from Victor Davis Hanson at National Review, The Origins of Our Second Civil War
But if campus materialism was at odds with classroom socialism, few seemed to notice. Instead, the idea grew up that one had no need to follow concretely the consequences of his abstract ideology. Or even worse, one’s hard-left politics — the louder and more strident the better — became a psychological means of squaring the circle of denouncing the West while being affluent and enjoying the material comforts of the good life.
Universities grew not just increasingly left-wing but far more intolerant than they were during the radicalism of the Sixties — but again in an infantile way. Speakers were shouted down to prove social-justice fides. “Studies” courses squeezed out philosophy and Latin. History became a melodramatic game of finding sinners and saints, rather than shared tragedy. Standards fell to accommodate poorly prepared incoming students, on the logic that old norms were arbitrary and discriminatory constructs anyway.
The curriculum now was recalibrated as therapeutic; it no longer aimed to challenge students by demanding wide reading, composition skills, and mastery of the inductive method. The net result was the worst of all possible worlds: An entire generation of students left college with record debt, mostly ignorant of the skills necessary to read, write, and argue effectively, lacking a general body of shared knowledge — and angry. They were often arrogant in their determination to actualize the ideologies of their professors in the real world. A generation ignorant, arrogant, and poor is a prescription for social volatility.