With my old-fashioned mindset, if I were to go back to college to major in “American Studies” I would expect to find the curriculum filled with classes about the Constitution, the development of political parties, the immigrant experience, the opening of the West, changes in Congress, etc. Boy, would I be wrong. Here is the roster of American Studies classes being taught at one of the innumerable (and expensive) “liberal arts” colleges dotted throughout America’s Midwest. As you read it, keep in mind the theory that Asians and Jews are Democrats even when it’s against their own best interests because they are the groups most likely to send their kids to these indoctrination factories:
I’ve been struggling to come up with a down-and-dirty definition of modern Progressivism. I know that we can just call it socialism with an American accent, but that’s inaccurate. We need to define it correctly because doing so allows us to see and address Ground Zero — the creation point — of this toxic ideology.
As any good conservative knows — especially those who have read Jonah Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Change — American Progressivism was a political movement that originated more than a hundred years ago. Some early Progressives liked to borrow some ideas and words from socialism, as was the case in Jean Webster’s 1912 classic Daddy-Long-Legs. In that quite charming book, the heroine, Judy Abbott, is a foundling sent to a posh college modeled on Vassar. Once there, she pronounces herself a Fabian, meaning (to her) a socialist who wants to bring about change slowly, without an actual revolution.
Despite borrowing a few linguistic trappings, though, American Progressives were never European-style socialists. The difference between American Leftists and their European counterparts was a matter of class — the Europeans had classes and, technically speaking, Americans did not. Sure, America had her rich and her poor, and some families who could trace their wealth back a few decades, but Progressivism arose in a time when America was still an economically dynamic country, one in which people’s status was based on wealth, not birth, and they could rise and fall depending on their luck, hard work, and financial acumen.
In this, Americans were unlike Europeans who had ancient, deeply stratified, practically immobile classes. As Alan J. Lerner wrote for My Fair Lady, “An Englishman’s way of speaking absolutely classifies him. The moment he talks he makes some other Englishman despise him.” England was not alone, of course. Lerner could have written the same words about every European country, and indeed just about every other country in the world.
As the old Hollywood musicals liked to remind us, the only things free in this world are the sun, the moon, the stars, and other pretty, and not so pretty, things Nature provides, totally free of charge. Everything else comes at a cost, and sooner or later someone has to pay. Bernie’s current promise is “free education,” meaning college education. Bill Whittle explains why Bernie’s promise is nonsensical:
It used to be, a long time ago, that some state colleges were supported only by taxpayer funds, without students having to pay tuition. Now, of course, they’re all funded, not just by state taxpayers, but also federal taxpayers, in-state students, out-of-state students who pay more, and the treasured international students who pay even more than that.
If you look back on that halcyon time of taxpayer-only funded education, you discover that colleges and universities had very small administrative divisions. Now, someone’s got to pay for an administrative stratum that often boasts more people than are in the actual faculty teaching the students. After all, every assistant to the assistant of the vice chair of a politically correct department needs full salary and benefits….
While other commencement speakers are telling people to pursue their dreams or complaining that their free housing was built by slaves more than 200 years ago, Mike Rowe has put together a different kind of commencement address, once directed at real people who have to function in the real world:
It’s already old news that DePaul’s resident fascists (aka students and their adult trainers) shouted Milo Yiannopoulos off the stage. Campus security refused to step in to protect an invited speaker. Worse, when the story inevitably went public, the university’s insane faculty doubled down on the type of vicious fascist censorship that Hitler’s Brownshirts would readily have recognized.
But there is push back. Just check out DePaul’s review page on Facebook. For those who don’t want to bother, here’s the summary version as of May 29, 2016:
There are so many reviews that it would take me hours to find who wrote the following masterpiece on the Review page, which a friend sent me a couple of days ago. If you know who wrote it, please tell me so I can give proper attribution:
Thankfully, it’s not the kind of migraine that has me rushed off to the ER, or that sees me sunken into abject misery in a darkened room. I’m just lethargic, hence the fact that this Open Thread opened at almost 7 p.m. Pacific Time. Still, migraine or not, I’ve got good stuff to share, and if it’s too late for you to read tonight it will still be good tomorrow:
American colleges — un-educating our children. Or is it “dis-educating?” I really don’t know because we in America have never before had an educational system that strips kids of knowledge and analytical abilities. I have a few posts I want to share with you on that point. The first looks right into the dark heart of the new academic methodology, which claims to teach kids “critical thinking” but, instead, teaches them emotional reaction and group thinking as a substitute for actual analysis and thought.
The second is an article you may already have seen floating around the internet today. Written by Nathan Heller at The New Yorker, it takes a sympathetic look at activist students attending Oberlin. Sympathetic, though, should not be confused with appealing. These are extremely damaged young people and a sympathetic look doesn’t make them any more pleasant. His special focus is on those students who can claim some victim identity status, whether racial, gender mixed-up, handicapped, or anything else that isn’t a white, heteronormative cisgendered male.
Heller has an interesting observation about the bind the universities have created for these students thanks to their obsessive focus on diversity combined with their desired end-product of sameness:
The morning was given over to household maintenance; the midday is reserved for legal work. With luck, blogging will be on this evening’s menu. Until then, I have three videos for you to enjoy. The first two are about the wonderful world of higher education, and the third is about the Marxist renaissance under Bernie:
I met up the other day with some friends whom I’ve known for years through our children. They are, without exception, decent, bright, extremely kind women. I think highly of them, even though they are Bernie supporters.
