Smashing Stuff At Columbia

Columbia University is under siege, 1960s style, by violent “protesters” whose goals are, shall we say, mixed. From a brief news clip survey of the ongoing mess at Columbia’s Hamilton Hall, it appears that some of these “students” are merely hoping to win a Muslim holy war against Israel by screaming about it from the cozy campus of an elite American university. Others, as would easily have been predicted, are seizing on the current Middle East situation and the student body’s anti-Israel faction, as they would any other exploitable condition of confusion among ignorant young people, to pursue their more general and shall we say nostalgic aim of instigating a Marxist overthrow of the U.S. government.

Passing observations:

Since Columbia has, for more than a century, been one of the great sources and public disseminators of anti-American leftism, radical progressivism, and devious psychological manipulation of the American public for the purpose of undoing the constitutional republic and promoting collectivist totalitarianism, I suppose a proper response to the current scene might be, “What goes around comes around, Dr. Sachs.”

Watching the video footage of “protesters” smashing windows and damaging other property with impunity within the dignified, century-old corridors and rooms of Hamilton Hall, seemingly without a moment’s qualm or self-doubt at crashing through the fine craftsmanship and carefully maintained elegance of a nobler, more rational age, it is impossible not to feel one is observing a living metaphor for modern egalitarianism’s inevitable undoing. It is also impossible, viewing these images, not to be reminded of the “protesters” of January 6th, 2021, who performed very similar acts of disrespectful destruction upon another building representing the best traditions, past humanity, and highest aspirations of their formerly great nation.

I see that the “protesters,” granting themselves the right to set conditions and negotiate with the university they are disrupting and vandalizing, are demanding divestment from Israeli companies, the classic “wash our hands” attitude of self-righteous poseurs with neither the life experience nor the basic humanity to recognize the practical necessity and political desirability of tolerating disagreement and coexistence. And of course they are demanding immunity from punishment for themselves, in a typical and unsurprising assertion of their essential childishness: “We are smashing valuable and historically preserved glass and woodwork, occupying others’ private property by force, and using mob intimidation tactics to bully our elders and our teachers into placating, and surrendering to, our hostile disregard for the rule of law, for the principles of civilized discussion, and for the very meaning of the university as a locus of free thought and serious discussion detached from the moral indignation and irrational anger of the passion-driven many. But we wish to be allowed to get away with it without so much as a stern warning against future violence, on the grounds that, well, we are not really serious enough about our declared convictions to be willing to accept the painful consequences of our destructive behavior, the way mature adults who really cared about something higher than their own infantile little egos would be willing to do.”

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