The United States may have helped to incubate the crybully student phenomenon, but American conservatism also points the way towards a cure
Following on from yesterday’s Tale From The Safe Space, which focused on Oklahoma Wesleyan University president Dr. Everett Piper showing us how university administrators should be pushing back on ludicrous student demands and complaints, the video shown above develops these ideas further.
Dr. Piper made minor waves last year when he admonished his students, reminding them that they are not in daycare but rather at an adult university. And last week he was invited to speak on a panel at CPAC 2016, entitled “Campus Crackdown”.
The entire panel discussion is worth watching or listening to in full, but here is the money quote from Dr. Everett Piper, responding to a question asking why the problem of student attacks on free speech has exploded in recent years:
I personally believe it’s the result and the consequence of several decades of teaching lousy ideas. I addressed it last night in my speech to the Reagan Gala. Richard Weaver told us in 1948 that ideas have consequences. That was the title of his seminal work – “Ideas Have Consequences“. What was his point, what was his premise? Ideas have consequences. Ideas always lead somewhere. Bad ideas lead to bad culture, bad community, bad college. Good ideas lead to the opposite. So I think we’re reaping the results, to quote Barack Obama’s pastor, “the chickens are coming home to roost”.
What we’ve done is taught this ideological narcissism, we’ve taught ideological fascism and that’s really what we have today, we have an ideological fascism that’s prevailing on the college campus rather than the academic freedom that we hold dear.
The liberal arts academy was established – let’s go back to Oxford, some one thousand years ago – to educate a free man and a free woman, to liberate us, to give us an understanding of liberty and liberation and freedom and justice, and to give us the context for embracing those truths. And when we get rid of those ideas and embrace the narcissism of our time we’re gonna suffer the consequences accordingly, and it will result in a fascist attitude of “you shall submit, you shall agree, and if you don’t you shall be silenced and you shall be expelled”. That is what is prevailing on the campus today.
But the unreasoning, free speech-hating crybully students only win when spineless, obsequious university administrators roll over and submit to their demands for fear of being labelled as cavalier about student “mental safety” rather than pushing back robustly at their attempts to self-infantilise.
If this trend is to be reversed, it will only be when more university leaders like Dr. Everett Piper in the United States, and Oxford chancellor Chris Patten in Britain, are prepared to poke their heads above the parapets in defence of academic enquiry and freedom of thought and speech.
Postscript: And isn’t it about time that we in Britain had our own version of CPAC, an alliance of people willing and able to carry the torch for freedom, liberty and conservative-minded thought when the Conservative Party in government seem intent on betraying those principles at every turn?
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