When Will The Campus Left Have Its Minsky Moment?

Writing in The Weekly Standard, Jonathan V. Last comments on the untethered freakishness and authoritarianism of today’s radical student Left:

…the radicalism has migrated outward into the broader culture, too. It’s the kind of insanity we haven’t seen in America since the bad old days of the early 1970s.

The good news is that these sorts of perversions always burn themselves out-they’re too untethered to reality. Eventually people realize that the radicalism is really about just one thing: power.  And once people begin to challenge the dogmas, they collapse in a cascade. Because as they lose their power to exact a price for criticism, they attract more of it.

Two things immediately spring to mind. First, the look on the face of Nicolae Ceaușescu, the grotesque dictator of Romania, when, as Communism disintegrated behind the Iron Curtain, he realized he was finally at the mercy of his long-terrorized people. Standing before a large Bucharest crowd on December 21, 1989, Ceaușescu attempted to give a speech full of the standard Marxist cant, but the crowd turned on him. (He was executed four days later, on Christmas Day.)

Second, the concept of the “Minsky Moment,” named after the economist Hyman Minsky, who studied market instability. The Minsky Moment is the point at which an overvalued market, bloated on unsustainable hype and speculation, finally begins to crash. One could say that Ceaușescu had his Minsky Moment during that speech. The asset value of his power and terror finally began to fall.

When will the campus Left have their Minsky Moment? Will they have one at all? Jonathan Last believes so. I tend to agree, although I admit on some days it all seems so hopeless.


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