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March 27, 2015

Watcher's Council Results

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The Council has spoken, the votes have been cast, and the results are in for this week's Watcher's Council match up.

"Too much of what is called 'education' is little more than an expensive isolation from reality." - Thomas Sowell

"Academia is to knowledge what prostitution is to love; close enough on the surface but, to the nonsucker, not exactly the same thing." - Nassim Nicholas Taleb

“Without education, we are in a horrible and deadly danger of taking educated people seriously.” - GK Chesterson


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This week's winning essay,Bookworm Room'sWhen it comes to campus fascism, revolutions always eat their own is a tour de force on how radicalism is taking 0ver America's college campuses. Here's a slice:
One of the truisms I grew up hearing is that “revolutions always eat their own.” I have understood this to mean that, in any revolutionary movement, the second generation, having been marinated longer in the revolutionary brine, is more extreme than the first generation and invariably purges that first generation. Both the French and the Russian revolutions prove this point.

We in America have had a revolution too. It’s been a very slow-moving revolution of the kind that the British used to call a Fabian Revolution. It involves advancing revolutionary goals, not through violence, but through slow, reformist means. As Ferguson shows, the violence then comes after the revolution. Indeed, Ferguson is one of the best manifestations of that revolution.

The other obvious manifestation is the American college campus. On campuses throughout America, a Nanny state fascism is the norm. That didn’t happen overnight. It happened through Fabian gradualism, with hard-Left revolutionary principles being slowly introduced in the classrooms (increasingly open, aggressive Marxist teaching), in the administrative buildings (read Heather MacDonald’s Multiculti U for the best discussion about the hard Left Fabianism in college administration), and in the dorms (which had a slow Progression away from same-sex dorms, same-sex floors, same-sex bathrooms, and same-sex rooms, which a completely unsurprisingly commensurate uptick in rape claims).

One of the biggest slow-mo revolutions in academia was the whole concept of trigger warnings. When the idea got started, nobody said that trigger warnings were going to be censorship. Instead, they were sold as good manners and sensitivity. It’s kind and polite to warn people who might have delicate sensibilities that you’re going to talk about something shocking, such as mass murder, or blood, or something else most people agree is disgusting or revolting. It turned out, though, that at the average college campus an amazing number of kids have heightened sensibilities. More interestingly, it also happened that, thanks to the Leftism in which America’s young have been pickled since preschool, the things that they just can’t bear to hear without horrific mental suffering are facts and ideas that run counter to their Leftist ideology.

One of the biggest slow-mo revolutions in academia was the whole concept of trigger warnings. When the idea got started, nobody said that trigger warnings were going to be censorship. Instead, they were sold as good manners and sensitivity. It’s kind and polite to warn people who might have delicate sensibilities that you’re going to talk about something shocking, such as mass murder, or blood, or something else most people agree is disgusting or revolting. It turned out, though, that at the average college campus an amazing number of kids have heightened sensibilities. More interestingly, it also happened that, thanks to the Leftism in which America’s young have been pickled since preschool, the things that they just can’t bear to hear without horrific mental suffering are facts and ideas that run counter to their Leftist ideology.

Over the last few months, however, something interesting has happened: The Fabian revolution’s Founders are getting disgusted with their progeny’s extremism. It began when Jonathan Chait questioned the stifling effects of the new orthodoxy. In his article challenging the orthodoxy, he still oozed contempt for conservatives having a say in things, but he was definitely perturbed by modern young people’s inability to tolerate any opposing opinions, ideas, or facts. I wonder if Chait was surprised by the subsequent Leftist demand that he be silenced.

The next salvo from old revolutionaries against new happened when Laura Kipnes wrote about the sexual paranoia that is the norm in academia. Kipnes too was excoriated. Michelle Goldberg, writing at the hard-Left Nation, describes the attack on Kipnes and, as part of the same article, also suggests that the revolution has gone too far.

One week later, Judith Shulevitz got an opinion piece published in the New York Times entitled “In College and Hiding From Scary Ideas.” She too is shocked to see that sensitivity has morphed into censorship. (Jonah Goldberg, author of the informative and prescient Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Change, would not have been shocked at all. He explained in his book how the next revolution was being ushered in, not with guns, but with stifling nanny statism.)

I certainly appreciate the effort these old revolutionaries are making to stem the flood waters they first let loose. I doubt they’ll be successful, though. I see them as this revolution’s Robespierres. He, of course, ended up on the same guillotine to which he had so mercilessly consigned others.

More at the link.

In our non-Council category, the winner was James Simpson with a superb article in Accuracy in Media, Obama Accused of Obstructing Battle against Boko Haram to Promote Axelrod’s Nigerian Muslim Client submitted by Nice Deb .

Apparently Israel's election isn't the only one this president is trying to subvert. Read about his deliberate schemes to do his best to oust another friend of the West in Nigeria and replace him with a Muslim with ties to Islamists, including Boko Haram.

Here are this week’s full results.Only Ask Marion was unable to vote this week, but was not subject to the normal 2/3 penalty for not voting :


Council Winners




Non-Council Winners


See you next week!

Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum. and every  Tuesday morning, when we reveal the weeks' nominees for Weasel of the Week!

And remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council, and the results are posted on Friday morning.

It’s a weekly magazine of some of the best stuff written in the blogosphere, and you won’t want to miss it...or any of the other fantabulous Watcher's Council content.

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