Saturday, June 4, 2011

Heh, heh, ho, ho: Western Civ Has Got to Go!

Mona Charon at The National Review is happy that her son, who goes off to college this Fall, is going to study Music. Why? Because it is one of the disciplines least affected by grade inflation, political correctness and the obsession with sex that characterizes most of Western higher education today.
A recent report by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education counts David’s college as among the seven best for free speech in the nation. That such a list is required speaks volumes. The seven are Arizona State, Dartmouth, William and Mary, the University of Pennsylvania, Carnegie Mellon, the University of Tennessee Knoxville, and the University of Virginia. Not that these seven are moderate in their political or social views. Don’t make me laugh. Not that they have more than one or two Republicans on the whole humanities faculty. Ha! No, these schools excel simply because they don’t exert the kind of totalitarian thought and speech control so commonplace on American campuses.
Colleges are actually ranked on being "best for free speech"? In America? Who knew? Higher education is sinking lower and lower.

We scrape together our hard-earned income (lots of it) to deposit our cherished offspring at schools that are determined to teach them to despise everything we revere — even learning.

Three decades ago, at Stanford University, Jesse Jackson led chants of “Hey hey, ho ho, Western Civ has got to go.” If you were in any doubt, the National Association of Scholars reports that the mob was wildly successful. The institutions that are (or were) one of the glories of Western civilization — universities — now no longer see the worth of teaching the history of the West. In The Vanishing West, the NAS examined the curricula at 50 leading colleges over time. In 1964, all of them required some sort of Western civilization survey course or interdisciplinary course treating the same themes. They began with Greek civilization and encompassed Rome, the rise of Christianity, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, literature, art, music, the history of science, political philosophy, the modern era, and so forth. By 2010, none of the 50 colleges required any course in Western Civ. Even for history majors, survey courses on Western civilization are rarely required. The same is true for American history.

Students can still find courses on these subjects, but only as choices in a vast cafeteria of offerings that also includes courses like “Lesbian Queer Media Cultures” (University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign), “The Living and the Undead: An Inquiry Into Zombies in Cinema and Literature” (University of Mississippi), “The Militarization of American Daily Life” (Oberlin), and “The American Sexual Past” (Temple University). The term “higher education” is fast becoming a misnomer. American students are graduating with scads of courses on zombies and queer theory — which is why we’re importing an ever-larger number of our Ph.D.s.
What is wrong with colleges and universities today? They are occupied territory, having been conquered and occupied by the Generation of 68 with its anti-Christian, anti-Western, anti-intellectual left-wing superstitions.
A liberal parent may glow with excitement and pride at the prospect of his child attending college. Isn’t that why she got straight A’s, crammed for the SATs, played travel soccer, and dug wells in Guatemala during summer breaks? But no conservative can be entirely cheerful at the prospect of an impressionable youth being bundled off to a university in the United States. Academia is a conquered land — the playground of the ultra left.
The fusion of Greek philosophy and science with Biblical revelation sparked the creation of the greatest civilization in the history of the world. Political liberalism, democracy, the separation of church and state, individual liberty, capitalism, science, Gothic cathedrals and classical music are just some of its accomplishments.

To think all this is evil, depraved and unworthy of study is to reject one's own tradition and one's own identity in favor of a revolutionary, Utopian, Gnostic dream of human perfectibility and economic equality.

Jesse Jackson can rest easy: Western civilization is sinking beneath the waves. I hope he is proud that the only civilization in the history of the world to abolish slavery so far is going down. I hope he is glad that universities are the least free, the most mediocre and the lowest quality they have ever been. After all, that is what passes for progress for Progressives.

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