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Trickle Down… and Out and Up Radicalism (FIELD NOTES)

I remember being in junior high in South Carolina, and someone who was in college in New York City but visiting home said to me, after observing my outfit with a chuckle, “Oh that was the style three years ago, it’s always that way. What happens on a college or city, you see a few years later in the rest of the world.” That’s true in more ways than one. Just as there is a trickle down of fashion from college and cities to the world, there is also a trickle down of ideas. 

In our age, scarily, the ideas at university are mostly radical and dangerous ones.  When you watch society and think it is going insane, realize that it is a result of “trickle down radicalism.” But actually, it’s worse than that, it’s not just trickling down, it’s trickling out as well. It goes down into the youth, yes (1 in 3 or something millennials support socialism), but also outward and sideways, into  society and media and social media and commerce as well. An ever enlarging sphere of invidious influence – literally. It goes into the consciousness of professionals and working class adults. It also goes upward – governments are adopting the radical ideas of intersectional politics as we speak. Corporations, celebrities, and influences – nearly all of them are under the influence of what was radical college politics just ten years ago.  And today, it even enters into the “ether” of society, taking on an almost spiritual dimension. 

This  expanding sphere of radicalism brings to mind the children’s movie The Never-Ending Story, where a spreading “Nothing” begins to consume all things – not that this radicalism is nothing (it is very much something) but it seems to move the same way as the void in that film. 

Presently, the center of racism, sexism, and bigotry is academia and it vibrates outward. This, I know, is ironic to say. Aren’t they the ones fighting racism and sexism and bigotry?  Don’t they want to eradicate it? Yes, they want to eradicate it, but it seems that Freud will not die. He can’t die because he found some things that are very real about the human psyche. 

When the left speaks of unconscious racism, for instance, it is often they who are engaging in that very phenomena. But not in the subtle ways of implicit bias, rather, in a grotesque bias.  The way they speak of “whiteness” could not be a more blatant example of true unconscious projection. They literally do not see, comprehend, intuit, or grasp that they are being racist. Their racism is amazingly unconscious to them, and they project it onto people who have no racism in them. The jealous husband with repressed thoughts of having sex with a coworker, is convinced his wife is having an affair. There is clearly a hatred for a particular race of people in the hearts of many on the left, they project their own racism onto the world. (Repress it and split it).  

When there is an outbreak of a virus, one of the first things people do is isolate the contaminated area. We know this all to well presently. The epicenter of this prejudice outbreak is the campus. But instead of quarantining it, and sanitizing it, we joyfully send more into the infected area and then send the infected out into the world.