US Univerisities: Leftist Indoctrination Factories

Discussion in 'Politics' started by madanthonywayne, Mar 20, 2007.

  1. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Historically, intellectual growth has almost always meant moving to the left.

    The Founding Fathers were themselves going against many common conservative conventions of their times. In their own time, they would have been called progressive, not conservative.

    Actually, I think the majority of Americans on the left are technically Social Democrats. You'd be hard pressed to find any who advocate communism, or any Maxist form of socialism.
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  3. Prince_James Plutarch (Mickey's Dog) Registered Senior Member

    James R.:

    Your point? Conservative now = Liberal then. Political conservatism is a modern movement, not an Enlightenment one. It's principally 18th/19th century Liberalism chiefly organized around a refutation of growing Socialist changes.
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  5. Prince_James Plutarch (Mickey's Dog) Registered Senior Member


    Words tend to change over the years.

    You think Al Franken, Maureen Dowd, and Paul Begala are any better?

    The Left has made an artform of the ad hominem since the inaugeration of Bush. If anyone is practicing a vitrolic form of reflexive bigotry, it is most assuredly the modern Democrat.

    Oh, and for the political viewpoint that is apparently supposed to love black people? They might as well just out and out call Condi Rice a cotton picking, fried chicken eating, malt-liquor drinking, dirty nigger. Oh wait, they have. "Aunt Jemima". Kweisi Mfume's comments as NAACP president.

    What ignorance exactly?
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  7. Prince_James Plutarch (Mickey's Dog) Registered Senior Member


    No. But last I checked, modern textbooks don't do that. They instead reduce the Civil War to two pages, and give the 19th Century Feminist movement an entire chapter.

    I would have you show us when this ever was the case?

    No, but last I checked: That is what many modern textbooks do now.

    As recent polls indicate ( most Americans are either Intelligent Designists or Creationists. It is not a conservative issue. It's rather, a sad little religious issue.

    You do realize that lambasting someone for being a supposed "homophobe" (a term which itself is linguistically suspect) is the equivalent of them calling a homosexual a "faggot", yes?

    Also, considering the many states that have had public referendums (all which have passed, I do believe) on gay marriage, one cannot say it is a conservative issue, either.

    You do not think the Massachusetts supreme court over ruling a public referendum and finding gay marriage in the Commonwealth Constitution is not an example of judicial activism? These tend to be the issues most addressed.

  8. spuriousmonkey Banned Banned

    I never called you crazy. I would have used the word 'gek' if I ever had had that intention.
  9. madanthonywayne Morning in America Registered Senior Member

    According to the left.
    As PJ said, so what? The fact that their ideas were considered radical at the time and old hat now does not change the fact that they are the correct ideas.

    Liberals, especially on this forum, are constantly misintrepreting the meaning of conservative.

    As an American conservative, I'm not opposed to change at all. I'm opposed to statism. There are plenty of things I'd like to change. If I had my way, I'd cut 90% of federal spending. I'd keep national defense and NASA. That's about it.

    Ayn Rand addressed this issue by describing herself not as a conservative, but as a radical for capitalism.
  10. IceAgeCivilizations Banned Banned

    Don't forget the roads, and tariffs in lieu of income tax.
  11. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    That one didn't change on its own - it was subjectied to an organized propaganda campaign (led by Newt Gingrich, among others) and its meaning destroyed. Destruction of meaning in the terms of discourse is, as Orwell was not the first to point out, an important technique in the seizure of power by modern oligarchies and the like.

    As witness, see the original meaning of the word in use everywhere in the English speaking world outside of the US Propaganda Umbrella.

    Begala? Dunno. Others? Of course. Don't you? They at least get their facts straight. And besides, I picked the acknowledged spokesmen and influential idea-mongers of the Cons - maybe Franken is comparable among Libs, at a long stretch, but Dowd? Begala?

    Bullshit. I was around for the Reagan and Clinton years, and am not deaf to the Limbaugh/Coulter school of rhetoric now. There's no comparison. The very mild treatment of W and his minions has hardly risen to the label "uncivil", in comparison.

    One problem with the modern "conservative", in discussing vitriol and hyperbole, is that they have become accustomed (over the past 25 years and more) to an estraordinary level of bombast and ad hominum attack rhetoric from the right - they're numb. It seems normal from the right - it shouldn't.

