David Thompson
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October 22, 2008

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Guy

Its all balls. At my uni the only active student groups are essentially Hard Left, the SWP in fact. Everyone else barely exists. These guys are the only ones with lectures and pretty much control the Student Newspaper which is like a throwback to the 1980's, so much so that its filled with unintentionally hilarious articles that read like Dave Spart. The vast majority of the students are apolitical anyway with little voting and what voting there is generally tends to be family related ('My dad always voted X so I'll vote X') with no understanding of the issues.

Anna

Same here. I can't remember many groups that weren't leftwing when I was a student a few years ago. They kept banging on about "resistance" and "dissent"- despite being loud and everywhere.

David

“…despite being loud and everywhere.”

Maybe the loudness is because they imagine they aren’t being heard, which, given the context, is sort of funny. I suppose it’s more flattering than the idea of being heard all the time but still not being persuasive.

The Thin Man

Resistance and opposition is the key. How can you remain oppositional when your views ARE the orthodoxy? Easy. Become more extreme and simply attempt to stipulate that your new extreme position is the centrist position.

There is an excellent example given by Patrick Moore, Founder of Greenpeace. He talks about the need of Greenpeace members to remian oppositional even after mainstream society had accepted most of their original agenda, and so to maintian this oppositional stance the demands must become more extreme.

Moore left when Greenpeace decided to try to globally ban Chlorine. Think about that for a moment, they wanted to ban an ELEMENT of the periodic table.

David

“Think about that for a moment, they wanted to ban an ELEMENT of the periodic table.”

Well, some wish to eradicate thoughts and feelings deemed improper, so chlorine ought to be relatively easy.

mikey

David said: "Maybe the loudness is because they imagine they aren’t being heard, which, given the context, is sort of funny. I suppose it’s more flattering than the idea of being heard all the time but still not being persuasive."

That, sir, is genius.

You know, I was a university student in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada during the first Gulf War. I was pretty much the definition of apolitical at the time. However, once the campus lefties started camping out in tents on campus to protest the war, I knew where I DIDN'T belong. Anybody that seriously thought George HW Bush was going to change his mind over a bunch of stinky young Canadians sleeping in tents in Hamilton, obviously had mental issues. Anybody who didn't really think so but camped out anyway was just a troublemaker.

In other words, not only were these people not persuasive.... they were persuading me to be AGAINST them!

randian

Rashid Khalidi is a long-time Islamic propagandist and proponent of the eventual destruction of the West. In that, he is in complete accord with the left, who similarly desires its destruction (though for different and incompatible reasons). Khalidi's views on the supposed hegemony of conservatives in academia is typical of thought in the Muslim world, where absurdly paranoid conspiracies reign supreme and the tiniest of pushback is elevated to world-ending tales of woe. For Khalidi, the mere fact that conservatives exist is horrifying, for they are the only people in the West that appear interested in stopping both Islam's and Marxism's resurgent quest for world domination.

Anna

David, have you seen this?

"For example, when a couple of dissident professors at Hamilton College wanted to start a center named for Alexander Hamilton and dedicated to "excellence in scholarship through the study of freedom, democracy, and capitalism," the roof caved in on them. Hamilton was only too happy to invite the "post-porn feminist" Annie Sprinkle to campus to demonstrate sex toys for the young scholars; it wanted Susan Rosenberg---the former Weather Underground member whose 58-year sentence was commuted by Bill Clinton on his last day in office---to be an "artist- and activist-in-residence"; and it endeavored mightily to bring Ward Churchill to enlighten Hamilton students about 9/11 and American culture. But just let someone try celebrating the achievements of America and, bang, the predominantly left-wing faculty at Hamilton, terrified that there might be an initiative they didn't control, began whining about "governance" and "accountability." Fifteen minutes later, the administration capitulated and killed the center."

http://www.mindingthecampus.com/originals/2008/10/what_can_be_done_about_campus.html

David

Thanks for that.

“The key issue… is not partisan politics but rather the subordinating of intellectual life to non-intellectual, i.e., political imperatives… It is this failure - a failure to check the colonization of intellectual life by politics - that stands behind and fuels the degradation of liberal education.”

Judging by some of the examples archived here, one might get the impression that large parts of the humanities have become platforms for politics and a nesting site for ideologues, with education relegated to an excuse for the much more exciting business of political grooming.

