Critical Theory and Collapsing Colleges

Why are our universities imploding and exploding?

Right now hundreds of college campuses in America, Australia and elsewhere in the West are being “occupied” by militants and radicals. How many of these are actual students and how many are outside agitators happy to come along and help push the revolution is a moot point.

But what we are currently witnessing has not come about by accident. West-hating militants are simply following in the footsteps of their Marxist forebears, happy to see not just universities but the West as a whole come crumbling down. Long ago those pushing revolution from without realised that taking over things from within was the way to go.

So now they have almost completely taken over all the institutions of power and influence, be they schools, the media, politics, the courts, the arts, even many of the churches. And for those who were not originally activists and communists, after decades of the propaganda coming from the hyper-radicalised universities, media and so many of our politicians, it is a wonder that ALL students are not now full-blown revolutionaries.

The long march through the institutions has certainly paid off for the far left, and what we are seeing at Columbia University, UCLA, Sydney University, and many dozens of other campuses is the fruit of years of leftist activism and proselytising.

Students are now being taught to hate America and the West, and to hate Israel. And they have fully taken on board the tactics of the hard left as they destroy property, intimidate and harass others, prevent normal students from simply finishing their education, and turning our campuses into war zones. It is all part of the Marxist playbook. It is all part of the critical theorists and their war on the West.

Radical professors and inept or irresponsible university officials are of course contributing to all this. So many faculty members and administrators fully side with the radical students. They egg them on and support them enthusiastically. No wonder so many students – especially Jewish students – no longer feel safe on these campuses.

Plenty of useful commentary can be drawn upon here. One recent article looking at the situation at Columbia University in New York said in part:

What is abundantly clear is that things never would have gotten to this point were it not for Columbia’s feeble administrators, starting with Minouche Shafik, the university president. Instead of intervening deliberately the moment that protesters began breaking rules, she coddled the protesters and gave them every reason to believe that they would never face any consequences for their actions.


After initially calling in the NYPD to remove the encampment on April 18, the university allowed students to reestablish it immediately after. Deadline after deadline for the protesters to leave the encampment — a clear violation of multiple university rules — passed with no action, as the university attempted to “negotiate” with the protesters. Faculty members were allowed to join with students and shield them from consequences.


Rampant antisemitism and harassment of Jewish students were on display throughout the protests. Demonstrators called for “intifada” — a reference to the waves of terrorist attacks that killed over 1,000 Israelis well before the October 7 massacres — and shouted at a Jewish student, “The 7th of October is going to be every day for you.” Chants called for erasing Israel, with its 7.2 million Jews, from the “river to the sea.” And — rejecting the idea of even a Palestinian state that exists beside a Jewish one — the protesters yelled, “We want all of it.”

A few months ago Victor Davis Hanson wrote about the ugly state of American higher education, especially its putrid and violent anti-Semitism:

After Oct. 7, the public was shocked at what they saw and heard on America’s campuses. Americans knew previously they were intolerant, left-wing and increasingly non-meritocratic. But immediately after Oct. 7 — and even before the response of the Israeli Defense Forces — the sheer student delight on news of the mass murdering of Israeli victims seemed akin more to 1930s Germany than contemporary America.


Indeed, not a day goes by when a university professor or student group has not spouted antisemitic hatred. Often, they threaten and attack Jewish students or engage in mass demonstrations calling for the extinction of Israel. Why and how did purportedly enlightened universities become incubators of such primordial hatred?

He discusses how the “advocacy ‘-studies’ classes proliferated, along with faculty to teach them.” He says this:

“Gender, Black, Latino, feminist, Asian, Queer, trans, peace, environmental and green”-studies courses demand far less from students, and arbitrarily select some as “oppressed” and others as “oppressors.” The former “victims” are then given a blank check to engage in racist and antisemitic behavior without consequences. Proving to be politically correct in these deductive gut-courses rather than pressed to express oneself coherently, inductively and analytically from a repertoire of fact-based knowledge explains why the public witnesses faculty and students who are simultaneously both arrogant and ignorant.