    Another is that simple accuracy from the left is often taken as some kind of ad hominum attack, by the right. This is a side effect of the "disengagement " (as it was called during Reagan's second term) of the rightist leadership from ordinary factual reality. Mondale was simply making an observation, during his campaign against Reagan, when he pointed out that when he quoted Reagan accurately people called it "mudslinging". Likewise now - simply pointing out that W, say, lied about some stuff that he is on record as lying about is taken as an ad hominum attack.
    Name a controversial political issue in which the relevant facts have been established and do not favor important Republican politicians, and compare Fox News viewers' perceptions with the national average. Did the US forces find WMDs in Iraq? Was AQ based in Iraq? Have more Palestinian children killed by Israeli soldiers or Israeli children killed by Palestinian terrorists? Were the prisoners in Gitmo apprehended by American soldiers? Has the median hourly wage of full time US employees been rising or falling?
  12. Prince_James Plutarch (Mickey's Dog) Registered Senior Member


    Pardon? The change of the word "Liberal" from "Classical Liberal" to the modern American form of it began in the 60's.

    Moreover, the only party that keeps the term "Liberal" in their name which coincides with the traditional meaning of the term that I can think off hand, are the Liberal Democrats of Japan, the prime minister's party.

    Dowd is a prominent reporter for the New York times and key in the ad hominem anti-Bush movement, with her "cutsie" "Bushie" tactics. Begala was also the most vitrolic supporter of the Democratic party (and involved with the Clintons) on former CNN show "Crossfire". Al Franken also owns (or owned) the only Liberal outlet for talk radio.

    Moreover, Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter are political pundits, not necessarily the bastions of current Conservative thought. For that, look towards such people as William Buckley Jr., Lou Dobbs, Pat Buchanan, Robert Novak, Tucker Carlson, Newt Gingrich, and with the late Ronald Reagan and Barry Goldwater as the idealogical heads.

    Excuse me?

    Every single day since Bush won the nomination in 2000 the Left has repeatedly called him a moron, a cheerleader, and various other things. They've even gone sa far as to call him a murderer, liar, an instigator of 9-11, and similar to Adolf Hitler.

    The worse Ann Coulter has called anyone recently is a faggot.

    Considering you are making the claims here, are you going to back up where Foxnews has failed on these issues? Or are you going to present to us your beliefs alone?
  13. Prince_James Plutarch (Mickey's Dog) Registered Senior Member


    Well crap, my Dutch sucks then.
  14. hypewaders Save Changes Registered Senior Member

    [BTW]Great posts, iceaura. I doubt you're looking for praise here, but you've been one of the welcome sources of fresh air for me around here lately.[/BTW]

    Education is indoctrination. Any adult who doesn't understand that statement is the victim of a shitty education. In pursuing higher education, there are a multiplicity of choices (I'm speaking from the context of US higher ed here) about whether and how we wish to be indoctrinated. There is certainly bias everywhere, because everyone is biased. But there are choices in where we go, and how receptive we are when we're there. That the entire higher-ed industry is tilted liberal has some merit; that it produces liberals is complete bullshit.

    From the 70s very nearly to the present, young American adults have (as a whole) veered to the right. That's been seen in all sorts of demographic research, in the polls, and in everyday life. That's not necessarily proof that hypnotic liberals are not lurking in every ivory tower to crush the conservative spirit in young Americans. But if that were the case, then they have been extraordinarily ineffective.

    I've taken a little tour of research on this subject, guided by some likely liberal masters of brainwashing at Inside Higher Ed. They have planted doubts in my mind (using tricks like the "Scientific Method") regarding the claims that our universities are leftist indoctrination factories. But even after sifting through so much methodological debunking, my first impression reverberates more (as is ever the case with universal human bias):

    These "Leftist Indoctrination Factories" have produced generations of right-wing toadies. I live in a college town, and the students I meet are Republicans (or claim to be) more often than not. If this is the product of lefty-liberal re-education camps, then these are among the most inefficient institutions in history.

    I'll refrain from digressing into the quality of independent/critical thinking skills I see in "these kids today".

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  15. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    The cheerleader and the liar are accurate and mild. The moron is mild. 9/11 instigator, murderer, are similar to what you were hearing from the mainstream rightist voices about Clinton - Limbaugh, etc. You hear that kind of language from the crackpot fringe of the left. Adolf Hitler I haven't heard much - fascist I've heard, with reasonable accuracy, but loose talk of Nazi and the like is again fringe stuff.

    The fact that you have to compare fringe left to dominant right, to get equivalent language, is my point. Rush Limbaugh is a household name. Ann Coulter is the single most important and well-publicised "conservative" writer (again, excepting the religious crowd). Maureen Dowd was dealing the same language at the Clintons - and it was mild then, no? Suddenly as a W critic she's listed among the leading attack dogs - she didn't change. Her context did. And she is, compared with people like Hannity, or even Scarborough, obscure and without wide influence.

