Foolishness in Culture Studies in “Higher” Education

Students at some of the supposedly “elite” colleges and universities are being taught cultural foolishness that in many cases waters down what formerly was a classical and essential liberal arts and humanities education and now is concentrated political correctness, the demonization of Western civilization and American studies, and in fact what contributes to the radicalization of students and contempt for America.

Students in the liberal arts are being force-fed radical progressivism and a largely negative understanding perception of their nation. Cultural pride is not the objective. Shouting down speakers to protect “snowflakes” in “safe zones” is all too common. Meanwhile, students in science, engineering and vocational-technical curricula and schools seem too busy studying challenging career subjects to participate in the radical follies. The situation encourages parents and students to register at the less expensive and prestigious, but more functional and stable state two year and four-year institutions of higher learning and vocational-technical schools.

One of our favorite classical liberal arts professors is feminist Professor Camille Paglia at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Paglia is an outspoken opponent of contemporary radical liberal indoctrination in public schools, colleges, and universities. In an interview with American Enterprise Institute (AEI) scholar Christina Hoff Somers, Paglia contends, “The current generation of hypersensitive, safety-seeking college students was created by the downward spiral of public education that left them ignorant of history and world geography (and with the view) that American is an evil nation.”

Professor Paglia, a registered Democrat, said students are not studying major world or domestic historical event, but are “preoccupied by “gender, bullying, oppression” and “identity (group entitlement) politics.” The result, Paglia says, is “the dumbing down of young Americans.”

Washington Times reporter Brandon Richardson echoed the historical ignorance paradigm of contemporary students by citing a report by Communist history expert Marion Smith who shared the astonishing results of a 2017 study where a majority of students said they’d prefer to live under communism and socialism than capitalism. Smith contends, as does Paglia, that this indicates the profound ignorance students have of the brutal and genocidal history of 20th and 21st-century communist regimes.

Hopefully, there seems to be some backlash against liberal curricular indoctrination and extremism. Parents, students, and donors are turning away from the radical campuses where enrollments are declining. Home schooling and charter schools, and religious education seem increasing popular, although some traditionally religious institutions have shown signs of capitulation to the Left as well, even at the expense of their traditional teachings in the name of “nonjudgmental inclusiveness.”

Dr. William Bennett, a former education secretary in the Reagan administration, attributes the ignorance of history and hostility to America exhibited by some students as the result of academic ignorance about “the history of our great men and women because too many teachers and historians take a cynical and even hostile approach toward America.”

The danger of historical ignorance, Bennett asserted, was clearly stated by President Reagan: “If we forget what we did, we won’t know who we are. And the eradication of the American memory could result in the erosion of the American spirit.”