America @ Middleburg: the Celebration of Ignorance

Allison StangerThis NYT Op Ed piece by Middlebury College Professor Allison Sanger (L) – now in a neck brace resulting from this attempted civil conversation with Charles Murray – is a must read for our time.

4 thoughts on “America @ Middleburg: the Celebration of Ignorance

    • Karin, good question for which none of us has a good answer. But we do have some clues in the wisdom of tradition. A number of essays in Be Still! Departure from Collective Madness hint at the depth of human anxiety and erupts in collective madness. “Our Anxious Time”, Mysterium Tremendous et Facscinans: Little Boys with Toys” and others attempt to speak to this. The question, it seems to me, is how to respond creatively and peacefully rather than react in kind, repeating the evils we deplore.


  1. Thanks for posting this. It breaks my heart. I remember the days when Kent students were killed for peacefully protesting. I remember being kept out of my office because of bomb threats. I remember the “fear of speaking.” But now we’ve gone so much beyond that. Now rudeness, violence, and ignorance have become the immediate “go to,” even, or maybe especially, among those who one would hope are learning to be our rational and caring leaders.

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    • Heart-breaking it is. And interesting that the professor is a woman, don’t you think? How do we responsibly resist the alt-right movement’s march toward the destruction of democratic values, principles, and institutions? Like you, Mona, I remember Kent State. I remember leader the marches on campus but always aware of the one who tried to the peaceful demonstration with the brick to throw through a downtown store window; aware of the Army Intelligence agent provocateur who did his best to disrupt and incite the crowd to violence. Today is a different story, but once again the individual feels helpless and angry at the course of public events, struggling with self-expression, counting for something, resisting the flow toward destruction – sometimes, unwittingly, entering the current of destruction by methods that increase its pace and size.

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