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Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Maybe the best thing to do is shut these places

It is indeed interesting, and worrying, that students are so sensitive and censorious today. But I have a question for the hand-wringers, the media people, academics and liberal thinkers who are so disturbed by what they’re calling the ‘Yale snowflakes’: what did you think would happen? When you watched, or even presided over, the creation over the past 40 years of a vast system of laws and speech codes to punish insulting or damaging words, and the construction of a vast machine of therapeutic intervention into everyday life, what did you think the end result would be? A generation that was liberal and tough? Come off it. It’s those trends, those longstanding trends of censorship and therapy, that created today’s creepy campus intolerance; it’s you who made these monsters.

Brendan O’Neill.

The bigotry and oafishness of these places is now a well-known feature of life in the US and here in Europe. These places are causing damage; these young people are, remember, future voters and legislators. Have we perhaps reached a stage where not going to such a place is in fact a desirable state?

O’Neill argues that the current generation hasn’t arrived at its intolerance from nowhere:

The Yale snowflakes are pathetic, yes. But what’s even more pathetic is the ridicule of the snowflakes by the very generation who created this world in which words are seen as wounding, judgement is considered harmful, and everyone is treated as fragile. Having claimed for 30 years that offensive discussion, or porn or racist newspapers, create a ‘hostile environment’, can the older generation really be surprised that students are now setting up Safe Spaces? The Safe Space is the logical solution to the notion that words and images cultivate a ‘hostile environment’.

Item: Another example of just how messed up American education now is.


26 comments to Maybe the best thing to do is shut these places

  • PapayaSF

    Of course it can’t be ignored that the censorship and therapy are merely in service of the root problem: identity politics.

  • George Atkisson

    They’re Red Guard cadres. They are the readily aimed vocal shock troops of Political Correctness and Social Justice. They obviously are not meant for street work, but for destroying any resistance to The Narrative anywhere in Academia. One wrongthought in any medium and they rush to destroy the source.

  • Kevin B

    “No! No!” they cried, “I’m not a Girondin! I’m a Monta… “. And the blade went swoosh and the needles clacked on.

  • James Hargrave

    Ignorance looks to me an attractive option when compared with the ‘education’ purveyed by many of these institutions (and I have spent much of my life associated with them in one way or another). One in Oz boasts that it teaches how to think, not what to think, but I suspect that it has got things the wrong way round.

  • Cristina

    The most striking feature of those students is their absolute lack of honesty. Their pain is false. Their rage is feigned. Their struggle is a pantomime that mimics what they think is “the fight”. Everything with them is a lie.

  • PapayaSF

    Cristina, I wouldn’t go quite that far. I think it’s more virtue-signaling and the tendency of all reformers, once they have achieved most of what they want, to focus on smaller and smaller injustices. Leaders (and wannabe leaders) want to lead, so they rarely declare victory and go home.

    So even though the civil rights situation is better than it was 40 years ago, there’s an absurdly heightened level of outrage about minor issues. Instead of the KKK lynching people, it’s offensive Halloween costumes. Some violent moron attacks a cop and gets killed, and it’s a “genocide.” Etc.

  • Well, as of this evening, the latest meaning of “snowflake” (which even I have been familiar with for months) does not seem to be propagating well into Wiktionary or The Urban Dictionary.

    Is there concern that some people might be shocked?

    Best regards

  • Laird

    PapayaSF, I don’t see much difference between what Cristina said and your reply.

  • PapayaSF

    I just don’t think that people getting upset over trivia for reasons of self-congratulation counts as “lying.” So I was disagreeing with “Everything with them is a lie.”

  • Cristina

    It is -among other things- a virtue-signaling, PapayaSF and, because of that, it’s just posturing. They are not outraged because someone used a word they decree offensive, for example. They are simply testing how far the powers that be are willing to yield to them. Seeing the castrated response from those in power, the testing escalates. Anyone who has raised children knows this trick. The anomaly here is the age of the children. By no they should be interested is adult tricks, one guesses.

