Echoes of Fascism

 

For me, this video had echoes of the Kapos who operated in the concentration camps under the Nazis. The young lady’s sweet and gentle manner wasn’t reassuring to me, either.

If you’re not familiar with the roles of Kapos in the camps, they were prisoners who were used to provide oversight over their fellow prisoners:

In the Nazi concentration camps, the term Kapo was first used at Dachau from which it spread to the other camps.

Regardless of the origin, Kapos played a vital role in the Nazi camp system as a large number of prisoners within the system required constant oversight. Most Kapos were put in charge of a prisoner work gang, called Kommando. It was the Kapos job to brutally force prisoners to do forced labor, despite the prisoners being sick and starving.

Facing prisoner against prisoner served two goals for the SS: it allowed them to meet a labor need while simultaneously furthering tensions between various groups of prisoners.

In case you think I’m overreacting, let me tell you about a program that has been established at several college campuses all over the country. It is called the Student Health Ambassadors program, and a “toolkit” for creating these programs is now available from the American College Health Association.

In a recent article of the Federalist, the insidious nature of these programs is described:

How much would you have to be paid to commit social suicide? What if a paycheck wasn’t the only perk, but it also entitled you to a sickening sense of self-righteousness and an air of superiority?

This appears to be the tradeoff many college students have made this semester as universities’ ‘Student Health Ambassadors,’ paid adult hall monitors whose job is to patrol their campuses and enforce mask policies and distancing regulations. Several different institutions have opened this position, each one slightly different but all giving students authority over their peers in the name of public health. 

One of the most egregious examples comes from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), where student Covid commissars have been given the authority to ‘break up social gatherings” and to check students’ ‘clearance certificates.’ Students who violate COVID policies can face suspension and expulsion. The enforcers, who are paid $15 an hour, even don vests and T-shirts emblazoned with the health ambassador logo.

Later in his article, he offers this insight:

It’s all theater, but refusing to believe in this cult of paranoia makes it all the more important that people are pressured into outward displays of obedience. The more absurd the rules get the more they require frequent social reaffirmation through unquestioning obedience.

Although there are students who support vaccine mandates, others are protesting what they experience as “overreach”:

Student complaints include objections to restrictions on their travel on and off campus, increased surveillance and what they consider erosion of civil liberties. Student-led petitions have prompted some schools to drop the use of location-tracking apps and requirements to wear sensors that monitor vital signs.

At the core of their concerns is a fear that universities are constructing a bureaucracy designed to control a generation just coming of age.

There is no doubt, however, that some schools are taking their mandates seriously, and students are pushing back:

Michigan has seen its share of reprisals: Students at Oakland University near Detroit successfully pushed back against a wearable ‘bio button’ designed to monitor heart rate, temperature and respiration, and warn the school if a student was showing signs of Covid-19. At Albion College in Albion, Mich., students petitioned the school to drop an app that monitored their location—on and off campus. Last week, Western Michigan University lost a federal appeal to require student athletes to be vaccinated to play.

Montana State University instituted a policy to place students on probation who have twice been reported by a professor for not wearing a mask. A third complaint results in a semester suspension. A fourth mask offense is grounds for expulsion.

Universities who have adopted the Student Health Ambassadors program tout their success and continue to expand their efforts. UNC Asheville celebrates its success:

‘From the beginning when we first got hired, it was solely focused on COVID, but as we learned more about COVID and our campus and what we needed, we learned that so much more goes into it…. There are so many things that tie into this work. Our themes each week helped students fill in those holes to prevent COVID,’ said senior Skyler Chillson.

UNC Asheville has also created special awards for their Student Health Ambassadors. I’m sure that there are many people motivated to create new ways to permeate the university system with these kinds of efforts.

So many questions are being asked about the virus, and just as many theories are being espoused: when will the pandemic be over? Are we ready to accept Covid-19 as endemic indefinitely? How far will organizations go to enforce their requirements, even in the face of new scientific information? When will students finally decide they’ve had enough of the universities’ demands and intrusions on their life, and what actions will they take in response? When will there be sufficient understanding of Covid-19 to roll back these programs?

I wouldn’t hold my breath.

Published in Education
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  1. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    Wanted: Karens. $15/hr.

    • #1
  2. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    Impfung macht frei

    • #2
  3. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    Rodin (View Comment):
    Impfung macht frei

    Damn.

    That’s good.

    • #3
  4. CACrabtree Coolidge
    CACrabtree
    @CACrabtree

    Finally; she gets her revenge for not being asked to the high school prom.  G*d, it feels good!

    • #4
  5. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    I found this report after I posted. It’s called “The Impact of Covid-19 on Student Well-Being” and there were two results that I found alarming. One was that the mental health of students has deteriorated in the perception of the students. It hasn’t occurred to the universities that their policies on Covid-19 have exacerbated the situation. The second point was that the students have an overwhelming belief that the health system can be relied on for scientific information. So they will be subject to this propaganda loop indefinitely. Awful.

    • #5
  6. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    CACrabtree (View Comment):

    Finally; she gets her revenge for not being asked to the high school prom. G*d, it feels good!

    Wallflowers unite!

