Education for Freedom…or Servitude?

By | December 4, 2017 | 0 Comments


Most people on the left are not opposed to freedom. They are just in favor of all sorts of things that are incompatible with freedom.
Thomas Sowell

Suppose you wanted to take over a country. You could subvert the military and stage a coup. You could invite a foreign power to send in secret agents. You could start your own political party and try to attract voters.

Or you could simply take over the schools of education and journalism, and wait. The teachers and journalists would do your work for you. They would convert the next generation − or at least a good portion of it − to your way of thinking.

This is already happening. The Left is exerting a pervasive influence on students of education and journalism, who then go on to influence their own students and readers. The influence of the Left on primary and secondary education is undeniable, but its influence on the universities is even greater.

My parents revered education. My wife and I have doctoral degrees. So it is painful for me to say this. I believe that the decline of Western, and specifically American, civilization occurred simultaneously with the greater percent of people who attend university.

● There they learned leftist dogma taught as if it were revealed on Mount Sinai. But, of course, they did not learn what was revealed on Mount Sinai. Many of them never heard of Mount Sinai.

● There they learned to reject facts that refute leftist dogma, rather than to reject the dogma.

● There they learned to call anyone who rejects leftist dogma a “racist,” “sexist,” “homophobe,” “xenophobe,” “fascist,” or even a “Nazi,” and not to waste their valuable time with logical, fact-based arguments.

● There they learned to admire the ability to talk glibly, but to disregard the ability to actually do something.

● There they learned to talk endlessly about working people, but in fact to look down on them. They never learned the proverb, “Parents who do not teach their children a trade teach them to be thieves” − or, in modern terms, to be dependent on the government.

● There they learned that everyone deserves a university education. So they teach algebra in middle school, but cancel vocational classes. As a result, many students − especially minorities − drop out, or graduate from high school with no marketable skills.

● There they learned that “higher” education entitles one to make decisions for others, regardless of whether the education had anything to do with the subject in question. Thus President Obama believed that merely because he graduated from Harvard Law School, he was qualified to decide who gets pain pills instead of hip surgery, and who gets his best wishes instead of a cardiac pacemaker.

● There they studied Plato, and learned that a few self-anointed “elite” should rule the “masses.”

● There they studied social sciences under leftist professors, and learned the same thing.

● There they studied natural sciences, but even here, the Left can twist things to suit their agenda − as witness climategate. Do you think someone who doubts human-caused global warming has an equal chance to have his research project approved, to get a government grant, to have his article published in a prestigious journal, to be promoted, or to get tenure? Are you dreaming?

● There they learned to blame the victim, not the assailant. So they make excuses for criminals at home and terrorists abroad, even blaming us for 9/11. Similarly, they advise victims not to resist criminals, despite the fact that victims who resist with a firearm are least likely to be injured or killed.

● There they learned to misuse language. They prepare legal papers that non-lawyers find incomprehensible − or even deceptive. They pass laws too complex for them to understand − or even read. Of course, complex laws require bureaucrats to interpret them and lawyers to litigate them. Thus ambiguity becomes an asset − in power for bureaucrats, in money for lawyers.

● There they learned that the Constitution is a “living document” that means only what a judge says it means today. Tomorrow it may mean something else entirely.

● There they learned that there are no moral absolutes, only matters of opinion. Of course, the only opinions that matter are those of the leftist “intellectual elite.”

● There they learned, “War is not the answer” − that is, if the question is, “What’s for dinner?” But they never learned to ask, “What ended slavery?” or “What defeated Nazism?” or “What kept South Korea from becoming a slave state like the North?” or “What freed the women of Afghanistan from being beaten for not wearing burqas or for going to school?”

● There they learned to have contempt for the U.S. military. But who else did as much to help the Haitians after the earthquake, or the Asians after the tsunami?

● There they learned to have contempt for capitalism. But what other system generates enough wealth to help others after natural disasters?

● There they learned to have contempt for religion. But they never learned that religious people are more likely to give to charity − both in money and by volunteering.

● There they learned to “question authority.” But they also learned never to question leftist professors, who are likely to punish dissent with lower grades.

● There they learned to indoctrinate schoolchildren with leftist dogmas, and even to train kids to sing hymns to the Leader. But they did not learn to teach kids to love freedom.

● There they learned “multiculturalism” − that is, to respect all cultures except their own.

● There they learned to refer to the “Prophet” Muhammad with respect, and even an upper-case P, but never to refer to the “Prophet” Moses or the “Messiah” Jesus.

● There they learned that “feminism” applies only to them, so they never criticize head scarves, chadors, burqas, or even genital mutilation − and they ignore “honor” killings.

● There they learned to remain in an infantilized state, as students, well into their twenties, so they concluded that it is normal for adults to be told what to do − and what to think. When the government acts as an over-controlling parent, they see no problem. That was what they became accustomed to in the first quarter-century of their lives.

True, there are exceptions. There are conservative colleges as well as the service academies. But most universities have a distinct leftward slant.

Perhaps the most insightful conservative columnist is Mark Steyn. He dropped out of preparatory school and never attended a university. I see no correlation between a university degree and the ability to think clearly and express oneself engagingly. If anything, the correlation may be negative.

Some students learn to respond to dissenting opinions merely by mouthing liberal mantras. A colleague of mine responded to any criticism of Fidel Castro by repeating, “He got rid of Batista.” Yes, and mafioso John Gotti got rid of Paul Castellano − so what? Some liberal professors train students to be high-functioning parrots. Many liberals respond to any problem by repeating, “Spend more, raise taxes, enlarge government.” Can that be the answer to everything? It is on the intellectual level of “Polly wants a cracker.”

In the past, there were many jobs − good jobs − that did not require a university education. In those days, high-school graduates were capable in spoken and written English, history, and basic mathematics, as well as having good work habits. But then the schools were dumbed down.

Now, a high-school diploma is often a guarantee of little. As a result, most good jobs require a university degree. That degree may also guarantee little in real abilities. But as in “The Wizard of Oz,” the brainless believe a diploma is all that is needed.

Needed or not, meaningful or not, a university diploma is now considered the key to the good life. As a result, more and more young people feel that they must attend a university − and are therefore exposed to the most left-wing area of the educational system.

If we hope to save our republic, we must improve primary and secondary education, and we must appoint teachers and professors who have Judeo-Christian and American values − which are now called “conservative.” If we hope to remain free, we must not allow the next generation to be trained to become cogs in a state-controlled machine.

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