Harry Jaffa On Today’s College Campuses

Harry Jaffa philosopher (1918-2015) said this in an interview with Hugh Hewitt about 10 years before he died. Hewitt asked him what he thought of the current atmosphere on college and university campuses:

Profound crisis. It’s shown on the campuses that there is no, what is the ultimate human good as defined by philosopher professors on our campuses today? The very popular expression of this is that the highest human good is the emancipation of the uninhibited self. Well, the greatest example of an emancipated self that I can think of is Adolf Hitler. He did exactly what he wanted. Every man would like to be a tyrant, you see. So the idea that the emancipation of the uninhibited self is this was the, human freedom is defined without any regard to any objective moral principles whatever. This is the dominant opinion on our campuses today. This is the opinion that underlies what is called political correctness.

Harry Jaffa was an American political philosopher, historian, columnist and professor. He was a professor emeritus at Claremont McKenna College and Claremont Graduate University and a distinguished fellow of the Claremont Institute.

Jaffa’s two great books on Abraham Lincoln are Crisis of the House Divided: An Interpretation of the Issues in the Lincoln-Douglas Debates (1959) and A New Birth of Freedom (2000).


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