    • #6
  7. DrewInWisconsin, Oaf Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf
    @DrewInWisconsin

    We need so much civil disobedience to be happening.

    I noticed that an “all guests and visitors must wear a mask inside this building” sign at my mother’s apartment complex. It had been taken down earlier this year, and suddenly it was back up. I asked her why. She rolled her eyes and said that a couple residents wanted it. Two people. Two people who are afraid get to dictate the rules for everyone else.

    That’s our entire society in a nutshell hell.

    • #7
  8. Mark Alexander Coolidge
    Mark Alexander
    @MarkAlexander

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Rodin (View Comment):
    Impfung macht frei

    Damn.

    That’s good.

    https://nominister.wordpress.com/2021/09/10/impfung-macht-frei/

    • #8
  9. Mark Alexander Coolidge
    Mark Alexander
    @MarkAlexander

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    I found this report after I posted. It’s called “The Impact of Covid-19 on Student Well-Being” and there were two results that I found alarming. One was that the mental health of students has deteriorated in the perception of the students. It hasn’t occurred to the universities that their policies on Covid-19 have exacerbated the situation. The second point was that the students have an overwhelming belief that the health system can be relied on for scientific information. So they will be subject to this propaganda loop indefinitely. Awful.

    Of course, such universities never cared for students, except to the extent their taxpayer-funded student loans enhanced their lifestyles.

    • #9
  10. DrewInWisconsin, Oaf Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Mark Alexander (View Comment):

    Of course, such universities never cared for students, except to the extent their taxpayer-funded student loans enhanced their lifestyles.

    That’s the key.

    • #10
  11. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf (View Comment):

    We need so much civil disobedience to be happening.

    I noticed that an “all guests and visitors must wear a mask inside this building” sign at my mother’s apartment complex. It had been taken down earlier this year, and suddenly it was back up. I asked her why. She rolled her eyes and said that a couple residents wanted it. Two people. Two people who are afraid get to dictate the rules for everyone else.

    That’s our entire society in a nutshell hell.

    I mentioned in another post that my husband and I were confronted by “mask signs” even if you were vaccinated! At two locations of a museum and a gift shop. We ignored them. Even though staff had masks on, they didn’t say a word. @rushbabe49 inspired me to just ignore them. If someone tries to kick me out, we’ll make a decision on the spot. Period.

    • #11
  12. David Foster Member
    David Foster
    @DavidFoster

    This sort of thing has been building for a while, notably in the indoctrination program carried out by ‘Residence Life’ assistants at the University of Delaware, reported in 2009.  See the report of a Designated Indoctrinator at the link, especially the second (very spirited) woman.

    https://dfkpq46c1l9o7.cloudfront.net/pdfs/8ab6da099b212f7c4750e0de896a59cb.pdf

    See also my post Life in the Fully Politicized Society:

    https://ricochet.com/795158/life-in-the-fully-politicized-society/

     

     

     

    • #12
  13. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    Sometimes it’s good to be a Boomer.

    • #13
  14. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    David Foster (View Comment):

    This sort of thing has been building for a while, notably in the indoctrination program carried out by ‘Residence Life’ assistants at the University of Delaware, reported in 2009. See the report of a Designated Indoctrinator at the link, especially the second (very spirited) woman.

    https://dfkpq46c1l9o7.cloudfront.net/pdfs/8ab6da099b212f7c4750e0de896a59cb.pdf

    See also my post Life in the Fully Politicized Society:

    https://ricochet.com/795158/life-in-the-fully-politicized-society/

     

     

     

    Thanks so much, David. Eye opening and yet obvious about where we are now. The “indoctrination program”–I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry–was so bizarre. And your post was spot-on. In some ways, I wish it weren’t . . . 

    • #14
  15. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    Sometimes it’s good to be a Boomer.

    I can’t even imagine how to be on a college campus today! What would I do? How would I react? Of course, that would be the younger me. I hate to even speculate . . . 

    • #15
  16. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    Sometimes it’s good to be a Boomer.

    I can’t even imagine how to be on a college campus today! What would I do? How would I react? Of course, that would be the younger me. I hate to even speculate . . .

    I’m pretty sure I’d get into trouble.  Of course, I got into trouble then, but for different reasons, so maybe it would be a wash.  But at least I didn’t have to put up with the young woman above.

    • #16
  17. Doctor Robert Member
    Doctor Robert
    @DoctorRobert

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    Sometimes it’s good to be a Boomer.

    I can’t even imagine how to be on a college campus today! What would I do? How would I react? Of course, that would be the younger me. I hate to even speculate . . .

    I’m pretty sure I’d get into trouble. Of course, I got into trouble then, but for different reasons, so maybe it would be a wash. But at least I didn’t have to put up with the young woman above.

    The resp0onse is, “I know, and I don’t care.  G’day, mate.”

    I wear a mask at work because I must.  I wore a mask to see Boris Godunov at the Met last week because seeing the opera was more important to me than the trouble of wearing the mask. Once the lights were down, off it came.  I don’t wear a mask at stores or going into Church or at orchestra rehearsals, although all these places are posted, because no one bothers me if I act confidently.  If challenged, I would assess how much I want to be there and act accordingly.

