COLLEGE MADNESS

LEFTIST MADNESS AT EVERGREEN STATE COLLEGE 

The student antics at the Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington have recently garnered some national media attention – but not nearly enough.  Tucker Carlson interviewed progressive biology professor Bret Weinstein who had the moral dexterity to show up to teach his own class as contracted by the college in spite of the fact that students had decided to impose on the campus an anti-white imperialism day.  The point of the student protest was that any white person who came to the college on that particular day was demonstrating that he/she was not in alliance with their anti-racist crusade.  Blaming Trump’s election, such a proposal was a reversal of a long standing practice at the college where students gave themselves a day of absence to protest against racism.

Weinstein, who is Jewish, was alarmed by such demands.  In a lengthy interview he pointed out his hackles were raised by such demands that seemed to have an echo of fascism from yesteryear as he characterized the situation on campus as a witch hunt.  Before showing up to his scheduled class, Weinstein wrote a very careful and gracious letter explaining how ill-advised such a proposal was to the student(s) who were organizing the anti-white crusade.  Rather than listen to Weinstein’s wisdom, a mob of students confronted him when he arrived to teach his class.  Quickly spiraling out of control, students charged him with racism and demanded his resignation with many expletives.  Later, the protest erupted into campus anarchy as a student mob seized the library that consumed the Memorial Day weekend.  Yet the college president, George Bridges, told the police to stand down.  While Bridges has not yet fired Weinstein as demanded by the students, he did congratulate their courage and that he was very appreciative of their activism.

Much more disturbing, it appears that Bridges is actually on the side of the students.  Outside of firing Weinstein, Bridges has essentially capitulated.  Weinstein’s safety on campus is still a major concern.     His wife, who also teaches on campus, has also been threatened.  It appears the president’s ploy is to allow the circumstances to become so unbearable that it will be unnecessary to fire Weinstein as it will be easier for him to simply give up and leave on his own.  While Weinstein has received many positive e-mails supporting him privately, fellow colleagues at Evergreen have been virtually silent on the crisis.  So far, only Fox News has been willing to expose the crisis on national TV news.

Evergreeners are called “the Fighting Geoducks.”  Geoducks are clams.  Evergreen education is an anti-traditional college that prides itself in its anti-capitalism, socialism, radical environmentalism, postmodernism, and Marxism with a special emphasis upon indigenous values that converts the old American melting pot ideal into a subversive form of racist multi-tribalism under the guise of progressive multiculturalism.

Evergreen professors do not grade students, but they do give them lengthy teacher evaluations.  The students are also required to write their own evaluations of themselves as well.  While everyone pretty much passes under such lax standards, one does have the freedom to put in as much work as he or she wishes.  Most coast through the college.  Tests are rare.  Yet Evergreen students do a tremendous amount of reading and writing that must also be collectively articulated and discussed with the professor and other students in what they call seminars.

Evergreen education is based on holism.  All credits are holistically integrated into one course.  For example, as an Evergreen graduate with a Bachelor of Arts (1985-89), I took a 32 credit course my freshman year entitled “Political Ecology” that was two quarters long.  While it was largely a nonstop attack on Christianity and Capitalism for helping precipitate the ecological crisis of modern times with their unnatural ways, all of the credits were divided between Ecological Studies, Agricultural Studies, Native American studies, Geography, Evolutionary Biology, and Creative Writing among other credits.  In the spring I took a course called “Thinking Straight” (16 credits) that consisted of credits in Philosophy, English, Creative Writing, and Logic.  My favorite course at Evergreen was “The Classical World” that lasted my entire sophomore year (48 credits).  We began with the early Greeks in the fall and ended with early Christianity in the spring reading through much of St. Augustine’s City of God.

My junior year was given over to “Political Economy” (32 credits) in the fall and winter, followed up by Race, Class, and Gender (16 credits) in the spring.  Such a year presaged many of the political convulsions that are now rocking America with no small thanks to the Obama administration – but all of which is still rooted in the hippy radicalism of the 60’s, not to mention all of the social upheavals in Europe dating back to the 1800’s that was largely a very German affair.  The content of these particular courses was loaded with a blending of Socialism, Marxism, Fascism, and Postmodernism taught by true believers.

While one of the professors seemed to enjoy his popularity with female students, another was actively involved in fomenting lunatic student protests against the college administration.  One particular memory stands out in sharp relief that is very pertinent to the whole crisis today now on campus.  At lunchtime on one very beautiful spring day – while watching the student protest proceed – one very wise Native American student said something along these lines which I have never forgotten, “You know, we can all try to do good things to help bring about a better world/life by protesting the unfair and evil things we see around us, but the problem with all this is that people like that professor over there will be running things.”