At some universities “blacklists” circulate warning “marginalized” students which professors they should avoid who still cling to supposedly outdated standards regarding exam-taking, deadlines and absences. All these radical changes explain the current spectacle of angry students citing grievances, and poorly educated graduates who have had little coursework in traditional history, literature, philosophy, logic or the traditional sciences.

Vince Coyner asks if America is heading to a new civil war. He says this about the college protests:

They’re not just pro-Hamas; they’re much, much more. These protests are very much a reflection of their time given the seemingly mainstream nature of the beliefs that power them. They’re at their core not just anti-Israel, they’re antisemitic, they’re anti-American, anti-Western, anti-capitalist, anti-police, and of course, anti-white.


Sadly, all those things are basically mainstream Democrat policies in 2024. We see every single one of them play out across the country in federal, state, and local governments. From stultifying climate change regulations to the housing of illegals to DEI diktats to the reimagining of police, there’s virtually nothing that the federal government and half our state and local governments do today that isn’t infused with the workings of a leftist’s wet dream. At the end of the day, while some new incremental CAFE standard from Washington or a DEI hire at the local university might not sound particularly onerous, in reality, each is another bar in the leftist policy prison being implemented around the country.


Half the American population has become anti-everything America once stood for, and that half is actively leveraging the power of the government to “fundamentally transform the United States of America” against everything traditionally American. Given that the traditional half has no interest in watching its country be destroyed, feel as if they have few viable tools with which to stop the destruction, and hear their government call them the enemy, the country is sitting on a powder keg.

He continues:

Funded by the modern incarnation of Satan himself, George Soros, the protests will spill out beyond the universities, returning to bridges, highways, and other choke points around the country. They’ll be joined by LGBTQXYZ activists and environmental wackos, as well as more Antifa and BLM agitators. Together, they’ll try to bring the country to a halt. It won’t happen, of course, as local police and the National Guard will be called out—often by reluctant, sympathetic Democrat leaders—to restore some law and order.


But the lines will be drawn. On the one side will be Americans who understand exactly how fortunate we are, how difficult it is to create prosperity and how, while imperfect, America is the greatest nation yet produced. On the other side will be Americans who know little about history, spit on their birthright, and seek to turn the United States into Venezuela. At some point the former will decide they’ve had enough and do what they need to do to put a stop to it.

And some closing comments from American rabbi Dov Fischer who speaks about “The Blessing of the College Riots.” He writes:

Forget about the fiction of “Palestine.” There never was an “Arab Palestine,” and there never — ever — will be. And don’t worry about Israel. There will not be a third Churban (“catastrophe,” as with the Babylonian destruction of the First Holy Temple in 586 B.C.E. and the Roman destruction of the second in 70 C.E.). Long after Columbia and UCLA are torn and turned to ashes, Israel will stand strong with brides and grooms dancing and singing in the cities of Judea and the outskirts of Jerusalem. So forget about the cause du jour, the excuse of the day to riot.


Here is the blessing. Finally — finally, finally — all of America is taking notice that the colleges and universities have gotten out of hand. It is no longer about the ideological brainwashing of kids but about insurrection. Thank G-d! Thank G-d people finally are talking about what must be done.


I am not a prophet of G-d, and I very well may be wrong, but I expect the riots to end in one month, even if nothing is done to stop them. We now are in May, the last weeks of the spring term. Final exams are coming soon, and term paper deadlines are due. Either the schools will close down and cancel finals and term papers, or they won’t. But the campuses will empty in four weeks.

With summer break coming up, he may well be right – at least about the short term. But he certainly is right to note that all the rioting and destruction and occupation may well result in a backlash by ordinary Americans. They are getting sick and tired of watching these minority group revolutionaries holding our universities and the entire nation to ransom.

They may have over-played their hand, and some sanity may prevail at last. If not, the future of American education – and America itself – is looking very grim indeed.