The conversation turned to the “rape culture” on American campuses. Although they were agreed that a woman who is proven to have falsely accused a man of rape should be punished, they differed from me in three significant areas: (1) They believe absolutely the CDC study saying 1 in 5 American women have been raped; (2) they think that, if a woman says she was raped, she should be believed absolutely; and (3) they think girls should not be given advice about how to protect themselves because, if they still get raped, having been armed against rape implies that any resulting rape was their fault. I’d like to spend a little time on each point.
I’ll be away all day tomorrow, first doing an activity with the kids, and then listening to this year’s best a cappella groups (although this wonderful group from Israel won’t be there). I therefore hope that this post gives you lots of interesting stuff to read on Saturday.
Pro-Trump? Anti-Trump? Pro-GOP? Anti-GOP? Pro-Conservative? Anti-Conservative? Who the heck knows anymore? Trump’s ascendancy has caused normally staid, solid, and scholarly conservatives to become wildly partisan for or against Trump.
I was listening to someone explain a seizure yesterday, and he described it as all the neurons firing simultaneously and randomly. American conservatives are having a seizure.
Anyway, I thought I’d consolidate in one place some of the differing viewpoints about Trump and about how best to serve America over the long haul. As you know, my hot buttons are the Supreme Court; the Second Amendment; Israel’s security, because it’s the right thing to do and because Israel is the world’s “canary in a coal mine”; and naming and then fighting the evil that is fundamentalist, radical Islam. With those hot buttons front and center, I’ve switched from #NeverTrump, which was my position when the primaries were contested, to #NeverHillary.
My dream candidate is, and has been since 2013, Ted Cruz, but that dream is dashed. Here, in reality-land, I believe that the Republican party is dead whether or not Trump wins, and that conservativism needs to be re-taught to Americans from the ground up, just as they were taught Leftism from the ground up over the past 40 years, with the Leftist takeover of American education, news, and entertainment. If Hillary gets to appoint Supreme Court justices, destroy the Second Amendment, abandon Israel, and take policy advice from the Muslim Brotherhood figures who surround her (and even sleep with her for alleged health reasons) I think America will be too destroyed ever to rebuild.
I’ve assembled here a good collection of pro and con posts about Trump’s candidacy. I have no idea if reading all of them will clarify things for you or further confuse you, but they are all interesting:
I’m back, and still playing beat the clock when I blog, so let me get right down to business:
Just one thing about Target’s preexisting open bathroom policy. You may not have known about Target’s long-standing open-access bathroom policy (all gender identities welcome wherever they want), but it appears that word has spread amongst the pervert population. The Target experience nicely exemplifies the point I was making here about Leftist policies that lower the bar for the bad guys. The Target experience also makes an ironic joke out of a particular type of smug Leftism that’s been making the rounds on my Facebook feed.
Has Dennis Prager been reading my blog? For how many years have I been saying that the Left hates the Judeo-Christian tradition because it’s predicated on justice, morality, and grace? I don’t know how many myself, although I was already making the argument back in 2011. I’ve made it fairly recently too, but can’t locate the darn post.
Why am I waffling about past posts? Because Dennis Prager makes much the same point I’ve been making when he asks “Why the Left loathes Western Civilization?”
So, then, the Big Question is, Why? Why is the Left hostile to Western civilization?
After decades of considering this question, the answer, I have concluded, is: standards.
The Left hates standards – moral standards, artistic standards, cultural standards. The West is built on all three, and has excelled in all three.
Dennis Prager’s discussion, of course, is more learned and in-depth than mine, but it’s gratifying to me to see that we’re thinking along the same lines.
One of the keystones of the Protestant Reformation was the notion that priests were no longer necessary to bring people into contact with God. Up until the Reformation, Catholic priests were seen as an absolutely necessary intermediary. No matter how corrupt the individual priest (and if Boccaccio and Chaucer are to be believed, individual priests were very licentious indeed), his ordination meant that he was a vital conduit between man and God.
The revolutionary notion that Christians could go the Jewish route and have teachers about God, rather than conduits to God, began in the 14th century. In 1382, John Wycliffe translated portions of the New Testament from Latin into English. He believed that the only authoritative source for the scriptures came from the words themselves, rather than from a priest’s summation and opinion. With the Bible in the vernacular, the priest was no longer the guardian of information unavailable to just about everyone else in Western European society. From there, it was a short step to conclude that the priest was entirely unnecessary. Man was saved, not when the priest administered the sacrament, but when each man himself embraced Christ and his teachings.
The Catholic Church, aided by European states that drew a significant part of their secular authority from the Church’s recognition of their monarch’s divine right to rule, was able to stifle this growing reform movement for some time. The Church might have been able to destroy the reform movement entirely but for an information revolution. In 1454, Johannes Gutenberg published a Bible on a printing press capable of endlessly replicating that printing run. Suddenly, not only was the priest doctrinally redundant, he was redundant as a practical matter. Any literate person could read the people and reach his (or her) own conclusions about faith without an intermediary. Nations that embraced the Reformation speeded this process by translating the Bible into their native languages.
Today’s Left has undertaken to supplant the Christian religion with secularism. In the new leftist religion, the professors are the priests and the universities the Cathedrals. For many a long decade, the professors have been the guardians of information unavailable to ordinary Americans. However, we are at the dawn of a second information revolution. The internet has matured to the point that information is available en masse and instantly at our fingertips.