"We're trained Marxists", says Patrisse Khan-Cullors into a webcam recently. "We spent the year reading, anything from Marx, to Lenin, to Mao, learning all types of global critical theory and about different campaigns across the world", she responded two years ago, when asked "How did you build the BLM movement?" and discussing her book "When they call you a terrorist".
Lenin. Mao. 45 million deaths between them. "Campaigns". Like those who venerate Hitler, Stalin, and Mussolini, there is no place in civilised society for anyone who cites these people as their inspiration, or acts as their apologist. It's extraordinary anyone can still do this after a century of consistent mass murder.
How Do You Create the Red Guards for the West?
It's worth taking a trip back into recent history; the mid-60s to be precise. Back to Mao's China, where he dogmatically enforced communist doctrine to rid the nation of the so-called "Four Olds;" old customs, old culture, old habits, and old ideas. To wipe the slate clean for the new Utopia. A process, of course, required for humans, who are also a "blank slate".
The Red Guards (Hongweibing) were 11 million radicalised, green-jacketed students brought together in 1966 by Mao as paramilitaries to persecute, purge, torture, and kill "class enemies". 1 million were killed and the country went to the brink of civil war. The context was blindly loyal middle-schoolers in a moral panic, wanting to "safeguard" Mao's socialism against infiltration from capitalism by their teachers.
"The first Red Guards groups were made up of students, ranging from as young as elementary school children up to university students. As the Cultural Revolution gained momentum, mostly younger workers and peasants joined the movement as well. Many were no doubt motivated by a sincere commitment to the doctrines espoused by Mao, although many speculate that it was a rise in violence and contempt for the status quo that motivated their cause."
"The Red Guards also publicly humiliated teachers, monks, former landowners or anyone else suspected of being "counter-revolutionary." Suspected "rightists" would be publically humiliated, sometimes by being paraded through the streets of their town with mocking placards hung around their necks. In time, the public shaming grew increasingly violent and thousands of people were killed outright with more committed suicide as a result of their ordeal."
"The final death toll is not known. Whatever the number of dead, this kind of social turmoil had a terribly chilling effect on the intellectual and social life of the country, even worse to the leadership, it began to slow the economy."
Stigma, shunning, isolation, and humiliation, are all potent social weapons. Denial of the orthodoxy into pariah status meant death from starvation and predation for Neanderthal humans. It meant the same - and much worse - in Mao's China, as it forced people back to their State of Nature.
For months, the Red Guards sought out, rooted out and destroyed anything associated with China’s imperial history or, occasionally, Western values. Signs and street names were torn down or renamed. Architecture, art, antiques, sculpture and works of literature were all torn apart or burnt, and those who possessed them were arbitrarily punished. Historical landmarks, temples and palaces were destroyed or vandalised. Intellectuals and former capitalists were intimidated and physically attacked. So too were Chinese people in foreign clothing, including Catholic nuns. Private homes were raided, residents beaten, and vast amounts of private property seized.
As mentioned previously, Maoist "rectification" campaigns were described in particularly harrowing terms:
"the largest, darkest, and most ferocious power game ever played out in the human world."
This same spirit has increasingly been raging electronically. There is a reason they are known as "social justice warriors". This was the chilling incitement in 1966 by Lin Biao:
"Lately some weird happenings and weird phenomena deserve our awareness. There is a decided possibility of a coup involving killings, seizure of power and restoration of the capitalist class, and of attempts to eliminate the socialist way… We must not be paralysed in our thoughts. We must take categorical action and discover the capitalist-class representatives, time bombs and landmines, and eliminate them… We must criticise them, expose them until they are driven out of the party.”
Someone's noticed there are a lot of embittered, out-voted people left over from the Stop The War, Occupy, Black Lives Matter, Antifa, Momentum, Bernie Bros and Extinction Rebellion front groups who don't have a lot to do after getting the business end of their entryism tactics into the democratic process. Conveniently, they've been locked up for a few months and are wearing masks in public.
What Is This Academic Contamination?
Critical Theory is academic faeces which, over 60 years, has come to soil almost every aspect of the arts, the sciences, our politics, our very thinking, and is at the root of the repulsive concept of so-called "cancel culture". To describe it as "poison" inscribes to it a sense of virility it cannot possibly deserve.
