Here is a gentle tip for the nominal adults nominally in charge of American campuses: if your students disrupt a scheduled event, or storm the stage of a school function, or take a classroom hostage (particularly on an exam day!), do not give in to them. Instead, have security escort them out immediately. If they resist, arrest them. If they persist, expel them.When the house organ of the Democrat-Academic-Entertainment Complex runs a lament by a university president mugged by reality, in this case Oregon's Michael Schill, "The Misguided Student Crusade Against ‘Fascism’."
Putting one’s foot down will not be easy or pleasant. But it is necessary—unless you wish to surrender your campuses and careers to mindless, fanatical zealots.
Fundamentally, fascism is about the smothering of dissent. Every university in the country has history classes that dig into fascist political movements and examine them along very clear-eyed lines. Fascist regimes rose to power by attacking free speech, threatening violence against those who opposed them, and using fear and the threat of retaliation to intimidate dissenters.Perhaps Mr Schill is not familiar with Critique of Pure Tolerance, the diversity boondoggle's Mein Kampf, or with the origins of no-platforming in the Sixties practice of "verbal terrorism" (otherwise known as shouting down speakers taking unpopular positions). What the student crusaders were doing is the practice of liberating tolerance, being directed against university administrators whose defense of the protection of dissent becomes the continued protection of reactionaries with truly fascist ideas.
By contrast, American academia is dedicated to rational discourse, shared governance and the protection of dissent. Historically, fascists sought to silence, imprison and even kill university professors and other intellectuals who resisted authoritarian rule. So the accusation that American universities somehow shelter or promote fascism is odd and severely misguided.
Undoubtedly, the term “fascism” has an effective anti-authoritarian ring to it, so perhaps that is why it is thrown around so much these days. But from what I can tell, much of what students are protesting, both at the University of Oregon and elsewhere, is the expression of viewpoints or ideologies that offend them and make them feel marginalized. They are fed up with what they see as a blanket protection of free speech that, at its extreme, permits the expression of views by neo-Nazis and white supremacists. I am opposed to all these groups stand for, but offensive speech can never be the sole criterion for shutting down a speaker.Actually, liberating tolerance, or progressive intolerance, makes suppression of reactionary speech the sole, and most important, criterion for shouting down a speaker. In time, though, the zealots begin to turn on each other ("sectarianism" being perhaps the worst thought-crime in much of the intellectual left) and thus do we get some sort of hierarchy of oppression.
Until then, though, the zealots get free rein to mau-mau the bourgeois and stick it to the man.