The Radicalized University = A Radicalized Nation

A silent campus does not mean a less radicalized campus. The radicalization takes place in the classroom and the dorms. In the 1960s campus turmoil was taken to the streets. Today, the radicalization process is taken to our nation's corporations, universities, courts, and political parties. Our nation is being radicalized from the inside out.

Our nation's colleges and universities do not reflect the values of the general population. While a majority in American is trying to throw off the last remnants of liberalism, the college establishment "has become the last refuge for the defeated protestors of the Vietnam era. And where these academic holdouts from the Sixties could not exercise their political will over the rest of the country, they are attempting today to impose it on the college student."[1] What was true in 1984 is even truer today. You can still find remains of the suicidal worldview of the counter culture on a number of college campuses.

The early years of the decade [1980s] found many students personally supporting such issues as the nuclear freeze (which won at Princeton by almost two to one), but only a few involving themselves in protest. . . . By the mid-1980s protests began to mount in number and to attract more undergraduates. Brown students voted a request to the university to stock suicide pills in the case of nuclear war. A number of Brown students attempted to put recruiters from the CIA under citizen's arrest.[2]

At the moment, it does not seem as if the tumultuous decade of the 1960s is about to return to campus. My concern is what students are getting in the classroom.

Though the university has always fought with the surrounding society, modern student movements are vastly different from the medieval conflicts. During the Middle Ages, the university fought for its own privileges and rights. In the modern era, student movements are genuinely revolutionary. They do not simply seek greater freedom for the university, but actually strive to change society in fundamental ways.

Sociologist Lewis Feuer has isolated some of the common elements of all modern student movements. There is, for example, disenchantment with the "establishment," the older leaders of the university and of society in general. The modern radical student sees himself as a member of an elite class that will change the society for the better. Student radicals think their elders have failed and seek to erect the rule of the young. Modern student movements always seek the support of the people, the working classes, and the poor. The mostly middle class students hate themselves and their society, and seek to free themselves from guilt by self-sacrifice, often literally committing suicide.[3]

The radicalism of the 1960s was a major turning point in American education. The period revolutionized the lifestyle of students, and even influenced American politics. The effect on the university's sense of purpose was profound and entirely negative. Allan Bloom has written,

About the sixties it is fashionable to say that although there were indeed excesses, many good things resulted. But, so far as universities are concerned, I know of nothing positive coming from that period; it was an unmitigated disaster for them.[4]

Christianity provides intellectually viable answers that enable students to develop a true, unified, and consistent world and life view. Long-term, Christianity alone protects against the radicalism of the Left. Unfortunately, too many Christians capitulate to the belief that neutrality and common ground are the best intellectual policies in dealing with modern thought and its cultural consequences. Christians discard their faith in order to argue for their faith. Do they thing rationalists discard reason in order to argue for reason? Cornelius Van Til wrote, “It is clear that they will either stand upon the foundation of a sovereign God and his providential revelatory word or they will stand on air.”[5] Too many Christians stand on air and wonder why they are losing the intellectual, moral, and cultural argument.


Notes:
  1. Benjamin Hart, Poisoned Ivy (Briarcliff Manor, NY: Stein and Day, 1984), 20. []
  2. Helen Lefkowitz Horowitz, Campus Life: Undergraduate Cultures from the End of the Eighteenth Century to the Present (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1987), 282. []
  3. Lewis Feuer, The Conflict of Generations: The Character and Significance of Student Movements (New York: Basic Books, 1969), chap. 1. []
  4. Allan Bloom, The Closing of the American Mind (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1987), 320. []
  5. Cornelius Van Til, The Doctrine of Scripture, In Defense of the Faith, vol. 1, (Nutley, New Jersey: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing, 1967), 2. []

About Gary DeMar
Gary is a graduate of Western Michigan University (1973) and earned his M.Div. at Reformed Theological Seminary in 1979. He is the author of countless essays, news articles, and more than 27 book titles.
  • jkdriss

    Mr. Demar, you hit it dead on sir. I have experienced first hand what you speak of and post about it quite regularly. Students literally are being taught radicalism in the university today as they are being taught that they are social and cultural change agents. Even people in the medical fields are being spoon fed this communist propaganda. Students haven't a clue. I have witnessed in the past 5 years of education( I am presently pursuing a masters degree) an all out attempt to silence the main stream culture by labeling white people as privileged and automatically a part of the "oppressive class" which keeps minorities down. I have witnessed an all out attempt to label those who question welfare fraud as judgmental and in-compassionate. I have witnessed teacher after teacher suggest that racism plays a role in people who did not vote for Obama, I have listened to teachers make indirect comments about Christianity. I have seen an obvious attempt to legitimize homosexuality by referring to people in traditional marriages and families as being privileged and oppressive. I have seen the excessive use of liberally biased films in order to sway the opinion of the unsuspecting masses. I have seen the use of psychological techniques such as the delphi technique to pinpoint and isolate dissenters from group think. Finally I know first hand that people are being educated in the radical ways of Saul Alinski without being told the truth about what he believed while at the same time people in college couldn't answer the first question about the constitution without referring to it as a document written by racist white men. Thank you for your efforts in bringing this to light. Things in our country will not change until this does.

