A very brave David Solway: On Campus, the Barbarians Are Inside the Gates. Here are some bits but do read it all.
Just the other day and not for the first time, I experienced this feeling of helpless rage and moral incredulity when my wife Janice Fiamengo was invited by a newly formed undergraduate group, the University of Ottawa Students for Free Speech, to give a lecture titled “Is the University about the Pursuit of Truth or about Protecting Approved Ideologies” at the Ottawa Public Library. When we arrived, we found the doors blocked by a crowd of Antifa offshoots calling themselves, variously, the Revolutionary Student Movement and Ottawa against Fascism, pre-programmed automatons wearing masks, carrying placards and blaring slogans through bullhorns. One of these slogans was paradoxically apt: No Platform for Hate. No Debate. . . .
When I pointed out to the officers that the protesters were in violation of the law — Bill C-309 which makes it a criminal offense to wear masks in public and the Trespass to Property Act which likewise establishes penalties in the Criminal Code for obstructing access to public venues — and that immediate arrest of the lawbreakers was in order, I received a non-committal shrug in response. I should say that I do not blame most of these officers; they are acting under strict orders from higher up. . . .
Another thing that strikes me about these protesting hordes — apart from their proclivity to break the law with customary impunity — is the monumental ignorance they exhibit. . . .
They do not even know their own origins, having never cracked the spine of Das Kapital or heard of Antonio Gramsci and “the long march through the institutions,” his colleague Goerg Lukacs, or the Frankfurt School kingpins like Theodore Adorno, Max Horkheimer, and Erich Fromm. They are ignorant even of Herbert Marcuse whose theories they are aggressively putting into practice. Like a contemporary, ideologically primed version of the Star Trek Borg, they march in lockstep, spout slogans and commit acts of violence, regarding themselves as heroes of the coming Utopia. (Obviously, they have never heard of Thomas More either.) We have seen this commitment to mindless violence in the service of a presumed higher good before in Hitler Youth and Sixties-inspired groups like the Red Brigades in Italy and Baader Meinhoff In Germany. . .
All this is bad enough, but what is even more alarming is that the Borg enjoys the support, whether tacit or explicit, of university administrators, a politicized professoriate, a suborned media network and the police establishment whose officers, as I have mentioned, are instructed to tread lightly. Although in this case one protester was arrested for mischief — a rarity — generally the police will nab those who fight back as if they were the instigators of public disturbances. Thus, the bureaucratic echelon that represents the law effectively breaks the law by refusing to enforce it. Authority is complicit with the violators. The phrase “law enforcement” becomes another misnomer.
It will not continue this way forever. But it is likely to get worse before it gets better. How it gets better is something else again. That the seventy-year-old David Solway had to put his own body on the line to defend his wife is a terrifying thought about how far things have come.