In recent months, a commenter known as “fribble” has been making a name for himself in the comments sections of many articles from The Daily Dartmouth. The Dartmouth Review recently spoke with the mysterious figure, offering some insight into his motives, beliefs, and ideas.
The Dartmouth Review (TDR): Could you tell us a bit about your background? What is your affiliation with Dartmouth?
fribble (f): I grew up in a business, political and sports household. A great weekend would be playing a few sports with my brothers or friends and listening to Dad talk about business and politics and then watching sports and the TV political shows, including William F. Buckley, Jr.’s Firing Line every week.
I didn’t want to go to Dartmouth because Dad knew some people who were influential there, I wanted to be at a school that I earned the right to attend on my own. What I didn’t understand at the time was that nearly everyone had someone who helped them get in even if they didn’t need help. As it turned out my grades and scores were as good as or better than most. I was stuck in the River (Prison Cell) Cluster as a freshman but busted out the next year to a better dorm and then moved into my fraternity house the following year. The Dartmouth experience was more confusing than helpful in the larger philosophical sense, but in specifics and specific professors it was great.
R: How did you come to your current conservative set of beliefs?
f: My “conservative” beliefs were partly a result of home life but didn’t become mine until I bought my subscription to National Review (I read every word of every issue as soon as it arrived, the writing was phenomenal) and when I got my copy of Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s “Gulag Archipelago.” When I read Solzhenitsyn’s book I realized that the American news media, the educational system and mainstream religious organizations were lying and they were lying in a way to help protect and/or promote collectivism, totalitarianism and excuse enslavement and mass murder because they had all been lying about the Soviet Union.
I came across F.A. Hayek when he received his Medal of Freedom and immediately read all of his books. I have told people since that his magnum opus, “The Constitution of Liberty” is more educational than four years at any college and I am more convinced of it now than ever. He writes an essay that is included at the back of the book entitled “Why I Am Not a Conservative,” which is a far better exposition of why I’m not a “conservative” than any I could write. You have to read it to understand it and after you read it you will understand the point he’s making in detail, and you’ll never forget. His problem with the term conservative is that the left stole the term “liberal” turned it upside down and left people who favor liberty with a defensive, static concept of “conservative.”
The term conservative is a loser. You can’t win anything with just defense which is what conservatism implies and has largely become in practice. If you don’t have an offense, you can’t score, and the best you can hope for is a tie which is not going to get anyone excited to join a movement whose stated goal is not losing. The coach comes into the locker room and revs up the team: “Hey guys, now get out there and get that 0-0 tie.”
TDR: How did you get involved in the area of Internet commenting? Specifically, how did you get involved with The Dartmouth’s commenting scene? Furthermore, what is your biggest motivation when it comes to your comments? What goal are you striving for?
f: I used to comment at Dartmouth in person, with the Provost, the College Counsel (lawyer), professors, chief assistants to the president and letters and emails to the president and the head of Alumni Relations and made several visits to The Dartmouth Review offices to offer support. A few dollars and some advice most times. I would drop by the fraternity house to talk to the brothers about what was going on at the College.
When the College had a speech code, I told The Review president and whoever else was in the room that the students should have their Constitutional rights whether they were at college or not, since Dartmouth is part of the US, whether the College thinks so or not. That got the President of the Review in gear a little, even if he seemed to be more interested in drinking Bombay Sapphire Gin. But I didn’t reach enough students to make much difference. I liked in-person commenting best but when I moved farther away and didn’t have business in the area or Hanover wasn’t on the way to business it became phone calls. The responses of the College officials were generally not satisfying, the professors I spoke with would confess to being deep leftists when pressed on the point and the College lied and told tall tales about many things they were doing including suspending students without cause or evidence because of their political beliefs.
This happened to The Dartmouth Review students on a regular basis. They would sue the College to get reinstated and always won. Disgraceful activity from every Dartmouth College official from the president on down. So I decided to start commenting in The Dartmouth to reach the students, no one else was interested in doing what is right. No one that I didn’t know was giving me any help with what was going on at Dartmouth when I was there and I wanted to help the students with the BS that the administration, the faculty and their favored “minority groups” rained down on them on a daily basis.
R: What would you say is the biggest issue with modern liberalism, or on college campuses in general?
f: Modern liberalism writ largely is collectivism, which is group rights. Group rights are immoral because they negate the rights of the individual which is the only moral basis for law and therefore for a moral society. The proper form of government is on the basis of equality of the law (isonomy).
This is as clear cut as it gets in “politics” or philosophy, it is the bright line between right and wrong, moral and immoral. People are simply on one side of the question or the other. Dartmouth College as a One Party Collectivist College means that the College is on the bright line, immoral side of the major question of the organization of society. That is a real problem and of course not just at Dartmouth but through all of the educational establishments, media, government, most of mainstream religion, popular culture, entertainment and on and unfortunately on.
R: How can modern liberalism be combated, particularly on college campuses, where the tension is high?
f: The most important thing to remember in any debate campus or elsewhere is to try to educate your audience and realize that the people you are reaching are not usually the ones who are dedicated to the proposition of gaining power over you and others; they are bad actors. The leaders of the groups who oppose you will melt away when they are confronted with the truth because they will be exposed. This is a great service to everyone, including those you will defeat.
