Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Higher Education’s Deeper Sickness. Political imbalance causes intellectual degradation. Riots against free speech are only a symptom.

The Wall Street Journal reports:
With almost no intellectual opponents remaining, campus radicals have lost the ability to engage with arguments and resort instead to the lazy alternative of name-calling: Opponents are all “fascists,” “racists” or “white supremacists.”
There's more:
During the long period in which the campus radical left was cleansing the campuses of opposition, it insisted that wasn’t what it was doing. Those denials have suddenly been reversed. The exclusion of any last trace of contrary opinion is not only acknowledged but affirmed. Students and faculty even demand “safe spaces” where there is no danger that they will be exposed to any contrary beliefs.

It is important to understand why the radical left cleared the campuses of opposing voices. It was not to advance higher education, for that must involve learning to evaluate competing ideas, to analyze the pros and cons of rival arguments and concepts. Shutting down all but one viewpoint is done to achieve the opposite: to pre-empt analysis and understanding. Only in the absence of competing ideas can the radical sect that now controls so much of the campuses hope to thrive and increase its numbers, because it can’t survive open debate and analysis, and its adherents know it.

Given that treating only symptoms is ultimately pointless, is there any cure for the disease? The radical left won’t voluntarily give up the stranglehold on higher education that it has worked unrelentingly to gain. But that can’t be the end of the matter: The public pays huge sums, both through tuition and taxation, to educate young people, and except in STEM subjects most of that money is being wasted. Those who pay the bills have the power to stop this abuse of higher education if they organize themselves effectively.
You want to read the entire article... twice.