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I was recently asked in an email exchange if I was a bit of an alarmist in my persistent rants about today’s contemporary colleges and universities. “After all,” said my pen pal, “can it really be all that bad?”
My answer is an unequivocal, “Yes!”
Today’s universities are hopelessly muddled in a swamp of opinions where the guy with the loudest voice or the one with the most prestigious diploma wins the day and controls the debate regardless of the veracity of his claims.
Oh, there are a few faculty, still, who are polite and, in spite of their affection for postmodernity, do allow some of their students to express their views freely. But for every one of these kinder and gentler postmods there are literally hundreds of elitists who sincerely believe that they are justified in not tolerating those they deem to be intolerant, who seem proud that they hate those hateful people, who are sure that nothing is sure, and who know that nothing can be known.
I know, I know, all of us have some positive stories to tell about our college days but shouldn’t we challenge ourselves to look at the present state of higher education rather than simply reminisce about the past and the road we traveled in the good old days at our respective alma maters?
All ideas have consequences. All ideas lead somewhere; and frankly, the road signs all around us in today’s academy point in the direction of moral nihilism and ideological fascism much more so than they do to intellectual honesty and academic freedom.
If truth sets us free then disavowing it (i.e., lying) likely brings bondage. Unfortunately, many of us seem blind to the fact that our kids are getting an education that enslaves them to, rather than liberates them from, such lies.