Professor Mark Bray and the lessons of history

Y'all might say that I am somewhat obsessed with the modern academy. And you might be right at that, but I think that behind this obsession there are some sound reasons: namely your kids, being incessantly brainwashed. Here is another shining example:

Professor Mark Bray "is a historian of human rights, terrorism, and political radicalism in Modern Europe. He completed his PhD in Modern European and Women's and Gender History at Rutgers University in 2016".


As you will be able to see in the blurb of one of his books, Translating Anarchy: The Anarchism of Occupy Wall Street, Mark Bray is one of the Occupy Wall Street "organizers" and quite proud of it:

OWS organizer Mark Bray combines his direct experience in the movement with nearly 200 interviews with the most active, influential architects of Occupy Wall Street, to reveal the revolutionary anarchist core of Occupy.

Proud to the extent of defining the real goal of the Occupiers:

Although The New York Times and CNN thought that OWS simply wanted tighter financial regulations and a millionaire's tax, Bray shows that the vast majority of organizers called for the abolition of capitalism altogether.

Of course, with such pedigree and such views Mr Bray can't stand away from expressing his sympathy and support to the rising ranks and violent habits of Antifa. Here is a sample of his views.



It is not really his views of Antifa or views of his interlocutors that are of interest to me, not for the purpose of this specific post, at least. Rather his credentials as a teacher and his knowledge of history. Check out what he says in that clip (around 8:58):

The real enemies of free speech are fascists, we've seen that historically, we've seen that they are the ones that if they had their way they will shut down free speech.

Really, professor? The fascists are the only real enemies of free speech we have seen historically? And not the sworn enemies of capitalism of your ilk that made violence their main tool and that came to the scene way before the fascists you have in mind? This is what they taught you in Rutgers? This is what you teach the students in the Ivy League Dartmouth College?


Of course, you may waive this off - another professor of the infamous "studies". Yep, another one, but he is teaching the kids, not you - and there are a myriad of his ilk.


Too bad.


