Education

Starving the Socialist/Marxist Campus Beast

"The gravest internal threat to this country is not illegal aliens; it is leftist professors."

Arnold Ahlert · Jul. 30, 2018

“Freedom has cost too much blood and agony to be relinquished at the cheap price of rhetoric.” —Thomas Sowell

For decades, Americans have been alarmed by the nation’s increasing levels of self-loathing, driven by the idea that Western civilization in general, and American exceptionalism in particular, are so corrupt they need “fundamental transformation.” DePaul philosophy professor Jason D. Hill puts the blame for this orchestrated contempt exactly where it belongs. “The gravest internal threat to this country is not illegal aliens; it is leftist professors who are waging a war against America and teaching our young people to hate this country,” he asserts.

Hill explains that college campuses are places where Western civilization “is equated with racism, cultural superiority and pervasive oppression,” courtesy of a “humanities and social science professoriat” whose primary agenda is to “have politicized knowledge supersede truth, objectivity, facts and genuine learning.”

How? By deriding reason itself as what Hill calls “a Eurocentric creation used to rationalize the existence of colonialism, slavery and genocide of native people.”

Hence the notion of “white privilege.” The concept remains as trendy as ever among the legions of apologists who somehow fail to see their own racism, despite their assertions that the color of one’s skin automatically confers or denies advantages. “White privilege means that you were born with an inherent advantage over every other race of people,” insists columnist Dahleen Glanton. “The whiteness of your skin alone allows you to leave the starting gate quicker and to run the race with fewer obstacles.” Glanton further claims that “blacks and Latinos have never gotten an equal shake. When affirmative action sought to level the playing field, white people got mad and put an end to it.”

First, affirmative action remains alive and well, especially on college campuses, courtesy of the 2003 Supreme Court decision in Grutter v. Bollinger. The Court ruled 5-4 in favor of the “educational benefits that flow from a diverse student body.” Second, it isn’t white students who are challenging this odious status quo. A group of Asians — members of a minority group that is almost always omitted from any conversation about “oppression” because their success eviscerates every justification for it — is suing Harvard University for discrimination in its admission policies. When Harvard’s “holistic” admissions practices get a full airing in court — practices the university currently insists must remain confidential — it will be fascinating to learn which group of minority applicants have been allowed to “run the race with fewer obstacles.”

In the meantime, the identity politics, victimology and multiculturalism at the heart of the campus grievance culture remain in play, and as Hill notes, they have “reached such astronomical heights in U.S. universities that trigger warnings are issued for students who feel oppressed and traumatized because they have to read the writings of living or dead white men.”

Such infantilization doesn’t stop there. Students who feel emotionally traumatized by such “horrors” as dissenting viewpoints, or the election of Donald Trump (an “oh, the humanity!” moment for the Snowflake Set if ever there was one), have been assuaged with Play-Doh, coloring books, Legos, hot chocolate, and puppy videos, all while ensconced in “safe spaces.”

Those safe spaces, sold as places where identity politics-addled students could “discuss problems they shared in a forum where they were sheltered from epithets and other attacks,” as columnist Frank Furedi put it, have become segregated spaces, highlighted by the University of California’s acquiescence to black students’ demands for segregated dorm rooms. Segregated dorm rooms they laughingly tried to rationalize by calling them “themed living communities.”

“When everyone retreats to their separate corners,” Furedi writes, “that subverts the foundation on which a tolerant and liberal university is constituted.”

On today’s college campuses that subversion is a feature, not a bug. It is reinforced by an explosion of campus bureaucrats who now “outnumber faculty 2:1 at public universities and 2.5:1 at private colleges, double the ratio in the 1970s,” and whose primary reason for being is to enforce campus “diversity” standards, The Economist reveals.

Thus, unsurprisingly, tuition costs have soared over 1,100% in the past four decades and precipitated an average of more than $30,000 of student debt for 68% of 2015 bachelor’s degree recipients.

This noxious stew, one that engenders demands for “free” college educations, along with numerous other aspects of the socialist/Marxist agenda on campus, is the “educational trope that mediates all forms of learning in today’s universities,” Hill explains. “Rejecting canonical texts and their alleged white supremacist authors is related to advancing socialism,” he adds. “Both appeal to a politics of victimology that purportedly only an emergent brand of post-colonial Marxism could solves.”

Post-colonial Marxism it all its jackboot emanations remains in full swing at places like the University of Michigan, whose speech code prohibits saying anything “bothersome” or “hurtful.” The code is enforced by “bias response teams” tasked with investigating its violations — on or off campus. At Pierce College in Los Angeles, First Amendment rights are confined to a 616 sq. ft. “free speech area” requiring campus administrative authorization to enter it. And Berkeley, Middlebury College, and Evergreen State University are places where conservatives (and insufficiently “pure” leftists) have been shouted down or driven off campus, sometimes in fear for their lives.

In the meantime, reality bites. According to data from the National Association of Colleges and Employers student graduates aren’t nearly as proficient in the competencies deemed necessary to enter the workforces as they think they are. In fact, the gap between students’ self-perception and that of potential employers is considerable.

Nonetheless, Hill worries about the bigger picture. “If elitist scholars infect the minds of our students with anti-Americanism, who will defend America when those who truly threaten us from the outside descend with intent of destroying our republic?” he asks.

It’s the wrong question. Who is going defend America against the legions of semi-educated students whose increasing infatuation with socialism is bad enough, but far less problematic than a University of Chicago GenForward Survey of Americans, ages 18 to 34, revealing that “62 percent believe we need a strong government to handle today’s complex economic problems.”

Strong government? How remarkably ill-informed. Our Constitution is the most compelling argument in world history for limited government. That colleges have become indoctrination centers promoting the benefits of strong government — in all its Constitution- and Liberty-shredding parameters — is nothing less than organized subversion.

Hill wants to put stop to it. “Withdraw your support and leave them to fund themselves,” he urges university donors. “Let them pit their wares on the free market, where they will be left homeless. The world you desired no longer exists in our universities. It lies elsewhere, in a philosophic system waiting to be discovered or created.”

President Donald Trump is indirectly abetting the effort. Via executive order, he has established the National Council for the American Worker, an initiative aimed at steering both students and older workers toward high-demand jobs. As the New York Post notes, “the Council hopes to shift the popular mindset that every child must go to college.”

It is a shift millions of Americans would heartily embrace.

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