The roots of our modern fascist and bankrupt academia


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Since October I have been posting each week a collection of links illustrating the sad and fascist state of modern American academia. It is now time to post another collection, but this time I will also provide some thoughts that might help explain the roots of this intellectual bankruptcy.

These stories not only illustrate the fascist nature of today’s academic community, they once again show that these so-called institutions of higher learning know nothing about the concepts of liberty, individual responsibility, and thoughtful dialogue that are the hallmarks of western civilization.

First we have the story out of Texas State University of a student writing an op-ed calling for genocide against whites.

Essentially, the author argued that whites are by definition bigoted, and therefore must be wiped out. Though the student body at Texas State appeared to respond correctly to this racist column, one has to wonder how it got published in the first place.

Then we have some stories illustrating the bankruptcy of intellectual thought at some campuses.

The first story in this group is especially interesting. Considering the hate now routinely exhibited on college campuses against whites (as illustrated by second story above as well as my first group of stories above), I think it now behooves every white person attending Brown University to self-identify as black. Doing so makes no sense and has no connection with reality or truth, but hey, what do those values have to do with modern education?

Similarly, the last two stories, about how students disrupted a lecture, preventing its completion, shows that the administration of the University of Connecticut actually agrees with these hecklers’ goals. Rather than punish the hecklers and protesters, the university acted to shut down free speech entirely. Whoopie!

Further examples can be found in my previous updates from October 11, October 13, October 20, October 25, November 3, November 9, and November 22. Before October you can simply do a search on Behind the Black for “academia” and you will find numerous additional horror stories.

What are the roots of this madness? A recent experience on my part might help provide an explanation. I recently finished reading a college philosophy book called Classics of Western Thought: The Modern World that had been assigned to me when I attended college in the early 1970s. Then, I had been assigned to read only one or two of the essays (I don’t remember which), and since then it had been sitting on my bookshelf unread. I recently decided it would be worthwhile to read it all, from the start, as it covers intellectual thought beginning in the 1600s, just before the Enlightenment, with the following chapters providing these excerpts:

  • Francis Bacon: Novum Organum
  • Rene Descartes: Discourse on Method
  • Thomas Hobbes: Leviathan
  • Blaise Pascal: Thoughts
  • Jean Racine: Phaedra
  • John Locke: An Essay concerning human understanding
  • John Locke: Of civil government
  • Alexander Pope: Essay on Man
  • Voltaire: Candide
  • Jean Jacques Rousseau: The Social Contract
  • Adam Smith: The Wealth of Nations
  • Antoine Nicolas de Condorcet: The Progress of the Human Mind
  • Edmund Burke: Reflections on the Revolution in France
  • Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: Faust
  • Romantic Poetry: Wordsworth, Keats, Whitman
  • Alexis de Tocqueville: Democracy in America
  • John Stuart Mill: On Liberty
  • Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel: Reason in History
  • Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels: The Communist Manifesto
  • Charles Darwin: The Origin of Species
  • Fyodor Dostoevsky: The Brothers Karamazov: The Grand Inquisitor
  • Friedrich Nietzsche: Beyond Good and Evil
  • Henri Bergson: Creative Evolution
  • Sigmund Freud: Civilization and its Discontents
  • V.I. Lenin: Imperialism
  • V.I. Lenin: State and Revolution
  • Adolf Hitler: Mein Kampf
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt: Address on American Democracy
  • Jean-Paul Sartre: Existentialism
  • Paul Tillich: The Courage to Be
  • Twentieth Century Poetry: Frost, Elliot, Yeats

This list should strike you in several ways. First, its open-mindedness and willingness to include works by some of the 20th century’s most vile thinkers is quite amazing in today’s politically correct atmosphere. Can you imagine a modern textbook including a selection by Hitler?

Second, the liberal bent of the editor is revealed, in that the list includes no intellectual thinkers from the 20th century who opposed the concepts of government and communism. This bias is further reflected when you read the essays, as the excerpts tend to favor the modern liberal position and ignore the modern conservative one. (Even in the 1970s, the terms liberalism and conservatism meant the same as they do today.)

Finally, and most important, what struck me most as I read these essays is the decline in quality. Beginning with Hegel the quality of writing goes down significantly and steadily, with the content becoming more incoherent and its goals more shallow and political. The trend does not speak well of the academic world since 1900, and possibly helps explain why today’s intellectual thought is so childish and empty. The intellectual world of my youth did a mediocre job of educating my generation, and my generation has done an even poorer job in turn.

