Our schools have their patterns set by our great universities, and these centers of learning are dependent for support upon legislatures, foundations, or wealthy donors, all in turn subject to control or influence. So they must play safe. There are fields of investigation they may not safely enter. Who owns what, what motives actuate those who control, such topics are tabu. Academic halls echo with the slogans that come from Whitehall, Washington or Wall Street. So in this war as in the last, when our diplomats and statesmen, finally frustrated, turn their failure over to the military for solution, our universities that from their historical learning might have reenforced sound public opinion, will have let us down.(37)
The selection, elimination and conditioning processes to which a university president has been subjected leaves him and his underlings subservient. Rarely is there a voice left free and bold enough to denounce, as did President MacCracken, the conspiracy that is bringing us into war, to declare, as did President Valentine, that the Administration is frightening the American people, or to utter the warning of President Hutchins,--"The American people are about to commit suicide."
Rushing as we are down the steep road to disaster, were the blindfolds stripped from our eyes there are still turnings in the road ahead that could be taken, level spots where we might still slow up, save lives and billions.
February 24, 1941
"It is easier to blame Hitler for our troubles than to fight for democracy at home. As Hitler made the Jews his scapegoat, so we are making Hitler ours", President Hutchins remarks. "He sprang from the materialism and paganism of our times. In the long run we can beat what Hitler stands for only by beating