Chris Rufo is getting his way at #NewCollege. He understands the people are the battlefield.

It may feel good to walk out, rage quit, as several prominent faculty have done. It may very well be the best decision from a personal perspective. But it is ceding the only terrain that ultimately matters.

Can the faculty not hold out long enough to see if DeSantis and his cheap culture flame out as a political force in two years?

@interfluidity If they do flame out, wouldn't those who resigned on principle be the first to get invited back?

It absolutely sucks to lose ground, but once that ground is already lost, we can't waste resources on the sunk cost. It's just a name. Those educators can go join some other institution that cares about principles and let New College rot, as is inevitable in any academic institution with the goal of pushing an agenda instead of discovering the truth. Principled resignations are the surest way to deny Rufo and his ilk the credibility they crave.

@LouisIngenthron i guess i disagree. Rufo i think is not interested in credibility (beyond the minimum necessary to maintain accreditation). he thinks the establishment that defines credibility is his enemy. he wants, as he has said over and over again, to make the body of the campus an empty vessel for his new thing. his new thing will surely rot, on that we agree. but the old thing is something beyond beautiful. we should try not to make way. in two years, things may be different.


@interfluidity I guess it comes down to: do you think that battle can be won?

If it can, then by all means, fight it. But I don't see that path. The only possible outcomes for people there are to live through being part of the destruction of their institution, or resigning on principle early. Hoping for a MacGuffin to sweep in in two years would just be kidding themselves.

Take the beauty you saw in the old thing and give it new life elsewhere. That's better by miles than watching Rufo slowly wear that beauty down into something twisted and cruel.

@LouisIngenthron i guess that’s where we disagree. i think people broadly disliked the overreach in much of what gets called wokeness. that gave trump and his slipstream a bit of power. i think they dislike the open cruelty of this political movement in reaction even less though. DeSantis played COVID in a way that, right or wrong, was very popular. I think two years from now he is the lamest of ducks, with all these absurdities exposed. so there is something to wait for.

@interfluidity Even if DeSantis doesn't become President, how does that curb Florida's now-two-decade-long rightward lurch?

@LouisIngenthron new college is like a person. people die. there will be other wonderful people. but it’s no good to acquiesce to a murder on the theory other great people will be born.

@interfluidity It's *dying*. We can't save its body in time, but we can do a brain transplant... better than just holding its hand with futility as it writhes in agony.

@LouisIngenthron if we could do a brain transplant, migrate into some new place its essence intact (though so much of its essence is wedded to that particular, extraordinary place) i might agree.

but faculty and students will just go elsewhere, and not the same elsewhere. there is no plausible land of milk and honey for the exodus. they just scatter to the wind.


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