CultureWatch

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The Death of Western Universities

May 16, 2015

There is no question that contemporary education in the West is in a bad way. The crisis in our classrooms, especially at the university level, is simply indicative of the moral crisis in the West. Moral relativism, political correctness, and the hegemony of secular left ideology is destroying our educational system.

educationExamples of this abound. Two recent cases in Australia demonstrate this rather clearly. Consider this appalling case out of Sydney:

Women were segregated and asked to sit at the back of a lecture by the radical group Hizb ut-Tahrir at a Muslim students group at the University of Western Sydney last night. At the event in Parramatta, men and women were asked to sit apart. The Daily Telegraph attended the talk — and this reporter sat with the women before being politely told “brothers to the front” and “sisters” to the back. The women were ushered through a door marked “sisters” at the rear of the hall, while the “brothers” entered through another door and were told to take their place in “the front five rows”.

What?! Is this not gross sexism and massive misogyny? Evidently not for the UWS. It said: “UWS is a university located within the multicultural heart of Sydney. Our university reflects the diversity of our community.” Oh really? Just imagine if a Christian group rented a classroom there, and sought to keep women at the back of the bus.

Not only would the university never allow it, but the mainstream media would be having a field day with this. But because this was a group of devout Muslims doing what Islam does best, we hear crickets chirping. And this is what passes for sexual equality in our universities today.

On the other end of the country we had this case of crass political correctness and enforced conformity:

The University of Western Australia has cancelled the contract for a policy centre that was to be headed up by controversial academic Bjorn Lomborg after a “passionate emotional reaction” to the plan. The Federal Government had pledged to contribute $4 million to the Consensus Centre, a think tank that was to use methods similar to those used by Dr Lomberg’s Copenhagen Centre.
Dr Lomborg has attracted controversy for suggesting that the dangers of climate change are overstated, and that society faces other more pressing challenges such as global poverty. In a statement, UWA Vice Chancellor Paul Johnson said the creation of the centre had attracted “mixed reactions” from staff, students and the general public.
“The scale of the strong and passionate emotional reaction was one that the university did not predict,” he said. “Over the past few weeks, I have met and talked to staff, students and members of the public to hear their views, and to explain how the centre will operate within the university, the type of economic analysis it will undertake, and to correct many mistruths and misunderstandings about the centre.
“I have stated many times that it is not a centre to study climate change, that the university was not providing any direct funding to the centre, and that that Bjorn Lomborg would not be involved in its day-to-day operations.” But he said the strong opposition to the centre had placed the university in a difficult position, and that the lack of support meant it could not deliver “value for money for Australian taxpayers”.

Um, right. So much for academic freedom, a free flow of ideas, and an open mind. Not everyone was happy with the result. A piece in the AFR said in part: “The University of Western Australia’s embarrassing retreat from its decision to host Bjorn Lomborg’s Australian Consensus Centre is a stunning blow to academic freedom in Australia, but with the academics themselves to blame for the assault.”

But all this is par for the course on most university campuses in the West today. A decade ago Thomas Sowell wrote about “academic freedom and classroom brainwashing”. Part of what he wrote is worth offering here:

All across the country, from the elementary schools to the universities, students report being propagandized. That the propaganda is almost invariably from the political left is secondary. The fact that it is political propaganda instead of the subject matter of the class is what is crucial.
The lopsided imbalance among college professors in their political parties is a symptom of the problem, rather than the fundamental problem itself. If physicists taught physics and economists taught economics, what they did on their own time politically would be no more relevant than whether they go swimming or sky diving on their days off. But politics is intruded, not only into the classroom, but into hiring decisions as well.
Even top scholars who are conservatives are unlikely to be hired by many colleges and universities. Similarly with people training to become public school teachers. Some in schools of education have said that, to be qualified, you have to see teaching as a means of social change — meaning change in a leftward direction.
Such attitudes lead to lopsided politics among professors. At Stanford University, for example, the faculty includes 275 registered Democrats and 36 registered Republicans. Such ratios are not uncommon at other universities — despite all the rhetoric about “diversity.” Only physical diversity seems to matter.
Inbred ideological narrowness shows up, not only in hiring and teaching, but also in restrictive campus speech codes for students, created by the very academics who complain loudly when their own “free speech” is challenged. So long as voters, taxpayers, university trustees, and parents tolerate all this, so long it will continue.

Yes exactly so. A great way for the radical social engineers to take control of a nation is to smash academic freedom and replace it with ideological propaganda. That pretty well sums up the situation in the West today.

www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/radical-group-hizb-ut-tahrir-segregates-males-and-females-at-uws-muslim-group-meeting/story-fni0cx12-1227355751307#itm=newscomau%7Cnews%7Cncam-story-body-link%7C2%7Chttp%3A%2F%2Fwww.dailytelegraph.com.au%2Fnews%2Fnsw%2Fradical-group-hizb-ut-tahrir-segregates-males-and-females-at-uws-muslim-group-meeting%2Fstory-fni0cx12-1227355751307%7Cstory%7CHow%20can%20this%20happen%20in%20Australia%3F&itmt=1431700435043
agora-dialogue.com/2015/05/08/uwa-cancels-contract-for-consensus-centre-headed-by-controversial-academic-bjorn-lomborg/
www.afr.com/opinion/editorials/uwa-staff-assault-academic-freedom-20150511-ggyxx5
capitalismmagazine.com/2006/03/academic-freedom-and-classroom-brainwashing/

 

16 Responses to The Death of Western Universities

  • Bill, I have begun a conversation suggesting a new way forward for Christians to deliver a Tertiary Education to their own. It is a long term plan, but the conversation needs to start some place.

    lanceaboxeducationresearch.com/2014/11/08/re-thinking-tertiary-education-a-network-of-local-libraries-and-mentors-versus-centralised-universities/

    I would love to engage in conversation with others and develop the concept further.

  • Bill, Gary North said it all in his book, ‘Political Polytheism’. There is no such thing as neutrality in the marketplace. When Christians embraced the concept of Natural Law, and embraced pluralism, they surrendered the marketplace (including Universities) to the devil. There is no neutrality, and there are no captives. In the words of Rousas J Rushdoony, “The major political confrontation in the 1980’s will not be between liberals and conservatives, socialists and anti-socialists, but between Christianity and humanism. It will be war to the death, and everything will be done to disguise from Christians the reality of that battle so that at the time when it really matters, they will halt between two opinions” (Baxter, Carter, Grant, Rushdoony, Sutton, 1979, Secular Humanism: Man Striving to Be God, Mobile, Alabama: New Wine Magazine, p. 63).

    The fulfilment of the prophecy is upon us, and multitudes of Christians are in the Valley of Indecision, because they have not recognized that simply ‘loving Jesus’ is not enough; we need to have our minds renewed by the washing of the water by the Word, that we might think the thoughts of Christ after Him, in every area of life.

  • UWS is known as having “probably has the largest number of students who are both Muslim in religion and Australian in citizenship” and have a Researcher/Muslim Advocacy Worker for the University of Western Sydney Students’ Association (UWSSA). See here how he discusses their special needs – www.uws.edu.au/equity_diversity/equity_and_diversity/cultural_diversity/past_events/conference_documents/muslim_university_students_in_australia_-_part_1

    Where is the feminist outcry ?

  • PS An old Christian chapel ( St. Paul’s Anglican Church Agnes Banks) was moved to UWS Richmond to become their Muslim Prayer room. mosque-finder.com.au/directory/richmond-uws-hawkesbury-musalla/

  • I understand that UWS is one of the universities making it more and more difficult for Christian workers to operate. It’s amazing how the Left is blind to the real situation caused by the religion of peace. Perhaps on the other hand it’s not so surprising that crazy people think crazy things.

  • How are we to understand the crickets chirping at the University of Western Sydney? Theodore Dalrymple (who is just about my favourite writer in the world) said in 2004:

    “Where two pieties – feminism and multiculturalism – come into conflict, the only way of preserving both is an indecent silence.”

    Pithy and incisive as ever, Mr Dalrymple nails it again.

  • Hi,

    while this is somewhat peripheral I wanted to mention homeschooling. Has anyone comes across the book “Teaching the Trivium” by Harvey and Laurie Bluedorn? It outlines, quite comprehensively, not only a classical education, but a classical education filtered through a Biblical worldview.

    We started homeschooling our children a few years ago after taking them out of a Christian school. While I am not opposed to teachers, mainly because so many parents choose to send (in my view abdicate in some cases) their children to school, I am opposed to the concept of schools. I go onto thinking this after reading another book, “Dumbing us Down” whereupon the conclusion was that school and education are mutually exclusive and school is completely different to life (again I am not criticizing teachers).

    Now of course I am for education, but I have to make it clear: we (my wife and I) are for a Biblically centered education, taught by the parents to their children, with God as the supreme authority.

    Teaching the Trivium has a rather critical view of Universities (Colleges in the US) and I found it not the best place to educate myself although I certainly challenged the professors which I hope sharpened my beliefs.

