… reminds ol’ UD to talk about a trend among prospective students and faculty at our country’s universities.
Krugman points out that
our madness over guns [is] just one aspect of the drive to turn us into what Thomas Hobbes described long ago: a society “wherein men live without other security than what their own strength and their own invention shall furnish them.” And Hobbes famously told us what life in such a society is like: “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.”
There are larger and larger areas of this country where
[people regard any] public action for the public good, no matter how justified, as part of a conspiracy to destroy our freedom.
This paranoia strikes both deep and wide. Does anyone remember George Will declaring that liberals like trains, not because they make sense for urban transport, but because they serve the “goal of diminishing Americans’ individualism in order to make them more amenable to collectivism”? And it goes along with basically infantile fantasies about individual action — the “good guy with a gun” — taking the place of such fundamentally public functions as policing.
Anyway, this political faction is doing all it can to push us toward becoming a society in which individuals can’t count on the community to provide them with even the most basic guarantees of security — [including] security from crazed gunmen…
Many such locations are already cultural wastelands; some are also beginning to look like shooting galleries.
Why, for instance, would anyone with a choice want to live – even for a few years – in Waco, Texas, home of armed cults, armed motorcycle gangs, and Baylor University? Why would a non-Hobbesian want to work there, live there, go to school there, teach there? It’s not as if there’s any cultural compensation to living in the Wild West. It’s guns and strip malls and megachurches where you beg divine protection.
Why would you go to Hammond, Louisiana and attend Southeastern Louisiana University, famous for being the last school in America willing to take Jonathan Taylor? Can anyone be surprised that at 3 AM yesterday a fight broke out on campus and a bunch of people got shot?
These schools are part of America’s Hobbesian wastelands, where you grabs your AR-15 and you takes your chances. The idea that a university could thrive under these conditions is hilarious.
Trying to teach or learn in these settings is like deciding to take your family vacation in Beach Blanket Bloodbath Myrtle Beach. Why? Unless you’re a Hobbesian and you enjoy that sort of thing?
UD anticipates a militarization of certain campuses – having been abandoned by civilization, they will become weedy tracts patrolled by open-carry paranoids offering Active Shooter Response seminars.
If you’re in the wasteland, and you can leave, you should. Get out while the getting’s good.