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Tuesday, February 25, 2020


For John, BLUFIn sum, it appears to some that universities have moved from learning and thinking to indoctrination.  If you are looking for a real education you are probably better off at a local, less well known, commuter school.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The American Conservative, by Mr Rod Dreher, 19 February 2020.

Here is the lede plus six:

This is about Yale University’s faculty deciding that it hates the West.  There really is no other way to explain this. What an extraordinary thing. Has there ever been a civilization whose elites turned on it in quite this way?  The Soviets and their minions in Europe all but destroyed education by making most of it serve Marxism-Leninism, but if I understand it correctly, that was generally something imposed on university faculties.  This is chosen.  Yale is one of the richest universities in the world.  Nobody is making it trash the West like this.

You might be thinking:  “Don’t like it? Don’t send your kid to Yale.”  That would be terribly naive.  First, here’s Hannah Arendt, from 1951’s The Origins of Totalitarianism, talking about the cultural decay that paved the way for totalitarianism:

The members of the elite did not object at all to paying a price, the destruction of civilization, for the fun of seeing how those who had been excluded unjustly in the past forced their way into it.
And here’s Czeslaw Milosz, from The Captive Mind, which was published the same year:
It was only toward the middle of the twentieth century that the inhabitants of many European countries came, in general unpleasantly, to the realization that their fate could be influenced directly by intricate and abstruse books of philosophy.

His point:  what happens in the universities, and wherever intellectual elites gather to do their work, eventually has massive impact on the rest of society.

Yale — rightly or wrongly — is a leading institution in American academic life.  What it does today, others will do tomorrow (The New York Times serves the same function in American journalism).  Yale is teaching the children of American elites to hate their civilization and the people who built it.
This is a serious indictment, but it is part of the non-academic response to The Long March Through the Institutions, a revolutionary approach articulated by German "activist" Rudi Dutschke (aka Rudi the Red).  Herr Dutschke developed his ideas from those of Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci.  In his thinking Herr Dutschke was supported by University of California San Diego Professor Herbert Marcuse. 

And there you have it.  The culture clash.  Those of us who are happy with the direction of Western Civilization (like Writer Rod Dreher, and myself), who think Democracy is an evolving good and Capitalism has pulled many millions out of poverty.  Then there are those who think that Western Civilization is a terrible corruption of individuals and their society and Capitalism is a terrible system.  They see Western Civilization as racist and sexist and homophobic.  Those who think poorly of Western Civilization seek hope and salvation in other cultures and other social organizations.  These are the people who are powerful in Academia and in Education and in many parts of Government.  These are the Democratic Socialists.

Needless to say, I am with the first group and worried about the second.  The second group would like to take these United States and shake them up and reorganize them in their new vision, a vision that is Marxist, in the image of Gramsci.

Here is how Mr Rod Dreher wraps up his story:

Are people at Yale paying for an education?  Or are they paying for credentialism that allows them access to the American elite?
They are paying for credentials, and thinking they are securing their futures in the upper crust of society.  However, by participating in the corroding of the Western Canon they are placing their futures at risk.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  The World Wide Web both provides information and buries it.  For example, Professor Marcuse is said to have said "Abolish the Weimar Republic.  Whatever replaces it has got to be better."  Back before 1933. 

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