Dino Manalis Added Sep 16, 2017 - 8:48am
History is an important lesson in what's worked and what didn't, both good and bad events, we have to learn it entirely and strive to become better human beings!
Simply Jews Added Sep 16, 2017 - 8:56am
Absolutely. And when we pick and choose some history moments to support our own prejudices and ignore others, it ain't history anymore.
Ari Silverstein Added Sep 16, 2017 - 4:17pm
“This is what they taught you in Rutgers? This is what you teach the students in the Ivy League Dartmouth College?”
The professor’s views are identical to that of roughly 50% of the country.  The liberal left is led by the elites at Ivy League universities who mostly think just like professor Bray.  So there is nothing you should be surprised about. I think it’s especially comical they give degrees in Modern European and Women's and Gender History.  What possibly can someone do with a degree like that outside of teach others how to get a degree in a field with no prospects of landing a non-teaching job.  We can only hope that corporations stop hiring from these leftists schools, as that would be the surest way to stop this insanity.  Great post. 
Bill Caciene Added Sep 16, 2017 - 10:32pm
There is a huge difference between saying the real (what the professor actually said) enemies of free speech and the only (what you said he said) enemies of free speech are fascists.  What he said could be true based on one's definition of "real."  What you said he said is obviously false.
Simply Jews Added Sep 17, 2017 - 2:53am
Thanks, Ari. I am reading now a book titled Bias Incident by Ari Mendelson, a right wing satirical view of  the situation on campuses. The book is not what I would call an exciting read, the style is meh... but the point is that what the author considered satirical exaggeration 8 years ago became sad reality today.
Simply Jews Added Sep 17, 2017 - 2:57am
Bill, allow me to disagree. When we say "this is a real ice cream", we certainly mean it to be good to the exclusion of others. Nitpicking could be applied to what I said he said definitely, but I shall allow myself to stick to my reading of his words. And check the whole context of what he preaches in this episode.
Stephen Hunter Added Sep 17, 2017 - 9:15am
Depends on your definition of fascism, I think that most of us display fascist tendencies from time to time. (telling your children- "because I say so") Those displaying fascist tendencies, such as religious leaders, are definitely a threat to free speech, perhaps more so than political leaders. 
Simply Jews Added Sep 17, 2017 - 9:20am
@Stephen - I would say that talking with our kids we are more authoritarians than fascists ;-)
But I agree with your view of religious leaders, although looking back at history it's difficult to say whether religion or political ideology killed more people.
Charles Frankhauser Added Sep 17, 2017 - 4:53pm
Let's breakdown the word, history; His Story might have evolved over time into history because it includes both genders and somehow the alternative, her story never came into common usage except for a mention in divorce court or in newspaper journalism.  Before color TV, some researchers have speculated that people saw only in black and white.  Cavemen and cavewomen sat around fires at night telling stories about stuff that happened because there was not much to talk about that had not happened.  A campfire favorite story emphasized the important lesson of testing the temperature of a rock close to the fire before sitting on it, and that is just one example of the what can be learned from history.
Simply Jews Added Sep 18, 2017 - 3:12am
@Charles - the problem is that we (the humans) rarely learn from our history. So, your truly excellent example of sitting down on a hot rock repeats itself again and again.
Simply Jews Added Sep 18, 2017 - 3:14am
@Donald: I agree with subjective nature of our views, of course as subjects we are subjective. Still, this case of a professional historian filtering history is a bit jarring. 
Phil Greenough Added Sep 18, 2017 - 7:13am
I agree with Bill. You're putting words in the professor's mouth and skewing his words to make him look worse. The professor thinks that's it's possible to force people into being socialists and everything will be ok. Of course leftists resort to violence to make their vision a reality but the professor isn't advocating violence.
Simply Jews Added Sep 18, 2017 - 7:17am
"but the professor isn't advocating violence"
This was definitely not my point, I didn't even research this side of professor's activity. It might be interesting to take a look at his work in the Occupy this or that or his work with Antifa, but it was outside of this post brief.
Phil Greenough Added Sep 18, 2017 - 7:31am
I know your point wasn't to mislead your readers and unfairly slander the professor, but that's what you did.  
Simply Jews Added Sep 18, 2017 - 7:40am
I am afraid I am missing something: where did I claim that professor supports violence?
Maureen Foster Added Sep 18, 2017 - 1:05pm
While I have no interest in reading his book, it’s interesting to me that an organizer of Occupy Wall Street would consider the movement an example of anarchism.  Certainly he doesn’t believe society could function with no government?  Or that the rule of law should be ignored whenever a particular group deems the cause worthy?  One would think, from the standpoint of an organizer of Occupy Wall Street, the main achievement was increased awareness about the “evils” of capitalism and the free market.  Advocacy for anarchy accomplishes nothing. 
Simply Jews Added Sep 18, 2017 - 1:42pm
I can't speak for the professor, of course, but anarchists believe just that - that society could function with no government. That the working class, given the means of production, could manage the production, distribution, remuneration etc. by its own self and many other beliefs that, aside of a few experiments, never actually came to fruition. 
Ari Silverstein Added Sep 18, 2017 - 11:03pm
“Although The New York Times and CNN thought that OWS simply wanted tighter financial regulations and a millionaire's tax, Bray shows that the vast majority of organizers called for the abolition of capitalism altogether.”
I’m curious to know, does Bray desire the abolition of capitalism altogether or was he just reciting the wishes of the OWS movement?  If the latter, he should be commended for accurate reporting. 
For whatever it’s worth, I watched an OWS encampment every day on my lunch break while it was happening.  I should write a book on what I witnessed.  It all started genuine with mostly college students setting up their backpacking tents and giving speeches. Then politics entered with demonstrations and marches.  Then homeless and drug crowd moved in.  By the end, it smelled terrible with very few people actually in any of the tents. 
I watched the funniest exchange with a college kid and a cop who was looking over the place.  The kids told the cop that someone was sleeping in his tent and the cop goes “what do you want me to do about it?”  The kid was shocked, but that’s exactly what you should expect from law enforcement when you ignore the rule of law. 
Simply Jews Added Sep 19, 2017 - 1:38am
I didn't read his book and I am afraid I wouldn't ever. But being one of OWS organizers, he is more than just reporting on their wishes.
And please do write about your contacts with OWS, it might be quite a story. 
Thomas Napers Added Sep 20, 2017 - 6:24am
The funniest thing about the Occupy Wall Street movement was when it started sprouting up in other geographic locations.  I mean, how can you claim to be against Wall Street by occupying a public square in _______ (insert any town where these law-breakers decided to occupy).  The whole thing made no sense. I think OWS is what happens when the liberals have one of their own in the White House.  They really don’t know how to target their anger.  It’s almost like they need a Republican in the White House. 
Simply Jews Added Sep 20, 2017 - 7:07am
Oh yes, these days they are very happy indeed.
Don Added Sep 20, 2017 - 8:53pm
A young person told me he had writer's block on his senior paper.  It turns out the professor wanted him to put in material on the evil of white privilege.  He could not go there, so he locked up.  I am so glad I am retired from the university.  There is such a sickness spreading in academia, I would not be able to tolerate it.
Simply Jews Added Sep 21, 2017 - 2:30am
Seems to be unstoppable, isn't it?