It's more akin to rotting organic material without purpose - such as sewage -, which, if consumed or left uncollected, inadvertently causes poisoning because of its content. If you fling enough of it, eventually the room has to be evacuated because of the stink; if you learn to live in its surroundings, you eventually become indifferent to the smell.
It is now functioning, like Mein Kampf, the Communist Manifesto, White Genocide, Great Replacement, Aryan Superiority, and so on, as a tool of radicalisation which has no purpose or utility in academia. The sheer proliferation of faux "journals" with it as their foundation publishing "papers" glorifying anti-Western insurrection in full public view has been a clanging alarm bell for decades.
Imagine you owned a beautiful garden. It was formerly a chaotic mess, but you managed to tame the earth through the application of thought and reason into something extraordinary. You stumbled onto something beautiful. Weeds sprung up, of course, but you ignored them. As you focused on tending to it, you assumed those weeds weren't a problem. Over time, the weeds grew in such a prolific way, you weren't sure what to do. Then you looked a little further and noticed they had spread beyond your garden; moreover, looking back, you also discovered the flowers you'd been cultivated had been suffocated. You were so preoccupied, you'd allowed the weeds to take over. They weren't as attractive as the prized flowers, but they reproduced at a much faster rate.
Eventually, all your garden was weeds. It was no longer a garden. That is where we are academically.
Sociology was never seen as a legitimate or credible academic subject. Even into the turn of the millennium, along with absurdities like "media studies", it was perceived as an "easy" degree with little real-world implications beyond a university campus. Harmless, perhaps; irrelevant. Of course it was easy. All you had to do was write an opinion column which couldn't technically be wrong. The subject itself conveniently rejected the idea there was any way to mark an answer.
However, that was the trouble. It was "easy". Those undergraduates with insufficient aptitude for more traditional sciences found it to be a simpler way to earn a degree. As water flows downwards through the path of least resistance, so did an entire generation of attention-deficit, purpose-challenged brats discover a way to be credentialed without the previous requirement of a mental CPU able to process input faster than a Casio watch.
Those Damn Workers Never Show Up!
The trouble with a Proletariat revolution is just never happens despite all the invites and RSVPs. No matter how downtrodden or oppressed the workers supposedly are, they can't be bothered to throw off their chains. Class traitors, one might say.
In fact, it didn't usher in the Utopia, but the opposite: Nazism and Fascism.
Why didn't the proles overthrow their masters? Why did they turn to fascism instead?
There must be another reason, other than the obvious one of economic advancement!
That's the mystery the Institute of Social Research (Institut für Sozialforschung) set out to answer at their base in Goethe University Frankfurt in 1923 as the first Marxist-oriented research centre affiliated with a major German university. Seven years in, Max Horkheimer, a German philosopher, became director and brought in his uber-Marxist friends such as Theodor Adorno, Erich Fromm, Herbert Marcuse, and Walter Benjamin.
The idea was quite simple: marry up Freud's ideas on psychoanalysis, Hegel, and Marxism into a unified "framework" to explain why it all went fascist instead of communist, contrary to what Marx had prophecised. They published their work in Zeitschrift für Sozialforschung (“Journal for Social Research”).
Around the same time, Antonio Gramsci, Italian communist and friend of Stalin, was expanding Comrade Lenin's ideas from prison in his "notebooks" and thinking in a similar fashion, theorising that the "prison" of capitalism was actually melded by the bourgeoisie's dominant culture, values, and norms ("Cultural Hegemony"), rather than wealth.
Until 1933, when they were finishing their attack on the family structure ("Authority and the Family”), and Hitler kicked them out of Germany. After which they moved to the United States at Columbia University, New York.
In 1937, Horkheimer laid his turd of an "alternative" contrast to normal scientific/enlightenment theory ("Traditional and Critical Theory"), which was described as a Kant-esque "critique" of "society" and its "emancipation" from "power structures". As Wikipedia now has it:
"Critical theory is the reflective assessment and critique of society and culture in order to reveal and challenge power structures. With origins in sociology as well as in literary criticism, it argues that social problems are influenced and created more by societal structures and cultural assumptions than by individual and psychological factors. Maintaining that ideology is the principal obstacle to human liberation,
[it] ... seeks "to liberate human beings from the circumstances that enslave them."
This is obviously pretentious, reductive, agenda-driven garbage. But to stupid people, it sounds smart.
