Monday, 29 November 2004

Academic Freedom?


I currently attend a post-secondary institution of national, if not international, acclaim. I'm proud of my standing as a student- I consider myself a scholar. I take joy in the act of learning, knowledge for knowledge's sake. Sadly, my sort are disappearing. College has slowly been turned, in both popular opinion and in reality, a social event; college is now a four-year procedure in networking. Frankly, that's fine- I'm no prude, and I've been known to attend parties myself. But there's something even more unsettling to me- the constant saturation of liberal ideas by today's academia.

I consider myself boringly moderate. I despise Michael Moore and Rush Limbaugh alike. Furthermore, I like to take time making up my mind. My opinions are expensive; too many people today cast their thoughts as though the garbage spewing from their mouths like shotgun spray: "He who says much is sometimes right." Therefore, let me hear all sides of the issue. To me, Socratic learning is the ideal academic pursuit of man. Unbias criticism of all beliefs in order to reach what is eventual unadulterated truth.

Are any of us suprised when survey after survey reveal that the American professorite is unabashedly liberal? Anyone that has been to college over the last 20 years could answer this to the affirmative, but the actual numbers are scary. The largest group of contributors to presidential campaigns this election cycle was from the system of Universities of California- who contributed at a ratio of 19:1 for John Kerry. Of course the common response to this and other data is either "education (i.e. intelligence) leads to liberality", or "conservatives are less likely to be educators (because their cold-hearted natures predispose them to take interest in money and money alone)."

Colleges force-feed multiethnicity and cultural relativism to the point where most institutions are perfectly willing to expel a student at the first instance of ethnocentrism (most institutions are much more loose about rules concerning underage drinking, cannabis use, etc.) There are a lot of institutions (somewhere in the order of 25% of colleges) that restrict free speech to a certain area on campus. This is usually to prevent the dissemination of conservative beliefs (anti-affirmative-action is one example.)

It doesn't stop there. I've had a professor apologize to the class because we had to read an article by a "dead, white, male" (of course, the DMW in question was Marx, so no chance of conservativm there ). In a different class, I've read three different articles that concluded that anyone who didn't support affirmative action is inherently racist. The school sponsered a talk by Louis Farakhan (sic?) earlier this semester, and no one raised any questions, despite the minister and his Nation of Islam being on the list of the Anti-Defamation League's official hate groups. I have a feeling that if David Duke came to give a similar lecture, there'd be some negative reaction.

I don't object to there being some radicalism in our colleges. It helps promote change, facilitates discussion, etc. It has largely been responsible for the diversity we see in our schools today, and it is refreshing to think that our hallowed halls of education are no longer dominated by rich white men. But the liberalism that destroyed ethnic and gender homoginization has also destroyed all difference of opinion that we can find. What's the point of diversity of skin color if we can't enlighten ourselves with different opinions.

(Note: 2 posts in one day will be the exception, not the rule, on this site)

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