As printed in the Wall Street Journal, an excerpt from Hillsdale College President Larry Arnn’s remarks at the Atlanta National Leadership Seminar, February 15:
Why would a bunch of 19-year olds rage and take over college campuses? The answer is they have been taught to do that in the classroom where they are taught….that their consciousness is shaped by time and circumstance….If what you see when you see people now is a history of color and race and oppression and suppression and all of that, all of a sudden all of humanity is not your brother and sister anymore. Now everyone is in a group. And the group conflict and the arrangement of the group is the key. And the avant-garde in the university–they think that they have understood that the best. And so the university must be remade just to represent the groups.
And I’ll just mention one point about education. Every serious achievement in education involves forgetting oneself.
As I first read this quote, it occurred to me that it’s worth thinking about where all of this began and lately several people have written about the influence of Herbert Marcuse, a German-American philosopher and Marxist. He wrote an essay entitled “Repressive Intolerance” in 1965 which became the “bible” of campus radicalism (literally for the Weather Underground) and, according to David French in National Review, still afflicts the body politic of the radical left like a recurring cancer. What Marcuse said, says French, is basically this: there is no virtue in what the mainstream culture defines as “tolerance” if that tolerance will preserve the status quo. A central theme then arises that toleration of free speech is empty if there is intolerance of revolutionary action. Needless to say, the Marcusian movement has plenty of blood on its hands. Ideas have consequences.
Jim, your reference to Dr. Arnn and Hillsdale reminded me that he will be in Georgetown on May 27 to participate in a graduation ceremony of the graduating class of Founder Classical Acadment in Leander, Texas.
The school is an offshoot of the Barney Charter School Initiative, a project of Hillsdale College devoted to the education of young Americans. Through this initiative, the College supports the launch of K-12 charter schools. These schools will train the minds and improve the hearts of young people through a rigorous, classical education in the liberal arts and sciences, with instruction in the principles of moral character and civic virtue.
The mission of Founders Classical Academy in Leander is to train the minds and improve the hearts of young men and women through a rigorous, classical education in the liberal arts and sciences, with instruction in good character and civic virtue. It is a high calling, and a difficult one, but is a calling that brings great rewards for those who strive.
The school is tuition free and is K-12 — I suspect that Hillsdale has chartered or affiliated with someone in Houston with like goals and aspirations.
Anyway, if you guys are in the neighborhood on the 27th and are interested in joining Diane and me at the graduation ceremony, Dr. Arnn will be there for this event. Steve T
Reg Brockwell says
My wife and I will be there at the graduation ceremony. Hope to see you. Reg Brockwell
James Windham says
Reg – I am pretty close with Hillsdale, but not with this Barney Charter program. I will look into it.
James Windham says
Thanks for the update. I will look into that in more detail.
Ann McCulloch says
Helpful, as always, Jim!