    And there is the reality to consider, as well as the language. Imagine Clinton running a Navy warship further out to sea, to provide a better backdrop for his faux-military arrival and prancing TV announcement of some Mission Accomplished that was still underway. Imagine Clinton standing on a photo op spot in New Orleans, days late, after hanging out and partying with political supporters during Katrina. What language would you have heard from Newt, Rush, Hannity, Coulter, the mainstream rightist household names? Not only is the "liberal" rhetoric mild, but it is mild in the face of much greater provocation.

    Maybe one quick and easy:
    But those are not unrealistic or odd claims. Do you doubt them?
  16. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    You do realize, do you not, that generally it is conservative issues restricting the textbooks? True: original histories aren't what most textbooks offer. Also true: the effort to include those sources and tell history in a manner that reflects what they say is condemned as liberal political correctness.

    As to the question: When was it the case that blatantly false histories are taught in order to avoid teaching something perceived as unpleasant or unsettling?

    That's part of Loewen's point in writing the book Lies My Teacher Told Me. For instance, and this is a true story:

    My father was born in 1945, and when I was growing up he was a "Reagan Republican". For most of his life he despised Communism. His experiences led him to characterize Communism in Kruschev's infamous shoe episode. He did, literally, look at Communism as an unprovoked, deliberately sinister threat. In his fifties, my father came unhinged; his worldview could no longer twist and stretch and bend to account for the things he was seeing and experiencing. His idea of the noble businessman collapsed. His template for personal relationships shattered loudly on the floor. In short, his entire identification within society kicked over one day and joined the choir invisible. He moved onto his boat and eventually re-established himself among the living.

    Years later, when my daughter was two, my father and I took her to one or another museum. Flight? Um ... oh, well, I forget. But I was talking about this book I was reading (Loewen's; it eventually got set aside until recently), and explaining how most people didn't seem to realize that the U.S. had invaded Russia. My father looked shellshocked. He had never heard the story, either. And that day I accidentally struck after his healing wound. It was another blow against his former self. Never in his life had he taken seriously the notion that the United States had done anything to provoke Soviet wariness or hostility.

    And unlike so many people I've met over the years, both here at Sciforums and about in the world, my father is one of those thoughtful types. When it came to the thought that the U.S. had attempted to unseat the Communists from the moment of revolution, he couldn't simply shift to the self-righteous tack and say, "Well, they should have!" He's simply not the crass sort to deflect unpleasantness into machismo.​

    Now, I'm not going to tell you that my father could have been a millionaire, or a baseball player, or anything stupid like that. But if you think for a moment he didn't cringe at the thought of all those furious arguments about morality, ethics, and responsibility we had when I was younger, if you think he didn't lament the thought that despite his forceful confidence, he was about as wrong as he could imagine, I can happily correct the notion.

    It's a lot of energy. A lot of wasted energy, by some measures. The "Myth of Wilson", contradictory to the original sources, is still so prominent that Republicans proudly invoke Woodrow Wilson. Of course, given the hatred, irrationality, and dishonesty of the real Wilson administration, perhaps we can just call those GOP pundits exceedingly clever. Really. I mean, if they're telegraphing that obviously, and it's Woodrow Wilson, the American people have no excuse for electing Bush in '04 other than proclaiming themselves fundamentally evil.

    There is, of course, the American Thanksgiving Myth; the Myth of Christopher Columbus; the Myth of Reconstruction. I learned all three when I was a wee lad in the public school system. I was in college before I knew anything about Cabeza de Vaca other than the name. I think La Relacion deserves a considerably more prominent place in American history; it would help dispel the myth that Europeans were essentially conquering empty land, and in the cases that they were taking empty land, an examination of the reasons would be important.

    Loewen even notes that in some cases, the wrong history is symptomatic of "lost" history. And I don't mean lost as in the realm of archaeological speculation, but rather in the sense that the original histories were simply forgotten about. One textbook author, according to Loewen, justified his omission of European plagues in his textbook account of the "Pilgrims" quite honestly: "I didn't know." I feel badly for him; that's embarassing. It's not like this was information that wasn't available when he built the textbook. Rather, certain myths have persisted for so long that the original histories and sources are forgotten. He didn't know to look through certain records because he had never heard of them, or the incidents to which they relate. That's how deeply the myths persist in the American educational system.

    And in trying to fix the problem, people are constantly coming up against accusations of liberal revisionism, conspiracies, &c.

    Okay, look: how does what Christopher Columbus wrote in his logs and diaries become a partisan issue? The "liberal revisionists" apparently want to force-feed a fake version of Columbus on the masses. What is this fake version? The one found in his logs and diaries. What was the "real" Columbus the conservatives wanted to uphold? The myth.

