Brown Shirts in the Ivory Tower

Letter From College

The orthodoxy of Reason is proclaimed, archconservative turned archliberal Garry Wills once wrote, and it will have its inquisitors.

He ought to know. Wills perfectly represents a new breed of college Utopians who, losing their power to implement their latest brainstorms on a public suspicious of statist panaceas, have turned their collective energies inward, hoping to create an academic Eden for all the Knights of the True Faith, where they can frolic unmolested by capitalism, conservatism, or dissent. As is the case with the Soviet earthly paradise, enforcing the matter has been a messy affair.

I ought to know. As editor of a conservative journal at Northwestern— a typical progressive, enlightened, modern university—I met with a decidedly illiberal hostility from campus liberals, who include the professors, the deans, the departments, the student newspaper, the student government—a seamless web encompassing everyone but the rank-and-file students, who require a tremendous strength of mind to emerge from four years at our scenic indoctrination campus as freethinkers. Unfortunately, my experience is entirely typical.

On the day of our organizational meeting, a reporter was sent by the university-subsidized daily newspaper to join our staff and "find out what those right-wingers are up to" (she sheepishly left the meeting when she saw that she had inadvertently made a confidante of...

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