College campuses are hardly a breeding ground for independent thinkers. Gutter whales with the thinking skills of a pencil eraser, yes. Independent thinkers, not so much. Which makes no sense, I know. Especially considering that’s what the campuses are for: “higher learning.” These days, campuses function like leftist indoctrination centers, churning out generation after generation of unshaven, manatee-shaped Marxists.
Faculty from Princeton, Harvard, and Yale have signed an open letter to incoming university students, begging them to reject the “vice of conformism,” and instead, “Think for yourself.”
It begins thusly:
Think for yourself.
Now, that might sound easy. But you will find—as you may have discovered already in high school—that thinking for yourself can be a challenge. It always demands self-discipline and these days can require courage.
In today’s climate, it’s all-too-easy to allow your views and outlook to be shaped by dominant opinion on your campus or in the broader academic culture. The danger any student—or faculty member—faces today is falling into the vice of conformism, yielding to groupthink.
At many colleges and universities what John Stuart Mill called “the tyranny of public opinion” does more than merely discourage students from dissenting from prevailing views on moral, political, and other types of questions. It leads them to suppose that dominant views are so obviously correct that only a bigot or a crank could question them.
Well, that’s a pleasant surprise. Especially seeing as it’s usually the professors doing the indoctrinating.
Those professors were careful to use inoffensive language in their letter. Knowing their audience, to be sure. Though the true meaning of “campus orthodoxy” isn’t hard to figure out. American campuses aren’t dominated by Reaganite youngsters, preaching the gospel of free markets and limited government. Think less Reaganomics, more “You’re a nazi, now watch my fist come at your face.”
The current campus landscape is grim. Feeble-minded leftist students call all of the shots. They blindly support Socialism, without even knowing what it is. They go to extreme lengths to kick white people off campus. Then, when things don’t go their way, they hold play-doh parties to cope. Any people who hold ideas that don’t fit within the leftist students’ narrow requirements? They’re forcefully ushered off campus.
The professors are hardly claiming leftists should go the way of the dinosaur. Neither are we. Life would be a lot less interesting without stupid people. The real idea is for students to expose themselves to a wide array of ideas, good and bad. Not just the ones they agree with.
These professors might even be leftists themselves. At least they understand the value of free speech and intellectual diversity.
The students, on the other hand? A whole different story…