The Institute went bankrupt four years later, and Horkheimer moved to Los Angeles to join Theodor Adorno at Berkeley. Marcuse made his way around the US university circuit, ultimately to UC San Diego. A good few went back to Frankfurt in 1949 to start the school again after WWII.
Horkheimer and Adorno went on to research fascism as a means of "self-destruction" in the "Dialectic of Enlightenment" (1947) and the "Authoritarian Personality" (1950). Marcuse penned "Eros and Civilization" (1955), "One-Dimensional Man" (1964), and "Repressive Tolerance" (1965), becoming known as the "Father of the New Left".
This all took on a far more nihilistic tone with the incision of postmodernism (anti-modernism), where Derrida, Foucault, and a sheer barrage of degenerate charlatan frauds set out to prove society itself is nothing more than "constructs".
Like Marx, who was taken in by the Great Industrial Satan who authored the Industrial Revolution (England), these German nuts were taken in by the Great Capitalist Satan (America) who became the world's capitalist and military superpower. The way they repaid them was to sit around explaining why they were fundamentally corrupt.
Horkheimer set out 3 criteria for "critical theory": it must be explanatory, practical, and normative, all at the same time. It must explain what is wrong with current social reality, identify the actors to change it, and provide both clear norms for criticism and achievable practical goals for social transformation.
What? In other words, a critical theory must function as a political manifesto. This crop of "sociologists" didn't trust or like the post-war power of the neoliberal West, and set out to prove it would also devolve into fascism as had happened the two great wars.
To any sensible thinking person, it's immediately clear any and all of this "philosophy" was counterfeit and deceptive. It was simply political, but "taught" as academic to an army of eager wannabe-radicals. In the complete opposite to enlightenment tradition ("positivism"), it set out to prove its own conclusions and provide intellectual justification for resentment and activism.
You can put it even more simply: a way of criticising anything to death. Critical theory can be colloquially renamed why everything is racist, sexist, biased, "heteronormative", corrupt, and contaminated by "power structures".
Oh, the irony. Academic material which is fundamentally corrupt, setting out to prove everything it touches is fundamentally corrupt, written by authors taken in by benefactors they believed were fundamentally corrupt.
Much of this explains why sociology was considered a horribly flawed and disreputable subject, as it scorned positivist methodology such as the Scientific Method. Moreover, its entire purpose was simply to discredit it: science itself was fascistic, racist, sexist, and its adherents needed to be "emancipated" from its death grip.
If this all sounds ridiculous, that's because it is.
Until, it started multiplying. And now, we have leaders who "graduated" with those degrees, like Justin Trudeau.
What's In the Marxist Academic Box?
On the surface, Critical Theory appears to be a reasonable avenue to pursue academically: the study of a subject itself. That's the problem: when you study chemistry, you know what you're getting: atoms, equations, tests, and more. Chemistry is chemistry; philosophy is philosophy.
Positivism is the study of natural phenomena witnessed through the senses, coherently structured with logic, pointing to an objective knowable truth verified through empirical evidence. The modernist era gave mankind the greatest leap in its 200,000-year history. Positivism gave us spaceships.
Critical Theory attempts to be its opposite, describing science as "ideology" or a religious notion typified as "scientism". Marx gave the market's principles a name - capitalism - and the sociologists gave academia a similar one. That's right, spaceships resemble a penis because they are expressions of power and ideology.
The entire Critical Theory line of thought, along with postmodernism, can be described as a malicious attempt to claim objective truth is actually subjective.
Andrew Breitbart, conservative pundit and media critic, was particularly scathing of its Fathers and tied it to modern day challenges to neoliberalism:
"Think about this: These guys left, THESE GUYS LEFT NAZI GERMANY and Mussolini's Italy to come to California in the 1940's and they lived by the beach, and they were depressed by the relentless cheery-ness - the productivity; and the capitalism that they witnessed around them. And they came up with, at the end of the day; We can call it Cultural Marxism, but at the end of the day, we experience it on a day to day basis, by that I mean a minute by minute, second by second basis. It’s political correctness and it’s multiculturalism".