Horace Dunn

Mikey

I like your story about "stinky young Canadians". But that's the point, isn't it? These people probably knew, deep down inside, that they weren't making a difference. They simply wanted to wear the badge of protest because, they thought, it made them sexier. When I was at University we had a saying: "it's easier to get laid if you're left".

Back in those days leftist attitudes prevailed, but debate was still possible, even encouraged. And if, like me, you found yourself in a political minority, you were still respected. I suspect that you couldn't say that now.

One of the key political events that took place when I was a student was the massacre in Tiananmen Square. My fellow students kicked up quite a fuss about it. If it happened again now, I fear - and, quite honestly believe - that it would be met with apathy by the young firebrands of academe.

AMac

You will be heartened though not surprised to find that Prof. Khalid has a place of honor among the over 3,200 signatories of the Petition in Support of Bill Ayers, discussed here --
http://www.windsofchange.net/archives/prof_william_ayers_phd_model_scholar.php

gaffee

Khalidi and Obama…
http://gatewaypundit.blogspot.com/2008/10/media-refuses-to-release-video-of-obama.html

David

But of course. It’s the idea that having dinner conversations with Khalidi reminded Obama of his “own blind spots and biases.” There’s something almost funny about that, given how Khalidi’s most notable attributes are factual unreliability and habitual, egregious bias. (Khalidi announced that the “truth” about Middle Eastern affairs is an exclusive attribute of students of Arab descent. There is by implication no other point of view. It’s a racial knowledge, presumably.)

http://davidthompson.typepad.com/davidthompson/2008/10/a-commonplace-e.html

Being educated in Middle Eastern affairs by Khalidi seems a bit like learning about Islam from Karen Armstrong. In short, comical and worthless.

TDK

Slightly off topic but this might interest

http://www.zombietime.com/prairie_fire/

It is the manifesto of the Weathermen scanned by zombietime, who then discusses the continuity of his views between then and now.

David

TDK,

Thanks for that. Added to today’s ephemera. The “Billy” Ayers bit was a cute touch, if somewhat jarring given the ambitions of Stalin-scale murder. Though the combination isn’t unknown among people regarded as sociopaths.

You really have to wonder what kind of mind entertains such visions, and does so seriously enough, and for long enough, to publish a manifesto for this brave new world. I mean, can someone who once had such thoughts - who played them over in his mind repeatedly then tried to enact them - *ever* be trusted? Is there a road back from that pathology? Is it credible to assume that this level of prolonged derangement doesn’t tell us something rather important about just how… broken a person is, and always will be?

gaffee

"They also believed that their immediate responsibility would be to protect against what they called the counter-revolution. And they felt that this counter-revolution could best be guarded against by creating and establishing re-education centers in the southwest, where we would take all the people who needed to be re-educated into the new way of thinking and teach them... how things were going to be. I asked, well, what's going to happen to those people that we can't re-educate; that are die-hard capitalists. And the reply was that they'd have to be eliminated. And when I pursued this further, they estimated that they would have to eliminate 25 million people in these re-education centers. And when I say eliminate, I mean kill. 25 million people. I want you to imagine sitting in a room with 25 people, most of which have graduate degrees from Columbia and other well known educational centers, and hear them figuring out the logistics for the elimination of 25 million people."

"Billy" Ayers' wet dream.

Lovernios

Columbia? Isn't that the place that has a professor who was fantasizing about a million Mogidishus? Of course, the logical outcome of that would be not only millions of US military deaths, but also (if one does simple math) more than a billion Somali (or other oppressed brown-skinned victims). What is it with the Left and genocide?

David

Lovernios,

“What is it with the Left and genocide?”

See Gaffee’s quote, above. I think the gist of it is that making water run uphill, which is analogous to what Communists hope to do, requires a great deal of force, applied continually. And one shouldn’t discount the attraction of using force, continually, especially among those who wish to remake the world in their own personal image. What always strikes me about fantasies of this kind, and the egomaniacal shit stains who have them, is the complete failure to comprehend where the “capitalist counter-revolution” would most likely come from. I.e., from their neighbours, their neighbours’ children, Mrs Smith down the street, thee and me. Leftwing fantasists don’t quite seem to grasp what it is they hope to unleash. Nor do they seem remotely capable of entertaining the possibility that what they want, and what they are, isn’t just grotesquely delusional, but obscene and definitively evil.

