The ugliest trend in higher education is for campuses to become ideological monocultures where only “progressive” thinkers are tolerated. This year, we have seen innumerable instances where students or faculty members who are accused of harboring “wrong” ideas (usually denounced as “racist” and “unsafe”) have been hounded by mobs of social-justice warriors.
In this essay published in The Hill, John Ellis of UC-Santa Cruz criticizes this development.
Ellis writes, “The case against the one-party college campuses that we now have is easy to make. John Stuart Mill said it best: ‘a party of order and stability, and a party of progress or reform, are both necessary elements of a healthy state of political life.’ Then he got to the heart of the matter: ‘It is in a great measure the opposition of the other that keeps each within the limits of reason and sanity.’”
Alas, Mill is just another dead white guy to the “woke” people who dominate our campuses. His argument in favor of free speech and open debate carries no more weight with them than it would have with Hitler’s Brownshirts or Mao’s Red Guards.
Ellis continues, “But figuring out why a one-party campus always degenerates into foolishness is the easy part — because it’s not really the heart of the problem. This is what is: Campuses are full of people who see nothing wrong with the one-party campus — in fact, that’s what they want.”
He’s right. Long ago, the Left set its sights on taking control of education so that we’d create people who see the world “correctly.” Independence of thought and civil debate are no part of that.
I agree with the professor’s conclusion: “Higher education is dominated and controlled by people whose purposes have nothing to do with higher education: That’s the real problem of the one-party campuses, and it’s why they need reforming from top to bottom.”