[C]ollege students are taught to view their experiences in terms of the template of grievance. … In a sane world, a world within which people hadn’t forgotten that the university is an institution whose raison d’etre has been the promotion of Western civilization, the ideological abuses to which the academic world has been subjected would constitute nothing less than an epic scandal.
Charles Murray, co-author of The Bell Curve in 1994, was invited to speak at Virginia Tech University but some students demanded that the university disinvite him with the usual sort of statement.
Containing as it does all of the vapid, but emotionally-charged and politically effective, buzzwords—“racism,” “misogyny,” “prejudice,” “hate,” “social Darwinist,” “white supremacist”—this statement, besides being poorly written, is a classic textbook example of precisely the sort of “anti-intellectualism” of which it convicts Murray. ..
While there is indeed much learning that occurs in our institutions of higher learning, far too little of it is higher learning. Students … are learning from their professors how to become leftist ideologues.
So let’s stop funding institutions that teach like this — they are perfectly entitled to teach what they like, but not on our dime.
In an institution devoted to education, instead of political activism, neither faculty nor students would think to regurgitate fallacy-ridden canned statements and uninformed ad hominem attacks against scholars with whom they disagree. Rather, at an institution of higher learning, both faculty and students would know a thing or two about how to make cogent arguments to substantiate their views, and they would welcome opportunities to genuinely listen to and critically engage the exponents of those positions that they question.
But demonizing one’s opponents with a little abusive language jammed in between bumper sticker slogans is so much easier than conversing with them. It’s easier in that it requires less time, less knowledge, and a whole lot less courage: There’s no better way to immunize one’s own beliefs against criticism.
hat-tip Stephen Neil