A silent campus does not mean a less radicalized campus. The radicalization takes place in the classroom and the dorms. In the 1960s, campus turmoil was taken to the streets. Today, the radicalization process is taken to our nation’s corporations, universities, courts, and political parties. Our nation is being radicalized from the inside out.

America’s colleges and universities do not reflect the values of the general population. While the nation is throwing off the last remnants of liberalism, the college establishment “has become the last refuge for the defeated protestors of the Vietnam era. And where these academic holdouts from the Sixties could not exercise their political will over the rest of the country, they are attempting today to impose it on the college student.”[1] What was true in 1984 is even more true today. You can still find remains of the suicidal worldview of the counter culture on a number of campuses. Ward Churchill is not an anomaly. He just happened to get caught.[2]

The early years of the decade [1980s] found many students personally supporting such issues as the nuclear freeze (which won at Princeton by almost two to one), but only a few involving themselves in protest. . . . By the mid-1980s protests began to mount in number and to attract more undergraduates. Brown students voted a request to the university to stock suicide pills in the case of nuclear war. A number of Brown students attempted to put recruiters from the CIA under citizen’s arrest.[3]

At the moment, it does not seem as if the tumultuous decade of the 1960s is about to return to campus. My concern is what students are getting in the classroom and in the dorms where most “turning” to the suicidal leftist worldview takes place.

While universities have always fought with the surrounding society, modern student movements are vastly different from the medieval conflicts. During the Middle Ages, the university fought for its own privileges and rights. In the modern era, student movements are genuinely revolutionary. They do not simply seek greater freedom for the university, but actually strive to change society in fundamental ways and cut off all competitive debate when they can. When the “opposition” is invited to speak on campus by a small conservative group, the speaker is often shouted down, gets a pie in the face, or both.[4] Sociologist Lewis Feuer has isolated some of the common elements of all modern student movements. There is, for example, a disenchantment with the “establishment,” the older leaders of the university and of society in general. The modern radical student sees himself as a member of an elite that will change society for the better. Student radicals think that their elders have failed and seek to erect the rule of the young. Modern student movements always seek the support of the people, the working classes, and the poor. The mostly radical middle and upper class students hate themselves and their society and seek to free themselves from guilt by a delusional form of self-sacrifice, often literally committing suicide.[5]

The radicalism of the 1960s was a major turning point in American education. The period revolutionized the lifestyle of students and even influenced American politics. Looking back over 40 years, the effects on the university’s sense of purpose was profound and entirely negative. Allan Bloom has written: “About the sixties it is fashionable to say that although there were indeed excesses, many good things resulted. But, so far as universities are concerned, I know of nothing positive coming from that period; it was an unmitigated disaster for them.”[6] This is probably overstated since many people came to their senses and realized that a consistent application of the worldview of the 1960s leads to frustration and disappointment.


[1] Benjamin Hart, Poisoned Ivy (Briarcliff Manor, NY: Stein and Day, 1984), 20. [2] http://www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=45012
[3] Helen Lefkowitz Horowitz, Campus Life: Undergraduate Cultures from the End of the Eighteenth Century to the Present (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1987), 282. [4] http://wildcat.arizona.edu/papers/98/44/01_1.html
[5] Lewis Feuer, The Conflict of Generations: The Character and Significance of Student Movements (New York: Basic Books, 1969), chap. 1. [6] Allan Bloom, The Closing of the American Mind (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1987), 320.