Surveys show that American universities are more likely to demand lock-step conformity to liberalism and secular humanism rather than championing the free exchange of ideas. In a column posted at AmericanThinker.com, recently-retired professor Ron Lipsman offers his first-hand observations:
“The overwhelmingly liberal atmosphere on campus is well known. In the one place in society at which there should be diversity of thought, exploration of conflicting ideas and a propensity to challenge conventional wisdom, we have instead a mind-numbing conformity of opinion and a complete unwillingness to entertain any thought or idea that deviates from the accepted truth. That conformity encompasses:
- The legitimacy of virtually any program that promotes the interests of minority and female faculty, staff and students, even if the program is blatantly racist or sexist — justified by a belief that America’s past unjust treatment of blacks, American Indians and Japanese-Americans, and its unfair treatment of women render such discrimination necessary and lawful.
- A multicultural mentality, which preaches that America’s Eurocentric, white, Christian heritage is responsible for colonialism, imperialism, racism and sexism, and that its replacement by a culture that “celebrates diversity” will transform the US into a more just and humane society.
- A distrust of free markets and democratic capitalism, and its severe limitation in favor of a centralized, government-controlled economy that will redistribute the wealth of America more fairly.
- A denigration of religious belief and its replacement by the “worship” of secular humanism, with mindless environmentalism occupying a central place in the new religion.
. . . I believe the liberal brainwash has been so effective on campus — and in the national educational system in general — that many in the liberal majority can’t even fathom that there is anyone who doubts the legitimacy of their point of view.
My final observation is the following. The liberal hegemony exists in many quarters of the country beside academia — e.g., the mainstream media, major foundations, law schools and the trail lawyers they produce, public school teachers, the Democratic Party, even big corporations. But none of these can maintain the atmosphere as effortlessly as campus profs and administrators. Politicians encounter opposition from their constituents; the media from its readers, listeners and viewers; trail lawyers from their clients; and corporations from their stockholders and consumers. But the educational establishment-both higher and lower-encounters little resistance. The students are ignorant, the parents are cowed, and Boards of Regents are cowardly. The ivory tower is alive and well in America and the intellectual product it presents is completely one-sided. What a tragedy for our nation and especially for its youth.”
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