    As homeschoolers, we do not retreat from the world, in fact, we engage with the real, humanist, secularist, world more. We need to spread the gospel, and show our children that that is the norm.

  • Charles Stuart University in Bathurst provides courses for senior police officers in NSW.

    One course is called – wait for it – Policing Islam in the Modern World!

    Policing a religion??? —

    Excuse after excuse by the government and msm for Islam, muslims and their appalling behaviour — while the NSW police know differently!

  • “…..Only physical diversity seems to matter…..”

    Sowell nailed that. Homosexuality, feminism, race….

    All the things that the idealogy of Bolsehvism practised to divide and conquer the Russian populace, destroying the child, family, Marriage, Religion…..the foundations of Russian society itself. The rebuilding of Russia then went through the barbaric stage of a civil war and then communism. All this happened in around 100yrs.

    The West I think may have the misfortune of having to go through generations of government and UN creeping totalitarinism – where Religion, Freedom, Liberty, Privacy, Protection, Profit ect are allowed, but reduced via restrictions to the level where individuals can’t personaly benefit from them outside of the home – and that’s if they’re lucky.

    But then we are only up against physical characteristics as Sowell has pointed out – matters that they abort humans over – but it is the homosexuals, feminists, and seperation of races themselves that are the most costly to society. Baltimore is a recent case – since the 60’s that is – when black fathers living there started leaving their babies. ‘Civil rights’ – what a misnomer!

  • Matthew, I don’t think it’s peripheral to mention homeschooling on this thread. In fact, I think it’s central. Public education is lost and homeschooling is the only answer.In that sense, education is like religion: the mainstream public bodies who are supposed to offer these “services” are dying. It’s therefore time to start again from the ground up. And before anyone tells me, “What about private schools?” well in my experience they are often as bad. The ones I know are just as politically incorrect and intolerant and are accredited by the safe New England accreditation boards who are currently bullied private christian schools. Homeschooling is the only answer. Let them go crazy without us being drawn in. Regards

  • Insofar as they share a mutual distaste for Biblical Christianity, orthodox Islam, secular Marxism and the New Left are natural allies in the global politics of ideoology. The old maxim, “Politics makes strange bedfellows.” holds good in this case.

    Nihilist, “God is dead” philosopher, F.W. Nietzsche affirmed what he saw to be the masculinity of the Moorish Islamic civilisation in mediaeval Spain in the same breath as he exalted the will to power as the ultimate evolutionary virtue and damned Christian compassion as a treason against an alleged progress of humanity from ape to Übermensch.

  • University of Western Australia for some reason seems determined to discard well-regarded staff:

    au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/26943384/top-academic-sacked-and-another-demoted/

    au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/25841454/professor-in-uni-probe/

  • Dear Bill,

    Universities were veering left almost twenty years ago when I was studying for a Bachelor of Arts degree as a mature age student. I wrote an essay and quoted from a conservative political journal well known in Australia for its Christian view point. I was warned by my tutor that if I did this on a regular basis my marks might be penalised as this particular journal was not popular with many university academics.

  • “teaching as a means for social change”… That of course stands in stark contrast to the traditional understanding of teaching as “giving students the tools to discern truth from error, helping them understand that they are able to choose the good and right while giving them a sense of the responsibility and the consequences that goes with it. At its very least it was to help people to think for themselves. So, the louder these social engineers cry “freedom: the more we are enslaved and the louder they cry “diversity” the more we become homogenized and uniformised until individuals are no longer able to be distinguished from another once they open their mouth and reveal their thoughts.
    Many blessings
    Ursula Bennett

  • Dear Dr Box

    I have also read Geoffrey Botkin’s paper on Cambridge University and Teaching to Think and as a practitioner in Christian Education I am very excited by your article. There are people here in the UK who are thinking along the same lines. We will find no intellectual food or wisdom in the secular institutions for our young people, these are rotten, so we need to a form of ‘underground’ educational system, just like we are going to have to move away from denominate church to underground church, as the pagan world view becomes more violent and unable to tolerate dissent.

    Bless you
    Naomi

  • Here’s what I sent to the UWA on the 10th May to which I’ve received no reply as yet.:As a graduate of the University (B.A 1974) I would like to register my protest at the University’s decision not to proceed with the Bjorn Lomberg Centre. I’ve always believed that a University should welcome different thinking and allow it to be properly examined. It seems that political correctness has triumphed yet again in Australia.
    I would hope that there would be more openness on any future opportunities.

    For myself, I don’t believe that the science on man caused global warming has been settled anyway, but that is another issue.

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