The View From 1776
Saturday, March 31, 2012
Catechizing The Religion Of Socialism On The Taxpayers’ Dime
Professor John Dewey was the leading intellectual spokesman in the United States for liberal-progressive-socialism, from the late 1800s through the first half of the 20th century. I have frequently written about his far-seeing strategy for the conquest of Western civilization by infiltrating the educational system. See The Corruption of Public Education: How It Happened.
Hitler, with his Hitler Youth program, had the same idea. Teach a one-sided and distorted set of dogma to impressionable and inexperienced young students and you will have converted many of them for life to the atheistic, materialistic, and statist religion of socialism.
The corrosive effectiveness of Dewey’s strategy became undeniable in the 1960s and 1970s with the radical student activists. Today they would hardly be noticed. All of their doctrine now dominates classrooms, from kindergarten to graduate schools.
Since 1965, education at all levels has received substantial financial support from the Federal government. The price for that support is control of curricula by liberal-progressive-socialist educators.
First Amendment guarantees for freedom of religion are simply ignored. Taxpayers are compelled to finance proselytizing for an anti-Constitutional religion.
Read this opinion piece from the Wall Street Journal’s website:
How California’s Colleges Indoctrinate Students
A new report on the UC system documents the plague of politicized classrooms. The problem is national in scope.
By PETER BERKOWITZ
The politicization of higher education by activist professors and compliant university administrators deprives students of the opportunity to acquire knowledge and refine their minds. It also erodes the nation’s civic cohesion and its ability to preserve the institutions that undergird democracy in America.
So argues “A Crisis of Competence: The Corrupting Effect of Political Activism in the University of California,” a new report by the California Association of Scholars, a division of the National Association of Scholars (NAS). The report is addressed to the Regents of the University of California, which has ultimate responsibility for governing the UC system, but the pathologies it diagnoses prevail throughout the country.
The analysis begins from a nonpolitical fact: Numerous studies of both the UC system and of higher education nationwide demonstrate that students who graduate from college are increasingly ignorant of history and literature. They are unfamiliar with the principles of American constitutional government. And they are bereft of the skills necessary to comprehend serious books and effectively marshal evidence and argument in written work.
This decline in the quality of education coincides with a profound transformation of the college curriculum. None of the nine general campuses in the UC system requires students to study the history and institutions of the United States. None requires students to study Western civilization, and on seven of the nine UC campuses, including Berkeley, a survey course in Western civilization is not even offered. In several English departments one can graduate without taking a course in Shakespeare. In many political science departments majors need not take a course in American politics.
Moreover, the evidence suggests that the hollowing of the curriculum stems from too many professors’ preference for promoting a partisan political agenda.
National studies by Stanley Rothman in 1999, and by Neil Gross and Solon Simmons in 2007, have shown that universities’ leftward tilt has become severe. And a 2005 study by Daniel Klein and Andrew Western in Academic Questions (a NAS publication) shows this is certainly true in California. For example, Democrats outnumbered Republicans four to one on University of California, Berkeley, professional school faculties; in the social sciences the ratio was approximately 21 to one.
The same 2005 study revealed that the Berkeley sociology department faculty was home to 17 Democrats and no Republicans. The political science department included 28 Democrats and two Republicans. The English department had 29 Democrats and one Republican; and the history department had 31 Democrats and one Republican.
While political affiliation alone need not carry classroom implications, the overwhelmingly left-leaning faculty openly declare the inculcation of progressive political ideas their pedagogical priority. As “A Crisis of Competence” notes, “a recent study by UCLA’s prestigious Higher Education Research Institute found that more faculty now believe that they should teach their students to be agents of social change than believe that it is important to teach them the classics of Western civilization.”
Some university programs tout their political presuppositions and objectives openly. The mission statements of the Women’s Studies program at UCLA prejudges the issues by declaring that it proceeds from “the perspectives of those whose participation has been traditionally distorted, omitted, neglected, or denied.” And the Critical Race Studies program at the UCLA School of law announces that its aim is to “transform racial justice advocacy.”
Even the august American Association of University Professors