George Will connects the Marxist-Leninist economic dots to today's crisis, so I feel it necessary to connect those fatal Leninist dots to America's educational system.
Like the Leninists before them, many campus activists today insist that everything is political, and therefore they consider it entirely correct to judge whether classroom discourse, campus policies, and even clubs and organizations adhere to a politically correct position. Indeed, some of today's activists are not satisfied with advocating that politically correct views be expressed in administrative legislation; rather, they seek to impose them by resorting to threats, intimidation, and the harassment of a new generation of students. Ironically, then, as American society at large moves toward a greater tolerance of heterodox opinion, American universities, ostensibly committed to the free expression of ideas, have been moving in the opposite direction, becoming in the words of Abigail Thernstrom, “islands of repression in a sea of freedom.”
Despite the determined efforts of liberals and those on the left to counter the association of political correctness with their favored causes, the perception remains among the public that political correctness is essentially a creation of the Left. The historical evidence supports that association, though even now few seem to realize just how strongly connected the Leninist influence is. Enriched by his successors–from Maoists to certain multiculturalists–political correctness still bears the stamp of Lenin.
The empire Lenin helped to build is no more. Yet one hundred years after the publication of his tract in revolutionary subversion, What is to be Done?, his ideas still command a great deal of loyalty. Ideas do indeed have consequences, as Richard Weaver has argued. Contemporary versions of political correctness and Obama's economic policy--according to George Will--are Lenin’s legacy. And Sam Donaldson's statement that "something's gotta work" appears to be rooted more in hope than in change. But I digress.
In conclusion, this politically correct persistence of the authoritarian impulse can be traced to Lenin; it continued with Stalin, was taken up by Mao, and then filtered into the United States and Britain as exemplified by the academic Left and the BBC. The consequence of political correctness in the West was not the deaths of millions, but the loss of our values. These are the same values that Lenin sought to destroy. Although the stakes were different in the East than the West, history did repeat itself not as a tragedy, but as a farce.