You are selling freedom. You are selling the truth. You have every advantage. All the other side has is a mob, lies, smears and whatever fake outrage they can drum up. Otherwise they are naked. So just think of your opponents as naked (like thinking of your audience in their underwear to calm yourself down) because they have no basis for their prescription to make you do something for them. You don’t owe them anything and they have no right to shut you down or shut you up. It is all about your individual rights. Groups want to use their power to push individuals around supposedly for the good of individuals. That is logically impossible. Remember that.
R: In your own words, can you describe what it is and what it takes to be a true modern conservative?
f: Truth, knowledge, understanding, courage, perseverance. The joy of bringing the light to the darkness. And there is a lot of darkness out there. That gives us a great opportunity and a lot of work to do. So get on it.
R: Are there any final thoughts you’d care to add?
f: The cost of a Dartmouth education has almost exactly doubled in real terms in the past 30 years. One of the things that should bring the whole student body together is what the College is doing to wreck you and your family’s financial positions. Where is the extra 100% that it costs to go to Dartmouth going? Demand an answer from the administration. Just like the federal government, when anything goes wrong at the College, or the College imagines something is wrong, their answer is more staff, more spending and a more intrusive and controlling administration. The administration is the reason things are going wrong at the College in the first place.
Moving Dartmouth Forward wouldn’t need to be called Moving Dartmouth Forward if that were what it is really doing; everyone would know. It is a pure PR play to make it look like they’re doing something and they are, they are tightening the screws on the students. Putting them in clusters. Inserting faculty. Banning hard alcohol. Derecognizing AD. Punishing disfavored people who have done nothing wrong and not disciplining favored groups who have done things wrong. All the best to you and everyone at the College.
The Fribble Wall of Fame: A Collection of Some of Fribble’s Comments on Articles in The Daily Dartmouth
On student reactions to MDF and natural grouping of like-minded people: “Saying that people gravitate to their own kind is a fact. And the College has an entire industry devoted to segregating them once they are on campus… Some people get preferences for everything based on color, gender, sexual preference and illegal alien status as “their own kind” whatever that is…
Students want the College to pay for sex-change surgery. And why not? When you have a sucker with $4 billion of someone else’s money and an outrageous operating budget of over $800 million, those who see their success as getting their hands on it will see what they can get and they are getting it. You don’t like facts? You enjoy fairy tales? You like to tell them? And call people who tell the truth “Bigots”? Let me ask you a question that you should be proud to answer. Are you a leftist? “Hatred of people of color” Where is that? What about the “GLQBT community”? How does a “GLQBT community” work if they don’t gravitate to their own kind? How does a football community work if they don’t gravitate to their own kind?”
On a faculty diversity panel: “”Diversity” is code for quotas and everyone knows it. Quotas are destructive to merit, which is the good. This means the College is actively destructive of the good… Tell me, derivative in training, where does “more points of view” occur in quotas based on race, sex, sexual preference, creed and national origin? Those are some of the things that you aren’t supposed to use to discriminate against people. But the College discriminates explicitly on the basis of those things. And you not only support it, you promote it. Time for a little think. Indeed.”
On an opinion article that seeks to discredit “the other side of the story”: “You have to be carefully taught to be unhappy and oppressed in a country like the United States and at a College like Dartmouth. One of the problems that many people have is when they travel or move, when they get there, they are there. They think they’re going to go somewhere and be happy or that going somewhere else they will find the right people who will make them happy because, after all it is other people’s job to make them happy. You have to change yourself to learn to be happy and productive. Fake victims are a real downer to people who accomplish things so they are not going to hang around with you or help you cry. It is a waste of time and a waste of your life.
Every people on earth has been enslaved by other people of other races and other religions Every race has exchanged values that are built on the profits of slavery and genocide. Genghis Khan was personally responsible for the murder of 10% of the people on earth and good Ol’ Genghy wasn’t white. Whites have enslaved whites and blacks have enslaved blacks and yellow and red and whatever color. No one alive in this country has been enslaved here and they don’t know anyone who has been enslaved. Get over it. It happened to someone else and they are long gone.”
On a column advocating the need for an Asian-American studies program: “Is there a reason to have Asian, Black, Gay, Women, Hispanic, Native American studies other than to segregate and foster the tribal anti-intellectual? They aren’t math, science, language, or history, they are racial, and sexual as their names clearly demonstrate. This isn’t higher education, this is lower education and the lowest and crudest of the low… Does progress come from the free association of the individual or forced association of the group? The reason for success and progress around the world is liberty and that has zero to do with racial identity, sex, sexual preference or anything else that lies completely outside the intellectual or the hard work of the individual. Who is making dopes out of smart students? You don’t have to look too far.”
On a column supporting the College’s MDF residential community decisions: “There is nothing students want less than “graduate, post-doctoral and faculty joining the residential communities.” Communities are, well, real communities are organic things, not faked things and this whole enterprise is a fake. First we’ll put all Freshmen in the same dorms not with upperclassmen, with graduate, post doctoral and faculty. Then we’ll put them in dorm clusters with graduate, post doctoral and faculty. Then we’ll put them in re-education camps to make them think and act the way we want to think and act. Sounds like the usual Leftist BS top down control and busy-bodying. they never, ever tire of their “Social Engineering.” In fact I suggest that next year’s “Social Justice Awards” be renamed what they really are, “The Social Engineering Awards.””