  • CaptDMO

    Watch this.
    Effective immediately, other than the HIGHEST scoring candidates, there will be no scholarships, or “grant” monies accepted for tuition.
    No “athletic” scholars will be admitted with “special consideration”.
    due to the expected fall in enrollment, 705 of the faculty will be let go.
    Tenure is no longer honored. Only the highest standards will be tolerated.
    We realize this is NOT deemed Politically Correct. We don’t care.
    Trespassers will be arrested, prosecuted, and attached for expenses, to the fullest extent of the law.
    All remaining endowment funds will be resourced to investigate obstructive political interests for corruption and tax evasion.
    Ok, GO!

  • CaptDMO

    *sigh* 75%

  • lucklucky

    Cristina is right and many continue to make the mistake that these kids are snowflakes, blah blah, easily offended etc and fail, to see the real game here.

    They are not snowflakes, these students are specially bad persons that use Marxist tactics – PC is an intimidatory Marxist tactic- that enables them get power by silencing others.
    Objective is to have total power.

  • Roue le Jour

    Once you grasp that the single, sole and only goal of leftism is political power, everything makes much more sense.

  • Veryretired

    I will be blunt— my generation, the baby boom generation, has been an utter disaster for the U.S and the course of western civilization in general.

    We are the middle generation of that old adage about profligacy, “shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations.” Growing up in the most powerful and prosperous society the world had ever seen, we fell for every phony tenet of the progressive guilt and victomology spiel, and far too many carried the infection into the educational system, and used it as an ideological base upon which to construct the current anti-education monstrosity.

    These ludicrous spectacles, now an almost daily occurance, are the poisoned fruit of the parasitic vine which has grown up around our schools, strangling any true attempts to actually educate people in the name of ideology.

    It is clear that the industrial school model is now obsolete, and, indeed, even harmful to the concept of education, and should be replaced as soon as practicable by a totally decentralized, computer based model.

    I am hopeful that the youth who have suffered through these torture chambers will soon be in a position to energize a movement to take the massive steps needed to redesign the entire manner in which our children are schooled, so that actual education, instead of race, gender, class indoctrination, can take place.

    If the public teacher’s unions can be dissolved as the terrible mistakes they have been, then the union dues to political donations cycle can be broken, and further reform will be possible.

    In any case, the gritty, frustrating work of opposing continued indoctrination, and replacing it with actual knowledge- based curricula will continue.

    I sent my own children to the best private schools, with classical curricula, that I could find, and I constantly urge that my grandchildren be given the same chance to actually learn something instead of being taught to simply parrot the latest PC drivel.

  • Roue le Jour

    Socialism derives naturally from universal suffrage and individual attempts to thwart it are futile. “Vote for us and we will tax the rich and share the loot with you” will always work unless you take concrete steps to prevent it, such as restricting the mandate or constitutionally prohibiting forcible redistribution. (For the effectiveness of constitutions see the US.)

    State control of education is the worst possible thing a society can do to itself, as the damage is virtually impossible to reverse. It is not a matter of curricula, it is a matter of ethos. The aim of educating a child is to shape them into independent adults, a necessary tautology as state schools aim to produce physically mature humans with the minds of children.

  • due to the expected fall in enrollment, 75% of the faculty will be let go.

    Get rid of the diversity bureaucrats and you probably don’t have to get rid of much of the faculty.

  • will be blunt— my generation, the baby boom generation, has been an utter disaster for the U.S and the course of western civilization in general.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    As somebody born in 1972, I for one am sick and tired of a political culture that wants to look at everything through a lens of a 15-year period of events that ended 40 years ago.

    The desire to re-enact the civil rights battles of the 1960s, a desire which ultimately led to the election of Obama pretty much entirely on the basis of his skin tone, has been thoroughly detrimental to race relations as the soi-disant tolerant people try to declare all criticism of him racially motivated.

    And can we finally get rid of the f*cking -gate suffix to refer to any scandal? Tom Brady wanting balls not inflated to the proper standards is certainly cheating and the bastard deserved a lengthy suspension, but using the -gate suffix? Please.

    At least the garbage Camelot myth is being put out to pasture as the people whose productive lives included that period are dying off.

  • Paul Marks

    Sadly the post is correct.

    And it can be tested by, for example, asking Yale students whether they have looked at the town around them – New Haven.

    Contrary to the democratic socialist “Pluralist” view pushed by Yale “Political Science” since the 1950s (let alone the Marxist “Power Elite” view) New Haven has been dominated by Yale leftist ideas for many decades.

