Conservative Colloquium

An Intellectual Forum for All Things Conservative

Texas A&M: Collectivism or Community?

Posted by Tony Listi on February 8, 2008

Texas A&M University is truly unique among this country’s universities, especially among public universities. While every college student or alum has some affection for its alma mater, especially surrounding its sports teams, A&M creates a community and a spirit that is not dependent on sports or even rivals, though those elements are certainly not neglected. 

No government controls and regulates the Aggie Spirit (a useful, benevolent imitation of the Holy Spirit).  This spirit of service and charity is a tradition, a heritage that has been successfully passed on to each incoming freshmen class. There is an institution in place to teach and inculcate this spirit into the newcomers: Fish Camp. And if one didn’t go to Fish Camp, it is hard not to receive the spirit by cultural osmosis from those who have. The Aggie Spirit is a heritage with a noble purpose.

Aggies more than anyone should know the power of local communities or private voluntary associations to take care of their own with the addition of a little leadership and courage. This phenomenon plays out all the time within Aggieland, within the student body and its myriad of voluntary organizations.  Whether it is serving the local community at Big Event, or other community service groups on campus, or raising awareness and educating the student body on a variety of political issues like MSC SCONA and Wiley, Aggies know the power of freely given service and charity.

Student organizations, unlike government agencies and bureaucracies, do not tax former students and threaten them with audits and coercion. Student organizations do not threaten their members with fines or jail time. Rather, students respect what belongs to another Aggie (no matter how wealthy they are) but ask graciously for his or her generosity. Students appeal to the common spirit that binds all Aggies together and fellow Aggies respond in turn.

Consequently, it puzzles me when my fellow Aggies exercise their political privileges in favor of more federal government taxation, regulation, and intervention, which stifles service and charity. Government, as it is now, stifles leadership; indeed, it stifles everything that the Aggie Spirit represents and embodies. Why do so many Aggies abandon their heritage, their very spirit at the ballot box? Why do so many Aggies substitute collectivism for community?

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