Phi Beta Cons

Stand-Up Students at Moscow State U.

…in contrast to those at Columbia U., which, in a well-publicized dénouement, at last recently meted out “justice” to the student-thugs who rushed the podium and prevented the head of the Minutemen from expressing his views on immigration. 
According to the New York Post, these students have merely been charged with a minor violation after a long, drawn-out disciplinary process – and, oh, if they behave themselves, any record of their wrongdoing will be expunged from their transcripts.
Meanwhile, while leftist-indoctrinated students such as these play at being Brown Shirts, with a wink and a nod from campus administrators, Russian students (The New York Times reports) muster the courage to take on the Omnipotent State.
In an almost unheard of act of defiance in Russian academe, students at Moscow State University have condemned teaching standards within the campus’ sociology department as (in the words of two activists) “unbearable” and “terrible.”
Most remarkably, these brave students have publicly blamed Russian officialdom itself for the erosion. Teaching, they assert, has been undercut by official, institutionalized anti-Western ideology, nationalism, extremist views, and conspiracy theories.
The MSU students risk expulsion or far worse, and their chances of gaining a fair hearing are virtually nil, because the university is appointing a commission of self-interested campus insiders to investigate conditions in the sociology department.
To gain a public hearing, it would appear these students reached out with their grievances to persons on Western universities, who (one surmises) played a role in bringing their ordeal to light.
Imagine how Western activist students and their activist docents, such as those at Columbia – they with their unprecedented privileges and unbridled freedom – could help the politically oppressed of the world. But, of course, this coddled elite would first have to shed its political blinders and prejudices, thus opening its mind to badly needed…well, re-education. 

Candace de Russy — Candace de Russy is a nationally recognized expert on education and cultural issues.

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