    And the high government spending and taxes, and endless regulations, have been a disaster.

    But try point this out to students…….

    They will simply scream “racist” in reply.

    They sincerely think this is a real reply.

    Because they have been taught to think that.

    And not just at university – but also at High School.

    Including in many “elite” private schools.

    Even bigger government is for the benefit of “the poor” and the “racial minorities” – anyone who disputes this is a “racist” in the pay of “big business”.

    The horrors of New Haven (the town around Yale) do not alter this in the minds of the students.

    On the contrary, the worse things get – the more government “help” is needed…..

    The “liberal mind” is closed.

    After all these are the people who clap (like demented seals) when government ministers appear on the “Daily Show” to claim that government “Labor Department” schemes “created the Middle Class” and so on.

    They scream their support and clap wildly – at grey government ministers (such as the “Secretary of Labor” in the Obama Administration), yet the students (who have never disputed any collectivist doctrine pushed by the media or by their school teachers or university professors) regard themselves as “rebels”.

  • Richard Thomas

    I think the conventional education system may be about to enter its death-throes. It will start with higher education where the advantage-to-cost ratio is already questionable and even more so for those who would have traditionally benefited from it historically. Costs are up (and up and up) and those who have a capacity to learn never really had a need for the structure provided by the university system, only to the curated knowledge and that is something no longer only provided in such a setting.

  • Cristina

    “[…] those who have a capacity to learn never really had a need for the structure provided by the university system […]”
    That’s very, very true, Richard Thomas.

  • Vinegar Joe

    My 2 oldest children were educated in the US. I have virtually no contact with either of them because of their politics. My 2 youngest sons were educated in Europe but are attending college in Beijing and Taipei. They are majoring in history and international relations. We get along great. My 12 year old daughter went to school for 4 years in the US and is now attending school on a small US controlled island in the Pacific. She plans to attend college in Beijing, Taipei or possibly Singapore. And a note……..I was just reading the local newspaper (here it’s Monday morning) and her math/science teacher was indicted in Federal Court Friday for theft of government property, aggravated identity theft, and wire fraud. And people keep asking me why I don’t want to go back into education…….

  • Nicholas (Andy.royd) Gray

    Whilst I don’t think Universities or colleges will disappear, they will become more of a niche service, as online courses take over the learning business. This should be encouraged. Here in Australia we already have a school-of-the-air service, with the states running education programs to outback farms and stations.
    Is there any reason why private education couldn’t do the same?

  • PeterT

    Quite recently a big accountancy firm (I think EY but it could have been KPMG)removed its degree requirement for admittance to its ‘graduate’ programme. The idea was, I think, that their own tests were good enough to filter out the chaff. Maybe they also saw the quality of university graduates decline. In any event, well done them; what took them so long? If enough firms adopt this approach then the number of people who inflict a university arts degree on themselves will fall.

  • Eric

    Whilst I don’t think Universities or colleges will disappear, they will become more of a niche service, as online courses take over the learning business. This should be encouraged. Here in Australia we already have a school-of-the-air service, with the states running education programs to outback farms and stations.
    Is there any reason why private education couldn’t do the same?

    In the US universities are effectively a cabal of rent-seekers. Due to a horrible court decision in the 1971, employers place themselves in legal jeopardy by using IQ tests to screen applicants. So they use college degrees as a proxy for intelligence. What you actually learn in college is irrelevant – what matters is which college accepted you. Colleges are ranked by their rejection ratio, which both gives employers an easy numerical way to rank applicants from different colleges, and also makes it nearly impossible to compete with the established institutions.

    So no, this isn’t going to get solved by MOOCs, because the problem isn’t really related to education at all.

  • Rich Rostrom

    Peter T: Back around 1980, businesses were told that any employment test which had a “disproportionate impact” on outcomes for different races was considered prima facie evidence of illegal discrimination. The business could be dragged before Federal tribunals, where it would have to prove (at considerable expense, to hostile judges) that the test was in fact directly connected to work performance.

    Businesses adopted educational requirements as a safe-harbor proxy.

    As regards Huckleberry Finn: Twain himself said that it is not a children’s book.