|Back to Index|
My memo on political hatreds has drawn wide support. John Wonder describes their development in universities. He writes:
I have my own interpretation of the undeniable political hatreds of which you speak. Its latest, most virulent form, I believe is an outgrowth of the 60's and the 70's. I stood aghast at the complacency of university administrators in general before the subversive activities of the time.The students seemed to think that illicit activities and destruction of property was all innocent fun and freedom of expression, and the administrations didn't dare crack down on it. There was no intellectual content to the demonstrations; how indeed could there be? The students didn't really know anything --about life, about death, about danger, or anything. Of course they were scared to death that they might have to go to Viet Nam; who wouldnt be? But to describe it some kind of great noble principle was so intellectually dishonest as to be sickening.
What is worse, however, is that the students in general were too callow to think up the argumentation on their own. I think they were egged on by older faculty members, perhaps many of whom resented the adulation bestowed upon WWII veterans.
My comment: When I came to this country in 1937, student violence was restricted largely to Berkeley. I foretold at the time that it would become a worldwide phenomenon. During the period John describes, I was visiting a troubled university and chatting with a faculty member. The leader of the student rioters came into the office and asked him: "What do we do now?" However, he represented only a minority of the faculty.
Administrations were frightened of the students, not of the faculty. If they were compelled to call the police, the cry went up "Pigs off campus!" A university in which rational discourse is not possible ceases to be a university.
Ronald Hilton - 06/20/99