Indeed, the vitriol at many of those leading "philosophers" has been so damning, it's hard to imagine how a university could entertain them. Here's Alasdair MacIntyre on Marcuse:
“Marcuse's own highhanded scorn about those whom he criticizes makes it not inapposite to remark that the arguments which I have been deploying are very elementary ones, familiar to every student with the barest knowledge of logic. The suspicion is thus engendered that not only Marcuse but also Adorno and Horkheimer actually do not know any logic, and it is certainly the case that, if they do know any, all three have taken some pains to conceal their knowledge of the subject which they are professedly criticizing.”
Horkheimer wasn't exactly subtle about his own prejudices:
"The self, entirely encompassed by civilization, is dissolved in an element composed of the very inhumanity which civilization has sought from the first to escape.”
Nor was he particularly coherent, or able to elucidate his ideas in any degree of clarity for mere humans:
"Bourgeois society is ruled by equivalence. It makes the dissimilar comparable by reducing it to abstract quantities. To the enlightenment, that which does not reduce to numbers, and ultimately to the one, becomes illusion."
Adorno's writings, too, are a litany of banal resentment; pretentious assertions which meander aimlessly looking for significance in any port any storm will invite them to dock. Frankly, he was a miserable poser, devoid of any imagination. This is him on jazz:
"Jazz is the false liquidation of art — instead of utopia becoming reality it disappears from the picture."
It carries on and on.
"True thoughts are those alone which do not understand themselves."
Almost every sentence of Adorno's is like this: incoherent sophistry desperately trying to masquerade as bookmark-worthy philosophy. Camus is similar. His personal journaling deserved to stay personal.
Gramsci was far more direct in explaining his morose nature:
"All men are intellectuals: but not all men have in society the function of intellectuals."
As well as its source:
"When I was a child the boys of the town never came near me except to make fun of me. I was almost always alone. Sometimes, finding me by chance among them, they hurled themselves against me, and not only with words. One day – and while he told me this his great eyes shone with an inner light - … they started to throw stones at me with more violence than usual, with the evilness which is found among children and the weak. I lost patience, and grabbing stones I too started to defend myself with such energy that my attackers were put to flight. Mario, I succeeded in beating them: I terrified them to such an extent that from that day they respected me and no longer annoyed me. I ran to my mother … and told her of my first victorious battle: she kissed me tenderly and it was the best prize that I could have wanted."
Particular opprobrium was singled out for Marcuse, after he argued that it was morally just to be "intolerant of the intolerant". In 1969, Pope Paul VI utterly condemned him and Freud publicly, as Dissent Magazine noted:
"Marcuse’s impact went well beyond the precincts of radical politics. In 1969, Pope Paul VI condemned him by name, blaming Marcuse—along with Sigmund Freud—for promoting the “disgusting and unbridled” manifestations of eroticism and the “animal, barbarous and subhuman degradations” commonly known as the sexual revolution. The hostility that Marcuse aroused was ideologically ecumenical. In Pravda, Soviet journalist Yuri Zhukov denounced him as a “false prophet,” while the apartheid regime in South Africa blocked the importation of all his books."
Infiltration and Replication: the Activists' Virus
Critical Theory actually sat in its own miserable cupboard of academia for decades. Despite the anti-Semitic conspiracy theorists' claims, the Frankfurt School was hardly the agent of Soviet influence it is portrayed as. It was obscure, for good reason.
That was, until it started breeding. For whatever reason, "interdisciplinary" social studies bloomed after the 1970s. Left ignored, the positivist garden got overgrown like a bacterial culture in a backstreet lab.
By far the largest proportion of graduates this decade are arriving in the marketplace from one of these horrendous neo-humanities, and they are spreading out into HR, editorial, and clerical departments everywhere like a mesh of brainwashed zombies with little to offer other than a compulsive need to do what they were trained to do while studying - find a reason and method to overthrow the structure they find themselves in.
By its very nature, it has become activist doctrine. The grievance subjects now outnumber the traditional disciplines, and the inevitable has happened: #CANCELSTEM. Everything is racist, sexist, biased, and so on.
