Culture, Science & Faith

Buttercup Bolsheviks

"Revolutionaries" who need "safe spaces" is laughable, not scary.

Arnold Ahlert · Nov. 19, 2015

During Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution that enveloped Communist China from 1966-1976, university and high school students operating under the auspices of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) formed into paramilitary units known as the Red Guard. These students precipitated attacks on local party leaders, teachers, campus officials, intellectuals and other people whose traditional views were deemed insufficiently “revolutionary.” Ultimately they abetted their own demise because infighting over which sub-group was the purist in Maoist thought took its self-destructive toll. We are currently witnessing a similar chain of events occurring on America’s college campuses. In short, progressives are eating their own and goose-stepping their way towards oblivion.

It couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch, be it the social justice warriors at the University of Missouri, disturbed by insufficient obeisance to their racialist demands; the aggrieved buttercups at Yale, roiled by insufficient concern regarding politically incorrect Halloween costumes; Black Lives Matter radicals hurling racist epithets at white library students at Dartmouth; or the cowardly university officials and professors dismayed by the reality the monster they created has turned on them. Perhaps the latter group imagined themselves immune, due to their prodigious efforts to convince their impressionable but increasingly agitated charges that America was the root of all racist, sexist and genderist evil in the world. Perhaps they should have noticed the explosion in university administrative positions, populated by increasing numbers of “diversity” specialists, whose chief specialty was drumming up the discontent that justified their job titles.

Discontent that now makes the identical demands for increasing levels of ideological purity pursued by the Red Guards — one “microaggression,” “trigger warning” and “safe space” after another.

None of this should have been unexpected. Many members of the Baby Boom generation fancied themselves as cultural revolutionaries back in the ‘60s. Raised by Greatest Generation parents traumatized by the genuine evil of World War II, Boomers were a generation of Americans whose parents were determined to spare them from many of life’s unpleasantries. Thus they became a generation dominated by self-absorbed, spoiled brats, further egged on by a liberal-monopoly media that extolled their philosophical pronunciations such as “God is dead,” “do your own thing,” and “tune in, turn on and drop out” — when that same media weren’t busy lionizing the Boomers’ anti-Vietnam War agenda. That agenda also included turning college campuses upside down when similarly aggrieved legions of protesters weren’t busy calling returning combat veterans “baby killers.” Many Boomers still pat themselves on the back for America’s withdrawal from the Southeast Asian Peninsula — even as they conveniently ignore the Communist victory that created a million Boat People refugees, and precipitated the execution of three million Cambodians, Laotians and Vietnamese.

The Boomer generation doubled-down on their parents’ indulgence, helicoptering their children with even greater gusto. As a result, far too many of those children are convinced they are “special,” deserve a trophy just for showing up, and that the vicissitudes of life can be thoroughly eliminated with sufficient amounts of indignation, temper tantrums or threats of litigation. In other words, a Boomer generation rife with an inordinate number of petulant whiners created a subsequent generation determined to further purify the rabid egocentrism that brooks no challenges whatsoever to its worldview.

It will get worse before it gets better, but the cracks are readily apparent. A record number of 18-to-34-year-olds are living with their parents, a phenomenon the media largely attribute (ironically) to the burden of college debt, as well as a generational reticence towards marriage. Perhaps. Or perhaps a generation taught to believe talking the talk and walking the walk are interchangeable terms is suddenly discovering the real world will never be awed by a self-professed importance that too many younger Americans believe is a viable substitute for substance and character.

“Between 1948 and 1954, psychologists asked more than 10,000 adolescents whether they considered themselves to be a very important person,” writes author David Brooks in his best-selling book “The Road to Character.” He continued, “At that point, 12 percent said yes. The same question was revisited in 1989, and this time it wasn’t 12 percent who considered themselves very important, it was 80 percent of boys and 77 percent of girls.”

Twenty-six years ago there was no Facebook, YouTube — or selfie sticks.

Enjoy your time on campus, children. For many of you it will be the high point of your life, the very last time when your seemingly terminal adolescence will be so thoroughly accommodated. There are no safe spaces beyond the walls of your ivory towers, and chances are really good the continued pursuit of the righteous indignation that has become your generational calling card will be met with the derisiveness it truly merits. A generation so fearful of alternative viewpoints that it prefers suppression to debate, or one with the unmitigated gall to complain about “losing the spotlight” to the terror attack in Paris, is headed for a very rocky future. As for the rest of America, don’t buy into the ginned up media hysteria regarding the threat these protesters represent: “revolutionaries” who need “safe spaces” is a laughable concept, not a scary one.

“There are ultimately only two possible adjustments to life; one is to suit our lives to principles; the other is to suit principles to our lives,” wrote Roman Catholic Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen. “If we do not live as we think, we soon begin to think as we live. The method of adjusting moral principles to the way men live is just a perversion of the order of things.”

It is a perversion headed for the ash heap of history.

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