that brought together the span of American political thought from Left to Right regarding his concerns.
Ronald Reagan, who, at the time of his speech could be said to hold the opposite end of the spectrum from Wallace in American political thought, affirmed the same principles as Wallace, in A Time of Choosing:
You and I are told increasingly we have to choose between a left or right. Well I’d like to suggest there is no such thing as a left or right. There’s only an up or down: [up] man’s old — old-aged dream, the ultimate in individual freedom consistent with law and order, or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism. And regardless of their sincerity, their humanitarian motives, those who would trade our freedom for security have embarked on this downward course.
Hanson immerses himself in the various stupidities and outrages of the University, without pointing out why they are outrageous, or why educated people should understand why these principles are outrageous and repulsive; what they portend.
He wastes our time, a bit. Scoldies from campus stupidities are really unkind, in a sense. The University should be a playground of sophomoric ideological stupidity. The first time one thinks for one’s self, one arrives at hopelessly daffy ideas, unless one is clever or lucky, or just obstinate.
What is far more important is to show the link between seemingly innocuous ideas – and mass graves. These links exist, and should be understood. Paradoxically, after World War II, many Americans understood them – and not from propaganda, but from personal consideration. Now, the Universities can send forth people for all the potential for becoming the next Joe or Jane Göbbels, without a hint of doubt.