  • hongryhawg

    If ever I doubt my faith, I need only look at the liberals to see Satan hard at work. If there is a Satan, there is a God.

    • Mudpuppy

      Liberals AND Muslims are products of Satan. Don't forget, Satan came to Mohammad disguised as an Archangel while he was in a drunken stupor after another "session" with his camels and goats. (Maybe I'm exaggerating about the camels and goats.....well, maybe not).

  • dondh

    Radical or not, if the RADICAL muslims aren't stopped NOW, we are in for a terrible life! Do you realize how many muslims are now living in the USA? And they are increasing, just as the radical objective is predicting, that is to convert everybody to islam, by force if necessary just as Muhammed did back in the 500's. He started a jihad towards Europe to conquer those countries killing everybody who refused to convert to this religion. But thanks to the crusades, he was stopped. THEY MUST BE STOPPED! I lived in Turkey for 5 years and Turkey is not like the radicals muslims, at least at present and pray they never will become radicalized. They are a Republic, more democratic, not like our democratic party, than monocratic or a theocracy mostly like what you see in Iran, Saudia Arabia, Syria, Indonesia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Palestine, etc. Iraq is trying to be more like Turkey and not as they were under that criminal Saddam Hussein or what we see in Iran with that radical, Ahmadinejad. I pray that the Turks will keep their reformer in Kemal Mustafa Ataturk, their reformer who changed from the old ways to a more modern way of life, always before them! He was a great reformer for Turkey and a great man!

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_AOJIX2Y2OQTJJN3Y6U2PMXQJNI fed up taxpayer

      I am a product of a solid Christian education before I came to America 27 years ago.The radicalism I was taught was to "live" our religion as we carry out our profession,not just mouthing off the liturgy on Sunday Mass serving Christ in the process.I am sorry that I confused political correctness thumping over my religion.There are a lot of isms out there,but in my old age I realized that my christian faith is my steadfast guiding light.Now I am proud to stand up for my Christian faith and my belief in the democratic America.I do my part by not backing off in any discussion attacking my faith.Political Correctness only up to a reasonable point.

      • RoryT

        Amen. Me too.

      • dondh

        Not sure i understand where you are coming from, but I agree with your Christian stance as I have been a Christian since 1943 and have not strayed from it even while in Turkey. But what I'm saying is we need to be aware of what is happening around the world with regards to our Christian and Constitutional freedoms. I do believe the entire situation is in the Lords hands, but he expects us to rely on him and do as he so directs. There again, I am referring to those radical muslims that are causing problems around the world. I still have many Turkish friends who are peaceful muslims and do not agree with what those radical terriorists.

  • Mudpuppy

    Spot on Mr DeMar. I was a child in the 1960's and I remember all the commotion. I saw those nuclear freeze morons when I was stationed at Offutt AFB (south of Omaha) in the early 1980's. What fools. Loud, obnoxious and hate-filled.

    Funny story: When I was stationed in Japan in the early 1990's, we would see the occasional protest during the Gulf War. Unlike the undisciplined filthy mobs we have in America, the Japanese would either march past the base or a handful would come up to the gate and sing (off-key) songs such as Give Peace a Chance. They were relatively well dressed and polite. They would show up at precisely 9 PM and depart at precisely 10 PM. What a difference. Still morons, though. But at least the girls were cute, unlike a majority of those here. It's like those Femen babes in the Ukraine. Compare them to the "Breasts, not Bombs" beasts we have to put up with. I'll take Femen anytime.

    I've said for years that tenure needs to be done away with. No one has the right to a permanent job, especially at my expense. Then they might actually have to work for a living. Get rid of (or greatly curtail) sabbaticals. They are noting more than taxpayer funded vacations. They want to go study some obscure fly somewhere, let them pay for it themselves. Talk about elitists.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_BFEWWC44JYOFZ4K7MKFD4RNX4E Sam

    The Christian-Judeo culture has been the light of the world. Our Constitution has been a miracle to our civilization. The reason is because this culture holds the sanctity of life higher than any other. When more people begin to respect God and His Word, we will see a change for the better.

    • Spikeygrrl

      Sam, it's entirely possible to revere the Judeo-Christian CULTURE of the West without resort to childlike belief in supernatural "gods" and "devils." In terms of personal conduct, principled atheists have much more in common with sincere religionists than either of these have in common with today's morally desensitized opportunists (who, offensively, OFTEN profess a mainstream faith but do not presently, never have, and never have intended to, "walk the walk").