The list of critical theory disciplines, or "Interdisciplinary subfields of sociology", is just extraordinary:
- African-American Studies
- American Studies
- Community informatics
- Critical applied linguistics
- Critical cartography
- Critical data studies
- Critical design
- Critical discourse analysis
- Critical ethnography
- Critical geography
- Critical geopolitics
- Critical historiography
- Critical Inquiry
- Critical international relations theory
- Critical language awareness
- Critical legal studies
- Critical management studies
- Critical medical anthropology
- Critical pedagogy
- Critical practice
- Critical psychology
- Critical Race Theory
- Cultural Studies
- Disability Studies (Critical Disability Theory)
- Engineering Studies
- Environmental communication
- Ethnic Studies
- Gender Studies
- Global Studies
- Hate Studies
- Mad Studies
- Media Studies
- Organizational Studies
- Postcolonial Studies
- Queer Studies
- Social Geography
- Social Studies of Finance
- Urban Acupuncture
- Urban Informatics
- Whiteness Studies
And this is just some of the courses with the same openly-confessed agenda. They form what Harold Bloom labelled the "School of Resentment" in his 1994 book "The Western Canon: The Books and School of the Ages", a judgment derived from Nietzsche, which attributed the values of the race-class-gender critics to the envy and anger of the mediocre, when in the presence of greatness. In 1991, he mused:
"In the universities, the most surprising and reprehensible development came some twenty years ago, around 1968, and has had a very long-range effect, one that is still percolating. Suddenly all sorts of people, faculty members at the universities, graduate and undergraduate students, began to blame the universities not just for their own palpable ills and malfeasances, but for all the ills of history and society. They were blamed, and to some extent still are, by the budding school of resentment and its precursors, as though they were not only representative of these ills but, weirdly enough, as though they had somehow helped cause these ills and, even more weirdly, quite surrealistically, as though they were somehow capable of ameliorating these ills. It’s still going on—this attempt to ascribe both culpability and apocalyptic potential to the universities. It’s really asking the universities to take the place that was once occupied by religion, philosophy, and science. These are our conceptual modes. They have all failed us. The entire history of Western culture, from Alexandrian days until now, shows that when a society’s conceptual modes fail it, then willy-nilly it becomes a literary culture. This is probably neither good nor bad, but just the way things become. And we can’t really ask literature or the representatives of a literary culture, in or out of the university, to save society. Literature is not an instrument of social change or an instrument of social reform. It is more a mode of human sensations and impressions, which do not reduce very well to societal rules or forms."
Much of the best commentary on this process has been laid out by James Lindsay, one of the "Grievance Studies" hoax trio, whose work can be found at https://newdiscourses.com/. He rightfully points out the nature of so-called "Critical disciplines" as analogous to that of a virus.
This isn't hyperbole. As James points out, the proponents of this pathological craziness celebrate it as a positive at the bottom end of their barrel:
"Because women’s studies radically challenges social hierarchies and lacks a unified identity and canon of thought, it often negotiates a precarious position within the modern corporatized university. At the same time, women’s studies offers by virtue of its interdisciplinary, critical, and “infectious” structure cutting-edge perspectives and goals that set it apart from more traditional fields. This paper theorizes that one future pedagogical priority of women’s studies is to train students not only to master a body of knowledge but also to serve as symbolic “viruses” that infect, unsettle, and disrupt traditional and entrenched fields. In this essay, we first posit how the metaphor of the virus in part exemplifies an ideal feminist pedagogy, and we then investigate how both women’s studies and the spread of actual viruses (e.g., Ebola, HIV) produce similar kinds of emotional responses in others. By looking at triviality, mockery, panic, and anger that women’s studies as a field elicits, we conclude by outlining the stakes of framing women’s studies as an infectious, insurrectional, and potentially dangerous, field of study. In doing so, we frame two new priorities for women’s studies training male students as viruses and embracing “negative” stereotypes of feminist professors as important future directions for the potentially liberatory aspects of the field."
"Women’s Studies as Virus: Institutional Feminism, Affect, and the Projection of Danger."
Aside from the horrific writing, you can't help but be struck by the sheer pathology of the authors. If it weren't for "social science", these people might be in prison, or an asylum. This isn't scholarship; it barely registers as cheap airport fiction the publisher rightly rejected or throwaway magazine silliness readers wouldn't buy. It's just pure mental health case study. It's a bizarre middle ground between academia and creative effort.
The process, as James describes, can be used on literally ANY subject and is composed of 3 stages which ultimate form a "purification" routine, which is merely corruption disguised as an intellectual process:
Stage 1: failed intellectuals turn the subject into a parallel study of itself, citing nebulous ideas like "implicit bias" and creating literature, journals, and departments.
e.g. to corrupt mathematics, the new publication the "Journal of Mathematics Studies" is born.