The result today is an intellectual community that actually thinks it perfectly reasonable for a white male to “self-identify” as a black female, and for everyone to accept this absurdity without question.

This long view of our intellectual world also does not bode well for the future. Today’s generation of children are being propagandized and indoctrinated in an even more shallow and political manner. They are given no opportunity to learn the basic concepts of our civilization. Instead, they think America invented slavery, and are entirely ignorant of the concepts expressed by most of the writers in the table of contents above.

Sadly, I don’t have a solution to this situation. The best I have offered is for parents and students to research the schools they are considering, and avoid those that do these sorts of incoherent and fascist things. My updates above, and in the future, will by my contribution to this effort, and seem about all I can do, at this point.

I certainly know that no university will hire me to teach. I’ve been down that route already, which is why I am no longer teaching college anywhere.

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13 comments

  • Walter G Connor Jr

    The trend of substituting indoctrination for education is multigenerational. We can support colleges that take education and reality seriously. Hillsdale and Grove City College are among the most well known alternative conservative colleges. We also can make our children aware of the deceitful nature of the human quest for power. Encourage them by engaging in discussions on topics of the day. Just today I spoke with one son on the linkage between voyages of discovery and commercial expansion. I buy and read a variety of good books then pass them on to our friends and family.

  • ken anthony

    Nature has a solution to this problem… a nation that will not endure.

  • MarcusZ

    I see Lenin, Marx and Hitler….

    Wonder why they missed Giovanni Gentile…

  • Phill O

    A list of Universities which are examples of free speech would help parents direct their kids. I see this list as being quite small.

    Homeschooling can only go so far. What is the extension to college and university degrees? Is there an opportunity? I am too old to do anything effective.

    BZ, thanks for the review of the current state of affairs!

  • eddie willers

    I remember my “soft lefty” teachers saying things like “Communism looks good on paper, but…”

    So I finally got around to reading The Communist Manifesto and thought, “No…it looks just as stupid ON paper”.

  • wodun

    Homeschooling can only go so far. What is the extension to college and university degrees?

    MOOC’s and industry certifications.

  • wodun

    I remember being taught deconstruction and post modernism, not as what are these things but as in this is how we do it.

  • Phill O

    wodun “MOOC’s and industry certifications.” Thanks! What are these and how do they apply to post secondary?

  • wayne

    wodun- good stuff.

    Phill O:
    MOOC = “massive open online course.”
    Others here are way more qualified to address these, but a wide range is available, free & paid content.

    If I anticipate your question– depends on what you are studying, as to the general transferability into Academia and/or the open market. As wodun touches upon, you can get certified in a lot of stuff through Industry & 3rd party’s that aren’t traditional academia.
    -Certain State imposed vocational requirements however, can’t be easily circumvented, otherwise it’s wide-open.
    –I have a License which required a graduate degree, supervised-practice, and a State Test. In this day and age, I could probably complete that in 1/2 the time on the front end, compared to the traditional 4 + 2, but I’d still have to jump through at least some hoops on the back end. Supervision time & Test (and the Fee) were mandatory, the graduate degree requirement was phrased as “…or equivalent as determined by the Board of Licensing,” and they always held that to be as-issued by a “recognized” institution.

  • wodun

    MOOC’s are online classes that are offered through a variety of venues. Khan Academy and Coursera are two popular ones. What they don’t offer is an accreditation like a physical college but you can get a certificate of completion and they even have “Master” level classes. Many of these classes are free or cost very little. Do you learn as much or as well as in a traditional school?

    Just like in a physical school, you get what you put into it. If you are dedicated and put in the work, you can learn a lot. They are a good way to pursue mastery learning, where you work on something at your own pace until you gain fluency in a subject. This is good for things you can learn fast or slow. But it is very easy to get caught up in just completing a course by going through the motions. Students really need to put in time studying outside of working through the course.

    I like to take them for fun but I’ve decided that if I am going through the effort, I should do a little more work to make sure the learning sticks. Even with easy things, you need to build the physical structures in the brain through recall and repetition. This means you really need to continue studying your course material after the course is over. So if you budget 10 hours a week, that could mean 1-2 classes but if you include studying past courses, it could mean just 1 course or even taking a month off new courses to just study old ones.

