Big-Endians vs. Little-Endians¹
In an article today, syndicated commentator, talk show host, speaker and author Dennis Prager² noted a trending cultural phenomenon across university campuses in the United States of America.
NOTE THAT my title is not intended to belittle any race or ethnicity.
“That the left shuts down people with whom it differs is a rule in every leftist society. The left — not classical liberals, I hasten to note — is totalitarian by nature. In the 20th century, the century of totalitarianism, virtually every totalitarian regime in the world was a leftist regime. And the contemporary American university — run entirely by the left — is becoming a totalitarian state, where only left-wing ideas are tolerated.
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“In just the last year, left-wing students have violently taken over presidents’ or deans’ offices at Princeton, Virginia Commonwealth University, Dartmouth, Providence College, Harvard, Lewis & Clark College, Temple University and many others. Conservative speakers have either been dis-invited or shouted down at Brandeis University, Brown University, the University of Michigan and myriad other campuses.
[Note that the named campuses’ storied traditions formerly touted the imperative for a robust dialogue and exchange of ideas. No longer the case.]
“And leftists shout down virtually every pro-Israel speaker, including the Israeli ambassador to the United States, at every university to which they are invited to speak.”
Wonder why the mainstream press isn’t yelling about the need for ‘safe spaces’ at these events?
Today in the USA —
“the mainstream media simply ignore this left-wing thuggery — while reporting that the shutting down of a pro-Trump rally is all Trump’s fault for his comments encouraging roughing up protestors at his events.
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“For the record, I have been relentless in my criticisms of Donald Trump, both in print and on my radio show, preferring any other Republican candidate. Based on his past, I have not had any reason to trust him as a conservative or as a Republican, and he has exhibited serious character flaws.
“Nevertheless, truth must trump opposition to Trump.”
Excerpts from “The Left May Well Get Trump Nominated,” March 15, 2016, by Dennis Prager. http://www.dennisprager.com/the-left-may-well-get-trump-nominated/
Interestingly, the current crop of obdurate student protestors — progeny of earlier generations of campus liberals who advocated for the importance of public protest – seem to defy the very principles their political ancestors touted. Consider, for instance, this quote from a well-known protest advocate:
“International affairs is very much run like the mafia. The godfather does not accept disobedience, even from a small storekeeper who doesn’t pay his protection money. You have to have obedience; otherwise, the idea can spread that you don’t have to listen to the orders, and it can spread to important places.” ~ Noam Chomsky
Isn’t it more than a bit ironic that, in the current wave of reactionary campus protests, the role of ‘the godfather’ has been taken by the student protestors who, like the mafia, brook NO opposition, have absolutely NO tolerance for the free speech of anyone who disagrees with them and, instead of staying away in large numbers as a protest, SHUT DOWN every speaker to whom they object. How can that possibly be described as “liberal”?
Consider another famous Chomsky quote:
“The United States is unusual among the industrial democracies in the rigidity of the system of ideological control – ‘indoctrination’, we might say – exercised through the mass media.” ~ Noam Chomsky
Well, Mr. Chomsky, your narrow-minded philosophical offspring have raised your bet ten times over and called you on the matter of a “rigid system of ideological control.” It’s now their modus operandi.
Reminds me of two pivotal books of yesteryear that could take on new meaning, were our present culture inclined to spend the necessary time in contemplative re-examination. The first is William F. Buckley, Jr.’s God and Man at Yale: The Superstitions of “Academic Freedom” (Regnery Publ.,1951). The second is Richard John Neuhaus’ The Naked Public Square: Religion and Democracy in America (Eerdmans, 1984). I read the first in undergrad, the second in law school days.
In God and Man at Yale, Buckley “criticized Yale [University] and its faculty for forcing collectivist, Keynesian, and secularist ideology on its students. He criticized individual professors by name, arguing that they tried to break down students’ religious beliefs through their hostility to religion. Buckley also stated in the book that Yale was denying its students any sense of individualism by making them embrace the ideas of liberalism.” ~ Wikipedia
Richard John Neuhaus’ The Naked Public Square focused on the many crises in American life, which the author believed to be a crisis of faith. Neuhaus argued that the faith of persons and communities must be more compellingly related to the public arena and the interchange of ideas. As he saw it, “the naked public square” results from the the way strict separationists read the First Amendment to strip the public square “naked” or “bare” of religious speech. [Arguably, today’s public square has been kidnapped by college hooligans.] This, in turn, fosters and encourages public hostility toward religion. Neuhaus asserted that such exclusion from the public forum will almost certainly result in the death of democracy.
Carpe diem. Vita brevis.
© March 15, 2016, by Michael E. Stubblefield. All rights reserved to my original work.
¹ Like the petty and trivial Lilliputians in Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift. In that story, Lilliputians traditionally broke boiled eggs on the larger end, but a later Emperor of Lilliput decreed that all eggs be broken on the smaller end after his son cut himself breaking the egg on the larger end. His decree birthed lasting acrimony between Big-Endians (those who broke their eggs at the larger end) and the Little-Endians and “broke into six rebellions … wherein one Emperor lost his life, and another his crown.”
² Mr. Prager was graduated from Brooklyn College with a double major in anthropology and history. Between 1970–72, he was a graduate Fellow at the Middle East and Russian Institutes (now Harriman Institute) at the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs. He also studied international history, comparative religion, and Arabic at the University of Leeds, Yorkshire, UK. He has taught Russian and Jewish history at Brooklyn College; and was appointed by President Ronald Reagan to the U.S. Delegation to the Vienna Review Conference on the Helsinki Accords. He holds an honorary doctorate of law from Pepperdine University.