Sunday, October 3, 2021

How Universities Came to be Run by the Destroyers of Freedom

In his autobiographical work, The Uses of Literacy, published in 1957, Richard Hoggart noted that academics must be prepared to undertake the administrative work of the university or the university would cease to  remain a self-governing community of scholars. 

Events have proved the validity of Hoggart's warning. The modern university, not only in England but throughout the English-speaking world, has fallen under the destructive hand of high-priced bureaucrats, Presidents, Vice-Presidents, Deans, Vice-Deans and all manner of administrative assistants and staff who see scholars are mere underlings and drones to be reduced to a subordinate status, if they cannot be eliminated altogether by the deployment of minimum-wage adjuncts.

The destructive consequences of this transformation, not only for academia and its primary role in the pursuit and transmission of knowledge, but for society as a whole is now abundantly clear. Universities manifest an academic equivalent of Gresham's Law in accordance with which bad academics in administration drive out the good. 

Examples of lunacy and corruption in academic administration are legion: here a professor penalized financially for refusing to adopt race-based grading*; there an admissions bribery scandal involving tens of millions paid to college officials. 

Stephen Toope, former Cambridge Vice-Chancellor
Among recent examples of the destructive arrogance and stupidity of university administration is the effort to curtail freedom of expression at the University of Cambridge. There, under the administration of Stephen Toope, the university's 346th Vice-Chancellor, was issued – in the name of the University's wonderfully bureaucratically named Division of Governance and Compliance – a statement on "Freedom of Speech" requiring that: "In exercising their right to freedom of expression, the University expects its staff, students and visitors to be respectful of the differing opinions of others"  

And confirming that the demand for respect for every opinion was not the result, simply, of careless drafting but a plan to impose the rule of political correctness, the university set up a snitch line to allow hypersensitive souls to report "micro-aggressions" such as eye-rolling in response to the opinion of persons of another characteristic, whatever a person of another characteristic may be. 

Happily, this attempt to muzzle free speech in the name of free speech was so idiotic that it exploded in the face of the university's control-freak administration. There are many ideas in wide circulation today for which everyone has a right to express disrespect: advocacy for infanticide, aka partial birth abortion, for example, or pedophilia, female genital mutilation, racial quotas on university entry, and so on endlessly.

In an effort to mitigate the negative reaction to Vice-Chancellor Toope's attempt to compel respect for every opinion however idiotic, dangerous or offensive, the University of Cambridge's governing body, Regent House, demanded in place of respect, tolerance of every opinion. But tolerance of stupid or evil ideas is not a virtue. Rather is is failure of moral responsibility, a failure that is the prerequisite to the most monstrous crimes against humanity.

Thus, as a headline in the Daily Telegraph put it succinctly: Stephen Toope embodied all that is rotten in our universities. Happily, Stephen Toope has now left Cambridge. Unhappily, little can be expected to change at Cambridge unless members of the university's governing body that appointed Toope as Vice-Chancellor resigns too. That of course will not happen. The rot will continue, as at every other university in the land that was once a cradle of freedom.

* The professor has since been fired.

Related:

The Dystoopeian schemes of a Woke Canadian At the Head of Cambridge University

2 comments:

  1. Education has always been about indoctrination----
    Prof. Dilorenzo: How Cultural Marxism Destroyed Education...
    is an American economics professor at Loyola University Maryland Sellinger School of Business. He talks about how leftists switched from economic socialism to cultural Marxism and how this affected education, especially at universities.

    Orwell's 1984 was a warning and a blueprint...

    "The individual is being replaced by the worship of the community. This is a basic tenet of Communism. The basis of this country’s political system, as is the case with all political systems, is that the group or mob is more important than the individual. Once the individual is destroyed, nothing of value remains. Freedom is impossible to achieve or hold when the group has power over the individual. Critical thinking disappears.
    Since the basis for this groupthink paradigm begins at an early age, it is imperative that any solution sought to remedy this psychotic collective mentality should begin by abolishing compulsory schooling. A daunting task indeed, but necessary if individual intelligence, common morality, and entrepreneurial spirit are to be restored. There is genius in the free individual but only ignorance in the collective mind." Gary D Barnett

    Yuri Bezmenov will tell you everything you need to know about Cultural Marxism, which is important, because it wasn't mentioned in the article.

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    Replies
    1. I doubt that Toope is any kind of a Marxist. Marxists are not known for their tolerance of, let alone respect for, the "differing views of others."

      Rather, I would guess that Toope is either an idiot caught up in the popular drivel and jargon of the day, or more likely — as a man who served as head of the Pierre Elliot Trudeau Foundation, a trusty and well rewarded agent of a plutocratic elite that seeks global governance through Toopeian stooges.

      The initial function of the Toopeians is to undermine the nation state, particularly the powerful European dominated states, an endeavor facilitated by prohibiting disrespect, let alone suppression, of those such as BLM who promote anti-white racism and various schemes of affirmative action that undermine the welfare of native populations.

      What would have been interesting to see had Toope's scheme to suppress free speech been successful, is how opponents of mass immigration to the UK, of affirmative action, and of other anti-nativist schemes, would have been treated in fact, rather than in theory. My guess is that Toope would not have hesitated to sick the police on them in the name of anti-racism.

      To put that another way, I would guess that Toope is a much nastier creature than you imagine. Neither a Communist nor a defender of free speech, but an agent of an elite intent on the genocide of the independent, democratic, nation state.

      Delete