Skip to comments.Students are the new masters – and the result is campus tyranny
Posted on 08/23/2017 9:26:39 PM PDT by 11th_VA
Universities are now factories of conformism; only the brave and resilient will survive them
In a few weeks, a new intake of students will arrive, all fresh-faced and excited, at universities around the country. Theyll be thrilled at the prospect of escaping the wagging finger of mum and dad, eager to absorb new ideas. But Im afraid they are in for a rude awakening. Unless theyre very fortunate, they will soon find themselves enveloped in a world thats more censorious than stimulating and taught not to question ideas but to learn by heart the progressive creed. It will take a brave and resilient youngster to survive university with their intellectual curiosity intact.
Every aspect of campus life, from what you can say to how you should party, is minutely policed by what I called the Stepford Students in this magazine three years ago. No Platform policies strictly govern who can speak on campus. Anybody, no matter what their political background or supposedly liberal credentials, can find themselves shunted off campus for having the wrong opinion in the eyes of the Stasi of student politics.
Safe Spaces, controversy-free zones where students who find the real world brutalising can weep and hug emotional support animals (this is not a joke), are almost compulsory. Newspapers are blacklisted: a growing number of student unions have banned the Sun, Mail and Express on the jumped-up basis that theyre racist and sexist and thus harmful. In the last academic year, even students at City University in London, famed for its journalism school, slapped a ban on tabloids. A journalism uni where you cant read popular journalism? Thanks to the youthful jackboots of the National Union of Students, and the lily-livered vice-chancellors who bow down to them, the list of the undoable, unsayable and unthinkable grows longer every year. The adults have gone AWOL.
Any student society whose worldview isnt a carbon copy of that of the NUS lives under permanent threat of censorship. Israel Society events are shouted down, pro-life groups are denied space at freshers fairs. At University College London, a Nietzsche Society was banned for fear it might stoke far-right thinking. Thus Spake the Censor.
The message from student officialdom is relentless: think like us, or else. The result is that university becomes less and less like university. They now resemble factories of conformism, training their student body not to think freely but to fear the eccentric, hide from the provocative, and prize their self-esteem more highly than their intellectual development.
In the three years since The Spectator named these Stepford Students, the situation has become far worse. Campus craziness has intensified. Worse, it has Americanised. Not content with subjecting our dreaming spires to No Platforming and middle-class prejudices about tabloid newspapers and lad culture, these young clones are gaily importing the worst excesses of Americas hysterical campus culture. This is very bad news, because if you look at what is happening on Americas campuses, you get a terrifying insight into the baleful influence that identity politics can have on everyday life and liberty. The trouble is that the safe space mentality doesnt stay contained on campus. Year after graduating year, students who have been trained to see safety as preferable to liberty and difficult questions as wounding to their self-esteem head out into the world, taking their safe space mentality with them. Like B-movie blobs, safe spaces are breaking free and now threaten to swallow up public life.
Americas student radicals regularly punish speakers they disagree with. Student agitators at Brandeis University managed to cancel an honorary degree for Ayaan Hirsi Ali on the basis that shes Islamophobic. Earlier this year, students at Middlebury College in Vermont physically assaulted an academic who was trying to protect Charles Murray, an invited speaker they considered racist. Antifa activists and students at Berkeley started fires to prevent the alt-right Brit provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos from speaking. Berkeley was the birthplace of the Free Speech Movement in the 1960s, when students demanded more debate, not less. The anti-Milo protesters even burnt a replica of the simple banner reading Free Speech.
Our own student leaders assume their peers are morally feeble and must be protected from sore words or controversy. But in the US, theyve gone deeper. Campus authoritarianism is darker, more driven by race. It governs not only ideology and opinion, but everyday conversation, and even dress. In the US, the student Stasi furiously condemn cultural appropriation, which is when a member of one racial group borrows the culture of another. They minutely police interaction between blacks and whites. Watch last years video of a black student at San Francisco State University physically confronting a white student with dreadlocks, and threatening to cut off his dreads because that is my culture, and youll see how terrifying this racial myopia can be. Watch the film of Yale students screaming hysterically in the face of a lecturer who had said that people should be able to wear whatever they wanted at Halloween and not worry about cultural insensitivity, and you will see the sheer intolerance that the cult of student sensitivity has unleashed.
