The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

The Academic Temple Cult

Posted on | November 24, 2015 | 27 Comments

While university administrators surrender to protest mobs of young barbarians, we behold the decline of cultural literacy:

Not only are way too many of today’s students not getting a basic grounding in these things from their schools, but they’re probably not getting it from way too many of their parents, either. No wonder so many of them are willing to throw away freedom of speech in the name of protecting minorities’ feelings — they don’t even know what freedom of speech is or what it means, or why we have it in the first place.

(Hat-tip: Instapundit.) Our education system is no longer primarily concerned with teaching facts, but instead has become a Temple Cult of Social Justice that exists to indoctrinate students with “progressive” attitudes and beliefs. In his book Up From Liberalism — published in 1959, the year I was born — William F. Buckley Jr. wrote:

“In the hands of a skillful indoctrinator, the average student not only thinks what the indoctrinator wants him to think . . . but is altogether positive that he has arrived at his position by independent intellectual exertion. This man is outraged by the suggestion that he is the flesh-and-blood tribute to the success of his indoctrinators.”

Eugene Volokh documents an example of this phenomenon:

Valerie Ashby, the new dean of Trinity College of Arts and Sciences at Duke University . . . said in response to a student question complaining about various supposedly intolerant scholarship and other statements by various faculty members at Duke and elsewhere:

I am going to every single department and saying to the faculty, these are our values, and then holding chairs really accountable, that we’re training chairs, and then holding them accountable for what’s happening in your departments.
We’re also really working on . . . the new faculty who step in the door, and really trying to teach them, these are our values, this is what’s tolerable here, this is what’s not, this is how we feel about these things. And at every point of their evaluation, and at every point of — chance where we have an opportunity to make a decision about whether or not you are Duke, we are evaluating the — we will evaluate the entirety of the person.
And so you can’t be a great scholar, and be intolerant. You have to go.

Annual tuition at Duke University is $49,341 and no one may be employed as faculty at Duke who does not share the “values” that Dean Valerie Ashby is in charge of enforcing. She is not an educator, but an indoctrinator — the commissar of a totalitarian regime that demands ideological conformity. If you’re wondering what Dean Ashby meant by “our values,” in 2004 a group of conservative students at Duke exposed the faculty’s Democrat Party allegiances:

The students had identified party affiliation by using registration records available to the public. Their chart revealed that of the deans serving schools of Duke University, nine were registered Democrats and only one was registered as a Republican. In the Department of Art History, faculty included fourteen Democrats, one unaffiliated, and no Republicans. What about the Department of Cultural Anthropology? The chart revealed eleven Democrats, two unaffiliated, and no Republicans. English? The department includes eighteen Democrats, one unaffiliated, and a single Republican. The Department of History included thirty-two Democrats, four unaffiliated and no Republicans. Literature, philosophy, and sociology, combined to total thirty-two Democrats, nine unaffiliated, and no Republicans. The only department with more than one Republican was the Department of Political Science which claimed twenty-six Democrats, one unaffiliated, and six Republicans. Apparently, “diversity” at Duke University means diversity for Democrats.

So, in total: 142 Democrats to 8 Republicans and in many departments at Duke there was not even one Republican professor. A student of history or sociology at Duke will almost certainly never encounter anyone on the faculty who ever voted Republican, and Dean Ashby’s job is to maintain the university’s partisan “values.” If this “sounds kinda intolerant,” it’s because it is intolerant. Parents who worked all their lives to be able to afford to send their kids to an elite university are spending money to pay professors who teach students to hate their parents. The real “rape culture” on campus is the faculty raping students’ minds.



27 Responses to “The Academic Temple Cult”

  1. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    November 24th, 2015 @ 8:49 am

    It is amazing how illiterate many kids are. You have city kids who can barely read or write at all. You have kids going to so called elite schools who have no grounding in what used to be the basis of a high school education. The classics are not taught at all or are so twisted as to be unrecognizable.

    We are so screwed.

  2. NeoWayland
    November 24th, 2015 @ 9:02 am

    “Nothing is ever forgotten, not completely, and, if something can be remembered, it can come back.”
    The Pandorica Opens, Doctor Who

  3. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    November 24th, 2015 @ 9:03 am

    Why is this even news? We know all the evil clowns are at colleges and Universities…

  4. RS
    November 24th, 2015 @ 9:07 am

    Cultural Illiteracy among today’s youth is not a bug but a feature of the Progressive educational system. The received wisdom of the ages is ignored and forgotten because the originators of the wisdom do not look precisely like those who would be taught. Therefore, all human experiences of the past and solutions to problems attendant to the Human Condition are declared irrelevant. Reality is reduced to what I happen to be feeling at this moment without any objective point of reference. Some of the purveyors of this nonsense in academe are mere dolts following the party line. because they believe it will allow them a seat at the “cool kids” lunch table. But there are those who advocate this new Solipsism for the purposes of destroying Western Civilization in favor of some brave, yet to be determined, new utopia.

  5. Powered by UNicorn flatulence
    November 24th, 2015 @ 9:22 am

    Duke lacrosse.
    Never forget

  6. Jeanette Victoria
    November 24th, 2015 @ 9:29 am

    So Valerie Ashby is the Political Officer at Duke

  7. Fail Burton
    November 24th, 2015 @ 9:45 am

    These folks probably frown down on past anti-Catholic and anti-Jewish quotas at schools like theirs. However since they are unprincipled morons addicted to identity and surface appearances, they have no right to frown at what they themselves are.

    What strikes me about this cult is how often they quote philosophers – particularly Asian ones – but without understanding good stuff is where you find it rather than where you want it to be. However that is exactly what they do. They have made a lack of morality and insight static by embedding such things in men, heterosexuals and whites.

    When Frank Herbert wrote about a “tangential slash” in the context of a conversation, he meant a sudden perceptual shift which would allow one to suddenly rise above the conversation and look back down at it with clearer and unbiased eyes. Liberals claim that space over Conservatives and yet don’t even understand law or what group defamation is and they are incapable of using metaphor or analogy or making the simplest comparisons. Perhaps that is why they at once laugh at and embrace racism and supremacy.

    Since the ’60s, liberals and conservatives have come very close to exchanging basic philosophical positions when it comes to simple matters of perception.

  8. CrustyB
    November 24th, 2015 @ 9:48 am

    “The next time some academics tell you how important diversity is, ask them how many Republicans there are in their sociology department.” -Thomas Sowell

  9. Fail Burton
    November 24th, 2015 @ 9:59 am

    This year Chinese SF author Cixin Liu won a Hugo Award for best novel and he was hosted by the Science Fiction Writers of America elsewhere. At the start of the novel college students in old commie China are cruelly and physically shaming a professor. If Liu knew anything about American culture, he’d probably hate the SFWA and the WorldCon which hosts the Hugos. If Liu were white, SF’s social justice creeps would likely be shaming him in their regular Two-Minute Hate just for being on the same planet. The failure of perception among our new “progressives” is stunning. Liu’s translator – SFWA member and contact in America Ken Liu – once Tweeted “‘authentic’ seems often to mean ‘what white people would approve.'” Yes, Ken Liu considers himself to be an anti-racist. There is no reaching people that dense.

  10. Adobe_Walls
    November 24th, 2015 @ 11:21 am

    Despite this, powerful people, financiers, corporate titans the NBA commissioner. People who should be paying attention are donating hundreds of millions of dollars a year for Duke’s construction program. Meanwhile the students are whining about how the construction itself is ruining their college experience.

  11. kilo6
    November 24th, 2015 @ 12:23 pm

    “For if you suffer your people to be ill-educated, and their manners to be corrupted from their infancy, and then punish them for those crimes to which their first education disposed them, what else is to be concluded from this, but that you first make thieves and then punish them.”
    – Thomas More, Utopia

  12. Quartermaster
    November 24th, 2015 @ 1:00 pm

    You misspelled Zampolits.

  13. DeadMessenger
    November 24th, 2015 @ 4:20 pm

    Great quote. Sowell is brilliant.

  14. DeadMessenger
    November 24th, 2015 @ 4:28 pm

    Are you kidding me right here? What’s next, criminalizing clown suits? You know what’s even more clownish than a clown suit? Thug wannabes with their pants around the bottom of their butt cheeks and shower sandals that don’t fit, but I don’t see these morons griping about that.

  15. Ilion
    November 24th, 2015 @ 8:25 pm

    I’ll never do it, of course, but I’m alway tempted to ask the “Thug wannabes with their pants around the bottom of their butt cheeks” how much they’re charging … because, after all, the *meaning* of wearing your pants like that is “my ass is available”.
    Also, they always remind me of a toddler running around with a fully loaded diaper.

  16. Matt_SE
    November 24th, 2015 @ 8:49 pm

    The so-called trustees are as guilty as anyone (probably more so). They don’t take their duties seriously, which are an opportunity to socialize and preen.

  17. Matt_SE
    November 24th, 2015 @ 8:55 pm

    Ironic, coming from a SF show that regularly pushes the SJW narrative. Silurian lesbians in Victorian England? Sure, why not.

  18. Matt_SE
    November 24th, 2015 @ 9:04 pm

    As I may have stated before, my working theory for the root cause of this insanity is lack of competition.
    In the academy, it is brought about by the cloistered nature of faculty. They are intentionally shielded from backlash, but that’s not always a good thing.
    In large cities, it is because large webs of social supports exist that absorb the worst damage of normal consequences.

    Even in evolution, success plants the seeds of failure in the form of over-specialization. When the environment changes, BAM! extinction.

  19. DeadMessenger
    November 25th, 2015 @ 4:03 am

    “Fully loaded diaper”, hehehehehe.

    O/T, I always remind my kids that “repaid” is “diaper” spelled backwards.

  20. NeoWayland
    November 25th, 2015 @ 4:26 am

    Don’t worry.

    It will be disavowed as soon as the SJW crowd finds out that an upstart libertarian troublemaker quoted it in the comments on a conservative site to defend teaching classical virtues.

    Or in the words of an old friend, “Wisdom is where you find it.”

  21. Ilion
    November 25th, 2015 @ 8:28 am

    Oh, my, it is!

  22. Lulu
    November 25th, 2015 @ 11:07 am

    What are parents to do? Do we pay for college? Advise against it?

  23. Quartermaster
    November 25th, 2015 @ 1:21 pm

    That describes the DimoKKKrap party rather well.

  24. Daniel Freeman
    November 25th, 2015 @ 6:35 pm

    When I was doing security, I did courthouse entrance screening for awhile, and worked with some tough old birds. One looked like the sweet pudgy grandmotherly type, but she was retired from corrections, and made a point of telling saggers that it was a prison style for advertising availability.

    Totally politically incorrect, and I loved it. Their expressions were priceless.

  25. Daniel Freeman
    November 25th, 2015 @ 6:43 pm

    Either find a cheap college that focuses on academics and does it well, or encourage a practical course of self-study. It has never been easier to be an autodidact, and that might actually pay off more in the long run, especially if schooling would require loans.

  26. Jeanette Victoria
    November 25th, 2015 @ 9:48 pm

    One can get a on line accredited degree at bonus if you are active military hubby and I have a scholarship program set up in my daughter’s name the
    Vivian Runyon Memorial Scholarship Fund

  27. Ilion
    November 25th, 2015 @ 10:21 pm

    Exactly. Not only do they look stupid and slovenly, but the real message is the exact opposite of what they want to advertise.