Wednesday, October 23, 2019

When Education Becomes Therapy

One cannot too often emphasize how bad the American educational system is. By the time a child arrives at university he has been indoctrinated in the dogmas of political correctness. He has learned that he will be punished for holding the wrong opinion on any hot button political issue.

And he is rendered stupid. If 500 of the world’s leading climate scientists say that there is no climate crisis and if one Swedish truant proclaims that there is… the only way you can get a good grade is to embrace the ignorant opinion of the latter.

As for how and why this has happened, I have often suggested that the reason is: the educational system has turned its focus away from education and toward therapy. Whatever the results or the consequences, for privileged white and Asian students, these institutions want to enhance feelings of guilt. They care about how you feel, not what you know. And they want to minister to your feelings, not enhance your knowledge.

Anyway, Victor Davis Hanson has written a splendid essay on the dereliction of the American college system. I am especially pleased that he sees clearly that these institutions of higher learning have abandoned the goal of teaching anything and have embraced the goal of therapeutic manipulation.

Hanson lays it out clearly:

A pernicious cycle begins even before a student enrolls. A typical college-admission application is loaded with questions to the high-school applicant about gender, equality, and bias rather than about math, language, or science achievements. How have you suffered rather than what you know and wish to learn seems more important for admission. The therapeutic mindset preps the student to consider himself a victim of cosmic forces, past and present, despite belonging to the richest, most leisured, and most technologically advanced generation in history. Without a shred of gratitude, the young student learns to blame his ancestors for what he is told is wrong in his life, without noticing how the dead made sure that almost everything around him would be an improvement over 2,500 years of Western history.

Strangely enough, as we all disapprove of the Chinese re-education camps where Uighur Muslims are supposedly tortured into learning how to love their country, we have an educational system where students are taught to hate their country, to hate their parents, and to feel guilt for all of their own and their ancestors’ achievements. If you were wondering why these students are suffering from so much emotional distress, here is a good place to start looking.

Hanson continues, pointing out that these indoctrination mills function like pseudo-religions. They are led, of course, by people who insist that they have no use for religion:

Once admitted, students take classes from faculty who, polls reveal, are roughly 90 percent liberal. According to one recent survey, Democrat professors on average outnumber Republican faculty by a 12-to-1 ratio on the nation’s supposedly diverse campuses. But such political asymmetries are magnified by a certain progressive messianic self-righteousness that turns the lectern into the pulpit, the captive class into a congregation. The rare conservative professor is more resigned to the tragedy of the universe and, in live-and-let-live fashion, vacates the campus arena to the left-wing gladiators who wish to slay any perceived heterodoxy.

The result: students will become social justice warriors, morally self-righteous crusaders, devoted not to building a new America but to tear down the America that their ancestors built:

Campus activism has replaced the old university creed of disinterested inquiry. Students are starting to resemble military recruits in boot camp, prepping to become hardened social-justice warriors on the frontlines of America’s new wars over climate change, gun control, abortion, and identity politics. In Camp Yale or Duke Social Warrior Base, they learn just enough about purported historical oppression to make them dangerous, as they topple statues, demand the renaming of streets and buildings, and swarm professors deemed politically incorrect.

If you are in charge of America’s competition, which today is China, would you want the same assault on national pride to enter your own cultural bloodstream? Or would you feel increasingly confident that you are destined to overtake the West in the latest chapter of the clash of civilizations?


Sam L. said...

Not "therapy", but indoctrination. It appears, from what I've read, that many college students lap it up. I suspect others are submarines (the SILENT service), who keep to themselves and stay submerged.

Mark Matis said...

Those "submarines" get expelled after being depth charged if they are identified, Sam L.