It’s so much more brazen in South Africa, which is a pointer to a certain sort of future.
You can always tell when it’s the beginning of the academic year in South Africa. Scores of rampaging youths on campus demanding that their past tuition debts be cancelled, that somebody else pay for their accommodation, that future tuition fees be cancelled, that they all be given laptops (obviously MacBook Airs…), that free internet connectivity be provided, that the Minister for Higher Education be sacked and that registration be continued indefinitely so that anyone who fancies a few years at university can realize their dream, irrespective of matriculation grades. Refuse these demands and the universities will be shutdown.
I had a look at some of the footage of the dancing, chanting mob at UCT invading the Kramer Building and and felt at one with my PolWeb fellow columnist Phumlani M. Majozi when he writes “It really is heart-breaking to see South Africa, a country that once had huge potential, continuously in decline.”
Then a student ‘spokesman’ came on and he was sporting an EFF beret and suddenly everything made sense.
What we old fogies need to understand is that attending university is no longer about getting a decent degree that might get you through to the first round of interviews with a large corporate looking for future high-flyers.
It’s no longer about spending three or more years exploring ideas, improving your mind and engaging in lively debate, often with people you disagree with, on the off-chance that some of your opinions might change as a result. It’s not about respecting lecturers and listening to what they have to say on the basis that the very reason they are lecturers is presumably that they have knowledge to impart.
Get with the program:
That’s all old hat now. What it’s all about now is identity politics, entitlement and assumed victimhood. It really doesn’t matter what course you sign up for which is why whacky subjects like Gender Studies and Intersectionalist Literature are taught with a straight face by Marxist lecturers to gullible students who believe that employers will be welcoming them with open arms when they graduate.
It’s no longer about listening to opinions and engaging in debate. Today’s skill is all about recognizing those who may have ‘problematic’ opinions and de-platforming them before they have an opportunity to infect young minds with their politically unacceptable ideas. …
If you try and explain that in the bad old days many ambitious young people who wanted to further their education would take part time jobs to pay the fees you will as likely as not be met with a glazed look of boredom and a ‘whatever’.
The only reason kids from homes that didn’t have a lot of spare cash for university did that is that they weren’t bright enough to band together and set fire to university buildings or topple statues. Today’s university student knows that a little thuggery goes a long way.
I was hoping the future would be more like Star Trek, with flying cars. Guess we can safely rule that out.
hat-tip Stephen Neil