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Every generation has an opportunity to change the world. Right now, college campuses around the country are home to a moral movement that seeks to reverse centuries of historic wrongs.
This movement is led by students forced to live with the legacy of sexism, with the threat, and sometimes the experience, of sexual assault. (..) racism and bigotry. (..) equal rights for gays, lesbians (..)
These students are driven by noble impulses to do justice and identify oppression. (..)
But when you witness how this movement is actually being felt on campus, you cant help noticing that it sometimes slides into a form of zealotry. If you read the website of the group FIRE, which defends free speech on campus, (..) you see speech codes that inhibit free expression;
Todays campus activists are not only going after actual acts of discrimination which is admirable. They are also going after incorrect thought impiety and blasphemy.
According to this theory, the dividing lines between good and evil are starkly clear. The essential conflict is between the traumatized purity of the victim and the verbal violence of the oppressor.
There will always be moral fervor on campus. Right now that moral fervor is structured by those who seek the innocent purity of the vulnerable victim. Another and more mature moral fervor would be structured by the classic ideal of the worldly philosopher, by the desire to confront not hide from what you fear, but to engage the complexity of the world, (..)