The Corner


Finding the Roots of Violent Campus Protests

As our campus “progressives” (actually, they’re primitive tribalists) grow increasingly bold and violent, it’s worth asking where such behavior has its roots. In Friday’s Martin Center article, Assumption College political-science professor Geoffrey Vaughan suggests that it has been taught to them. After noting that Vice President Pence had a large number of students walk out of his commencement address at Notre Dame last month, Vaughan writes,

The real power of political correctness that legislators and even the vice president would like to combat does not reside in particular offices or paid positions. The power resides in faculty and administrators who almost universally support it and increasingly see their jobs as developing support for it among students.

He’s right. Many professors and administrators see themselves as “change agents” who care more about inculcating what they think are the correct values rather than to have them master fields of knowledge and understand how to use reason. (All the talk you hear about how colleges teach students “critical thinking” is just a smokescreen for indoctrination.) They want to change students, not educate them.

There lies the root of the problem. Higher education has been thoroughly infiltrated by the Left, which uses it for its goals of remaking America according to its collectivist/authoritarian notions.

Vaughan concludes, “Free speech is important, but without a culture willing to engage in what others say, it merely provides a podium in an empty room. So two cheers for legislation that protects our freedom to address it, but hold that third cheer for a while. We need to address the very idea of what education is before this problem can be solved.” The “progressives” have their idea about what education is and (using vast amounts of other people’s money), they have pretty much succeeded in imposing it on the entire nation. Those of us who have a different idea need to either retake the institutions or create new educational models that don’t involve immersing students in the leftist view of the world.

George Leef is the the director of editorial content at the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal.