More on University Indoctrination

In case you missed it in the comments, TFBW provided a video with new footage of Evergreen State president and faculty working hard to implement a Climate of Indoctrination:

When a university prioritizes indoctrination and groupthink, it ceases to function as a true university.  When it values “believing” over critical thinking, it ceases to function as a true university.  I would agree with the speaker that this postmodernist expression of social justice is indeed cultlike.

The sad thing is that there are many, many more colleges and universities which are and will be following in Evergreen State’s footsteps given the manner in which social justice activism has infiltrated the faculty and administration.  And this represents a true threat to science.  Since so much of science is done in a university setting, how long can it truly thrive in a climate of indoctrination?  How long can it thrive when its questions, methods, and results must be at home on their canoe?

Yet, the primary question to ask is, “how did we get to this point?”  What went wrong?

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12 Responses to More on University Indoctrination

  1. stcordova says:

    “Yet, the primary question to ask is, “how did we get to this point?” What went wrong?

    I have no specifics. Certainly authoritarianism existed in Christendom as well so I’m not 100% sure it is the loss of faith, though Peterson does argue well that postmodernism drives the current brand of authoritarianism. But the more fundamental issue is how a democracy moves toward authoritarianism. It’s understandable that an authoritarian state is perpetuated, but it doesn’t seem so clear how a democracy can willingly acquire a tyrant.

    “So this is how democracy dies, with thunderous applause”. Padme, Revenge of the Sith

  2. TFBW says:

    The truly obsessed may also be interested in the following link to the Washington State Senate Law & Justice Committee Work Session on Campus safety at the Evergreen State College. The first half hour, in particular, is worth a look, as it involves testimony from college professors (one of them an Evergreen professor). The Heckler’s Veto is discussed, among other things. My take-away is that while the students (or a vocal subset of them) are a problem, the real motivating force seems to be a significant subset of the faculty, operating far less visibly than the students.

    https://www.tvw.org/watch/?eventID=2017061052

    The bulk of it is testimony from George Bridges, which is probably about what you would expect from him, given what we’ve seen so far, but there is also some interesting testimony from the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office at the 1h16m mark in relation to a campus disruption back in January, relating to swearing in the new police chief. It was a typical “no platform” disruption of the kind that is common among student snowflakes these days.

  3. stcordova says:

    > the real motivating force seems to be a significant subset of the faculty, operating far less visibly
    than the students.

    Yes indeed, but one of them slipped up and showed her true agenda on youtube: Naima Lowe.

    It wouldn’t surprise me if Pauline Yu is relishing this since one of the books she suggested for her biology class was by Sandra Harding who says Newton’s Principia should be more properly called “Newton’s Rape Manual.”

    PS
    In other news, the term “Genius” is now forbidden in some curricula at Oxford because it speaks of male privilege. Scientists have argued there is only one female genius for every seven male geniuses, and I’d suppose the difference is even more severe for supergeniuses like Newton and Einstein.

    Pauliine Yu apparently really hates male genius if she is teaching the works of Sandra Harding in her biology class. Something about Sandra Harding:

    http://www.gnxp.com/blog/2005/09/know-thy-enemy-newtons-rape-manual.php

    “But if we are to believe that mechanistic metaphors were a fundamental component of the explanations the new science provided, why should we believe that the gender metaphors were not? A consistent analysis would lead to the conclusion that understanding nature as a woman indifferent to or even welcoming rape was equally fundamental to the interpretations of these new conceptions of nature and inquiry. Presumably these metaphors, too, had fruitful pragmatic, methodological, and metaphysical consequences for science. In that case, why is it not as illuminating and honest to refer to Newton’s laws as “Newton’s rape manual” as it is to call them “Newton’s mechanics”?”

  4. darrenl says:

    “Certainly authoritarianism existed in Christendom as well so I’m not 100% sure it is the loss of faith,…”

    Certainly persons within Christendom had authoritarian tendencies, but the philosophical and theological assumptions underpinning Christianity does not encourage such a thing. If it did, Christianity would have collapsed a couple centuries after it started….yet here Western Civilization stands.