This is precisely the crossroads that Evergreen has arrived at now, only worse as the more fascist elements of liberalism so-called are now dominating the school.  Could this not be a potential wake up call for the entire Left as the radicals are poised to eat up their own?  Much of the history of Marxism and Socialism is riddled with tragic outcomes that are always ignored by its proponents until it is too late.  My own days at Evergreen were a precursor to all that has transpired under Obama.  What about now?

My final year at Evergreen I took 32 credits of “Management in the Public Interest” that essentially taught students how to become an effective bureaucrat in the political economy of the modern world.  Rather than finish this course (48 credits all year), I switched to take Liberation Theology (16 credits) in the spring as I had just decided that I wanted to go to seminary for postgraduate studies.  Popular in Latin and South America, Liberation Theology is a more spiritual blending of Marxism, Socialism and/or Fascism with Christianity that was very consistent with much of my previous education at Evergreen.

Last but not least, it was Rockefeller Republican Dan Evans who was one of the primary founders of the Evergreen State College.  Without his political will as the Governor of the State of Washington for 12 years (1965-1977), the Evergreen State College would not exist.  The very library that was taken over by the students is named after him.

Copyright June 2017 by R. Mark Musser on The American Thinker.

Permission is herewith given to copy and distribute by electronic or physical means as long as it is not sold – the copyright notice is included and credits are given to the author.


THE SEMI-FASCIST “HUMAN CONIDTION” OF EVERGREEN STATE COLLEGE

One of the mainstay courses at the Evergreen State College, a small liberal arts university in Washington State that has recently captured the attention of the nation with its fascist and/or racist antics, is an all year course entitled “The Human Condition.”  This 36 credit course has its inspiration from a book written by Hannah Arendt (1906-75) of the same name.  Arendt was an assimilated German Jewish student in the Weimar Republic before the rise of National Socialism.  In the 1930’s she was forced to move around Europe before finally leaving for America in 1941 as World War II initially exploded in Germany’s favor.  Considered one of the most important social theorists of the 20th century, much of Arendt’s worldview was absorbed from German existentialism that was presaged by Immanuel Kant (1724-1804), but essentially rooted in the writings of Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860), Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900), Martin Heidegger (1889-1976), and Karl Jaspers (1883-1969). 

While Kant himself often blew a gasket when he started to talk about Jews in his lectures, both Schopenhauer and Nietzsche were proto Nazis of sorts.  Schopenhauer and Nietzsche were the Fuhrer’s favorite philosophers.  The Nazi cult of the “Triumph of the Will” was extolled in honor of these two philosophers.  Heidegger himself was an actual Nazi who never repented of his fascist activities during the 1930’s.  In fact, Heidegger positioned himself to become the interpreter of Nietzsche for National Socialist consumption that continued until late in the war.  More telling, Heidegger was a vehment Anti-Semite.  Jaspers was initially naïve of the true face of National Socialism in the early 1930’s, but soon got educated. He eventually lost his professorship in 1937 due to a fascist gauntlet that enveloped him.  He was married to a Jew.

While there is no small disagreement among scholars over how subjective Kant’s philosophy actually was relative to the question of whether objective truth was humanly attainable this side of the grave, it cannot be denied that many German thinkers after him immersed themselves in subjectivist philosophies of what today are otherwise known as  Romanticism and Existentialism.  Both Romanticism and Existentialism highlighted a romance with nature together with an emphasis that esteemed earthly existence over the human mind and/or the Judeo-Christian worldview that described a heavenly realm far above the natural world.  Both Romanticism and Existentialism valued subjectivity over objectivity, the subject over the object, existence over abstract categories, nature over theology or philosophy, naturalness over the civilized, authenticity over the artificial, spontaneity over mindful preparedness, real life experience over doctrine, matter over mind, activity over contemplation, intuition over reason, willpower over thought, instincts over rationalism, and holism over what was considered divisive rational analysis.  What was desirous of Romanticism and Existentialism was the whole of life, not just intellectualism.

With medieval dogmatism, religious legalism, and scientific determinism that viewed both man and nature as a machine, what was needed was a re-enchantment of life itself for people to recover life indeed – romantically and existentially appreciated, and not just rationally analyzed.  It was this German based existentialism that captivated Hannah Arendt during the bloom of her youth.  Her 1971 book on “The Life of the Mind” is a tribute to the legacy of this German escapade that grew up side by side with Kant’s secularist philosophy that dominated continental European thought throughout the 1800’s and early 1900’s. 

