[sixties-l] The Symbionese Terror and the Academic Left (fwd)

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Date: Mon Jan 21 2002 - 17:56:25 EST

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    Date: Mon, 21 Jan 2002 13:55:20 -0800
    From: radtimes <resist@best.com>
    Subject: The Symbionese Terror and the Academic Left

    The Symbionese Terror and the Academic Left

    By Bruce S. Thornton
    FrontPageMagazine.com | January 21, 2002

    TWENTY-SIX YEARS after a bank robbery that left a mother of four dead from
    a shotgun blast, five former members of the terrorist Symbionese Liberation
    Army of the '70s are finally going to court for their implication in the
    crime. As the victim's son said, it's about time.

    In fact, this should be just the beginning of the accounting owed by all
    the ex-"radicals" and "activists" and fellow-traveling apologists for
    murder and terror. For years now people who rationalized and championed
    everything from torture to genocide, as long as these crimes were perfumed
    with leftist idealism, have enjoyed the good life created by the culture
    they once wanted to destroy. Indeed, in the university some have been
    rewarded for those activities and beliefs, which to this day still have
    adherents in the looking-glass world of the academy.

    Examples abound. Ex-Weatherman Bill Ayers-to the shame of the state of
    Illinois--is on the faculty of the state university, and has written a book
    crowing about his youthful exploits and the fact that he got away with
    them. A one-time advocate of murder of the innocent, in other words, at the
    cost of a few crocodile tears, is given a free pass, presumably because of
    his youthful "idealism" or "good intentions" on behalf of the oppressed and

    Well, the Nazis were idealists too. So was Jim Jones. So were
    segregationists in the old South. So are the Al Qaeda terrorists. But in
    the American university, the political flavor of one's idealism, not one's
    actions, is what counts. Any belief or even rhetoric allegedly
    "progressive" functions like a plenary indulgence. Just say that you are
    full of righteous indignation over the suffering of the oppressed, and you
    will be forgiven a multitude of sins, including attempted murder-especially
    if your victims are the culprits (the police or other "bourgeois" enemies
    of the people) dehumanized by the left. Then even cold-blooded murderers
    like Mumia Abu-Jamal can be canonized by the international left, the same
    people who once groveled before mass-murderers like Chairman Mao.

    Ex-terrorists like Ayers, however, who at least acted on his corrupt
    ideals, are rare. More numerous in academe and the media are those
    fellow-travelers who, at no cost to themselves or their comfortable
    lifestyles, consistently have rationalized and excused the evil of leftist
    thugs and killers. As every year passes, their lies and ignorance are
    exposed, their ideological spin shredded by facts, their double-standard
    laid bare. Rather than the cutting edge of historical inevitability, their
    great Marxist god "history" has in fact shown them to be at best Lenin's
    "useful idiots," nave idealists whose politics was their cargo-cult, at
    worst collaborators with the most murderous dictatorships in the history of
    the planet.

    Yet how many have acknowledged their errors, recanted their lies, and owned
    up to their complicity in terror? Why should they? They pay no price for
    failing to take responsibility for their stupidity and moral idiocy.
    Indeed, they are rewarded and considered morally superior to so-called
    "conservatives" and "reactionaries." Chairman Mao has more fans in the
    university today than does Ronald Reagan. The mystery is why the rest of
    the nation lets them get away with it.

    Perhaps most Americans ignore these apologists for tyranny because they
    romp in the playhouse of the university, which is sort of like the medieval
    church, the repository of the ruling class's disgruntled second string. But
    September 11 should have shown us that ideas have consequences. The
    cultural relativism, moral nihilism, and knee-jerk anti-Americanism, which
    still dominate the university and much of the media, helped pave the way
    for that disaster, and it remains to be seen if we have experienced the
    last effects of those pernicious ideas.

    So let the accounting begin. Let's make those who rationalize murder and
    terror acknowledge the consequences and costs of their idealism. And let's
    make clear one fundamental truth: that murder of the innocent, no matter
    what the ideal motivating it, is an inexcusable evil.


    Bruce Thornton is a professor of Classics at Cal State Fresno and author of
    Bonfire of the Humanities (ISI Books) and Greek Ways (Encounter). Recently
    he wrote "A Leftist Bestiary" and "Politically Correct Imports," and "The
    ACLU's Civil Liberties Fundamentalism" for FrontPageMagazine.com.

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