Too liberal for the New York Times?

Ten days later than American Thinker, The New York Times takes notice of the demise of Antioch College in a column deliciously titled "Where the arts were too liberal."

Too liberal for the New York Times?

The column's author, Michael Goldfarb, attended Antioch in the late 1960s and early 70s, when the college really started going to hell. He mentions a factor omitted in Henry Wickham's AT column on Antioch, but which now that I am reminded of it, I remember quite well.

With a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation, the college increased African-American enrollment to 25 percent in 1968, from virtually nil in previous years. The new students were recruited from the inner city. At around the same time, Antioch created coeducational residence halls, with no adult supervision. Sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll became the rule, as you might imagine, and there was enormous peer pressure to be involved in all of them. No member of the faculty or administration, and certainly none of the students, could guess what these sudden changes would mean. They were simply embraced in the spirit of the time.
At the time, I had a couple of friends who were Antioch students, and visited the campus a few times in 1968-69. I remember hearing about the new students who were not exactly the affluent suburbanites that were the Antioch mainstay. I remember being told by people at Antioch that things had gotten downright scary with firearms (something Goldfarb mentions, too). While sympathizing with their plight, I found their tone of shock and horror quite amusing, even at the time. They were struggling with their naïve belief system that held victims not responsible for their actions, yet at the same time their own survival instincts were telling them otherwise.

The most interesting point of the Goldfarb column, however, is his implicit rule that liberalism needs to be balanced with pragmatism, which seems to hint that he (and his NYT editors) understand that liberalism isn't realistic. One can only practice it as long as it doesn't involve something of genuine interest and concern. Liberalism is a luxury for those insulated from it by wealth and privilege.

Antioch not only took liberalism farther than most, it lacked the insulation of prestige and a vast endowment. If you give Harvard another century of liberalism gone wild, it, too, may follow in Antioch's footsteps, though I concede it Tkes a lot of time to blow through 20 some billion dollars of endowment.

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