Freedom is all the rage on college campuses these days.
That is, freedom from freedom.
Freedom from having the name Donald Trump chalked on a walkway at Emory University. Freedom from Milos Yiannopoulos appearing on college campuses and poking holes in the politically correct victim bubbles that have been created as “safe spaces” to the detriment of the very dialogue that not so long ago, was demanded by the left. Freedom from the indignity of learning about the very Western Civilization that is responsible for the classical liberal notion that individual freedom is to be exalted rather than feared, as recently happened at Stanford University.
Stanford students rejected via referendum a Western Civilization course requirement by a six to one margin, opting to exist in a world devoid of basic knowledge of the underlying philosophies that brought about the Enlightenment, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the very constructs of individual liberty versus the totalitarian-based political philosophy that rights are whatever the state chooses to allow.
On the last point, anyone interested in understanding the fall of liberty in the West and the beginning of a new dark age of anti-intellectualism needs to understand that even proponents of including a Western Civilization requirement at Stanford only did so under the guise of understanding the evils of the world around them arguing in the petition that prompted the vote, “The West’s history of colonization and racial oppression is also essential to understanding why the events at Yale and Mizzou arose in the first place.”
On today’s college campus, classical liberalism is viewed as oppression because it allows, in fact demands, that precepts be examined and subjected to critical thought. Critical thought itself is viewed as oppressive because it leads to objective observations. Objective and quantifiable observations are dangerous because truth is nothing more than how each person feels at the moment, and to challenge those feelings is intolerant. And intolerance of mush-minded relativism is a crime because it offends the feelings of some sub-class of people who have been marginalized in the past.
There is no rational discussion with the new anti-intellectual of the left, because they reject rationality on the altar of tolerance and fairness.
So, when you wonder why the world seems to have gone crazy, understand that it has. And it is our fault, because we turned our education system over to those who hate the concept of individual liberty. In just two generations, the bitter fruit of that decision is being harvested as the concept of freedom has been transformed from a God-given protection against government abuse of power and coercion to a demand for government protection against normal political dialogue.
This is how California Attorney General Kamala Harris and her many defenders can justify using the power of the state to go after a filmmaker who had the audacity to expose Planned Parenthood’s baby body parts selling business.
It is how seventeen Democrat state Attorneys General can announce with straight faces that they are launching investigations into organizations like Competitive Enterprise Institute which has provided intellectual arguments against their climate change anti-capitalist transformation agenda.
In the brave new world, the Internal Revenue Service is justified in attacking those who espouse the old outdated ideas of liberty as it is the government’s right to quash those who oppose the modern precept that the public must be protected from these thoughts.
The new age of “freedom” is the death of America and an ushering in of a new dark age. After all, how can future leaders fight against government suppression of individual liberty, when they don’t even know what the “Enlightenment” and the centuries-long struggle for liberty was all about, and as a result accept the underlying premises of those who seek to enslave them.
The freedom from freedom is what is destroying our culture, and if it is not exposed, will surely destroy our country.
Rick Manning is the President of Americans for Limited Government.