Lanterns: Our Universities are Devouring Themselves under Progressivism


Our Universities are Devouring Themselves under Progressivism

There is no secret that our school systems are subpar and that our children and young adults are not getting the education they need to take on everyday challenges they'll face.  Right now we are witnessing a very troubling development on college campuses around the country. Students are actively trying to remove professors and faculty, in some cases forcefully, who do not fall in-line with their social justice agenda. We have effectively seen the people leading revolutions on our campuses shift from radicalized faculty members to radicalized students in great numbers.

In the latest dust-up between college students and faculty, a large group of students arrived at the classroom door of Evergreen professor, Bret Weinstein, calling for his resignation.

What was his crime?

The students were reacting to a leaked email that Weinstein had sent to the faculty and staff of Evergreen regarding an annual “Day of Absence / Day of Presence” where traditionally black students and staff members absent themselves from campus as a sign of solidarity against inequality. The email was a response to a change in the tradition which called for the absence of white students and staff from campus “or else.”  Weinstein, who describes himself as “very progressive,” had been a supporter of the Day of Absence was very concerned about this change and wrote the email explaining:

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“There is a huge difference between a group or coalition deciding to voluntarily absent themselves from a shared space in order to highlight their vital and under-appreciated roles (the theme of the Douglas Turner Ward play Day of Absence, as well as the recent Women’s Day walkout), and a group or coalition encouraging another group to go away. The first is a forceful call to consciousness which is, of course, crippling to the logic of oppression. The second is a show of force, and an act of oppression in and of itself.”

The call for “Class Consciousness”


In his email, Weinstein articulated that the change moved the event from being productive to counterproductive. On the campus of Evergreen, it appeared that the social justice tactics are shifting from a passive public expression of solidarity to an active Maoist-style revolution. Calls for revolution on university campuses are nothing new to the modern day college experience. In 1964, Mario Savio delivered what is known as “The Machine” speech on the steps of Sproul Hall at the University of California Berkeley while fighting for the cause of “free speech.” The speech was in response to the university’s policy against fundraising and political activity after Salvio wanted to raise money for a Civil Rights organization called Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee but was denied permission.

The More Things Change, The More They Stay the Same


How the college revolution at Evergreen is different


The calls for white students not to attend Evergreen University during the Day of Absence are different from Mario Savio’s call for stopping the “machine” because it seeks to exclude a particular race of individuals from attending school. Savio’s broad effort was for the inclusion of black members of society. Weinstein is correct in his assessment that the shift from a voluntary call for consciousness is much different from a forceful call to consciousness. A forceful call to exclude anyone is a call to reject freedom.

How the college revolution is still the same


Mario Savio’s call to shut down “the machine” at the University of California Berkeley is similar to the efforts in Evergreen because they are both rooted in class consciousness.  Unfortunately, this is also rooted in Marxism. Savio’s position was that employees of UCB were being treated as raw materials instead of people and deserved the right to speak politically and raise money for political causes.

“The faculty are a bunch of employees, and we're the raw material! But we're a bunch of raw materials that don't mean to be—have any process upon us. Don't mean to be made into any product. Don't mean… Don't mean to end up being bought by some clients of the University, be they the government, be they industry, be they organized labor, be they anyone! We're human beings!”

This is the same plea that Weinstein is making at Evergreen. His plea is that he or other “whites” should not be seen as people who lack the proper skin color, and so are forced into a silent corner without the ability to freely speak. Weinstein’s point is that we need to be conscious of all classes, not just blacks, and seek equality for all.

Post Modern Progressive Society = The snake that is eating its tail


What we should be conscious of is that there are no monolithic structures of class. The problem that Weinstein and other Progressives are witnessing is a lack of agreement on what equality is. Some believe that proper equality is realized when all people, regardless of class delineation, are treated equally within any societal structure or within any institution.

Others believe that proper equality is realized when all people achieve the same outcome. This is the fundamental conflict that has plagued the viability of the notion of “class consciousness.”  How can you eliminate classes without defining them, to begin with?

Moreover, how can you determine when true equality is achieved?

The attempt by an individual or a society to awaken and be conscious of member class is akin to a snake eating its tail. Without properly defined axioms or truths that solidify how a class is defined or how it can become equal to another without the agreement among all members of the society, we could never achieve equality. As witnessed by the examples above, the faculty staff member shifts from the devourer to the one being devoured.

Violence is the nature of Progressivism


The metaphor of the snake devouring of the tail represents the fundamental problem of what the Progressive “class struggle” experiences. Progressives believe that after all classes are eliminated and equality is achieved, the “workers’ paradise” or utopia will be realized. This would work perfectly if equality could be properly defined and we could eliminate human beings or our nature from the equation. When the intensity of the class struggle reaches frustration after the masses involved believe they have not achieved proper social progress, they become violent.

That is what we are experiencing now.

In my book, Deus Ex Machina, I outline the gradual progression of Secular Humanism and even Marxist-Leninism in our schools. The progression has reached a critical stage, and if people do not realize that Progressivism leads to violence, the snake of the Progressive society will eventually devour itself. Should this continue, it will mean the end of civil society as we know it.


Written by Chris Pilie

Freedom Loving American

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