Mizzou: A Textbook Case of the Triumph of Barbarity Over Civility in Higher Ed

How student and faculty barbarians win.

Due to demands by student activists and their enablers on the staff and faculty of University of Missouri, the President and Chancellor have now resigned. 

Good riddance.

Neither Tom Wolfe nor R. Bowen Loftin deserves an iota of sympathy.  In fact, they are at least as contemptible as the lynch mob that drove them from their offices, for they had been every bit as guilty as the professors and football coaches who have spent years pandering to the sophomoric bullies who society expected for them to educate. 

This last point bears repeating: The University of Missouri, like the overwhelming majority of America’s institutions of “higher learning,” exists on the taxpayer’s dime.  No college, no student, is entitled to one penny that belongs to someone else.  That society subsidizes Mizzou implies a duty—a duty!—on the part of the latter to make its students into educated, self-disciplined, law-abiding citizens.

Wolfe, Loftin, and Mizzou’s football coaches and faculty have failed miserably on this score. They have reneged on their contract with the rest of us.  They have betrayed their American compatriots, including those millions and millions of working-class and middle-class Americans who labor diligently day after day and week after week only to have a portion of their earnings confiscated and redistributed to grease the wheels of the Academic-Industrial-Complex.

Mizzou’s football players refused to play anymore games until Wolfe had resigned. Had he been committed to discharging his obligation to the taxpayer, to say nothing of his obligation to the school community, he would have deprived the football players of their scholarships, expelled them from school, and terminated the coaches who backed them. 

Of course, the University of Missouri is but a microcosm of the contemporary scene in academia: the worst of vices—cowardice, hypocrisy, obsequiousness, hyper-emotionality, rigorous anti-intellectualism, self-aggrandizement, and many others—exemplified by the administrators, faculty, staff, and students at Mizzou are legion throughout the academic world.

Higher education is Big Education.  The causes for the intellectual and moral rot of the university are admittedly various.  Yet one huge cause is the university itself.

If students really are under the delusion that “racism,” “sexism,” and the like are omnipresent in, of all places, such bastions of left-wing “progressive” ideology as the college campus, it is because their professors and school administrators have worked tirelessly, obsessively even, to convince them that this is so.  

So too has the young’s wildly exaggerated sense of self-importance been fueled in no small measure by the same suspects. 

The product of the poisonous combination of these two flights of fancy—victimhood and narcissism—is barbarism. 

Barbarians don’t discuss; they demand.   Barbarians don’t remonstrate; they coerce.  Barbarians don’t’ have interlocutors.  In fact, they don’t even see opponents.  

Barbarians see enemies. 

And because they are enemies who, as such, are outside of the orbit of the tribe, a barbarian’s enemies must, in effect, be reduced to the status of, not just non-persons, but non-entities. 

This explains why the student and faculty barbarians at Mizzou demanded not just the resignation of Tom Wolfe, but his complete social annihilation: Among their list of demands was the demand that Wolfe write a hand-written letter in which he confesses to his “negligence”—i.e. his racial insensitivity or, what amounts to the same thing, his “racism.” Then, he was ordered to hold a press conference in the student center where he would read from his letter aloud.

To reiterate, the barbarians of Mizzou didn’t demand that Wolfe do all of this in lieu of resigning.  They demanded that he grovel and disgrace himself in addition to leaving his post.   

In other words, the barbarians didn’t just want victory over Wolfe.  As is their way, they sought to humiliate and degrade him.

Wolfe and Loftin didn’t meet all of these demands—even if they did in fact do some groveling before they eventually resigned.  The point, though, is that their failure is now complete, for, courtesy of their spinelessness, student barbarians everywhere—as well as everyone else—now know that barbarianism is a winning ticket.

The University of Missouri is a classic textbook case of how and why barbarity trumps civility on today’s college campus.