Dante

Where are these extremely conservative medical schools the professor keeps talking about? My class (and profs) are flagrantly liberal - one prof came in wearing a t-shirt with a purple dragon on it saying "I (heart) Obama" one day (and this is in Canada!).

The greatest indicator that I am a a patient man is that I have to put up with people like Dr. Khalidi every day.

gaffee

"Where are these extremely conservative medical schools the professor keeps talking about?"

And what does "conservative" mean for a medical school? They teach medicine, not politics. Unlike the humanities, which try to make everything political.

 Horace Dunn

I'm intrigued (but unsurprised) to see that Che Guavara was selected as a spiritual guide and exemplar to the Weather Underground.

What is it with lefties and Che? If they had lived in Middle Earth, would they have celebrated Sauron's takeover of Mordor by elevating one of the more violent and stupid Orcs to the level of a demi-god?

Keith Morgan

The Che-MIddle Earth comment is laugh out loud funny. I think the focus on the need to be perpetually oppositional is fundamental to understanding this. Perhaps there's a similarity in the situation of modern art. The artists rebel against the classical establishment, win the battle, but in order to continue their "leading edge" status keep pushing the boundaries of art. More and more this is done to skewer the bourgeoisie (who, of course, support them( by continuing to shock their assumptions about what art. This is far less pernicious than what radicals such as Khalid are up to.

rabbit

One of the methods that radicals use to convince themselves that we live in an oppressive militaristic fascist patriarchy is to declare that much oppression is systemic and invisible. Invisibility is rather convenient, for it saves one the bother of having to prove one's thesis. Can't detect any bigotry? Well, that just shows how pervasive it is.

To deny the existence of invisible oppression is itself an act of bigotry. And again, very convenient, for one need not bother to defend the idea of invisible oppression from the rantings of a bigot.

The seminal (if feminists use such a word) article was "White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack" by Peggy McIntosh. This has been followed by many articles and books by others expanding on the theme of invisible oppression.

bcf

You know it always puzzled me why the Fascists and National Socialists went after the "intellectuals" so viciously. I was raised in an intellectual atmosphere of serious academic enquiry. After seeing the almost complete collapse of Western intelligentsia, I now am unsurprised by the "crackdowns". I don't think these people ever are a serious therat. They're just a pain in the @$$, and "unfree" regimes really would just rather shoot pains-in-the-@$$ than tolerate them.

The fall of Western academia is actually evidence of the freedom of the West, not of its oppressiveness. Can you imagine these same hairy, smelly idiots lasting 20 minutes under Stalin?

David

Dr Peggy McIntosh and her invisible belongings are mentioned here:

http://davidthompson.typepad.com/davidthompson/2007/05/prejudice_revis.html

Dr Caprice Hollins is another peddler of unseen phenomena:

http://davidthompson.typepad.com/davidthompson/2008/01/feel-my-rebelli.html

And, of course, there’s the unhinged Dr Shakti Butler…

http://davidthompson.typepad.com/davidthompson/2007/10/soft-student--1.html

Witchfinders for the modern age.

Revnant Dream

The Neo-Marxist tautology married to Dogma, does not make room for any other Ideology or belief system. With its Utopian end it cannot. What to do with those who don't think right accordingly for the great purpose of world paradise? Why this 1982 documentary vid of an undercover agent in Bill Ayers Weathermen will show what they would have done. But hey, we seen it all threw the 20th century. Socialists & death are interconnected. The biggest atrocities in history have been perpetrated by these monsters of totalitarianism. Not to mention raped, strewn, broken, Nations who have been pillaged by these cracked communists. They are one group of modern barbarians with a death cult. No wonder them with the Islamists have a love in.

Second: Confederate Yankee has this from the 1982 documentary No Place To Hide. Maybe someone can do the math and tell me how old Obama was then...

I asked, "well what is going to happen to those people we can't reeducate, that are diehard capitalists?" and the reply was that they'd have to be eliminated.

And when I pursued this further, they estimated they would have to eliminate 25 million people in these reeducation centers.

And when I say "eliminate," I mean "kill."

Twenty-five million people.

I want you to imagine sitting in a room with 25 people, most of which have graduate degrees, from Columbia and other well-known educational centers, and hear them figuring out the logistics for the elimination of 25 million people.
And they were dead serious.

http://confederateyankee.mu.nu/archives/276377.php

Here's a Prophesy from a man long ago. No false seer he.

Wherever they burn books they will also, in the end, burn human beings. ~Heinrich Heine, Almansor, 1823

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