Worst of all, the spread of this intolerance throughout universities makes impossible the very purpose of higher education: to broaden students’ minds by allowing what Matthew Arnold called “the free play of the mind on all subjects” and by familiarizing them with the “best which has been thought and said in the world.” That ideal has now become scarce on our campuses. As [Charles] Sykes wrote over 20 years ago, “Once feelings are established as the barometer of acceptable behavior, speech (and, by extension, thought) becomes only as free as the most sensitive group will permit.” This is precisely the state of affairs in American universities today, where the old notions that truth is a liberating force and that suffering teaches, and the great classics that embodied these and other verities of the human condition, have been sacrificed on the altar of victim politics and its aggrandizement of institutional power. So our universities now produce “snowflakes,” as some have called them, students with fragile psyches and empty minds."Snowflakes": too funny. I've always thought of them as hothouse flowers--orchids, say--who cannot thrive outside their artificial environment.
Tuesday, June 9, 2015
When "Feelings" Are Paramount, Freedom Withers and Dies
Bruce Thornton diagnoses what's wrong with today's "progressive" university campuses: