And no, they’re not hippies. They smoke pot, but they aren’t hippies.
Roger Simon says something sensible:
Today’s undergraduates probably know little, if anything, about the cataclysmic movement in China known as the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. It began in 1966 before all of them (and even a great number of their professors) were born. This massive national crusade, instigated by Chairman Mao Zedong, was intended to create a pure communist man and woman, devoid of the constraints of materialism and personal ambition.
It was an earlier, cruder version of political correctness. One that even a Toronto Annex mom, whose kids wear cute little Che Guevera tees, would be slightly taken aback by.
It started with the closing of the schools and the re-education of intellectuals and the bourgeoisie and ended up with years of incredible violence, taking millions of lives. The actual statistics are still a state secret, but a recent biography of Mao states “at least 3 million people died violent deaths and post-Mao leaders acknowledged that 100 million people, one-ninth of the entire population, suffered in one way or another.”
I got a personal look at the remnants of the Cultural Revolution in 1979 when on an “activist’s” tour of China.
Later, progressives realized that it is not necessary to close the schools; that’s old-fashioned. Reestablish the now largely irrelevant humanities as indoctrination centres for progressive bureaucrats-in-waiting, and encourage them to erupt at the least sign of challenges to their beliefs about themselves.
The current mood on campus is far more like China’s cultural revolution than like the unrest in the 1960s. Then it was all about freedom. Now it is all about punishing and destroying the enemies of “the revolution.”
Some people ridicule these students as “snowflakes” unable to stand up to the slightest discomfiting words or images. But it is far worse than that. These so-called “snowflakes” are the potential shock troops of the aforementioned Red Guard, American style. There is a fine line between the extreme entitlement that demands to be warned before reading Ovid’s Metamorphoses (as happened recently at Columbia) and a kind of narcissistic rage acting out against any presumed enemy in its path. How do you think the CR actually happened in China? Yes, the country was significantly poorer, but the psychological evolution was strikingly similar.
So think twice if you don’t think it could happen here. Who would have thought the president of one of our great public universities would lose his job in part because someone said he saw a swastika written in feces on one of the bathroom walls, which now, suddenly, no one can find and might have been a photograph in the first place, if it ever existed?
As we say in Hollywood, it’s “The Crucible Meets Animal Farm,” the Salem witch trials meets four legs good, two legs bad. But the professors who teach those anti-fascist masterworks aren’t doing anything to defend against it. Lobotomized by political correctness they attempt to be even-handed, in the way many did with Mao and Stalin. The same results await them. More.
I don’t pity the overpaid campu bureaucrats. But would advise anyone who values safety, let alone freedom, to stop voting for, funding, and making nice about it.
See also: Watch the old media elite snicker with the baby fascists.