Stage 2: the new "theorists" claim their "systemic" problems arise from the "power dynamics" of the subject itself, to which they then use as justification to censor papers and destroy careers.
e.g. Articles and lectures appear claiming Mathematics was created by white Greek men looking to economically subjugate darker-skinned neighbours, concluding these immoral proponents must be erased.
Stage 3: The subject is "remade" with authors of the parallel "critical" subject, citing "inclusivity" and subjective "knowledge", wherein it ceases to exist.
e.g. Mathematics keeps its name, but is filled only with radical activists writing papers on its "power dynamics".
We all know this as the politics of resentful envy aka the hostile takeover. In biology is a virus invading a host to inject its own DNA into a cell in order to replicate. It's also the strategy of Acanthaspis petax, the "assassin bug".
This also happens in city departments with organised crime: officials form a parallel "hidden economy" through bribery and selling influence, replacing the source of power and "remaking" an institution.
Most notorious of all is so-called Critical Pedagogy, i.e. teaching and education. This is particularly menacing, as it is an intellectual front to naked indoctrination of children as a "blank slate", in Soviet and Chinese tradition. The "little enemies", as they were known in Stalinist circles.
"We need that generation of young people who began to reach political maturity in the midst of a disciplined and desperate struggle against the bourgeoisie. In this struggle that generation is training genuine Communists; it must subordinate to this struggle, and link up with it, each step in its studies, education, and training.”
Lenin, Tasks of the Youth Leagues (Bourgeois and Communist Morality)
Deranging Show Trials, Kafka Traps & Trojan Horses
Imagine you catch your child right in the act of doing something they have been forbidden to do. They defiantly respond in moral outrage, "It'd because you're crime-ist, and this entire admonishment is invalid because you are in position of power over me!".
That, in a reductive nutshell, is the concept behind the "critical" in "Critical Theory". The entire canon is page upon page, chapter upon chapter, of logical fallacies, one after another. Of course it is, because logic itself is a flawed concept which can only be understood through its power structure. Of course, its VERY smart adherents will claim it's SO much more than that and that's SO wrong.
It's not the individual, it's the system. If it's not conscious, it's unconscious. There is a pathology at work within this dark corner of academia. The universities are factories for this pathology, and extreme-left groups have noticed, as have the police holding back psychotic students attacking statues.
It gets worse, as it has now metastasized into that infamous horror every husband knows as "damned if you do, damned if you don't": In 1925, Eric Raymond described something similar in his novel "The Trial":
Kafkatrap (plural Kafkatraps)
A sophistical rhetorical device in which any denial by the accused serves as evidence of guilt.
Jill said Jack was paranoid, and when he told her he was not she just nodded knowingly. It was a perfect Kafkatrap.
Kafkatrapping, another unwinnable game, is when your denial of something is taken as evidence of your guilt. For example, when someone is slandered as being racist, their respond they aren't, is the "proof" they actually are.
This is the entire basis of chief charlatan Robin DiAngelo's literary career.
Another fun trick, as Douglas Murray notes, is asking people to believe contradictory notions of doublethink to host paralysing cognitive dissonance: you MUST understand me, but you can never understand me; you can't say anything about this because of a characteristic, but if you don't speak you agree; speech is violence, as silence is.
To see what this kind of deranging influence has on human dignity, look no further than Jimmy Fallon squirming and slithering with the sociology department on live TV, in that desperate position all those husbands know.
How Do We Rein In Academia Fairly?
It's incontrovertibly true Academia has an extraordinary problem from letting the snake out of the box. It has developed in the US university system and spread like a cancer to other anglicised institutions. An obscure part of the academic world has grown out of control into the culture, and now, politics.
We are at the point where, after 60 years, self-regulation is appearing more and more ridiculous. Campuses are not a "home" for pseudo-helicopter parented brats to riot and blockade speakers.
However, the difficulty in a liberal society is not becoming the monster you wish to vanquish, or allowing the abyss to stare back at you. Political activism is native to university campuses; as is freedom of intellectual curiosity to pursue often eccentric avenues. Stamping down on universities is always a limitation of either or both, which are intolerable.
