by FJ Rocca 8/3/15
We all know what incest is. It is the mating of people within the same family, i.e., of inbreeding. Incest and inbreeding are a readily recognized cause of imbecility. It is not the only cause, but it is a proven one. This is true of academic incest, as well as with genetics. If you search the web for a definition of academic inbreeding, you will find it describes people whose educations all come from one place of learning, one university or from one set of professors. But I suggest a wider definition: The process of studying only the same ideology or pseudo-philosophy as though no other exists.
Universities are supposed to be places where genuine learning occurs, where the atmosphere of academic freedom abounds for intellectual stimulation, experimentation, inquiry, debate and speculation. In other words, universities are supposed to be portals to the universe of truth, knowledge and wisdom. We are not speaking here of the professional training one may get in, say, law, medicine, or one of the hard sciences. We are speaking here of what is called Liberal Arts education.
Let’s clarify something very important. A liberal arts education is not the same as an education in which one is taught liberal ideology. A liberal arts education ponders the central problems of philosophy and ethics, and provides the seminal lessons of history, literature, mathematics, the social and physical sciences. The central theme of a liberal arts education is objective inquiry, to hear and reason the arguments and ideas presented from as many sides as possible. Without academic diversity there is no objective inquiry
A university education is supposed to provide the tools for an intellectual life, an ongoing process of thought, of the development and expansion of ideas and of ongoing self-learning, with relentless and fearless inquiry and expansion of experience and knowledge. One’s participation in the process contributes to a vast, available repository of knowledge and wisdom that can be passed on to future generations and which is then will be added to by them. Thus, a university education should be a fertile ground for eternal perpetuation of knowledge and wisdom. Without diversity there is no objectivity and without objectivity, no argument can be reasonable. Without reason there is no intelligence and an unintelligent person must be deemed an imbecile.
Nowadays, too many college campuses are dominated by inbred academics who promote the tired, worn-out and utterly failed notions of Leftist Liberal ideology despite Socialism’s century-long proven record of failure, repression and ultimate rejection by entire societies. These inbred academics are the white coated “mad scientists” keeping its defunct cells alive like a brain floating in a jar of murky fluid. They suppress free thought and intellectual inquiry and even punish those who oppose their closed minded views with the weapon of Political Correctness. Thus they engage in academic incest inbreeding leading to intellectual imbecility. Why? Because they themselves have been infected with the disease of Social-Liberalism and in the degenerate structure of their minds, the ghost still haunts, like the fumes of a corpse that will not lie down and die properly.
This situation is unlikely to persist, because the very decay of their absurd ideas will eventually cause their entire ideology to collapse from its own weight. Then, as with socialism itself, its ideologues will flee the ship once they realize it is sinking, that it no longer provides them their current level of prestige and indeed that it has become a mockery. This begins to happen when people ignore the ideologues. That is already happening in a certain way.
In addition to a proliferation of technical schools providing training for jobs in various fields, alternative avenues of academic education are also proliferating. Schools calling themselves universities which offer accredited degrees in a horizon of subjects now dot the landscape and are the growing choice of many people who want a real education, but do not want to contend with the restrictive and expensive requirement of living on campus where they will be subject, not only to doctrinaire academics, but to the intimidating specter of political correctness where they will be warned to “check your privilege.” To these very reasonable people, ordinary universities now appear to provide little incentive to pay enormous sums for the privilege of being indoctrinated, harassed, criticized and even threatened.
Universities will have to find a way out of the present situation, because, if they don’t they will rapidly become obsolete. Of course, what is likely to happen is change. With dwindling endowments, they will see which side of their academic bread is buttered and they will jettison their failing standard for a return to objectivity. That may seem far-fetched, because endowments of the biggest universities seem inexhaustible, but they aren’t. A university can burn through millions in a single academic year and if reinvestment is not made in their future, they can get very poor in a decade. Ideologies are important only when they continue to put bread on the table. When they cease to be a fungible commodity, they are replaced, simply and quickly, with other ideologies that do work.
Very likely, with the end of the present cycle of political Liberalism, the tenor of university education will change within the next decade. Let us hope that what replaces it is an atmosphere of academic freedom, because if the present course of intellectual imbecility does not end, a new Dark Ages will descend.
FJ Rocca was born the day after Pearl Harbor in the same hometown as Johnny Appleseed. He is a trained classical musician, a published illustrator and a prolific writer of fiction and non-fiction. His website is candiddiscourse.com.