    Loss of faith is certainly a factor in authoritarianism, but not the only factor. It’s not hard to make the argument that if God (traditionally understood) is not a factor, then someone must take His place…so why not me? Like Dr. Peterson says (…and this is a Christian philosophical point…), if there is no objective reality of Being (which Thomas Aquinas would call God: ipsum esse subsistens), then it’s just a matter of one human will against another: enter authoritarianism.

  5. mechanar says:

    “Yet, the primary question to ask is, “how did we get to this point?” What went wrong?

    Its a sad fact that Human beings have a natural desire for authoritarianism the book “the wave” Explains this quite well or hell just remember Philip Zimbardo experiment in the 70s. Deep down a lot of People WANT a dictator to rule over them or more specifically terrorize those the person in question dosent like

  6. stcordova says:

    “Yet, the primary question to ask is, “how did we get to this point?” What went wrong?

    I really wish I had a hold on a good answer so that I could encourage others to cherish freedom. If perhaps they could understand why they chase after this AND to see the value of freedom for the reasons so well articulated by Jordan Peterson, then perhaps I could encourage others.

    Peterson makes a good case for freedom, but I’ve not yet found out why people want to be subject to forcible control that is evidently corrupt and incompetent. Do people just love delusions about reality because the truth is too tragic? I just don’t know. Peterson suggested the acknowledgement of the tragedy of the human condition brings us closer to the truth, and this is what religion, most especially Christianity have articulated so well. Peterson’s 2-hour 2017 interview said this idea so well.

    I SPECULATE the willingness to accept authoritarian and totalitarian rule is rooted in a desire to delude oneself from the reality of the tragic human condition and delusionally believe in incompetent and tyrannically leaders as if they are god. These would be leaders like Stalin, Mao, and others.

  7. TFBW says:

    How did we get to this point? It depends on how far back you want to take it. In some sense, it goes back to the Age of Enlightenment, and then through the nineteenth century influences of Darwin, Marx, Nietzsche, and so on. Even if we take a short-term view (of decades rather than centuries), it still helps to know the key points of the long term picture.

    Let’s start somewhere near the end of the 20th century, when Communism had ceased to be the collective bogeyman of the West, and follow the trajectory through two key points which are of special interest to this blog. I believe that we can start with a generic kind of secularist, anti-Christian sentiment in academia, with evolutionary biology being a particularly active centre due to its ideological antipathy towards creationism (and anything sympathetic to it). Richard Dawkins is a notable figure here. Culturally, there was also an ongoing “progressive” push against conservative attitudes regarding abortion (territory already ceded to progressivism by then), homosexuality (still in progress, but mostly ceded), and marriage (still mostly a future war at the time).

    Epoch #1 is the September 11, 2001 terror attack. This event gave the secularists something to rally behind, and resulted in the rise of New Atheism. The incident was identifiably Islamic, but the New Atheists generally painted their tar with the broad brush of “religion”, and tended to direct their attacks more at Christianity. Thus, Dawkins’ The God Delusion mentioned Islam, but was primarily anti-Christian. And so the culture war against Christianity was escalated due to Islamic terror and the secularist reaction to it. This trend continued until the next epoch.

    Epoch #2 is the 2012 Reason Rally, which marked Peak New Atheism, as far as I’m concerned. Flushed with the success of getting so many like-minded people in one place at one time, all cheering at Dawkins’ exhortation to publicly mock and ridicule Catholics for their beliefs, they promptly tore themselves apart along already-present but invisible ideological lines by deciding they needed to do more with their new-found power and unity. This marks the “Atheism+” schism, which has produced the new and profoundly anti-scientific Social Justice faction. This latter faction is the far larger of the two, as proved by its dominance at the 2016 Reason Rally, but the overall insignificance of that rally compared to its 2012 predecessor illustrates that the loss of unity meant that atheism itself was no longer a banner under which the divergent factions could rally. They had slightly more success in rallying under the banner of “science” with the 2017 March for Science, but with Bill Nye the Gender Spectrum Guy as figurehead, the SJWs were clearly in charge, and the focus was more anti-Trump than anti-religion (but ambiguous enough that you could just march in praise of science). Dawkins is now something of a footnote since he’s never really made it clear on which side of the new divide he falls, has said things which offend both sides, and doesn’t seem to have a clear understanding that the divide exists in any case.

