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The startling support for Hamas among college students reveals a blind spot in curriculum that focuses on self-actualization and "internal truths," rather than on external universal truths.
In the curriculum of higher education, and increasingly at the K-12 level as well, there has been a steady decline away from teaching the basic ideas behind social contract theory. The notion that societies are organized and governments are formed with a contractual obligation to provide all members of society fundamental provisions, such as liberty, justice, sovereignty, and security, has been largely set aside and replaced by various forms of equity studies and self-actualization of “internal truths.”
Education, rather than providing the crucial service of acculturating and attaching students’ sense of self to broadly recognized external truths, has engendered and enabled a breakdown of the equality-based social order where all rights and liberties are held in common to be replaced by an equity-based worldview where any given individual’s claim to rights and liberties, and their demand for broader social justice provisions and privileges, are based upon their perceived position of privilege or lack of privilege.
I think this is a big reason why, on the one hand, a student will react to being misgendered as if reacting to the most egregious form of personally directed violence, but at the same time, can shrug at the death and dismemberment of infants by Hamas terrorists as the "inevitable response to colonialism."
In short, we've atomized, not necessarily individuals, but the very concept of truth itself, and lost a sense of consistent justice and rights that are the birthright of all and have come to view justice and rights as having demands upon different peoples in different ways based upon derived hierarchies of oppression.
The LGBT student is oppressed and the professor who misgenders the student is the oppressor, therefore a small verbal failure to recognize someone's "personal truth" is the height of "verbal violence" and must be condemned, shouted down, not allowed to exist in decent society. But in Palestine, these students view Isreal as the oppressor and Hamas as representative of the oppressed, and so the most real, actual, and gruesome violence is excused.
The oppressor, in this woke view of the world, has no claim on even the fundamental rights of life, liberty, and property, while the oppressed gets to demand not only liberty but full acceptance and celebration of their entire concept of self while being excused from the bounds of propriety that respect the basic rights of conscience, dignity, and life of others who are not considered under the umbrella of the oppressed.
There’s been a lot of spilled ink in the last decade over how the right has lost its mind in the Trump era, more than a bit of it from myself, and for good reason. But in surveying the radical and distortive curriculum and ideology emanating from progressively dominated institutions such as academia, the media, and woke corporations, and the serious lack of moral clarity demonstrated by the response to the October 7th Hamas pogrom that is resulting from it, it’s high time that the left got some similar treatment.
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