The Ivory Tower Man: Why Academia Hates Guns

There is a particular strain of humanity now deeply rooted in Western culture that we can refer to as the Ivory Tower Man. This individual is the product of an entire cultural philosophy. He is the result of several generations that have faced no immediate danger or challenge to life itself; he is the spawn of the Nanny State. The Ivory Tower Man is found throughout all current age groups and academia is especially rife with this character.

The rise of this Ivory Tower Man can be attributed to the rapid urbanization of our society combined with an abundance of resources and technology that has made it possible for people to be soft. Wimps can now survive and thrive. Everyone gets a trophy. Our lifestyle is less strenuous than has been the experience for all past generations. And, above all, due to scientific advancements life is now more secure than it has ever been in human history. Sure, bad things happen to others, but the Ivory Tower Man does not personally see these things on a daily basis in his own nice neighborhood. He is insulated and thus willfully naive.

So what exactly is this Ivory Tower Man? Here is my best definition: This is a man who might be good at a particular profession, but he is not capable, and he delights in his modern lack of ability and wears it as a mantel of intellectualism. The Ivory Tower Man is the guy who lives through his career, which is a desk job in front of a computer or pontificating in front of impressionable youth with a similar worldview. This guy depends on the institution that is the State for his every need. Most troubling, he believes that this current order in the universe, the Almighty State, will never fail him.

The Ivory Tower Man is weak. Not necessarily weak in charisma, but in body almost assuredly. He is not necessarily fat as he often eats healthy because he is intent on maximizing his utopian duration. He may exercise because his doctor says it will add years, but he does not lift heavy things. He may jog while wearing a special running shirt that won’t chafe his nipples or play tennis while wearing white shorts, but he does not dead lift, squat or do pullups. He has no strength. He does not fight. He does not do MMA or Box. He has never been punched in the face; except maybe as a kid when the grade school bully roughed him up. Of course, the bully was swiftly disciplined by the State after the incident and Ivory Tower Man was told that violence is never the answer. Therefore, what role does individual strength play in his world?

The Ivory Tower Man has been raised to think that being powerful is a bad thing. After all, the bully was more powerful than he, fortunately the State’s representatives at the school interceded and saved him from that brute! Ivory Tower Man learned a valuable lesson: be sure to ask the State for help immediately the next time a bully comes around. Ivory Tower Man’s parents gave him a pat on the shoulder for handling things the right way, not with your hands, but with the State.

Ivory Tower Man would not dare to maximize his biological tendency towards being strong. That is apparently an aptitude that should be buried in shame, not actually developed and celebrated. What is this, the middle ages? The fact that he might be asked by a female to open a jar on occasion is simply a topic of laughter. But how strong do you have to be to type emails or use the coffee machine? Only the State needs strength, not the Ivory Tower Man himself.

And here is a prime characteristic of the Ivory Tower Man: He despises those who still believe in strength, skill, and self-reliance. He hates the old-fashioned warrior. He barely tolerates the “professional” warrior, because the State has to protect the ivory tower, right? The man in uniform is a needed inconvenience. Just keep that professional warrior on a tight leash, please. But the Ivory Tower Man despises any who would consider relying on themselves.

After all, the State ensures that the subway runs. The State ensures that the grocery stores stay stocked. The State ensures that the roads get plowed. The State ensures that the power stays on and the water is clean. How dare someone presume that the State would fail in its duties to protect and allow the ivory tower to come crashing down! How dare someone take it upon themselves to be capable of withstanding evil and violence (the Ivory Tower Man is not paranoid enough to think about such things anyway). And above all there is one absolute and defining characteristic of this creature: he hates those who believe in being strong and self-sufficient because those that do so might expect the same from the Ivory Tower Man himself.

The Ivory Tower Man would never embrace strength; he would much rather get loaded into boxcars than ever become a warrior himself. But see, the Ivory Tower Man’s new and enlightened State is not like those States of old, don’t you know? The modern State would never load anyone in boxcars because we are all educated now. We are apparently a different creature than our forbears. We may look the same yet we are apparently not capable of such past degradations because we have all gone to college. The Ivory Tower Man only associates with other gentle and weak creatures so he convinces himself that this is the norm among humanity.

How dare you be strong, skilled, prepared! How dare you be armed! That is a direct challenge to the State. That is a display of doubt in the State. Disarm, be weak, you threaten the ivory tower itself! What if you and your kind get all uppity and pose a threat to the great provider and protector, the State! The Ivory Tower Man can’t have that, so he certainly can’t tolerate the warrior or the independent citizen that does for himself. Especially those with guns.

Well, my fellow barbarians who remain unenlightened, you crude admirers of the Spartans and the American Minuteman, you intellectually stunted creatures who lift heavy things, you that would never get into the boxcar without fighting to the end, you that think you should protect your own tower instead of relying on the State to do so, I tell you this: when it all comes crashing down, and history suggests that it again will, the Ivory Tower Man will be good at only one thing: being in the way.