There is no better way to get an unwitting populace clamoring for more state power than instilling the pathological thought pattern of victimology. With much of the public believing themselvesÂ to be victims of a nameless apparition, the allure of taking from their neighbor is enhanced. Soon enough, a lobbying group for every miniscule category of persons develops and centralized government caters to all by theft and redistribution. This process gradually rids the culture of self-respect, prudence, and mannered social intercourse.
The one path to a free society, as Murray Rothbard writes,
…requires restoring the ethics and virtues of the nineteenth century, the taking back of our culture from nihilism and victimology, and restoring that culture to health and sanity.
Instead of promoting the ethics of strong-willed individualism, centers of higher education are slowly eroding the foundational principles which enable a civilized society. Case in point: recently at Carleton University, a â€œfree speech wallâ€ was torn down only hours of its construction. This wall, which was merely a wooden plank wrapped in paper that students were free to write on with felt markers, was created to â€œpromote the competition of ideasâ€ according to Ian CoKehyeng, the founder of Carleton Students for Liberty.
Even in the supposed hotbed of intellectual discourse, apparently respect for varying opinions is not welcome.
It turns out that perpetrator of the petty ruination is self-appointed guardian of hate speech Arun Smith. Titling himself “Challenge Homophobia and Transphobia Campaign Coordinator,” Mr. Smith’s unapologetic desire for social justice on a college campus might be impressive to his overly sensitive classmates, but to any normal person, it’s a smug display of personal satisfaction forÂ inane behavior.
Ad hominem attack this is not. Arun Smith is a seventh-year student majoring in Human Rights and Political Science with a minor in Sexuality Studies. As far as I am concerned, he forfeited his dignity by projecting the angst of an obvious academic career failure on a harmless piece of paper.
Universities have become such a dumbed down, bastardized version ofÂ what they were a century agoÂ that anyone who fails to complete a degree program in a reasonable amount of time either lacks the mental capacity to perform menial tasks or has the work ethic of a deranged bum. Colleges arenâ€™t so much educational institutions as they are victimhood instillers that foster an expectation of a decent paying job upon graduation. Students are taught exactly how to be poor: to consume more than they produce, then go begging to the state for handouts. Already, these undergraduates are among the privileged crowd. After passing through public inculcation schools, their tuition is further subsidized by taxpayers. The coming-of-age of many American and Canadian young adults has taken place with the watchful eye and arm of government ready to turn failure into a modicum of success if possible. Smith is just another product of this institutionalizing as he compensates for his useless major by engaging in cheap vandalism.
Far from a rigorous defense of tolerance and equality, his actions were carried out of with an ironic contempt for differing opinions. On a subsequent Facebook post, he writes that liberty requires â€œliberation” and that free speech leaves the door open for “expressions of hate.”Â The very idea that some individuals could frown upon particular behavior is too threatening of a prospect for an enemy of oppression like Smith.
In true disdain for personal responsibility, the gay freedom fighter declared his behavior as a function of the position the university population “have chosen for me to hold.” You see, it was not his personal choice to act out but the overwhelming compulsion he felt from everyone around him. The whole time, it never dawned on the nearly-twice senior that inquiring into the distinctness of others is a trait that humans display regardless of their affinity to political correctness. We think, judge, and feel our way through social situations countless times on an everyday basis. The act of choosing friends and significant others requires a considerable amount of scrutiny. To demagogue contrasting thoughts and opinions ends up contradicting the very canon of tolerance. For seven years of college, logic is clearly not one of Smithâ€™s strong points.
The free speech wall he defaced in the name of gay rights was, of course, harming no one. Hurt feelings are not the same as physical aggression or the threat thereof. Even so, the wall itself displayed no homosexual slandering before its premature destruction. The most anti-gay slogan present was “traditional marriage is awesome,” which, if itâ€™s to be taken as an insult, is more of the same victimology that rightly garners far more loathing than acceptance.
Reality seems to reveal that many people have a hard time accepting the fact that, as philosopher David Gordon sums it up, â€œsome people are better than others.â€ Years ago, that statement would have elicited an immediate denial from my mental self. But if there is one lesson to be learned in modern-day university, itâ€™s that there exists a hierarchy of men when it comes to virtuous conduct. The cheaters, drunks, and indolent can easily receive degrees with little effort. Those who show genuine ambition for goals higher than satisfactory marks are deserving of greater rewards when they are attained. Even the most racially/culturally/sexually sensitive person would protest to being looked over for a job to someone not nearly as qualified or competent as them.
These truths are lost on the â€œwoe-as-meâ€ crowd that Arun Smith congregates in. In a Youtube campaign video recorded last February for the Carleton University Studentsâ€™ Association, Smith expressed his desire for â€œsafe placesâ€ where “every voice is empoweredâ€ and where â€œevery studentâ€™s voice is heard.â€ The sheer cognitive dissonance between his words and actions canâ€™t be ridiculed enough.
To Arun Smith, free speech means agreeing with his opinion or shut up. And this slow degeneration of reason in favor of emotional outbursts shows no signs of stopping as long as dramatic pity partiers keep getting their way.