Correspondence with a fellow alum:
Shows what a weak reed the credentialling sector ultimately is. New College was founded at the heart of the postwar Golden Age, when elite consensus was what we would now call “liberal”. Well, it’s not any more, so all State institutions are going to bend the knee. Amazing in a way that NC lasted as long as it did. The possible upside: it will give the youngs something more consequential to fight for than gender categories and pronouns. If they take it. I wonder whether they will. On my reunion visits I found them likable but utterly shipwrecked intellectually by wokeness.
The New Left in our day had an iron backbone of red-diaper babies — sons and daughters of old Commies from the 1930s. They were having an Oedipal drama with the ‘rents on the Old Left — which had, admittedly, pretty much collapsed and sold out to the Democratic Party — but they inherited some of its materialist clarity of thinking and historical awareness. But now the New Left has been replaced by the No Left, which has no conception of class at all, as far as I can tell, and reduces politics to an extensive list of bad attitudes — racism and misogyny of course in a very expansive sense, and then the zoo of Xphobias (replace X with trans-, homo-, etc.).
It will be interesting to see how the crackdown unfolds. A new president, presumably, in fairly short order. Who will then issue directives to do, or not do… what? And it will be interesting to see whether there’s any real resistance. Pessimistically, perhaps, I doubt it. Profs are not usually made of very stern stuff.