Boston Bombings: Blame the Democratic University

Who or what is to blame for the horrific Boston Marathon killings?  Conservative commentator Peter S. Rieth blames America’s doddering higher-education system.

In a post at The Imaginative Conservative, Rieth blames both a warped immigration culture and a degraded university culture for the bombings.  America’s universities, Rieth argues, have decayed into party camps, hosting dunderheaded drinkers with little sense of intellectualism.

The surviving accused Boston bomber, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was a student at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth.

Such “gargantuan democratic institutions” as the university must bear some of the blame for a culture of violence, Rieth believes. When America’s university system was “forcibly and systematically democratized over the past few decades,” the original purpose was squeezed out.  In its place has grown a culture so degraded that murderers find a happy home.  As Rieth writes,

In this democratic university, the real students and the real professors would be but a faction, and a minority faction at that. The intelligentsia would be forced into the corner of their own institutions to make room for the “college means party,  study means cliff notes” crowd. The democratic university would be open and find room for everyone,  including – apparently – the psychopathic and dangerous. To those who may think I am over reaching, please consider this question: why do we live in an America where these heinous acts are perpetuated by young people who are students? . . . The university system in America; that assembly line of mediocrity, has failed to such an extent that we now have students killing people.

Amid the flurry of commentary over the Boston murders, this is the first I’ve seen that has blamed the educational system.  To be fair, as a Kirkean traditionalist, Rieth may not represent a large segment of American conservative opinion.  But Rieth’s vehement hostility to higher education seems fairly common among conservative pundits.

Will some conservatives join Rieth in blaming college for atrocity?

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