Friday, January 14, 2005

A Conservative Student Rebellion?

The long, in-depth article linked to below chronicles the spread of conservatism among students at today's universities—long the impenetrable fiefdom of the far left. The swing to the right is largely a result of the glaring failure of leftist dogmas to conform to reality, combined with a student rebellion against the petty authoritarianism of leftist professors.

The bad news: conservatism does not offer any fundamental alternative, as seen in the conservatives students' immersion in popular culture and the young conservatives whose views are reflected by the nihilist "politically incorrect" satire of the vulgar television show "South Park." (Such "South Park Conservatives" are profiled in this piece and in a forthcoming book by the same author.)

"Right on Campus," Brian C. Anderson, OpinionJournal, 1/14/05

"Suddenly, on 9/11, this generation discovered that 'there are enemies and they wanted to kill Americans in large numbers, and that a good portion of what they'd been taught was drizzly pap.' Yet a deeper reason for the rightward shift, which began well before 9/11, is the left's broader intellectual and political failure. American college kids grew up in an era that witnessed both communism's fall and the unchained US economy's breathtaking productivity surge. They've seen that anyone willing to work hard—regardless of race or sex—can thrive in such an opportunity-rich system. 'I'm only 20, so I don't remember segregation or the oppression of women—in fact, my mother had a very successful career since I was a kid,' one student observed in an online discussion. 'I look around and don't see any discrimination against minorities or women.' Left-wing charges of US economic injustice sound like so much BS to many kids today. The destructive effects of 'just do it' values on the family are equally evident to many undergrads, who have painfully felt those effects themselves or watched them rip up the homes of their friends. They turn to family values with the enthusiasm of converts."