Western Universities: A Double Invasion

By Amir Taheri, GATESTONE    19 May 2024

The street’s way of doing politics, tagging slogans on the walls, distributing leaflets, burning tires and garbage dumpster, and setting flags and effigies of figures you don’t like on fire has replaced the traditional, admittedly tiresome, debates, discussions, essay writings, and what in the 1960s protests were called “teach-ins”. Pictured: Anti-Israel protesters in Paris on May 11, 2024. (Photo by Anna Kurth/AFP via Getty Images)

  • They introduce themselves as university students, young scholars who are supposedly training to become the nation’s political guides and mentors.
  • However, you soon found out that their understanding of political issues, including the current war in Gaza, is a reflection more of street politics than academic methods. In other words, the street, and its politique de la rue in French, have invaded the university or at least part of it that wears the label of “humanities”, a witches’ brew of once academic subjects corrupted by ideology.
  • The crisis in Western universities is further complicated by the advent of wokeism, a corrupted secular version of the seminarian’s sympathy for the innocent scapegoat, a sympathy extended to all real or imagined victims of injustice. While the seminary is chiefly interested in the text, faculty ought to be equally interested in the context. In many “humanities” departments in Western universities, however, the text comes from propagandist pamphlets written by polemicist professors, while the context is regarded as a mere diversion from the truth.
  • Shakespeare said it best: “Now confusion has made its masterpiece!”

If you visit Paris these days, you may run into solemn-looking youths distributing a tract that’s says: “Palestine is fighting for all of us!” or tagging this message on the walls: “Stop Genocide in Palestine!”

They introduce themselves as university students, young scholars who are supposedly training to become the nation’s political guides and mentors.

However, you soon found out that their understanding of political issues, including the current war in Gaza, is a reflection more of street politics than academic methods. In other words, the street, and its politique de la rue in French, have invaded the university or at least part of it that wears the label of “humanities”, a witches’ brew of once academic subjects corrupted by ideology.

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May 19, 2024 | 1 Comment »

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  1. Another invader is the theological seminary, which inspires the method.

    I was chased around a nearby restaurant by a foreign student at the Union Theological Seminary shouting, “Americans ought to be gassed” in a room full of Americans some years ago.