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Student Politics and the University
The Atlantic ^ | July 1969 | Nathan Glazer

Posted on 08/26/2012 8:42:42 AM PDT by Sherman Logan

Student Politics and the University

"The university now suffers from the consequences of an untempered and irrational attack on American society, government, and university, one to which we as academics have contributed, and on which we have failed to give much light" ...

I agree with the SDS that the issues should have been discussed—ROTC, campus expansion, black demands. But more than that should have been discussed. The reasons SDS had raised the issues should have been discussed. The basic analysis they present of society and government should have been discussed. The consequences of their analysis and the actions they take to achieve their demands should have been discussed. They should have been engaged in debate. They were not. Instead, they were given an open field and all possible facilities for spreading their view of the world, a view that to my mind is deficient in logic, based on ignorance and passion, contradictory, committed to unattainable aims, and one in which a free university could not possibly operate.

The university now suffers from the consequences of an untempered and irrational attack on American society, government, and university, one to which we as academics have contributed, and on which we have failed to give much light. The students who sat in, threw out the deans, and fought with the police have, after all, been taught by American academics such as C. Wright Mills, Herbert Marcuse, Noam Chomsky, and many, many others. All these explained how the world operated, and we failed to answer effectively. Or we had forgotten the answers. We have to start remembering and start answering.

(Excerpt) Read more at theatlantic.com ...


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: highereducation; leftismoncampus; rotc; sds
Veerrry long. Also almost 50 years old.

However, I find it enlightening in its presentation of the radical critique of American society very nearly at its start. That critique being that American society is fundamentally corrupt and must be destroyed so it can be rebuilt anew.

At the time this was written this critique was believed in by only a tiny minority, probably no more than 10% of the population. Today it is taken for granted by closing on 50% of Americans, to the point where a presidential campaign can be won on the slogan, "Hope and Change," with its implicit assumption that any change at all will be an improvement because the society itself is evil in every way.

Personally, I took away two major points.

The first is that the student protests were never about what they claimed to be about: Vietnam, black civil rights, "freedom of speech" on campus, etc. The purpose of the protests was not to right wrongs, it was to radicalize the participants and onlookers.

Thus the leaders among the protestors were fundamentally dishonest, and were following Alinsky's Rules, whether any of them knew it at the time or not.

The second point is that nobody at the time really addressed the real issue. The Left was allowed to make its case for change on a tactical basis issue by issue, without being obliged to defend its real ultimate objectives.

This continues today, with incremental changes aimed at fundamentally changing America over time, but with the proponents of those changes not being required to defend their actual ends.

1 posted on 08/26/2012 8:42:44 AM PDT by Sherman Logan
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To: Sherman Logan
I was 19 years old and in the military at the time of this writing, and this is just my personal impression of the SDS et al.

The culture that created this SDS was one borne of cowardice by its members at the prospect of having to enforce America's policies via military force and the ubiquitous "if it feels good, do it" attitude of the most unique American creation of all time - the hippie. And, DRUGS!

If you couple the cowardice with the hippies and throw in the traditional communist, socialist, anarchist deviate who'd become so hateful of the country that promised and gave them so much freedom, you have the poweratti and politicians of today - Bill Ayers, Bernadine Dohrn, and myriad other racially charged malcontents we have today.

In truth, these people are perhaps more akin to Hitler or Uncle Joe....their leaders actually plotted and planned on upwards of having to eliminate at least 25 million undesirable [in their eyes] Americans. They protested, plotted and murdered and bombed their American brothers. And, they succeeded in poisoning our Media and irreparably influencing many of today's leaders.

Obama is one, actually. However, they would not, are not capable, of recognizing his discontent has nothing to do with dissatisfaction of traditional America for the same reasons as they. His is an entirely different flavor - one that would relegate these leftover reprobates to a prison camp, and a total devolution of their country to a third-world position based on Islamic Dogma.

2 posted on 08/26/2012 9:06:35 AM PDT by Gaffer
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