Dear class of 2014: Thanks for not disinviting me

Given your generation’s penchant for shutting down speakers with whom you disagree, I am assuming that you have no intention of playing any serious adult role in mediating those conflicts. And that’s fine. We should leave the task of mediation to those unsophisticated enough to be sensitive to the concerns of both sides.

Besides, you will face more important problems. Once you depart the campus, the world will make unjust demands on you. You will have to work for a living. You will have to put up with people whose views you despise. Fortunately, as long as you don’t waste precious time reflecting in a serious way on the issues of the day — or, worse, contemplating the possibility that you might be mistaken on a question or two — you should have plenty of hours for Twitter and Google Hangout and the nonstop party that every truly just society was meant to be.

Indeed, a lack of reflection can be of enormous assistance to an act of protest. Consider the contretemps at Smith College over the invitation extended to Christine Lagarde, the head of the International Money Fund, who has decided not to attend. Were one to think seriously about the implications of the anti-IMF argument — and, please, ladies and gentlemen, do nothing of the kind! — one would also presumably have to bar from the stage Lagarde’s fellow conspirators, particularly leaders of the IMF’s biggest financial supporter, the United States of America. (The Tea Party, happily, opposes the IMF. Perhaps one of its leaders might be invited next year.)