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As you or members of your family go to university for the new academic year, you should be worried. Very worried. Political “correctness” gone mad and the grip of the Marxist left on the ivy-covered halls of academe are destroying the higher learning upon which the strength of the West was built.
The House of Commons failed to listen to Edmund Burke when he tried to alert the then governing elite to the danger posed by their arrogant mistreatment of Britain’s American colonies. Another of his warnings, that “there is no knowledge that is not valuable,” implies that our institutions of higher learning should be vigorously defended against all attempts by any narrow political faction to impose its party line regardless of the objective truth.
The fact that identical problems exist throughout the universities of the West suggests that the takeover by the vicious left may not be an accident.
In the United Kingdom, successive Socialist governments – including the present one – have imposed even upon Oxford and Cambridge implicit or even explicit obligations to take quotas of students based upon the color of their skin, upon their social class and upon their educational background – upon every criterion except the one that matters: are they bright enough and willing enough to benefit from higher learning?
The result has been an alarming dumbing-down of standards of scholarship even in our best universities. When I was the chief leader-writer of one of our national newspapers, I once had to train a deputy who, despite a first-class degree in English from Oxford, was entirely incapable of writing even the simplest sentence in her own language.
Grammar and syntax were a closed book to her. When I asked why this was, it turned out that her parents – both academics – had adopted the party line, which was that the detailed understanding of one’s own language was an elitist imposition by capitalists, calculated to keep the working classes in their place and deny them access to learning.
It had not occurred to these robots that language is the pathway of thought, and that the teaching of grammar in what used to be called “grammar schools” until the left abolished them was intended precisely to liberate all classes and empower them to think straight.
In Australia this year, in not one but three separate universities, the academic establishment has discriminated against toweringly eminent professors on the sole ground that they had carried out and published research suggesting that man’s influence on the climate was not at all likely to prove disastrous. This research was contrary to the party line.
Professor Robert Carter, one of the world’s most distinguished geologists, was forced out by James Cook University, and his one-on-one teaching of a Ph.D. student – a highly personal relationship – was ruthlessly broken off, to the grave detriment of the student’s progress, because teaching students mattered far less to the university than ridding itself of one of the leaders of the academic movement to restore sanity and reason, logic and learning to climate science.
Macquarie University in Sydney, which had lured professor Murry Salby from the United States to be its head of climate science, began plotting against him when he published devastating results demonstrating that the increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration is largely not caused by us but by a natural warming of the atmosphere. When he was on a European speaking tour, the university canceled his non-refundable ticket home so that he could not defend himself at the disciplinary hearing at which he was sacked.
He, too, had a Ph.D. student whom the university callously left in the lurch halfway through his studies.
At a third university, a professor who had been invited to travel from halfway around the world to take up a post in a field unrelated to climate had his contract delayed by almost two years because he had once written a paper showing that the climate consensus was fictional. His appointment was only unblocked when the Marxist shrew who had been prime minister lost her job.
In the United States, a survey of university students found that very nearly all of them knew who “Snoop Doggy Dog” (aka “Snoop Lion”) was. But only a third of them knew that George Washington was the commanding general at the Battle of Yorktown.
Dr. Donald Boys has recently compiled a list of just some of the subjects in which it is now possible to get a “university” “degree” or course credit in the United States:
Disability Studies, Queer Body Politics, Women’s Studies, Men’s Studies (at no fewer than 100 universities), Black Studies (from a black perspective), Whiteness Studies (from a black perspective), Chicano Studies, Fat Studies, Buffyology (the “study” of the bonk-‘n’-barf teen TV series “Buffy the Vampire-Slayer”), Harry Potter Studies, Elvish (one of the made-up languages spoken by mythical creatures in J.R.R. Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings”), Sex and Death Studies (at Carnegie Mellon, of all places), “The Psychology of the Lesbian Experience” (at the University of California – where else?), “Marxist Concepts of Racism” and “I Like Ike, But I Love Lucy” (at Harvard, horribile dictu); “Nip, Tuck, Perm, Pierce, and Tattoo: Adventures with Embodied Culture” (at Alfred University); “Sex, Drugs, and Rock ‘n’ Roll in Ancient Egypt” (at Johns Hopkins); “Canine Cultural Studies” (at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill); “Hip-Hop: Beats, Rhyme and Culture” (at George Mason); “Bible and Horror” (at Georgetown); and my personal favorite, “The Unbearable Whiteness of Barbie: Race and Popular Culture in the United States,” including an interpretation of the sci-fi blockbuster “The Matrix” as “a Marxist critique of capitalism” (at Accidental College, where Mr. Obama is said to have been “educated”).
When Edmund Burke said, “There is no knowledge that is not valuable,” one doubts whether he would have regarded “Sex, Drugs, and Rock ‘n’ Roll in Ancient Egypt” as constituting knowledge at all.
One expects Mickey Mouse universities to teach Mickey Mouse courses. Indeed, having seen Dr. Boys’ list, I should not be at all surprised to find Mickey Mouse Studies on the curriculum at several “universities.” But what is infinitely depressing is the extent to which even the Ivy League universities are pandering to – and teaching – outright nonsense.