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Ed Driscoll

Of Campus Utopians and Leftwing Fruitopians

February 8th, 2014 - 6:13 pm

“Today’s liberals have a utopian impulse but it only comes out in hints and nods. If you look for it, you won’t find it. But if you relax your eyes, like with one of those posters showing hidden spaceships, it will emerge in plain sight,” Jonah Goldberg writes in his latest G-File. “I think the current model for liberal utopianism is the college campus,” a “Potemkin existence” that’s “only possible because of a vast network of wealth-generating forces off campus and under-appreciated hard-working people on campus:”

There’s a certain kind of elite student who takes himself very, very seriously. Raised on a suite of educational TV shows and books that insist he is the most special person in the world — studies confirm that Generation Y is the most egocentric and self-regarding generation in our history — he is away from home for the first time, enjoying his first experience of freedom from his parents. Those same parents are paying for his education, which he considers his birthright. Shelter is provided for him. Janitors and maids clean up after him. Security guards protect him. Cooks shop for him and prepare his food. The health center provides him medical care and condoms aplenty. Administrators slave away at finding new ways for him to have fun in his free time. He drinks with abandon when he wants to, and the consequences of his bacchanalia are usually somewhere between mild and nonexistent. Sex is as abundant as it is varied. If he does not espouse any noticeably conservative or Christian attitudes, his every utterance in the classroom is celebrated as a “valuable perspective.” All that is demanded of him is that he pursue his interests and, perhaps, “find himself” along the way. His ethical training amounts to a prohibition on bruising the overripe self-esteem of another person, particularly a person in good standing with the Coalition of the Oppressed (blacks, Latinos, Muslims, women, gays, lesbians, transsexuals, et al.). Such offenses are dubbed hate crimes and are punished in a style perfected in Lenin’s utopia: through the politicized psychiatry known as “sensitivity training.”

But even as this sensitivity is being cultivated, the student is stuffed to the gills with cant about the corruption of “the system,” i.e., the real world just outside the gates of his educational Shangri-La. He is taught that it is brave to be “subversive” and cowardly to be “conformist.” Administrators encourage kitschy reenactments of 1960s radicalism by celebrating protest as part of a well-rounded education — so long as the students are protesting approved targets, those being the iniquities of “the system.” There is much Orwellian muchness to it all, since these play-acting protests and purportedly rebellious denunciations of the status quo are in fact the height of conformity.

“The elite college kids I have in mind are the most dependent people in the world, the beneficiaries of every kind of affluence, financial, social, even civilizational and yet they think they are independent free-agents,” Jonah adds. Read the whole thing, including the passage before the above-quoted material, on the origins of JFK and RFK’s signature phrase, “There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why . . . I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?”

No wonder the Illinois-based Evanston Now news site reports that “Neighbors said to fear ‘transient academics”:

Plans for an extended stay hotel in downtown Evanston are drawing fears from some that it will attract the wrong kind of academics as guests.

The Southeast Evanston Association, in an email message to its members, says neighbors need to assure that the establishment will carry “a hotel brand that will maintain a high quality of business, and not devolve into cheap housing for transient academics.”

Eschaton immanentizing utopian hobos armed with slide-rules are the scariest of all. (Perhaps seven years of the Big Bang Theory also put local Evanston residents off of the idea of transient academics huddling in their midst.)

Of course, any ideology that seeks to immanentize the eschaton and build the impossible — heaven on earth — has a huge religious component to it, and we’ll explore some of the zany sub-religions of leftism, right after the page break.

Top Rated Comments   
Sadly, I'm increasingly inclined to agree.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
( De ) Generations X and Y: two strong reasons the voting age needs to go
back up to 21 !
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
That certainly sounds like the goal of our education-(post)industrial complex, doesn't it?
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (18)
All Comments   (18)
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Speaking as a libertarian reading the description of socialists, all I have to say is ... I resemble those remarks.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
Accurate and correct.
The deformable flexibility of European culture through the centuries allowed a slow process of improvement. Individual Deductive reasoning elements would be challenged by someone doing Inductive reasoning on that little point. The Inductive reasoning element would prevail. This made commerce, manufacturing, agriculture, and a lot of other little things in life better, like putting a chimney in one’s hovel rather than having a hole in the roof. This orderly process eventually got into big things like the starting up of Science.