One of the most conspicuous existential truths of the 20th century is how young Hannah Arendt had a torrid affair with her teacher Martin Heidegger in the mid 1920’s.  The fallout of this adulterous relationship has yet to be sorted out in the postmodern academic western world that they essentially established together after the war.  While the affair came to an end, and Arendt was later shocked by Heidegger’s Nazi passions, like so many lovers’ quarrels that are so existentially rooted in the ups and downs of everyday emotions, she reconciled with him after the war.  Arendt even became Heidegger’s apologist by downplaying his earlier Nazi commitments as an aberrant misjudgment of weakness that had nothing to do with his philosophy.  In so doing, Arendt managed to rehabilitate Heidegger back into western academia.  According to Dr. Richard Wolin, Arendt essentially became “Heidegger’s de facto American literary agent, diligently overseeing contracts and translations of his books.”  This allowed Heidegger’s brand of Nazi existentialism to seep back into western philosophy and leftist political, historical, and literary circles that laid the cornerstone for what today is called Postmodernism.

While Heidegger himself resisted being called an existentialist, he is certainly the father of Postmodernism.  What is meant by Postmodernism is very difficult to express.  First, Postmodernism is a form of existentialism.  This by itself makes it very difficult to define because under existentialism, the application and power of rationalism and reason is greatly diminished.  Ready-made designations, classifications, and descriptions are thus very hard to come by. 

After the war, Heidegger’s writings became more opaque, which managed to disguise his Nazism.  In so doing, Heidegger’s racism and anti-Semitism were replaced with anti-humanism, which should by no means be understood as any kind of progress, but a deepening of all the problems connected to his existentialism.  Thanks to Heidegger, much of postmodern western philosophy is deeply committed to various forms of anti-humanism, particularly with regard to the misanthropy of environmentalism.  By overvaluing all of life, whether that be nature itself, or even by overemphasizing the willpower, passions, and instincts of human behavior rather than a thoughtful morality, Romanticism and Existentialism invariably opened the door to amoral anti-humanism where the laws of the jungle ultimately prevail – as was particularly the case with regard to National Socialism.

Closely related, it was Arendt who gave to the western world the “banality of evil” thesis concerning the holocaust while writing on Nazi SS leader Adolf Eichmann’s (1906-1962) trial for the New Yorker.  Published in February of 1963, Arendt used Raul Hilberg’s detailed historical account which focused on the German bureaucracy that administratively carried out the destruction of the Jews step by step.  However, Arendt added her own existentialist kink to holocaust interpretation by accentuating the bureaucratic everydayness of Eichmann’s evil.  According to Arendt, Eichmann was a “cog” in a vast bureaucratic machine in which monstrous evil become monotonously “banal.”  Thus crimes without conscience became an existential routine during the war. 

What somehow escapes Arendt is that such everyday existentialism is precisely what the German academy had been breeding in the hearts and minds of Germans for quite some time before the advent of National Socialism.  Arendt herself was steeped in it.  As such, she unwittingly gave an existentialist interpretation of the holocaust – an existentialism that was just as much of part of the problem with regard to the holocaust as was Nazi Social Darwinism and ‘scientific’ racial hygiene.  Both complemented one another into an explosive holistic synthesis – the syncretistic mixture of which blew up all of Europe.

In the Deconstruction of Literature: Criticism after Auschwitz, Dr. David Hirsch warns, “It is misleading to disengage contemporary anti-humanism from Nazi dehumanization, for they share (the same) philosophical and cultural origins.”  Hirsch has thus strongly argues that Postmodernism should best be understood as post-Auschwitz.  In short, Postmodernism is existentialism after Auschwitz. Much more disturbing, according to Hirsch, the goal of Postmodernism is to deconstruct the sober truth that the European academy, particularly in Germany, actually fed the intellectual beast which led to the holocaust.  Neither Europe nor the North American leftist academy have come to grips with the fact the 20th century was a socialist slaughterhouse of epic proportions.  Postmodernism thus moved in to save secular Europe from confronting its own intellectual catastrophe in the face of the apocalyptic abyss of World War. 

Thanks to her own existentialism, Arendt never noticed Heidegger’s fascism that he taught her in the 1920’s.  Neither did Arendt ever acknowledge that her own educational background was deep-rooted in the exact same training that led to the destruction of her own people.  Such was one of the “banal” dangers of being an assimilated Jew in Weimar Germany.

Existentialism does not enlighten about real life.  It only obfuscates.  This is the semi-fascist human condition that besets the postmodern academy in the West these days, particularly now at the Evergreen State College, with no small thanks to the adulterous affair between Hannah Arendt and Martin Heidegger.  Much of the dumbing down and mindlessness that is now at the heart of the modern university is rooted in existentialist philosophies of continental Europe, with the lion’s share of it imported particularly from Germany.  Indeed, with regard to Jean Paul Sartre’s Existentialism (1905-80), Heidegger once quipped, “When the French want to think they have to think in German.”

Copyright June 2017 by R. Mark Musser on The American Thinker.

Permission is herewith given to copy and distribute by electronic or physical means as long as it is not sold – the copyright notice is included and credits are given to the author.