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8 Replies to “Critical Theory and Collapsing Colleges”

  1. Author Michael Gawenda writes (The Australian. 4/5/24): “The evidence of history is that hatred of the Jews is not a matter of lack of education. Some of the most virulent and murderous Nazis were academics, renowned philosophers, venerated political scientists, not to mention hordes of judges and scientists.” And Henry Ergas soberly noted in the same publication (3/5/24), “this country has far more adolescent minds, cosseted from reality, incapable of critical thought and crippled in their capacity for moral judgement, than there are adolescents.”

  2. Thanks Bill for the article – with smoking fresh content.
    It is strange that Critical Theory did not die out in, for example, the 90s.
    The Finnish-Swedish Ralf Helenius pointed it out already in 1990 in a book.
    Got the book in 1992(?), it is evergreen and still relevant today.
    Here “ordinary” people should stand up (..also)

    Rolf Ö

  3. Rabbi Fischer may be right in some regards. Prophecy does predict some great and perhaps surprising victories for Israel, which we have already seen but also that the time will come when the Messiah Himself will need to fight for Israel, not because Israel is righteous but for His own Name’s sake.

    When that time comes I suspect the Rabbi will no longer be using the insulting terms “BCE” and “CE”. The fact that the world uses the Christian calendar is testimony to the influence of Christian culture worldwide and how the prophecy that through the seed of Abraham all the nations of the world will be blessed, has far more been fulfilled through Christianity than it ever was through Judaism – even to the extent that there is an Israel to fight for.

  4. Thank you Bill for this article and the ones linked to it. The trend to rebel against traditional values based on Christian values has reached a crisis in USA, as you portrayed. It is both alarming and incredible that the youth of today and sub cultures (with anyone who feels oppressed) have merged to become a form of destructive tornado sweeping through USA, and our shores in Australia, Europe and UK and other nations. It’s now escalated due to this terribly cruel onslaught of Anti Semitism.
    I pray it ends in the US as the term ends and exams come in but I am not sure about the way Australia is heading. I hope and pray authorities are used to enforce the law and no more ‘camping’ is allowed on the campuses meanwhile may God give His wisdom to our Govt and universities boards so they don’t allow this to increase in violence.
    The latest confrontation in Qld Uni (breaking into a Jewish lecturer’s office to denigrate it by urinating on the floor and leaving notes saying ‘resign,’ is enough, but the stand off of Pro Palestinian students v pro Israel students at ANU is very concerning as well. The Palestinian group have lied and said they need protection and a barricade up as there are several right winged Pro Militant Israelis who are oppressing them (just to twist the story). I grieve for the Jewish students concerned and lecturers at Qld Uni and ANU but pray good comes out of this evil and laws are enforced to protect the Jews who are just trying to study or teach and get on with life. (so many brilliant Jewish lecturers have contributed to Australia)
    I read an article recently on Daily Declaration saying this hunting down of Jews at Universities was just what the Nazis did in the 1930’s and I know you have pointed out the same parallel.
    May God turn things around so His greater purposes are worked out- either a return to sanity in Australia or Jewish people making Aliyah who have had enough of this absurd misplaced hate.
    May God protect His Jewish people and also help youth in USA and here return to Christian values where people respect each other and work hard to help the community.
    As you pointed out many may seek God (as we pray) and once they realize all this behavior leads only to more hate, violence and destruction.

  5. Thank you Bill for making it so clear how this has all arisen when you wrote: ‘Students are now being taught to hate America and the West, and to hate Israel. And they have fully taken on board the tactics of the hard left as they destroy property, intimidate and harass others, prevent normal students from simply finishing their education, and turning our campuses into war zones. It is all part of the Marxist playbook. It is all part of the critical theorists and their war on the West’
    May God have mercy on the West

  6. Dr Peter Boghossian has resigned from Portland State University, who are proud to be one of the worst colleges in the USA for freedom of speech. See his YouTube video.

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