COLUMN: Furey – Students don’t seem to understand freedom

- January 29th, 2013

What is government?

by Anthony Furey

The story of Arun Smith and the free speech wall will likely be the breaking point for students straddling the left-wing fence. I think we’re going to win some small government converts by the end of it.

Carleton University is not exactly a bastion of free thought. People have been arrested for holding up anti-abortion placards. Fights erupt every February during Israeli Apartheid Week. And the capital’s other university, Ottawa U, was home to the Ann Coulter fiasco.

So despite the student days of action where they scream in the streets about how tuition is so costly for their all-important education, many don’t actually bother getting educated at all. They spend it learning to be activists. Carleton student Arun Smith, in the seventh year of a human rights degree, fits the bill.

The incident: A group called Carleton Students for Liberty put up a display wall in a public gallery where people write whatever they want. As you’d expect, some scribbles were of the controversial sort — abortion, queer issues, etc.

Smith didn’t like that. He’s the Challenge Homophobia/Transphobia campaign coordinator for the Canadian Federation of Students. So translated out of Orwellian doublespeak, that means he’s an officer of the thought police, operating on a level transcending Canadian laws and constitutional rights.

He can tear down that wall with impunity because it’s his job to enforce which words and thoughts are permitted. Which is exactly what he did late Monday night, tearing down the wall. In explaining his actions on Facebook he writes: “In organizing the ‘free speech wall,’ the Students for Liberty have forgotten that liberty requires liberation, and this liberation is prevented by providing space for either more platitudes, or for the expression of hate.”

He goes on to explain he asked various administrative bodies to take down the wall and they refused, so he took it upon himself.

Let’s translate: The only way to liberate one group of people is to restrict the liberties of another. Hold up. How did Smith suddenly go from freedom fighter to dictator?

Which brings us back to that breaking point. It was from my campus encounters with people like Smith that I learned I was not in fact as left-wing as I thought. I entered school with that vague idea of wanting justice, equality and freedom for all.

Sounds like a good goal, no? Well it still is, of course. But it depends on how you define your terms and how you go about implementing them.

The breaking point is when you realize some people don’t understand what government is. They think the state is there to help them force others into becoming identical to them.

Not so. It’s just there to facilitate us doing whatever we damn well please so long as we don’t violate someone else’s right to the same (and no, you crybabies, writing saucy lines about abortion doesn’t violate anyone’s liberty).

I’ve got to hand it to Smith. His gobbledygook speak is going to expose his twisted methods to some of his previous supporters.

They probably thought his job was to oppose homophobia on campus — you know: Gay bashings, discriminatory housing policies, that sort of bad stuff.

But now they see that has little to do with it. Instead, Smith and the rest of the social justice racket just use fancy titles to shield the fact they want a career in forcing others to view the world a certain way.

Categories: Contributor Columns

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4 comments

  1. Bill Elder says:

    Universities have become the very worst place to see roll models for principled statesmanship or as a model for liberal democratic government.

    There is little question why the endless chain of political activists and career politicians/bureaucrats universities spew out , have no concept of the appropriate purpose of government in a free society and civil nation.

  2. Alain says:

    I concur with Bill Elder, but would also raise the question of why do we continue to subsidise them with our tax dollars. If the government just has to subsidise “higher” education, then ensure that money only goes to valid and useful degrees; not human rights studies, sex studies, women’s studies, gender studies, and all the rest of the Marxist studies. If anyone wants Marxist indoctrination, then let them get it on their own dime.

  3. Constantin says:

    Gentlemen, I beg to differ. Arun Smith may not know what the role of the government was in a liberal democracy, but his understanding of the functioning of the present government is indeed superior. He knows that small vandalism and abuse is not only tolerated, but in fact encouraged when coming from the radical left. Heck, one would no longer expect even a court injunction to be enforced. The call of the jungle “We are of the same blood you and I!” has become for the leftist rulling class a sort of baptism through some form of political stunting. The sinister aspect of this affair is that the impunity now associated with such acts emboldens the cowards in the back rows, resulting in a slow but irreversible increase both in number and severity of such incidents. It also carries the ominous message that the power of the state stands behind them, at least to the extent of ensuring discrimination in the application of the law. “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” If you watch Ezra’s interview, the triumphant smirk on Arun Smith’s face is louder than words. He knows that his call of the jungle has been heard.
    Both Ezra and Brian are so right when they warn Canada: behold the crop of future “leaders” you are incubating in these universities. Who needs horror movies, when these in your face, smug barbarians roam the streets and act like being above the law? I struggle to erase from memory the abject image of this activist, because thinking of him seriously nauseates me.

  4. bob says:

    I think we should be allowed to spew racist thoughts for everyone to read .Why just on this site.

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