This is a serious step for me. By publishing this blog I am burning bridges, decades in the making and using, and more importantly demonstrating a vulnerability that I would sooner not. It has already caused rifts with people about whom I care deeply but they, as most civilians, choose not to acknowledge the pernicious unforeseen consequences of seemingly benign acts made unknowingly in concert with covert seditious groups whose goal is to topple the Republic. Having exposed conspiracies and participated in a few I am not a “conspiracy theorist” as depicted in current literature. But you must remember conspiracies are like paranoia; just because you think they’re out to get you doesn’t mean they aren’t. So, here we go:
As you can see from my bio I’m a graduate of The University of the South. In the 1950’s and 60’s it was referred to as the Harvard of the South although the students would have preferred that it be the Princeton of the South. The school had a national reputation enjoying periodic articles in the New York Times, Time Magazine and such. Its football and wrestling teams were among the best of the small colleges in a time before divisions were created by the NCAA. It had produced a number of Rhodes Scholars disproportionate to its student body size of 900 and, of course, as were many colleges in those days, it was an all-male institution. It was a place of serious academic rigor requiring its seniors to pass written and oral comprehensive examinations covering all four years of study in their major. If you failed you did not receive your degree regardless of your GPA or hours completed. For example, my written comprehensives covered sixteen hours and my orals required six and a half hours in front of five professors of religion and theology. The process was an experience and, as I’ve noted, it resulted in a national reputation for producing not only scholars but well-rounded and disciplined professionals.
It was a school of the South and out of the South but there were no secret societies that got together, drank and yelled “Up the Rebels.” Its students came mainly from the South and were in the top five percent of their secondary school classes. It had an honor code that was taken seriously by the students and a student government that you earned your way into by academic achievement instead of popularity at the polls. As at Oxford and Cambridge gowns were worn by those who achieved entry into that student organization. The campus was spare, almost monastic and the educational process rigorous. I make no apologies when I say that the University of The South was once an elite and unique institution.
Of course, it no longer exists for everything changes and Sewanee changed too. It is now just a small (1700 students) college trying to make it in a country that has more than 4,000 four year colleges each competing for students on a yearly basis. Today the school cannot boast of a national or even a regional reputation. It no longer has a wrestling team (lost to Title IX) and its football team couldn’t compete in a decent high school league. There are no professors of national note and the isolation of the school on the remote western edge of the Cumberland Plateau makes it difficult to recruit students who can go to schools more commodious and with many more non-college things to do. But still this alumnus supported the college.
That is until now, recently the Board of Regents decided that, given the school’s association with the post Civil War South and all the bad things that happened there, so we have been told by mostly Northern historians, there must be a repudiation of all things Southern. Thus, the Board issued a statement decrying and apologizing for any previous association with the South of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and a promise to engage in social justice activities in the future in an attempt to make penance for the wrongs of the school and those associated with it. They promised to let no stone go unturned (and that is a chore at Sewanee since the entire school is built of sandstone blocks) in their efforts to root out the miscreants of the past and blot them from memory. They seek a new narrative, not of eliteness or uniqueness but of inclusivity and diversity. They seek sameness with public and private institutions that have achieved the reputation of designing their student bodies around the lowest denominator in the name of equality. They choose not to lead but to follow.
As a former counterintelligence officer of no small experience and a veteran of the cold war and post cold war intrigues of Marxist groups around the world, I have tried to point out to the Regents and alumni that they have been sucked, as unwitting supporters, into the Marxist revolution being promulgated throughout the U.S. under the cover of a social justice movement. But it seems I suffer from the Casandra/Laocoon complex, (though I certainly hope not to be devoured by sea serpents) for I have discovered convincing otherwise smart people that they may have turned in the wrong direction is much like getting a… well, I won’t engage in name calling but the mental image you conjured up in expectation of my statement is most likely correct. Mind you, these are very well-educated and well-meaning people. They bear no malice, that I can detect, towards others, but they, like the majority of people in the U.S. want to avoid confrontational situations and and they will continue to do so until they look behind and see they’ve run out of room into which they can retreat. But there is one more thing about smart people that often goes unnoticed: they believe they are too smart to be used. Now, before I was a counterintelligence officer I was known for my skills in recruiting and handling spies and it became apparent early in my career that the smarter someone was the easier it was to maneuver them towards spydom for their very publicly displayed superiority made them more vulnerable to certain approaches. Their assumption of invulnerability based on intelligence left large avenues of approach through which I could begin to appeal to their more basic instincts which they tried to hide from others. As I said, I was known for my recruiting skills.
