We live in strange times. At once both the tyranny and fragility of young Americans is on display.
Over at Yale, earlier this week we were treated to the following reaction over Halloween costumes that some folks clearly thought were offensive:
When a student gets away with screaming at a professor to “be quiet” and asking, “Why the F*CK did you accept the position?!? Who the F*CK hired you? … It is not about creating an intellectual space, it’s about creating a home here!” we know things have changed.
The interaction reminds me a bit of Plato’s comments about the end-stages of democratic man in The Republic, when the demand for equality eats into every facet of society:
“By degrees the anarchy finds a way into private houses, and ends by getting among the animals and infecting them.
How do you mean?
I mean that the father grows accustomed to descend to the level of his sons and to fear them, and the son is on a level with his father, he having no respect or reverence for either of his parents; and this is his freedom…”
Yes, the adults now fear the children.
President Peter Salovey of Yale University has already apologized not to the professor, but to the students:
“’We failed you,’ Peter Salovey, a psychologist, told more than 40 students gathered in the ornate room where the Yale Corporation meets, on the top floor of the president’s office.
‘I think we have to be a better university. I think we have to do a better job,’ he said, according to several students in the room who were taking notes.”
And today we were treated to news of another student-led protest, this time at the University of Missouri. Here’s some footage of students demanding “safe-space” while shoving all those who oppose them (or simply want to document what’s going on).
For the best example of the radicalism and intolerance, watch the video starting at 6:20 when a woman asks for “some muscle over here” to get rid of a student reporter. Click here for the link.
Again, these are students demanding “safe space” and the removal of anything offensive, as if they are too sensitive to handle things. Yet, these same students managed to force the resignation of the University of Missouri’s president. Watch the video below and ask yourself, who has the power?
These students at once demand security and safety, to not have their ideas challenged, but rather to have a home created for them. Yet, they also seem to be ruthlessly seeking power against a system run by adults who lack the courage and will to stand up for themselves.
Toddlers tend to do the same thing if parents are unwilling to assert themselves and their rights to discipline the child. And we all know what little tyrants they can become. Just remember that these kids are coming out of Yale and other schools of higher education. They are the future leaders, the future politicians, community organizers, bankers, CEOs, and all the rest. What will society look like if they are allowed to take charge?
Devin is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Charlemagne Institute, which operates Intellectual Takeout, Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture, and the Alcuin Internship. He is a graduate of Hillsdale College where he studied history and political science. Prior to co-founding Charlemagne Institute, he served as the Director of Development at the Center of the American Experiment, a state-based think tank in Minnesota.
Devin is a contributor to local and national newspapers, a frequent guest on a variety of talk shows, such as Minneapolis' KTLK and NPR's Talk of the Nation, and regularly shares culture and education insights presenting to civic groups, schools, and other organizations. In 2011, he was named a Young Leader by the American Swiss Foundation.
Devin and his wife have been married for eighteen years and have six children. When he's not working, Devin enjoys time with family while also relaxing through reading, horticulture, home projects, and skiing and snowboarding.