Or observe what happened at Evergreen State College in Washington in May. When the biology professor Bert Weinstein refused to take part in a proposed day of racial segregation a Day of Absence, students called it, when whites would agree not to turn up to college all hell broke loose. Student mobs invaded lectures, they demanded Weinsteins resignation, and they effectively imprisoned university bosses in their offices and refused to let them leave until they agreed to the students foul, divisive agenda. This was a step on from Stepford Students this was Lord of the Flies-style student authoritarianism: menacing youths using mob tactics to enforce their reactionary programme.
Whether we like to admit it or not, in Britain we tend to ape American culture, especially youth culture. And now our students, always on the lookout for new ways to assert their tinpot authority, are beginning to imitate whats happening across the Atlantic.
This year, Oxfords equality and diversity unit warned staff that failing to make eye contact with certain students could be construed as racist, and that asking a student about his or her origins is a micro-aggression liable to worsen mental ill health. (Oxford then rowed back on this advice on the grounds that it might be seen as discriminatory against people with autism who cant look others in the eye. Jesus wept.) The NUS has declared war on racial micro-aggressions, which it describes as covert, subtle forms of racism. It means everyday banter and blips in conversation that have no racist intent whatsoever but which the union feels must be policed anyhow.
Just as American colleges are under pressure to remove statues of old problematic white men, so the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at Kings College London this year announced it would remove all the portraits and statues of its founders because well, theyre all white. This historical cleansing of KCL to pre-empt and halt the racial fury of student radicals will of course only intensify student demands for racial correctness. Students want a Cecil Rhodes bust at Oriel College, Oxford, removed, for curricula across the country to be de-colonised, and for black students not to be expected to read so much white philosophy. That was in a demand by students at SOAS this year that white philosophers, including Enlightenment thinkers like Kant, be dropped from the syllabus in order to make black students feel less isolated.
The nasty, paternalistic American politics of racial thinking is imposed wholesale on British campus life even though Britains social history is considerably less blighted by racism than Americas. In the past academic year, Cambridge was slammed by students for serving culturally insensitive food (exotic dishes that didnt properly reflect the countries they claimed to be from); the musical Aida was cancelled at Bristol University following a student revolt over white students portraying Egyptian slaves; and Edinburgh Universitys self-styled fancy-dress police insisted students mustnt ever dress up as Pocahontas.
If our censorious students are going to import Americas campus insanity, they need to know that means they will also import its consequences. And those consequences are dire. No one can imagine that its a good thing to create a generation unable to stomach things it dislikes or disagrees with. How are they to survive in a pluralistic democracy? Its vital to be able to hear people out, to have civilised disagreement, to engage in debate, to change your mind.
The safe space, by guarding students from the disagreeable, is churning out an army of hypersensitive dogmatists. We can see this in the US with the current outburst of statue-smashing. And we can see it in Europe with the alarming revelation that fewer and fewer young people believe in freedom of speech and democracy.
The other consequence of rampant PC in the US has been the rise of Trump. Its becoming clear that the increasingly unhinged policing of academic, public and political life in the US, as gabbed about on Fox News every night, has generated bemusement and sometimes fury among ordinary people. The safe space mentality has created a very unsafe backlash. Americans elected Trump precisely because he seemed to infuriate the bossy left-liberals who are suffocating free speech. And Trump deliberately inflames his voters outrage; he champions a new identity politics for the right. Trumpists now exist in large part to annoy the radical left, and the radical left, for its part, lives to infuriate them.
Will this polarised politics arrive here too? We have seen elements of what I call vice-signalling Trumpist rhetoric from the contenders for Ukips leadership but so far, mercifully, the British have remained immune. But we should beware: enforce PC and there will inevitably be a revolt against it. A Europe-wide poll this year found that only 46 per cent of Brits aged 18 to 21 think people should be free to say what they want. And polls of millennials frequently show that theyre more down on democracy than older generations.