My readers are themselves smart people and many of them learned in the ways of Marxist revolutionaries. Orwell warned us,”Who controls the past controls the future; Who controls the present controls the past.” See my previous blog on Attacking the Past. By repudiating the history of those who went before them at the school the Regents have opened themselves to a new narrative that will be created by those in the present. And those in the present are not supporters of the U.S. Constitution but of a collective wherein the mob rules, until that is, the old system is overthrown and the new totalitarian system is installed. Think Chinese Cultural Revolution wherein Mao achieved the removal of all the “Old Comrades” who could challenge him for power or remember how things had really been. Think of Che and his tribunals in Cuba or the reeducation camps of Vietnam where the old past was obliterated and replaced with the new narrative of “proper think.” The NAZIs rewrote the history of their nation to one of blue-eyed, blonde ancestors and justifications of why the cleansing of the Jews was required. The Church (writ large) rewrote the history of Christianity to create a hierarchy to rule the religion; for example, it wasn’t until circa 525 AD (or CE if you prefer) that history was broken between the time before Jesus and the time after. Thus, the years between the estimated birth of Jesus and 525 AD never really existed as the year 1AD or 400 AD and Julius Caesar didn’t die in the year 44 BC. The BC concept didn’t take hold until around 1627 when a French astronomer decided that the world certainly existed before 1AD and he began counting backwards from the event the Church used to count forward. Until then things that had happened before the birth of Jesus were dated by their Roman dates which was predicated on the assumed founding of the city of Rome. In Islam the calendar is marked from the date of the move of Muhammad from Mecca to Medina and his gathering of followers there (having been expelled from Mecca). In other words, a relatively inconsequential movement in the Arabian Peninsula rewrote history in its favor and set all time to be measured from its beginning and in doing so created a narrative that would assist in it becoming a dominant force for the next fourteen centuries.
So, you see how being able to control the past can give you control of the present and the future. This is what Orwell was explaining in 1984 and Animal Farm. Thus it is with the movements we are experiencing today in the USA; they seek to reset the past with a narrative of their choosing, thus controlling both the present and the future. And thus it is with the actions of the Sewanee Board of Regents. They seek to create a new narrative for the past not by wearing sackcloth and ashes to repent the sins of their forebears or beating themselves in public with knotted ropes, but by denigrating those who have gone before them at Sewanee and the South in general. They have become fellow travelers on the road to the ideal concept of the one-worldness of equality. This is the carrot Napoleon dangled in front of Boxer; always just out of reach, but for which Boxer constantly strove until he could no longer pull his weight and was consigned to the Knacker, as will be those who pursue the carrot of Social Justice.
The problem in dealing with this phenomenon is that the American public has been so overwhelmed with claims of conspiracies, manufactured predominately by the media to frighten consumers, causing in that public an ennui towards actual covertly directed and funded operations seeking to rend the Republic and replace it with not a system based on social equality, but simply another oligarchy of totalitarianism. As for my dilemma with Sewanee, I have not yet decided on a course of action. I could continue to make my contributions to the Alumni scholarship fund and moan when the Tigers take yet another loss on the field for it is the only way I can continue to preserve my right to shout my Cassandra-like warnings into the wilderness of academia. Or I could sever ties, box up my memorabilia and try to forget what was once a unique institution where people were taught to think and act for themselves vice following the rest of the slice over the cliff (Lemmings, look it up.)
But caveat emptor Academia, for Sewanee is not a one-off example of how Marxism, under the guise of one world of equality, is creeping (nay, galloping) into our current society. Take heed, the revolution isn’t coming, It’s here and many of your friends have already unknowingly signed on to the dark side because they felt guilty and needed to right a perceived wrong. A wrong with which they are not associated other than having been born and educated in a geographical region. Just think of me as Toto tugging at that curtain behind which the impostors pull the strings and levers.
Excellent post, Tony. I think you speak not just for alumni but for many Americans.