|Eckhart Hall at University of Chicago|
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Got civilized standards? Got decency?
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“Just what is it that academics have to fear if they stand up for common decency, instead of letting campus barbarians run amok? At a prestigious college like Swarthmore, every student who trampled on other people's rights could be expelled and there would be plenty of replacement students available to take their places. Although colleges and universities across the country have been giving in to storm trooper tactics ever since the nationwide campus disruptions of the 1960s, not all have. Back in the 1960s, the University of Chicago was a rare exception.
As Professor George J. Stigler, a Nobel Prize winning economist, put it in his memoirs, "our faculty united behind the expulsion of a large number of young barbarians."
The sky did not fall. There was no bloodbath. The University of Chicago was in fact spared some of the worst nonsense that more compliant institutions were permanently saddled with in the years that followed, as a result of their failure of nerve in the 1960s.
The cost of resistance to the campus barbarians may not have been the only factor. Resistance requires a sense that there is something worth defending. But decades of dumbed-down education have produced people with no sense of the importance of a moral framework within which freedom and civil discourse can flourish.
Without a moral framework, there is nothing left but immediate self-indulgence by some and the path of least resistance by others. Neither can sustain a free society. Disruptive activists indulge their egos in the name of idealism and others cave rather than fight.
It's not just academics who won't defend decency. Trustees could fire college presidents who cave in to storm trooper tactics. Donors could stop donating to institutions that have sold out their principles to appease the campus barbarians. But when nobody is willing to defend civilized standards, the barbarians win.”
— Thomas Sowell, May 21, 2013 (townhall.com)
Another dose of clarity from one of America's brightest sources.
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