    The post-2012 era may have marked the start of a decline for New Atheism as such, but anti-Christian influence in the academy continued to rise under the auspices of Leftism in the form of neo-Marxism, undergirded (and given academic respectability) by Postmodernism. This is particularly well documented by Jonathan Haidt, whose reports on the subject show how Leftist ideology (in the humanities, at least) seems to have reached a tipping point in this short span such that self-professed Marxists are now at parity with everything right of centre. The former ideological core of New Atheism — hard-nosed rationalist evolutionary biologists like Richard Dawkins and Jerry Coyne — have been reduced to the role of useful idiots. They are still fighting the battle of two decades ago, guarding the sciences against incursion from the loathsome creationists. (Note, as an aside, that they use “creationist” as a broad brush for anything remotely critical of Darwinism, in much the same way that, “racist”, “sexist”, “anti-gay”, and even “Nazi” are terms that SJWs use as a broad brush for anyone who doesn’t toe their ideological line.) The ongoing anti-Christian and anti-creationist activities of the old Darwinist guard not only aid and abet the neo-Marxists, but keep their attention away from the fact that science is under far greater threat from Postmodernist thought than it is from any creationist, anywhere.

    Academic Psychologists like Jonathan Haidt and Jordan Peterson are now the rock stars of rational sanity, pointing out this Postmodern neo-Marxist threat, and actually able to explain it somewhat cogently. Jordan Peterson, in particular, with his symbolically rich but emphatically non-literal Christian apologetic, is making it culturally possible for atheists who lean towards conservatism, libertarianism, or both, such as Stefan Molyneux, to point out that Christianity provides a much-needed anchor against the insincere relativism of Postmodernist thought in the West. Meanwhile evolutionists, the former heroes of secularism, are getting blind-sided by Postmodern neo-Marxist insanity in the manner of Brett Weinstein, ineffectually fulminating against it like Jerry Coyne, or indulging in Darwinian narrative about it like Gad Saad and his “Ostrich Parasitic Syndrome” (which is clearly derivative of Dawkins’ “memes”, but directed at political correctness rather than religion). They are yesterday’s rock stars: they still have their fan base, but the wave which propelled them has broken.

    Those are the key points as to where we were, where we are, and how we got there, as I see it.

  8. TFBW says:

    @stcordova:

    I SPECULATE the willingness to accept authoritarian and totalitarian rule is rooted in a desire to delude oneself from the reality of the tragic human condition and delusionally believe in incompetent and tyrannically leaders as if they are god.

    I can see several possible aspects to this. For one, the absence of the divine means that what justice there is must come from the State, so atheism plus a desire for justice creates a strong attraction towards authoritarianism. Some will see the down-side of that, and back off, but the attraction is particularly tempting to those with emotional motivations. Second, the neo-Marxist victim narrative portrays the oppressors as the powerful ones, so you need a still more-powerful entity to support the victim class — namely, the State. The power-struggle nature of the relationship between victims and oppressors means that rule by force is the only option, thus an authoritarian State. Lastly, due to the collectivism inherent in the model, where people are members of groups, not individual persons, totalitarian rule can be seen as being in power so long as members of one’s class are in power.

  9. TFBW says:

    If you liked the video in the OP, you may also like this one, “Evergreen’s Collapse of Civil Discourse”, recently published by the same person.

  10. TFBW says:

    Another good video from the same source.

  11. Dhay says:

    > When a university prioritizes indoctrination and groupthink, it ceases to function as a true university. When it values “believing” over critical thinking, it ceases to function as a true university.

    Sir John Chilcott has just discussed publicly whether or not Tony Blair was truthful or not when persuading his Cabinet, Parliament and the public that the (then proposed) invasion of Iraq was justified:

    Speaking for the first time since publishing his report a year ago, Sir John Chilcot discussed why he thinks the former PM made those decisions.

    He said the evidence Mr Blair gave the inquiry was “emotionally truthful” but he relied on beliefs rather than facts.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-40510540

    “Emotionally truthful” — what’s that? True to your emotions?

    A merely emotional truthfulness looks like a dangerous thing. To paraphrase (and support Michael with a practical example), when a leader values “believing” over critical thinking, he ceases to function as a true leader.

  12. TFBW says:

    The evergreen saga has reached the highest level of review within the organisation (the Board of Trustees). Here’s Matt Christiansen with a brief recap and some highlights.

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