“A Culture of Snitching” is the Result of the Failures in American Civic Education


Mark Steyn joined Chris Buskirk today on the Seth and Chris Show to discuss many ways the Left’s long march through the institutions has undermined American education and worked to erode civic trust. This has had a bad effect not just in America, but even in terms of the example America sets for the rest of the Western world:

With a lot of the malign social trends in the world—when you talk about, you know, the socialization of healthcare or whatever—Canada and Western Europe are often years ahead of where the United States is. In the corruption of education, America is actually the pacesetter—the insanity on American campuses is of a different order. And Canada, Britain, France and the rest are actually scrambling to catch up; and I think it’s a tragedy what’s happened. I also think it’s actually wicked. We are actually corrupting and hollowing out the next generation of citizens…Education is an absolutely critical battleground.

We are doing an an “affirmatively bad job” of educating the next generation, Steyn said, because it’s not just that our children are ignorant of the glories of Western civilization, it’s that we are actually teaching them to hate those things. We are doing a kind of violence to ourselves in promoting a kind of “civilizational self-loathing” that is “audacious and ambitious” on the part of the Left. They act with audacity and ambition and we, unfortunately, tend to respond with impotent protests on behalf of reason. We respond to this nihilistic movement as if it will care to debate us.

The identity politics of the Left inevitably results in a kind of suppression of thought from which we are sure to get a “culture of snitching” as we see in today’s politics where neighbor is turned against neighbor for the purpose of exposing what is supposed to be an “incorrect” or unsavory political point of view. We’ve seen this movie before, says Steyn, in Eastern Europe. But our historical memories are short and, as a result, we have lost all sense of shame and fear about this kind of censure.

Be sure to listen to the whole interview and check back often for more from Mark Steyn. In the meantime, you can find more of his work here.

About Julie Ponzi

Julie Ponzi is Senior Editor of American Greatness. She holds an M.A. in political philosophy and American politics from the Claremont Graduate University. She was an Earhart Fellow and a Bradley Foundation Fellow while studying at Claremont and also earned a Publius Fellowship from The Claremont Institute. Formerly the Director of Academic Programs at the Claremont Institute, she also taught American politics at Azusa Pacific University. Her writing has appeared in the Claremont Review of Books, The Online Library of Law and Liberty, The Columbus Dispatch, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and The Washington Times. She was also a regular and long-time contributor to the Ashbrook Center's blog, No Left Turns. She lives in California. You can follow her on Twitter at @JuliePonzi

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4 responses to ““A Culture of Snitching” is the Result of the Failures in American Civic Education”

  1. What’s frustrating is that this is relatively easy to correct. All that the Republican run state legislatures and Republican run Congress need to do is cut off funding for all those “grievance studies” departments which act as incubators for hateful anti-American and anti-Western thought. As things stands the American taxpayer is being forced to pay the salaries of people who preach his destruction.

    • I agree. But it also starts much younger. The idea of “natural consequences” for one’s actions as opposed to an objective truth of right and wrong in our schools and homes is a prevalent teaching method. This utilitarian approach does not work if one is not caught when doing something wrong. If there are no natural consequences for snitching, or worse if a child is rewarded, then we have what we presently see in the Oval Office and the CIA–leaks.

    • I’ve often thought this too. In fact, if we (the readers here) wanted to discuss organizing petition drives in our respective states to de-fund these programs, I’d be all for it.

      Just one problem:

      Where will all those out-of-work radical academics go? Because it’s not hard to see them becoming a destabilizing force in our society if we don’t do something about them immediately after making them redundant.

  2. The civil rights legislation of the 50s and 60s was the linch-pin for the left in its transformation and enlargement of government intervention in our lives. Gullible, guilt-ridden whites have enabled this process to metastasize over the past 50 years until we now have a sort of “unitary” left held together by issues of racial, sexual, and class identity. To bring it all down means nothing less than declaring war on the left and its entire enterprise of socialist objectives.