Louis XVI, the ideal constitutional monarch, ruined this because he was not a king. He did not debase the payments made to the government’s middle class and upper class pension receivers to pay the government debts. He did not have a loyal palace guard. By 1790 the Crown and the Church were smashed.

All the scheming secular religions, crafted by Nomenklatura aching for power to better humanity, each a masterpiece of Deductive reasoning, erupted from the salons and restaurants out into positions of controlling. They splattered Deductive reasoning anew all over the place. If Deductive reasoning were made visible, daily life and the World of Work would appear as if suffering from the Pox. Even Atheism appears as a Deductive reasoning edifice centered on the Commandment about Thou Shalt Have No Other Gods.

If a Deductive reasoning element or action could produce a musical sound, then listening to a Liberal would be like hearing a narrative accompanied by a one-man band.

9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
Eschaton immanentizing utopian hobos armed with slide-rules are the scariest of all.

Slide rules? Really? I doubt anyone under the age of 50 knows what a slide rule is. The "cool kids" will surely disrespect anyone trying to work with such antiquated technology rather than using a computer....
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
I have s slide rule. It might be useful for calculating the cost of my dentures.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'll bet you're over 50 ;-)

I think I still have my slide rule in a box somewhere but I don't think I've used it since high school or perhaps first year university (1974). That's just after calculators started becoming popular....
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
Uh, I know what one is, but I wouldn't know the first thing about how to use it. My dad had one that he used to let me play with when I was a kid. I used to think of it as something like a cross between a ruler and an abacus.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
My point is that you aren't afraid of them or people carrying them.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
Maybe more Trader Joe stories will start making an impact on the voting patterns of LIVs.. Hey, I can dream, right?
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
( De ) Generations X and Y: two strong reasons the voting age needs to go
back up to 21 !
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
51 would make more sense than 21. A 21 year old is just a know-it-all with slightly more experience.

9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
Sadly, I'm increasingly inclined to agree.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
Hell, I am beginning to think we need to reverse women's suffrage.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
When so many of my co-genderists can be bought off with a slogan of "Vote like your lady parts depend on it" I can't entirely disagree.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
I wish to vehemently disagree with you, but honesty prevents it. One is eventually given to understand why they wanted to make voting contingent to some outside test, either tax or knowledge. The damage to be done to the electorate must be limited by something or we get; "Unlimited goodies for all." in power.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
Exactly. We have gotten ourselves into a position where people feel entitled to anything they can demand and our government is increasingly unlikely to tell them "no". Under the current system, there's no need for the books to be balanced through the voluntary consent of the taxed: government just demonizes some segment of society, typically the rich, and insists that they pay for whatever entitlements are being demanded, raising taxes as necessary to pay for things. Or, more commonly, accumulating debt that future generations will need to pay.

We should not be electing politicians who are willing to spend money in programs that the taxpayers are unwilling to support. The books must balance. We can't give more than we can pay for with taxes voluntarily contributed by taxpayers.

Things would make more sense if only people who actually made enough money to be subject to income tax got to vote. After all, government is mostly about how tax money gets spent for the common good. If you aren't being taxed, you aren't paying for these programs and therefore you shouldn't have any say in how that money is spent.

That would give a strong incentive for anyone politically-minded to make some money, either through getting a job or starting a business. And most people who had a job and pretty much everyone who was running their own business would tend to drag their heels on entitlement programs and the government would get reined in - dramatically.

I don't think age, gender or intelligence is the real problem. We're letting people who don't have to pay the freight dictate what money gets spent on. It's like giving your kids the unchallenged right to spend YOUR money how they see fit. Then, if they want to order a hot tub or a Ferrari, you are on the hook to pay for it.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
Your average liberal believes he or she is smarter and better than the bourgeoisie, and therefore can't believe in the same things as them. It's why if any religions are to be tolerated its the less-common ones, since they are more comfortable with beliefs that a majority of people don't subscribe to.

However, in the end, when you're talking about the alphas of the left (or even the beta-who's-been-convinced-he's-an-alpha with the current resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue), they're not content as Bill Murray briefly was in "Groundhog Day" to be a God. The have a burning desire to be the God. Which is why the left in power always angrily fractures sooner or later, because they can't tolerate dissent even in their own ranks, let alone from those not part of the movement to begin with.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
So, boiling it down to the Cliff Notes, are you saying the U.S. is raising a whole generation of little Barack Obamas and little Prince Charleses ?
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
That certainly sounds like the goal of our education-(post)industrial complex, doesn't it?
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
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