American Elephants


The Greatest Threat to the World Today by The Elephant's Child

The Greatest Threat to the World as we know it, is not Russian influence, nor climate change, devastating diseases like Ebola sweeping out of Africa, it’s not even the machinations of Donald Trump. It’s an idea. An insidious idea that is sweeping out of our citadels of learning into the greater society. And the damage it has done and can do is incalculable.

The idea is a simple one. You shouldn’t have to listen to ideas with which you disagree, or that make you uncomfortable. That is so clearly idiotic that it seems impossible that one could not only accept the idea, but act upon it. Yet students in what we have long respected as centers of learning are protesting and rioting to prevent themselves from hearing ideas with which they are unfamiliar and which might disturb them by challenging their comfortable ways of thinking.

What the hell, one might ask, did they think education is? How do we learn, grow, improve? How are we to cope with a challenging world if we are not open to engaging with ideas that are new to us. How are we to recognize our own errors and misunderstandings?

The lists of speakers, experts, and fine minds who have been “disinvited” is long and growing. Many have not been disinvited, but protested or rioted against. There’s Charles Murray, Betsy DeVos, Heather McDonald, Clarence Thomas, Ben Shapiro, Henry Kissinger, Jason Riley, Doris Kearns Godwin, Laura Bush, Michael Bloomberg, and Camille Paglia — in no particular order or inclusiveness, and there are lots more.

We have a remarkable dereliction of duty from college administrators here. I have read of no cases of misbehaving students being sent home. This may date me, but when I was in school, many students were sent home for a semester, and able to return when they got their heads on straight, and it wasn’t for anything as dramatic as ordinary riots and protests.

There’s also what I call “cultural contagion,”and others refer to as “copy cat” stuff. Think of the way that Vietnam War protests swept through the nation’s campuses. Of course then there were a lot of young men of military age in the universities. But today they are protesting speakers in the U.K. as well. We have “Big Brother”in Silicon Valley who is bragging, or at least admitting, that they changed the outcome of the mid-term election. If you do not have long experience with encountering other ideas, will you have the knowledge and experience to resist the influence of manipulated search results? How will you recognize when and how the media distort the news? How will you know what you yourself believe and whether or not you have the knowledge to defend your ideas? Speak out, stand up to be counted, and if you have college age kids, make sure they understand what education is and how one acquires it.


2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

This biggest threat is the idea that you should be allowed to censor ideas and speech you don’t like.

Like

Comment by pacific_waters

Two parts of the same problem. The Left’s discovery that “de-platforming” works well for
them is more than troubling. The First Amendment wasn’t written for the current problems with technology, and may be difficult for the courts.

Like

Comment by The Elephant's Child




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s



%d bloggers like this: