Too late the slumbering lummoxes who supposedly are the guardians of our society have discovered that colleges are echo chambers of leftist thought. Why, thank you for noticing; it has been this way since 1968 or so, maybe earlier. All of us went through them and being young and impressionable, both gritted our teeth and ignored the crazy or imbibed it because it made us feel better about our lack of knowledge.
Why are colleges leftist echo chambers? The simple answer is ugly: the person drawn to be an educator is usually someone stalled at the point of his own education. This combination of nostalgia and regret has people revisit the point of their injury in life, much like PTSD, and try to re-live it through others. As with the best leaders, the best teachers are often those who do not want the job but feel obligated to take it or take it as a matter of laziness. It is after all an easy job because if you avoid a few errors, there is almost no accountability and the task itself — explaining in simple detail things you learned long ago — is not challenging. Even more, it allows these people to feel power over the knowledge they once struggled with and a time of life that once made them miserable. It is revenge through empowerment.
The leftist echo chamber has accelerated in the last decade for two simple reasons: first, we have sent too many people to college where now two-thirds of high school students go on to college of some form, and second, as liberalism fails the dogmatists feel it necessary to become either more strident lest they be forced to admit their lives are built on a lie.
The grim fact is that only about a fifth of our population, those above 120 IQ points, benefit from any kind of education at all. The others just misuse it and become cleverer, or more able to hide behind technicalities and clever use of language but correspondingly less likely to find answers to problems. In democracy however those who have the most favorable appearance win, and so our politicians used simple reasoning: college makes people richer! Everyone wants to be rich! So send everyone to college! …cleverly ignoring that this would create an industry whose goal is to parasitically sign up as many people as it can and deliver the cheapest possible product. From this, political correctness emerged: a desire to make the product as “safe” and inoffensive as possible so as many people as possible could be induced to take on mind-blowing amounts of student debt and get specialized degrees that credential them to work in a specific field.
As part of this politically correct expansion, colleges invented back in the 1990s something called a “trigger warning”: if a dangerous or possibly offensive topic — which means a topic that might cause any person to question the legitimacy of their participation — arises, a warning must precede it that warns students that the topic may “trigger” their fears and delicate sensibilities.
While this is laughable on its face for how pretentious and narcissistic it is, it also creates another kind of mirth. As a writer, my job is to trigger people. Words cannot convince any person of any thing. What they can do is reveal a pattern, like a metaphor or stylized drawing, that triggers a memory in the consciousness of the person. “Ah yes, I remember thinking something like that once, but less fleshed-out,” they think, and then their brains begin to work on the idea. Soon they see instances of it everywhere, like thinking of a plate of shrimp and seeing plates for sale downtown and shrimp on the menu. This is the opposite of paranoia: where paranoia uses selected instances to prove a pattern, triggering causes people to remember what they have noticed and then see where the pattern applies. This is how writing works. It makes people think when they see their own experiences through the more streamlined and articulated eyes of the author.
Our society fears triggering. Of course it does! It fears reality. It fears anything which may destabilize the individual by pointing out the illusions which they use to prop up their personalities. Triggering removes their justifications and pretenses of importance and places reality in place of the human individual as the most essential thing in life. Society fears triggering become it removes the legitimacy of this “altruistic kleptocracy” and reveals it to be the community in tumbling decline that it is. We are expected to pre-emptively apologize for speaking the truth, because it might “trigger” someone, and use that as a reason to sweep it under the rug and pile lies upon it so that it can never escape. And we do this knowing full well that our only salvation has ever come from confronting truth, and that lies always lead to future downfall. Triggering is interruption of denial, and it is a moral duty for every human being to do it as frequently as possible on all topics.