Teacher strikes target salaries, but promoting wellness and fighting stress are the real issues
A professor's call to shut down our nation's universities
Thirty-three years ago, when I entered college, left-wing ideologies dominated American universities, and especially the humanities and social sciences. But one still could get a fair, balanced education by consulting traditional canonical texts that countered the dogma. Free speech was alive on college campuses. There were hisses and boos, of course, but for the most part, hearing perspectives different from your own was considered essential to your education. Few of us lived in our own curated silos.
Today, after 22 years of being a college professor, and having traveled much of America to lecture, I am sad to say the situation is not the same. The core principles and foundations that keep the United States intact, that provide our citizens with their civic personalities and national identities, are being annihilated. 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.
Our universities risk losing their status as learning sites and becoming national security threats. We need to defund them, disband and rebuild them with conservative principles - that is, values advocating individualism, capitalism, Americanism, free speech, self-reliance and the morality of wealth creation.
When the term "Western civilization" is equated with racism, cultural superiority and pervasive oppression, and students in my political philosophy class refuse to study the works of John Stuart Mill or John Locke (or any other white thinker) because they consider them white supremacists, there is no lower level of educational hell. The manifest destiny of the humanities and social science professoriat is to have politicized knowledge supersede truth, objectivity, facts and genuine learning.
There are many social ills taking place in the academy, but the cultural relativists who rule its turf would abolish reason, rational argument, appeal to traditional canonical texts as evidence for objective truths about our world, and belief in an objective reality. Too often, they deride reason as a Eurocentric creation used to rationalize the existence of colonialism, slavery and genocide of native peoples.
Ordinarily, the best way to counter an intellectual adversary is through a contest of rational faculties. The person with reality on his or her side, with the best relevant facts and strongest arguments, usually wins. But today's scholars in humanities and social sciences increasingly declare that modern argumentation is a white, Western form of domination and linguistic imperialism that silences racial and ethnic minorities and devalues their "lived experiences."
One cannot argue with such people. The only alternative is to shut them down.
Cultural Marxism, defined as anti-capitalist cultural critique, is the educational trope that mediates all forms of learning in today's universities - and it is simply a guise under which to politically indoctrinate students into becoming socialists who will do anything to prohibit freedom of speech on college campuses. We are witnessing a generation that will not tolerate other perspectives, students who will not hear opposing ideologies.
Socialism advocates vesting ownership and control of the means of production, capital and land in the community as a whole. Socialism is not a morally neutral system. Any system of governance presupposes an answer to the questions: Are you a sovereign entity who owns your life, work and mind? Is your mind something that can be nationalized and its material contents distributed by the state? Socialists think the answer is yes. They believe the products of one's efforts belong to the community; that the state and society have a moral and financial responsibility to care for other people's children; and that the most successful and productive people should be the most penalized.
Educational systems that have become such propaganda machines should not be funded by taxpaying Americans. We have the spectacle of contemporary Africa, Venezuela and much of Latin America as evidence of the political calumny of socialism, and we have seen the brain drain of other Western countries that advocate socialism. In these countries, citizens resent the enormous financial costs to them in the form of taxation - and they come to the United States for fiscal relief.
Rejecting canonical texts and their alleged white supremacist authors is related to advancing socialism. Both appeal to a politics of victimology that purportedly only an emergent brand of post-colonial Marxism could solve. Identity politics, victimology and multiculturalism 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.
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?
You who fund our universities do so with trust that intellectuals will act in your interest and reflect your pro-American values. You are wrong. Your hard work has been financing people who think they are better than your crass materialism, who think that you (but not they) are complicit in an evil system (capitalism).
Withdraw your support and leave them to fund themselves. 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.
Jason D. Hill is honors distinguished professor of philosophy at DePaul University in Chicago. His areas of specialization include ethics, social and political philosophy, American foreign policy, cosmopolitanism and race theory. He is the author of several books, including "We Have Overcome: An Immigrant's Letter to the American People" (Bombardier Books/Post Hill Press). Follow him on Twitter @JasonDhill6.