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  • Goon Squad

    Posted by David Foster on October 31st, 2007 (All posts by )

    A speech by David Horowitz at Emory University was shut down by rowdy “protesters.” He was scarcely able to finish a single sentence, and had to leave after only half an hour. More here.

    Credit where credit is due: After the event disintegrated into a shambles, the president of the Muslim Students Association came over to Horowitz at Starbucks and expressed her regret at what had happened. Horowitz opines that most of the disrupters were leftist non-students over the age of 30.

    Maybe so. But this kind of thing happens far too frequently at American universities. There are few other venues in which one could get away with this kind of disruptive behavior. Try it at your local Rotary club and I bet you will find yourself spending the night in jail. Too many American universities have promulgated that idea that no one should ever be exposed to speech that makes them feel “uncomfortable” and have winked at actions like stealing and destroying newspapers with content someone dislikes. The wimp’s veto, the heckler’s veto, and the thug’s veto have all become common in academia. Indeed, there was virtually no old-media coverage of the Emory incident. Apparently, the shutting down of free speech in academia has become so common that it isn’t even news.

    See my Goon Squad thread for many examples of thuggish behavior, especially in academia.

    Following an incident at San Francisco State University, a campus Jewish leader named Laurie Zoloth summed up the situation there iin these words: “This is the Weimar republic with Brownshirts it cannot control.”

    If thuggish political behavior is allowed to become the norm in academia, it is only a matter of time until such behavior becomes the norm in the larger society as well.


    10 Responses to “Goon Squad”

    1. Robert Schwartz Says:

      Drain the swamp.

    2. joseph hill Says:

      San Fran State is perhaps the worst of all offenders in these matters and is fast becoming known for being anti-Jewish

    3. JoseAngel Says:

      Thuggish behavior in American academia worries me much. I am so much used to see that kind of intolerant behavior in third world countries with little democratic history.

      We are supposed to be living in an “information age”, or so I read somewhere.
      But at the same time, we also live in a “disinformation age” and so we now have people writing their own “truth” to advance their political agenda by brainwashing low educated or misinformed individuals.

      There are “history revisionists” who write “objective essays” and do “objective research”
      The Russia of Putin is now rewriting the history of the Soviet Union (
      There are many pseudo-historians and holocaust deniers coming up with all kinds of cocaine crap like: Paul Rassinier (Le Passage de la Ligne, 1950), Roger Garaudy (Les mythes fondateurs de la politique israelienne,1996), Arthur R. Butz (The Hoax of the Twentieth Century, 1976) to name a few of them, sadly, many of them are from western nations.

      Entire nations are devoting resources to deny the holocaust and to rewrite history and redraw maps based on hate and “history revisioning” too.

      Nazism, communism, socialism, populism, they all begin by rewriting history to accommodate a few ideological premises and create a convincing argument that they are “the truth” bearers and feel with the supreme right to silence others.

    4. Shannon Love Says:

      It seems to me that all Leftist eventually evolve into Fascist. No matter how non-violent they imagine themselves to be, when they find themselves frustrated in their goals, they quickly seem to find that violence solves their problems.

    5. david foster Says:

      As a hypothesis: people who mainly work with *words* in their professional capacities are generally more hostile to free speech than people in other fields.

      If you are a farmer or a machinist or even an electrical engineer, the distinction between *speech* and *actions* is pretty clear…maybe not so much if you are a lawyer or an ad writer or a humanities professor.

    6. John Jay Says:

      If thuggish political behavior is allowed to become the norm in academia, it is only a matter of time until such behavior becomes the norm in the larger society as well.

      I see another possible trajectory. The Ivies are going to become irrelevant as fewer average people send their kids there to be indoctrinated, and they become playgrounds for the rich as they one were.

      Smaller technical schools (and MIT, if it resists further Chomskyianization) are going to be the prestige schools of the future.

    7. vivictius Says:

      You might be right David, one of the problems I see comming if this kind of stuff keeps up and the administration / government does not do anything is some other people will get together and “deal with” the trouble makers.

      While that would probably just increase problems in the long run, the more I hear of this stuff going on the less I could see myself feeling the least bit of sorrow or sympathy if I hear about a buss load of hecklers going off a cliff after disrupting some presentation or another.

    8. Shannon Love Says:

      David Foster,

      As a hypothesis: people who mainly work with *words* in their professional capacities are generally more hostile to free speech than people in other fields.

      I think you are really on to something there. I have come around to the idea that our professional sub-cultures and all the education that goes into creating them, stamps us all in a very visceral way.

      People who do existence almost entirely in a world of words would eventually evolve an inability to distinguish speech from action. After all in their lives, speech is action. Indeed, it is the only action they ever take. After all, the career or life work of a college professor will be destroyed by something someone else writes not by the physical action someone will take against a material object.

      Leftist certainly do have an exaggerated sense of the power of words, hence PC speech codes and the like, so it follows that they may eventually confuse the power of speech directed against themselves with a physical act.

    9. Lex Says:

      I recall reading somewhere about a Jewish professor at Cornell in the late 1960s. The hippies took over the place in some kind of violent, self-righteous gesture. The Professor’s comment was that he had left Germany in the 1930s due to similar behavior by the Nazi students. However, he said, the American leftists were more foul-mouthed and less well-groomed. Otherwise, pretty much the same thing.

    10. JoseAngel Says:

      I second David’s hypothesis that “people who mainly work with *words* in their professional capacities are generally more hostile to free speech than people in other fields.”

      I also recognize a strong tendency in leftists to believe in conspiracy theories (Bush plotted the terrorist attacks, but don´t take me wrong because he is very fool, you see.. but at the same time he is capable of the most maquiavelist plots, but only because the hawks manipulate him because his IQ is very very low, although he managed become President and then to get reelected, but it was out of simple luck because some states are just full of fool voters, but he likes to confuse and thwart the will of the American people. Also, Bush and Cheney are doing the dirty work for big oil and gas corporations, whose shareholders are, of course my dear, Jews who want to take over the whole world, they also own Hollywood, Disneyland and Coca-Cola, GM no more because it is broke you see, they are not fools. Britain, Spain, supported the war because the Jews dominate those countries too, etc. etc.)

      But I rarely see that tendency to believe in obscure and knotty and cocaine conspiracy plots in conservatives or libertarians.