Faster, Please!

intellectuals and tyrants

So it turns out that Columbia University would have been delighted to have the Fuhrer on campus and “answer questions” from students and faculty.

This is part of an old pattern, to which I’ve called attention in the past: there is a certain kind of intellectual who likes to talk to tyrants, flattering himself in believing that his brilliance will have an effect, and secretly hoping he will thereby acquire real political power. We see it all the time, from journalists conducting “interviews” with the likes of Mussolini, Hitler, Saddam, and Khomeini, to members of Congress holding “meaningful discussions” with the Assads, the Arafats, and the Chavezes, to “conflict resolution experts” from universities and think tanks organizing the political equivalent of T-groups with foreign leaders and their satraps who are meanwhile organizing our destruction.

President Bollinger is nothing new, even for Columbia University, which hosted Italian fascists in the twenties while closing its stages to the anti-fascists.

Every now and then, some intellectual, who understands that these people are our enemies, refuses to kiss up to the tyrants and embarrasses them with real questions. Oriana Fallaci’s fabulous exchange with the Ayatollah Khomeini is one of the finest examples of real intellectual integrity, but I do not see anyone with her courage on the current scene.

In time, these cowards will join the long list of their shamed predecessors. One can only hope that the parents of university-bound youngsters will refuse to fund such institutions. That is the most effective way to enforce true freedom on our campuses. The Federal Government should likewise hold these people accountable. As Duncan Hunter says, any place that does such a thing should not receive our tax dollars.