Ben Shapiro: Will the Students Globalize the Intifada?

The perspectives and thoughts expressed in this op-ed are the exclusive purview of the author.

America’s college campuses are in a state of complete meltdown — at least in blue states, where administrators cater to the whims of these America-hating dolts. But why are these students — the most privileged people in literally world history — LARPing as terrorists and stanning for murderous groups like Hamas, Hezbollah, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the like?

The answer is simple and timeless: aimless, privileged, value-free young people seek revolution. They always have.

In Northwestern professor Gary Saul Morson’s book, “Wonder Confronts Certainty,” about the history of Russian literature, he describes what he says is a Russian literary type: the revolutionary. The revolutionary is typically from a well-off background but in love with destruction for its own sake. “The will to destroy is also a creative will,” anarchist Mikhail Bakunin famously said. In 1918, Russian poet Alexander Blok wrote an essay titled “The Intelligentsia and the Revolution.” In it, he argued that violence is an antidote to “the boredom, the triviality” of regular life — it will “make everything over … change our false, boring, hideous life … this is called revolution.”

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But revolutionaries cannot succeed without mainstream support. During the lead-up to the Russian Revolution, the so-called Constitutional Democratic Party openly cheered and encouraged terrorists, even fundraising for them. The party leader said, after a massive terrorist attack of 1906, “Condemn terror? Never! That would mean the moral death of the party.” Naturally, when the Bolsheviks took over, they killed or arrested all the leading members of the Constitutional Democratic Party.

When it comes to our radicals, nothing has changed. Bored middle- to upper-class kids have been privileged by a system that has handed them everything but given no mission by their parents other than to “find themselves.” Then they meet fellow revolutionaries — and revolutionary professors — who inform them that the system that has given them their privilege is corrupt and evil. They feel guilty, and the only way to alleviate that guilt is to join the revolution. To cosplay oppression.

Right now, it’s all somewhat silly. But there are two paths for these radicals — both dangerous. The first path has been the most common in recent generations: the radicals go on to integrate into more mainstream institutions, which they corrupt from the inside. These radicals have absolutely destroyed major American institutions, from universities to businesses.

But there’s an even darker path. That’s the path where the LARPing doesn’t stop at taking over campus buildings and assaulting Jewish students. That’s the path where a few acts of violence blossom into something far, far worse. That’s what happened during the 1960s and 1970s; in 1971 and 1972, there were almost five bombings a day in the United States. Groups ranging from the Black Panthers to the Symbionese Liberation Army, from the FALN to the Weather Underground, engaged in violent terrorism.

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Both paths are plausible. Humored by the Democratic Party, propped up by the media, these college revolutionaries will eventually get tired of co-opting institutions and seek to tear them down entirely. All it takes is someone to break the glass first.

What could break the glass? It could be as simple as Donald Trump winning the 2024 election. Remember, while the student protesters were rioting in 1968, it took Richard Nixon’s election to push those protesters underground — and into overt acts of routine terrorism. Given that the entire left has now deemed Donald Trump a fascist threat, would it be all that shocking if the same students now barricading administration buildings on behalf of an actual terrorist group, Hamas, decide to ratchet their “intifada” up to the next level?

Ben Shapiro, 39, is a graduate of UCLA and Harvard Law School, host of “The Ben Shapiro Show,” and co-founder of Daily Wire+. He is a three-time New York Times bestselling author; his latest book is “The Authoritarian Moment: How The Left Weaponized America’s Institutions Against Dissent.” To find out more about Ben Shapiro and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2024 CREATORS.COM


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