Two essays really struck me over the past week. One was by Daniel Schwammenthal, director of the AJC Transatlantic Institute, writing from Brussels as “a worried European friend”. His concern is that America’s future leaders in our universities have been spoon-fed two theories born of Marxism, postmodernism and critical theory, which in combination divide society into hierarchies of oppressor and oppressed, a division that threatens America’s role as “the indispensable nation” in world affairs. To be the leader of the free world requires military and economic power but also “a sense of mission”. And right now, he says, “Americans are committing mass character suicide. If the country goes beyond acknowledging that racism and inequality persist and must be fought, and instead convinces itself that it’s inherently and irredeemably racist, it can’t possibly continue to believe that it has any right to lead.”
The other essay is from Andrew Michta, Dean of the College of International and Security Studies at the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies, who writes from Germany to say that what he believes is taking place is the resegregation of America, the endpoint of which will be the rejection of everything the civil rights movement stood for. And he goes further: “Democracy cannot survive in a society in which winners and losers are adjudicated arbitrarily according to criteria beyond individual control. Any society built around the principle of skin color will become a caste system in which accident, not merit, will allocate value benefit. Civil society will be buried once and for all.” And later, “America is faced with a stark binary choice–either we push back against the unrelenting assault of the neo-Marxist narrative, or we yield to the totalitarian impulse now in view in our politics”.
Who among our intellectual leaders are heeding and properly responding to these concerns? It’s a short list.