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Scholar Suggests Current Campus Intolerance Can be Traced to 1960’s

Scholar Suggests Current Campus Intolerance Can be Traced to 1960’s

“history has repeated itself”

This makes a lot of sense. Consider the radical movements from that era, such as the Weather Underground and Students for a Democratic Society.

Campus Reform reports:

Scholar traces current ‘campus intolerance’ to 60’s radicals

A new report published by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA) suggests that ideological intolerance on college campuses could have a profoundly negative effect on society.

In a new research essay titled “Campus Intolerance, Then & Now: The Influence of Marcusian Ideology,” Guenter Lewy, Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, argues that the modern campus culture of intolerance for conflicting viewpoints is not an isolated phenomenon, but is in fact derived from a dangerous historical source.

“Freedom of expression is threatened on today’s college campuses. Speakers who challenge what a vocal group considers right and just are too often disinvited or shouted down, creating an atmosphere of harassment and intimidation,” the paper begins. “At all too many campuses, speech codes, ‘safe spaces,’ rules against so-called ‘micro-aggressions,’ and ‘trigger warnings’ seek to protect students against ideas they deem offensive.”

According to Lewy, this shows that “history has repeated itself,” because “when today’s students identify speech as violence and feel they can meet it with coercion, they are echoing Herbert Marcuse,” a German immigrant and academic who played a key role in creating the “ideology of the New Left” that became prominent during the 1960s.

“While some aspects of the campus assault on free speech are new, the ideological assumptions used to justify this level of intolerance are not,” Lewy contends. “Their philosophical roots can be traced back to similar waves of unrest during the 1960s that emerged in the course of protests against the Vietnam War.”


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Comprachicos in action.

Of course.

Though protesting a war is not quite the same thing as today’s protests against “all the things”. Or men. Or white people.

Note that the bloody obvious is stated by an Emeritus, who is doubtless as safe from harassment and threats as it’s possible to be when associated with a modern institution of “higher learning”. Any everyday professor would be crucified.

I seldom quote Marx, and even less often with approval, but he did say one thing which applies here. “History repeats itself, the first time as tragedy, the second as farce.” The protests of the late 1960s were ultimately a tragedy, despite the warm feelings some still have of what they consider their finest hour. What we have today is a complete farce, but while it probably won’t lead to deaths in the millions, still dangerous.