A new report published by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA) suggests that ideological intolerance on college campuses could have a profoundly negative effect on society.
In a new research essay titled “Campus Intolerance, Then & Now: The Influence of Marcusian Ideology,” Guenter Lewy, Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, argues that the modern campus culture of intolerance for conflicting viewpoints is not an isolated phenomenon, but is in fact derived from a dangerous historical source.
“Freedom of expression is threatened on today’s college campuses. Speakers who challenge what a vocal group considers right and just are too often disinvited or shouted down, creating an atmosphere of harassment and intimidation,” the paper begins. “At all too many campuses, speech codes, ‘safe spaces,’ rules against so-called ‘micro-aggressions,’ and ‘trigger warnings’ seek to protect students against ideas they deem offensive.”
According to Lewy, this shows that “history has repeated itself,” because “when today’s students identify speech as violence and feel they can meet it with coercion, they are echoing Herbert Marcuse,” a German immigrant and academic who played a key role in creating the “ideology of the New Left” that became prominent during the 1960s.
“While some aspects of the campus assault on free speech are new, the ideological assumptions used to justify this level of intolerance are not,” Lewy contends. “Their philosophical roots can be traced back to similar waves of unrest during the 1960s that emerged in the course of protests against the Vietnam War.”
The report further suggests that during recent waves of social unrest on college campuses, “Marcuse’s defense of revolutionary violence has found new spokespeople.”
Specifically, the scholar highlights a connection between Marcuse’s ideology and the violent tactics utilized by Anti-fascist (Antifa) organizations that have caused thousands of dollars in property damage all around the nation.
Read the rest at: 60”s radical