    You might be thinking that any jerk can create a MOOC and this is true. But MIT, Harvard, and other top schools offer classes you can take for free. Also, a lot of top end schools don’t always have good classes. You have to look at each class on their own. There is a lot of competition, so good classes rise to the top on ranking/review sites. Class-central.com is one.

    Students can build a knowledge base to develop skills that they can then demonstrate on the job. Employers often ask for hard skills that go beyond just having a degree. How many people do you know who have a job in the field they studied in college?

    Then for industry certifications, they aren’t popular in all fields but HR, Project Management, Realty, and various Computer Sciences there are certification requirements where people have to demonstrate hard skills, time commitment, and experience. For many of these jobs, you don’t necessarily need a college degree and you can go from entry level job to expert in the field simply by learning on your own and then demonstrating that you know what you are doing through passing industry tests and accomplishments on the job. The flip side is that sometimes rather than a MOOC on a site like Coursera you might have to take classes through course providers within the industry.

    Specifically for post secondary, it really depends on your career goals. There are a lot of advantages to traditional schools when it comes to interaction with teachers and students and with structure and discipline. But there are many routes to good careers where college isn’t needed. Since learning is really up to the student, MOOC’s are a great way to augment traditional schooling. Often we are limited to how one college does things but MOOC’s open us up to how other colleges teach the same subject and what they think is important to emphasize.

    For example, say a student is in biology and they take some classes on excel and statistics but don’t really get too in depth. A student can choose to take MOOC’s to develop a level of knowledge greater than what their classes will teach. This will help them perform better in school but also give them advantage after school as well. A biologist might want to work for the forest service but the skills to be promoted might not be taught in their college. A student has to think of what they need for advancement.

    Or if you are a business student and you are taking your intro marketing classes and they don’t really teach very deeply about digital marketing or SEO. A student can augment their coursework to gain a greater understanding. Then when the big marketing plan assignment comes around, they have a bigger tool box of strategies and tactics to throw at it.

    You can find examples for any field of study. One course I enjoyed a lot was Learning How to Learn. It was great at explaining the physical functions of how we learn, a good review of how to be a good student, and is a great example of how to create a good MOOC. One really interesting thing from that class is that we don’t learn when we study (focused state of mind). We learn after we study when our brain makes the physical structures that create memories. The course talks about the states of mind we have to be in for these physical structures to be created. While study is key, it is also important to space out, exercise, and sleep because these are the things that allow your brain to enter memory building mode (diffuse state of mind). https://www.coursera.org/learn/learning-how-to-learn

    Sorry for the long answer! MOOC’s are going to be increasingly important and their quality will also increase. In fact, our host should consider creating a MOOC if he wants to teach. Coursera has some sort of profit sharing with their course creators. And he wont be one of those teachers who talk sooooo sloooow.

  • wayne

    wodun-
    good stuff.

  • Phill O

    wodun

    Thanks and thanks to others.

    Access to libraries was essential for me to learn. I also needed to work problems for the study to sink in. Physical universities seem to fill this. The intolerance etc that BZ shows with these posts is my concern. Home schooling seems to produce some very well educated kids. The post secondary things are growing faster than I knew.

    Alternatives will reduce university revenues if not for government monies. The NFL seems to be having some money issues now for the kneeling thing. I know of some who also quite baseball after the players strike. Now with Lindsay (skier) weighing in on politics, there goes my support (downhill) for more Olympics.

  • m d mill

    The Indian NPTEL program looks extremely well structured and comprehensive in the hard sciences, although I don’t know if it is practical for foreigners. It is a product of the Indian Institute of Science and Indian Institutes of Technology in concert with the best universities in India. Certification is even available in India. It is unfortunate such a comprehensive well structured program is not available in the USA. With paid mentor/tutor options , BOOKS (there is no substitute), and monitored tests/homework, this is the future of secondary education, especially given the ridiculously exorbitant costs and often useless content of bureaucratically controlled “modern” Universities. An excellent alternative technical/professional education can be and should be as good, and actually much better than any conventional university, at a small fraction of the price…it will happen…we cannot afford otherwise.

    Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Programme_on_Technology_Enhanced_Learning

    example https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TcmGYe39XG0

    Net usage https://qph.ec.quoracdn.net/main-qimg-a0ffa5672682449d1c6a7ec83541f63d

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