    • #17
  18. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Doctor Robert (View Comment):
    I wear a mask at work because I must.  I wore a mask to see Boris Godunov at the Met last week because seeing the opera was more important to me than the trouble of wearing the mask. Once the lights were down, off it came.  I don’t wear a mask at stores or going into Church or at orchestra rehearsals, although all these places are posted, because no one bothers me if I act confidently.  If challenged, I would assess how much I want to be there and act accordingly.

    Precisely. We’re pretty much on the same page, Doctor.

    • #18
  19. David Foster Member
    David Foster
    @DavidFoster

    Musical accompaniment for this discussion:  Die Gedanken Sind Frei (the thoughts are free)

     

    • #19
  20. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    Duplicate.

    • #20
  21. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    Doctor Robert (View Comment):

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    Sometimes it’s good to be a Boomer.

    I can’t even imagine how to be on a college campus today! What would I do? How would I react? Of course, that would be the younger me. I hate to even speculate . . .

    I’m pretty sure I’d get into trouble. Of course, I got into trouble then, but for different reasons, so maybe it would be a wash. But at least I didn’t have to put up with the young woman above.

    The resp0onse is, “I know, and I don’t care. G’day, mate.”

    I wear a mask at work because I must. I wore a mask to see Boris Godunov at the Met last week because seeing the opera was more important to me than the trouble of wearing the mask. Once the lights were down, off it came. I don’t wear a mask at stores or going into Church or at orchestra rehearsals, although all these places are posted, because no one bothers me if I act confidently. If challenged, I would assess how much I want to be there and act accordingly.

    There is definitely a balancing test to be made, and I think the opera anecdote is a good one, where one’s passion tips the scale.  I have a Baltimore Symphony subscription and have considerable concern about upcoming 2+ hour masked shows, but will try to endure.

    • #21
  22. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    David Foster (View Comment):

    Musical accompaniment for this discussion: Die Gedanken Sind Frei (the thoughts are free)

     

    And they even try to take that away from us . . . 

    • #22
  23. Buckpasser Member
    Buckpasser
    @Buckpasser

    I think joe bidenstan would like to make The Lives Of Others the law of the land.

    • #23
  24. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Rodin (View Comment):
    Impfung macht frei

    Damn.

    That’s good.

    https://nominister.wordpress.com/2021/09/10/impfung-macht-frei/

    Thank you for the link. I had not seen the article and came to Impfung macht frei likely in a similar way the author did.  When I read the OP two things flashed in my mind simultaneously: UC Berkeley has a gate called Sather Gate, above, with the University’s motto (“Let There Be Light”) adorning it, and the Nazi death camp gate with it’s slogan Arbeit macht frei. I then used a translate program to get the German word for “vaccination”. As a UC retiree I am quite distressed how an institution such as UC has been corrupted. When still employed there I could see the corruption coming in but the STEM part of the University seemed to be cordoned off from the evil. Now it is everywhere. 

     

     

    • #24
  25. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Rodin (View Comment):
    Impfung macht frei

    Damn.

    That’s good.

    That could be another tee shirt.

    • #25
  26. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    Sometimes it’s good to be a Boomer.

    All  we had to worry about was getting narc’ed by the prissies.

    • #26
  27. DaveSchmidt Coolidge
    DaveSchmidt
    @DaveSchmidt

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Wanted: Karens. $15/hr.

    Do they pay extra for scalps?

    • #27
  28. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    I think masking college kids is silly, and I cringe at the thought that there are kids like this willing to be the do-gooder enforcers of silly policy. But as I watched the video it occurred to me that, when fighting the “germ” of unapproved thoughts and ideas, college enforcers tend to be louder and more violent.

    So it would be fun to re-make this video with a young woman politely saying things like:

    “Yes, I know we’d all like to have an open discussion on topics about which we disagree. But we want to keep everyone safe and thinking the same thing, and if we let those other ideas be spoken out loud, someone might, you know, kind of catch it? They might start thinking that maybe what they’ve been told isn’t necessarily right? Then, you know, everyone would start thinking their own thoughts and talking about them. So, you know, we’re just trying to keep everyone safe.”

    • #28
  29. DaveSchmidt Coolidge
    DaveSchmidt
    @DaveSchmidt

    Henry Racette (View Comment):
    Impfung macht frei

    Can someone with Photoshop skills create a prison gate with this slogan?  

    • #29
  30. DrewInWisconsin, Oaf Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    So it would be fun to re-make this video with a young woman politely saying things like:

    “Yes, I know we’d all like to have an open discussion on topics about which we disagree. But we want to keep everyone safe and thinking the same thing, and if we let those other ideas be spoken out loud, someone might, you know, kind of catch it? They might start thinking that maybe what they’ve been told isn’t necessarily right? Then, you know, everyone would start thinking their own thoughts and talking about them. So, you know, we’re just trying to keep everyone safe.”

    But that kind of already happens. Isn’t that why they chase conservative speakers off campuses or provide safe spaces with puppy videos and coloring books for those traumatized by the presence of unapprove thinking?

     

    • #30