We need to define the problems as tightly as we can, from these broad strokes:
- A large degree of faculty are acting as political activists and recruiting sergeants for extremist political causes aiming to overthrow our system;
- Universities' dependence on fees and grants are pushing them to offer less valuable courses and dubious studies;
- Sociology sub-disciplines derived from Critical Theory have little intellectual merit other than radical political activism, have grown wildly out of control, and have become entirely destructive to traditional study.
It's difficult to say what should be done with the issue of funding, but it is clear, among other things, what is needed is increased public oversight and veto. If the public are paying, they must be able to intervene to limit the excesses and eccentricities of staff and students.
We make somewhat of a deal when funding education: by investing in it, we produce knowledge, leaders, and industry from which the economy benefits.
If a student union votes for "jazz hands", the public needs to override the madness and say NO. If faculty decide to offer "Blackness studies" or "Fascism Studies", there needs to be a mechanism for public intercession which blocks insanity. A correction methodology is required.
Another key part of the puzzle is a burden of impartiality. Education is for simply that: being exposed to all different points of view in order to make up one's mind. It is not for a professor to provide a political answer, but to help the student ask the right questions. There is no reason for a professor to be giving their own opinion as part of the program.
It's not enough to promise to be fair, as ideologues are pathological. There needs to be sanction against those who breach their duty to deliberately recruit and/or indoctrinate activists in extremist ideology, such as anarchism, fascism, and communism. If you are not impartial, it needs to be a risk to your position.
And finally, we come to Critical Theory; to which we must ask the "academic freedom" question. As we limit speech in some circumstances, do we limit academic freedom also? If a great many discoveries have been made accidentally (e.g. penicillin), are we muting our ability to discover?
The answer is: yes, we DO limit it. We limit it based on ethics (e.g. eugenics, cloning, racist/malicious avenues of enquiry etc). We also limit it financially, when resources are tight. And crucially, we limit it according to its merit and usefulness: studies into what happens in TV programs and astrological charts are NOT valid recipients for public funding, which is why they are kept so quiet when published into obscure journals - because if the public discovered them, there would be an outcry.
What exactly do these subjects produce?
Traditional sciences produce materials and processes for industry, as well as medical advances. Arts and literature produce culture. The humanities - such as geography - produce understanding which translates into cross-disciplinary progress. They jointly enhance human flourishing.
Critical Theory produces nothing. It's aim is to desecrate, destroy, degrade, deconstruct, dismantle, disavow, corrupt, and break down the systems and structures of how things have evolved to work, yet provide very little by return as understanding, let alone a valid replacement. It produces radicalism, cynicism, regression, and resentment.
It is a vehicle for political activism on one extreme of the spectrum.
It may sound extreme, but it is time for a complete moratorium on public funding of social sciences for 25 years, until it can be re-evaluated. That might sound draconian. It absolutely is. The problem has become so severe, and gone on so long without intervention, it will require a generation to reverse the damage.
In medical terms, the gangrenous limb needs to be amputated to save the rest of the body. If we had caught it sooner, maybe we could have saved it.
If private schools wish to offer such courses, so be it; but any more funding to subjects producing radicalisation resulting in street riots, breakdowns in sense-making systems, activist graduate employees, and so on, is totally unacceptable any longer. Radical problems require difficult, gutsy solutions.
Given the serious problems we have to address - such as housing crises, pollution, population, corruption, impossible living costs - we need every mind we can get; which will require re-routing resources to those things which produce the best outcome for the country. Marxist revolution, fascist dictatorship, communist totalitarianism, rampant corporatism and the rest of the disasters are not solutions.
We need to send a message to the universities: if you are funded by the public, you are accountable to the public; dissent and iconoclasm are a natural part of democratic liberalism, but there are serious consequences for poor stewardship or leadership which ends up defiling our culture.
Given the severity of the problem, we might also want to act punitively by removing tenure and ensuring deans and faculty are impeachable. As vicious as that stick might be, there's a strong argument it's not unwarranted. If you wanted to go even further, you could quite easily be as straightforward as criminalising the advocacy of Marxism and its derivative ideologies, as Nazi and Fascist ideologies are already self-evidently off-limits.
This isn't a problem which has been going on for a few years; it has been degenerating, immoderately, for six decades.
In the immortal words of Thomas Paine:
"To argue with a person who has renounced reason is like administering medicine to the dead."