Indoctrination U.: The Left's War Against Academic Freedom.
"[R]adical politics is essentially a religious vocation. "
"Politics is the art of the possible. Religion is the pursuit of an ideal. "
"[T]he purpose of an education is to teach students how to think, not what to think. "
Rational observers of recent American political events see the continuing tyranny by our elected officials as the cause of our economic downfall, and perhaps even the end of our Constitutional Republic. A large segment of voters apparently has been brainwashed into accepting liberal policies whose agenda is the destruction of America itself. The voters seem strangely unable to think for themselves.
Author David Horowitz (Radical Son, Left Illusions) recognized one cause of this problem several years ago and set out to correct it. Here he tells the tragic story of the Left's successful campaign against academic freedom in our colleges and universities that has transformed American popular culture through the systemic corruption of academic standards.
Early in the last century, university scholars needed protection from donors and politicians so they could publish the results of their research without interference. The American Association of University Professors published the "Declaration of Principles on Academic Freedom and Academic Tenure" in 1915. It specified two basic rights-one for faculty and the other for students. The professors were guaranteed freedom in their professional research. On the other hand, they were not to use their authority to indoctrinate their students.
But over the past few decades activists from the Sixties, who themselves have become faculty, have inserted the political agenda of the Left into academic curricula. These faculty insiders see the universities as platforms from which they hope to change the world. All opposing (politically incorrect) ideas are suppressed through speech codes and collective disapproval.
Horowitz explains that this has led to a radicalized academic culture that threatens the university as an institution. It has closed down the Socratic interrogation of values and lives--the idea that had previously governed the liberal arts curriculum. It also has deconstructed our social cohesion and our national identity by dividing our communities into warring classes, genders, and races.
Horowitz recognizes this process as simply one faction of society trying to impose its agenda of "social justice" on all the other factions. This idea of "social justice" is a secular version of heaven on earth, of a world without "racism," "sexism," or "classism." To the post-Communist Left, it represents the triumph of the "oppressed" over the "oppressors." It justifies any means used by the "army of the saints" against their evil opponents (all the other factions of society).
Horowitz offers several examples of the resulting liberal academic programs:
At the University of Texas a student can major in radical politics.
The University of Colorado's Sociology 5055, "Modern Marxist Theory," is a course on how to be a Marxist.
The entire field of "peace studies" (there are more than 250 "peace study" programs in the U.S.) has a political agenda that is anti-capitalist. It teaches that America is a terrorist state and that the terrorists are liberators of the world's oppressed.
Duke University's Women's Studies Department describes America as an oppressive and imperial capitalist patriarchy.
The entire Social Work Program at Kansas State University is an advocacy program for left-wing "solutions" to social problems. Its Social Work 510, "Social Welfare as a Social Institution," is a course in the evils of American capitalism that presents the Marxist view of American history.
Even worse, our 1,500 education schools are training the next generation of K-12 teachers in "social justice." A prominent leader in this movement is President Obama's mentor, Professor William Ayers. A former head of the terrorist Weather Underground, he is now the Distinguished Professor of Education and Senior University Scholar at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He is the editor of a 12-volume Columbia Teachers College series, "Teaching for Social Justice." Incredibly, this "social justice" agenda is supported both by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, and the 25,000-member American Education Research Association.
In 2003 Horowitz recognized this alarming situation and initiated a campaign to reestablish the values of professionalism, political neutrality, and intellectual diversity in the universities. He published an "Academic Bill of Rights," which upholds the principles of academic freedom that have been in place for nearly a century.
He knew that the students themselves would be important in correcting the problem, so he created Students for Academic Freedom, chapters of which are now found on more than 150 college and university campuses. In addition, nearly two dozen new academic freedom departments based on individualism, private property, and market economics, have been created in universities around the country.
Ideas do have consequences. Indoctrination U explains how Americans have been indoctrinated in the political agenda of the Left, and how academic freedom now is being restored on campuses all over the country. Only time will tell if Horowitz's heroic efforts are too little, too late.
Jerome C. Arnett, Jr., M.D.
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|Author:||Arnett, Jerome C., Jr.|
|Publication:||Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons|
|Article Type:||Book review|
|Date:||Sep 22, 2009|
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