    Would there be so much blind patriotism, utter jingoism, among Americans if they knew the truth? The Haymarket Martyrs, for instance: in and of themselves, the story does not cause me to be angry at society; it was a long time ago. But the idea of "noble commerce", and other established myths of the culture make the Martyrs relevant today. The "robber barons" who "built America" were also responsible for some of its greatest societal disasters. To understand the pettiness of the railroad fight that led to a panic and run on banks, to follow the unfolding drama of laborers convicted of a bombing they did not commit, executed not for their "guilt" but their political affiliation (Anarchist), eventually pardoned, but not until some had gone to the gallows and one to suicide. It's fascinating, enlightening, captivating. But to tell it is apparently a liberal, anti-American education.

    Maybe if students were aware of the truth, there wouldn't be that day when shock and awe sets in as they realize just how much horseshit they've been swallowing. The reaction seems harsh sometimes because it is a reaction to a harsh action. The event, the realization, is huge and permeating. The reaction is dramatic, often bombastic. And because it is counter-cultural, it is viewed as a liberal reaction.

    The reaction can be controlled if students (A) aren't subject to such a shock in the first place, and (B) are given critical-thinking tools that allow them to deal with shocking information. Really, if students spend a week in high school picking apart Haymarket, perhaps they will come to understand that not everything about commerce is noble, and that the institutions really do try to get it right, even if they're sometimes too late. The problem is that both those points are anathema to public education. You might have a better shot at keeping your job if you give the head cheerleader herpes than if you taught the Haymarket story. Precisely because interests invest so much in maintaining a myth of perfection does the cold shock of reality hurt so damn much.

    My girlfriend in college was a graduate of Oregon's public school Advanced Placement system. So were her two roommates. I wrote research papers for two of the three because they couldn't. (The third was both smart and capable.) We're talking about farm-town conservatives for whom lesbians are a PTA crisis, folks who are shocked and outraged to learn that Jefferson (or Strom Thurmond) had black children. It's the "AP" that I pick on here; really, they couldn't write simple 1-3-1 essays. They're proud that a notorious figure from Iran-Contra lived in their town.

    They were AP students. And even the Columbus thing was a shock.

    It becomes a conservative issue when it becomes part of conservative politics. These sad, religious folks aren't rushing to the Democrats for a solution. What makes us think they'll look to real liberals?

    Get it out of the GOP, take it off the conservative watch, leave it to its own sad, festering death, and then we can leave it out. How many of those surveyed Americans, I wonder, think they can write the hypothesis to prove the existence of the designer?

    Regarding suspect linguistics: Give me a break. Really. There are all sorts of words in American English that are "linguistically suspect". Why focus on this one? People insist on using "transition" as a verb. The line between "disoriented" and "disorientated" is so blurry, by insistence of common use, that even the dictionaries don't see much difference. We call our American society a "democracy", for heaven's sake!

    Linguistically suspect? Calling someone "black" is linguistically suspect. I've never seen someone who is actually black. Close, but not quite. Do I make bones about it? No. Because "black" is the word people, blacks included, use. I'm not about to start calling them "hogs" (short for "mahogany").

    Furthermore, "lambasting someone for being a supposed homophobe" is not "the equivalent of ... faggot".

    Look, "faggot" is a word intended to be a derogatory characterization of what someone is. "Homophobe" is the word that describes an irrational fear of, or animosity toward, homosexuality. I also refer to the "traditional marriage" "heterosexophiles" (talk about linguistically suspect?) as "traditionalists". This word describes their identification with an alleged tradition. You might as well call "traditionalist" a derogatory slur, as well. "Faggot" is a word intended to be cruel. "Homophobe" is a word that homophobes often perceive is cruel. The cruelty of "faggot" comes from the speaker's intent to demean another. The "cruelty" of "homophobe" is an invention of the receiving party, a slight against one's perception of the noble self.

    Which points to another issue where conservatives will eventually lose. The history of the United States, and probably of all humanity, is one in which we invented enemies and demons in order to perceive evil. My father's passion against Communism is the spawn of one of these inventions. In the current situation, we have Christians bemoaning their oppression; again I summarize my counterpoint by saying that it is not "oppression" to be equal to your neighbors. The oppression they perceive is the stripping of traditional but irrational advantages. Take gay marriage: the notion that one person has a right to assert their religion over another person is one of those advantages that Christians can't stand losing. The right to grant people the chance at happiness based on some arcane formula dictating worthiness just isn't one of those protected aspects of religion. The right to "approve" of someone else's equality before the law: yeah, they're going to lose. And it's not a liberal conspiracy or a hatred of Christians. It's the fact that the Supreme Law of the Land says we're equal. For most, that's a step up. For Christians, that's a step down. But it's not oppression. They ought to leap at the chance to come out of sin, but they would rather have specific advantages and just say we're equal.