This is what happens when we socialise youths to think censorship is good and other peoples opinions are bad, to believe mental safety is better than zany liberty: they lose faith in freedom and democracy. They will leave uni and populate public life with these views. This is how liberty dies.
Basically, what is being suggested is that the $80,000 spent on four years of college costs....will be deemed worthless as you arrive at some business and your ability to adapt into the real world will be hindered by your four years of ‘nothing’.
On Friday I will be attending a faculty workshop: two hours will be devoted to PRIVILEDGE.
As this relates to Conservatives on campus, or just normal people with a grasp of morals, what we are setting up here is a future with Conservatives or people with morals frozen out.
It’s already happening in business. Local community city councils and the like are just insufferable in many parts of the nation.
Our media is already run by snowflakes.
They can’t handle criticism from Trump without being outraged.
Adults handle the unpleasant things in life responsibly.
I call the next generation adult romper room children.
How will they cope with the real world?
Colleges were ‘in loco parentis’. Their aim was to civilize their charges and transmit the values of Western Civilization. Then it was decided that they be trade schools. Now they are just emotional retailers, appealing to the lowest common denominator, like convenience stores selling junk food instead of nutrition.
The inmates are running the asylum. A lot of money is being spent for a worthless education.
College administrators need to stand up and say, “Sorry. You don’t have the right to go through life unoffended. You don’t like it, go to another school. We will refund your tuition in full if you leave ASAP.”
Kick out the SJW and parents will love you.
Missouri didn’t and lost 35% of their enrollment. They had to shut 6 or 7 dorms.
The crazies are running the asylum.
Key moment for this was the Halloween costume. Someone (God forbid) was worried about being offended by costumes.
A liberal leftist professor suggested maybe free speech and growing up means being offended. Her husband attempted to defend her. He was yelled out by a hysterical black girl at a campus meeting. He and his wife were later forced out of their jobs.
FEELINGS are the winning card for these crybullies.
Rush read a great article (wish I had the link) about arguments no longer taking place. People don’t debate issues and try to learn and come to conclusions.
Instead now they say, “As a (blank) I feel (blank).”
“As a black woman I don’t feel safe with racist costumes in my dorm.” “As a transgender I feel...”
There’s no debate. You can’t argue with their feelings unless you are also a member of their sub-group. Excuse me, can’t say “sub” as that’s insulting to the bondage community.
This is also encouraging mental illness. Telling people that every slight and offense they are forced to endure in life is a “microaggression” and everyone is out to get them... that’s mental illness.
Basically, nobody gives a flying flip about anyone but themselves. Maybe their family, but that’s 50/50. People don’t care who someone else wants to have sex with, what they want to wear, whatever. Who cares?
Instead of telling young people that cold hard truth, they’re made out to be prima donna centers of their own universes with everyone microaggressing them.
They also should be taught people are a**holes. We have to deal with that every day in life and it’s part of growing up. People wont’ like you, won’t be nice to you, don’t want to pay you. Grow the hell up!
How can these snowflakes go into a normal work environment?
How can they debate anyone? They don’t. They just resort to name calling and violence. They’ve lost the ability to think at all.
Its like in Communist countries - the atmosphere is gray, oppressive and lifeless.
You get out of line - you’re crushed like a bug.
And the leaders in our campus totalitarian cult are the leaders of tomorrow.
College offering majors in *BARBARIANISM*.
Ascribed statuses, now trump achieved statuses. In their world. Nothing else matters.
Yes, there’s almost a fight to be more oppressed!
Just join some oppressed class and that somehow wins debates and gives you the right to treat everyone else like sh*t.
Some aggrieved black campus group told the white (half whites?) in their midst to leave because they wanted ‘black only space.’ ?? So much for colorblind society. They WANT victim status because that’s where the power is. Victim status means you get people fired and you get your demands met.
What the heck does that mean and who is sponsoring this?
That was a classic video. The newsbabe trolled the poor boy!
>>what we are setting up here is a future
>>with Conservatives or people with morals frozen out.
That future is here now.
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