A “Red Army of Mediocrities”: Our Soviet-Style University System

A “Red Army of Mediocrities”: Our Soviet-Style University System. By Thomas DiLorenzo.

In an April 15 Boston Globe article entitled “A Message to All Professional Thinkers: We Either Hang Together or We Hang Separately,” historian Niall Ferguson described the now-routine “outing” of conservative professors at American Universities by the hard-Left Marxists who control most of them.

The usual procedure is to first lie about something the conservative (or libertarian) supposedly said to whip a “Twitter mob” into a hateful frenzy. The local media then pick up on it and pile on. Spineless faculty “colleagues” either cower in fear or join the mob by signing a petition to curry favor with the administration (to increase their chances of another 1 percent pay raise). If the conservative or libertarian professor is not tenured, he or she is fired. Otherwise, he or she is marginalized, harassed, discriminated against, and “encouraged” to leave voluntarily to avoid such a miserable existence. No human resources bureaucrats are ever concerned about “hostile work environments” when it comes to academic conservatives or libertarians; only the Left is to be protected from hostility and “insensitive” speech.

The KGB-style faculty and administrators who enforce this pervasive censorship are what Ferguson calls a “Red Army of Mediocrities.” They are mediocrities because very few of them are real scholars but uneducated political rabble rousers who simply stayed in school their entire adult lives, armed with terminal degrees in such phony and fraudulent academic “disciplines” as “Feminist Theology” or “Global Studies.” They are, says Ferguson, descendants of “the illiberal, egalitarian ideology that once suppressed free speech in Eastern Europe.”

It’s far worse than Ferguson describes in his short op-ed, for anti-conservative and anti-libertarian discrimination in hiring has been rampant for decades. Yours truly recalls attending a Liberty Fund conference about thirty years ago where one of the other participants, Professor Henry Manne, remarked that “we have lost the universities.” That was thirty years ago, and he was referring to the nearly complete Leftist takeover already, at that time, of the American university system and its assault on academic freedom and free speech.

That’s how its done. Any organization thus affected is taken over by the extreme left, and cannot be rescued and returned to its proper mission unless all the staff are sacked. The extreme left’s march thought the institutions has succeeded brilliantly for them. It’s pushing the West leftwards at a great clip, destroying what was the most successful civilization ever. Goodbye modernism, the Enlightenment, freedom, meritocracy, democracy, realism, and treating people as individuals rather than as members of groups.