    As to the referenda, and one has failed, I believe, but that's beside the point.

    (1) These referenda aren't about the law but people's aesthetics.
    (2) These referenda prescribe gender discrimination where there was none before.
    (3) These referenda will not survive constitutional muster. At least, not in the long run.​

    The tradition of traditional marriage is nonexistent. Furthermore, the logic that holds sway at present, to the disadvantage of the homosexual, is one based on an older era of supremacy and discrimination. Gender is pretty much the last barrier of "traditional" marriage that "traditional" marriages don't violate. Right now it comes down to how the state envisions marriage. When that thinking changes, these refusals to approve of the right of gays to marry won't stand. And it's pretty much inevitable, since the only structure holding up these "traditional marriage" laws are desperate assemblies of irrational fear and animosity.

    Thus conservatives do the only thing they can do: lash about with the fear and animosity as if their souls depended on it.

    And they'll lose.

    If the Court obeyed the constitution, it is not judicial activism. Perhaps you could dig up the text of the court's decision? Like the Roper v. Simmons thing; I wanted to see exactly what "judicial activism" looked like, since a pundit was howling about it on the tube. So I looked it up. That the defendant was the convict surprised me. That it was Missouri surprised me even more. Missourians must like their judges flaming liberal. Let's blame Missouri. Yeah. Missouri is the source of all judicial activism ....

    Okay, okay, okay. I haven't read the Massachusetts decision, and I'm not going out of my way to at this moment.

    Read through the decision and tell us where the court overstepped itself. That's what conservatives often fail to do. I hear them howl about it and summarize it, but I never do see what they're talking about when I look through the decisions.

    Incidentally, if you ever want to see judicial activism at its worst, read through Ted Nace's Gangs of America. Absolutly fascinating. And sort of sickening.

    In the end, Creationism is not a science, homophobes are irrational, and I haven't the time to do the Massachusetts research for you.

    It's part of the definition of conservative. It's part of the pattern. Liberal may become more liberal over time, but so does conservatism. Conservatism is always trying to hang on to what it thinks it has. But even that nebulous sum liberalizes as humans learn and progress as a society.

    Get on the trolley. That's my recommendation. If conservatives have such vast knowledge as they pretend, they ought to use it for something, well, useful.

    Like that one song:

    So please use your powers for good. Please use your powers for good.

    (OK Go)

    The good guys always win, in the end, even if it is a long and winding road. And the good guys aren't liberal or conservative, Christian or Muslim, or anything else. They're just the good guys. Right now everyone spends their time pretending to be one of the good guys. People should instead try to actually be one of them. By accident of label, however, and despite the practies of American Democrats, the items that compose liberalism generally fall on the list of what it takes to be the good guys. Doesn't mean liberals won't fuck up. But it's how conservatives come to be on the losing end of the equation: the items that compose conservatism generally fall on the list of what the good guys seek to overcome.

    That's why I throw my lot in with the liberals more often than not.

    Oh, yeah. The topic. It's also why there is such a spectre of leftism about conservative interpretations of American universities. Conservatives have less-reliable arguments except for the money thing. And that's only because the money thing is so pervasive in history, is indeed an evolving process, that Communists are chasing a pipe dream. We haven't yet the components of the Marxist vision; nor are the people, as a general rule, smart enough.

    (And before you get all snitty about elitism, that includes me. What? I can't figure it out. If I do, I assure you I will let y'all know.)
  17. TruthSeeker Fancy Virtual Reality Monkey Valued Senior Member

    That's weird! The US is practically a totalitarian regime!!!!

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  18. Facial Valued Senior Member

    I concur, Tiassa. Great post.
  19. Nickelodeon Banned Banned

    Fuck me it was a long post. Took a whole page.
  20. Avatar smoking revolver Valued Senior Member

    Is the US left comparable to left in other parts in the world, like Germany, Sweden or Venezuela?
  21. pjdude1219 The biscuit has risen Valued Senior Member

    your head is up well you know where if you truely believe that the right make ad hominem attacks all willy nilly
  22. Exhumed Self ******. Registered Senior Member

    I'm always lost when Ayn Rand comes into political discussions. Isn't she a vampire novelist? Why is her opinion important?
  23. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

    That's Ann Rice, but the "vampire novelist" description is probably still apt.

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