Campus Cancel Culture and the Law of the Jungle

  • Post category:News / US News

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In the savagery of the jungle, the rule is “Eat or be eaten.” It seems that law of the jungle has made its way to college campuses.

“At Oxford, students now live in fear – they think cancelling each other will help them get ahead” reads a headline from the British outlet the Telegraph, depicting a reality many warned would happen if cancel culture were allowed to rage unchecked.

The once prestigious institution has followed its academic peers across the globe in becoming a hotbed of illiberal activity.

Just last month, students protested a planned appearance by feminist scholar Kathleen Stock over her views on gender, claiming that allowing her to speak would be endorsing what they call “transphobia.” Stock’s position that transgenderism is ideological nonsense ensured she inevitably became the target of activist students.

Two years earlier, Oxford played host to a cadre of leftist professors who claimed that musical notation was a “colonialist representational system” and that it was complicit in perpetuating white supremacy.

Dominus illuminatio mea, “The Lord is my light,” may be the official motto at Oxford, but the discourse going on at the university is anything but illuminating.

It also should be cause for concern.

The insanity occurring at the university has caused the students there to mutate into a new kind of beast, one more than willing to cannibalize others to achieve dominance.

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From the Telegraph article:

At parties and events, people live in fear of something they say or do being recorded. This is more than just the effects of the internet age. It is well-known that certain people, especially in student politics or journalism, often secretly audio-record the entire evening in the hope of catching someone out.

And buried deeper in the article was an anecdote that would be hilarious if it weren’t such a grim reminder of the state of college campuses.

“I remember how, at the dawn of the invasion of Ukraine, there was a scramble among students to be the one who set up the University’s Ukrainian Society,” the author writes, adding:

Once formed, it was immediately added to some of the victorious founders’ LinkedIn and Twitter bios, even though they were yet to do anything.

In an ecosystem where all that matters is the perception of virtue, it should come as no surprise that the animals within will do whatever it takes to seem virtuous. They act like woke peacocks that are willing to kill other birds to be the most beautiful one of all.

While this urge to hunt prey has unfortunate consequences for the state of higher education, it has even more dire consequences for the state of Western civilization.

The law of the jungle at its core is that the strong will dominate the weak. The snake eats the mouse and is in turn consumed by the hawk.

The point of civilization is to reject the natural, entropic state of things, to bring order to the chaos by establishing a society where the weak can coexist with the strong. The snake and the mouse and the hawk are all neighbors and only fight over politics or sports.

By so callously looking for opportunities to destroy their opposition, to tear them apart with fang and claw, the students at Oxford backslide into a state of nature and barbarism.

Once they leave campus, there’s zero doubt the “eat or be eaten” philosophy they so carefully honed at school will follow them.

In a brilliant article from last year, historian Victor Davis Hanson warned that “Americans will come to appreciate just how thin is the veneer of their civilization” and that “we are relearning that what lies just beneath is utterly terrifying.”

What lies beneath is the beast, the primal state of man. And it’s hungry.

The Daily Signal publishes a variety of perspectives. Nothing written here is to be construed as representing the views of The Heritage Foundation.

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The post Campus Cancel Culture and the Law of the Jungle appeared first on The Daily Signal.

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