Thursday, October 12, 2017

How to Stop the Campus Shoutdowns

So, yesterday the campus fascists, the ordinary regime thugs, shouted down Charles Murray for 40 minutes at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor. Hey, why not? Everybody says that Murray is a racist, so why not?

It happened that yesterday I watched part of a livestream on "Viewpoint Diversity on Campus" conducted by Jonathan Haight's Heterodox Academy at New York University. Of course the discussion of these academics was about freedom of thought and that free speech means giving to people you hate the right to speak.

But I was unsatisfied with that. Here's why. In my view, universities have always been, and still are, seminaries for training priests in the regime's established religion. The purpose was to legitimate the regime and its right to rule. So, in the early modern era, the established religion taught in the universities spent a lot of time talking about the divine right of the present royal dynasty to rule.

I am reading a biography of Jane Austen and her gentry class was clearly the class of ideological and legal enforcers. Bright young sons would go to Oxbridge, take holy orders,  and get a living at some rectory through family influence, where they would preach regime orthodoxy. The local squire would be a judge at the Quarter Sessions to ensure regime legal legitimacy, and most of the Austen sons went into the military and the navy to fight the Napoleonic Wars. Pretty neat system!

This occurred in a period where kings were no longer military chieftains whose right to rule stemmed rather obviously from their military prowess and power to make their rule stick.

Then came a period where a new ruling class started to appear, the new intellectual elite that drove the Enlightenment and wanted to advance a new religion, a secular religion, and this religion would advance the notion that revolutionaries, thinkers and experts were the chaps with the right to rule. One of the ideas of the new secular religion was to educate young men in the humanities and liberal arts -- in Oxbridge, Philosophy, Politics, and Economics -- to prepare them in the arts and practice of governane so they could to enter the charmed circle of the ruling class and keep the dynasty going.

For a while this rising elite had to hide its ideology; even chaps like Hume and Hegel had to pretend that they were Christians, for to teach in a university you had to be a Christian. Hume's Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion was published after his death.

What would be a good strategy for the new elite to advance its non-Christian world view? Why, freedom of speech, of course. That way the rising elite could be licensed to advertise its wares and the old elite would just have to sit and take it.

In the United States I would say that this situation lasted until just after the Sixties. Until the Sixties the rising educated elite saw itself as an insurgency needing the camouflage of freedom of speech. But after its Gramscian march through the institutions was complete, then it did not see the need for freedom of speech. Indeed, it was obvious to everyone that the wrong kind of speech was hate speech, more or less equivalent to violence, and thus beyond the Pale.

There is nothing scandalous about this. Nobody believes in freedom of speech, not really. And especially nobody believes in freedom of speech for societal saboteurs and wreckers. You  know who they are.

The only people that believe in freedom of speech are the "outs," for obvious reasons. So right now conservatives and libertarians and deplorables are rather obviously all in favor of freedom of speech.

Of course, it is not just universities that function as seminaries, preparing youngsters to go forth and teach regime apologetics and practice its teachings in their daily lives. There is, and has always been, a whole system of feeder schools, preparatory seminaries, to instruct the kiddies in the right religion.

Unfortunately, the demands of political power mean that education -- rather than rewarding of regime supporters with well deserved sinecures -- in schools and universities comes off second best, and the regime's ideological syllabus ends up wrecking the schools. In the mid 19th century the British universities were still cranking out priests while the Germans had transformed the university into an incubator of young men that would come forth and lead the German nation against the perfidious French. Eventually, the British universities copied the German model just in time to beat the perfidious Germans in World War I.

So now the education system in the US and elsewhere is a pathetic secular seminary inculcating regime orthodoxy on everything from class to race, everything, in fact, that the left has cooked up in order to defeat the most remarkable notion in history, the minimal state, the language nation, and the economic revolution we call the Great Enrichment.

We could fix this with a deplorables' Alinsky tactic, to make the progressives live up to their own rules and all the other poisonous brew of Rules for Radicals and drive them from the temple, but I would prefer something better.

My point is this. The current education system was built in an age when books and information were very expensive, and literacy was still not universal. Meanwhile labor was cheap. So the school system was a good way of making texts available, to be shared in schools, and in forced marching the working class towards literacy.

That was then; this is now.

Now labor is expensive, information is cheap, and most mothers are literate, meaning that children are likely to get literacy in their mother's milk. Moreover, the modern smartphone, which every youth must have and master, requires a basic literacy. Used to be that you could not get some boys interested in literacy until you tempted them with books about guns and motorcycles. Not any more.

So my solution to the campus shoutdowns is to leave the campi to the liberals and build a new world outside it.

On my plan elementary education would be conducted by mothers in their neighborhoods, supplemented by resources supplied by billionaires that the mothers would control.

On my plan teenagers would mostly have jobs, and it would be the responsibility (and the advantage) of their employers to advance their education to make them into more useful, responsible, and creative employees. This is how education worked for most people before the advent of government child-custodial facilities with the apprentice system.

And advanced education? We are already seeing it develop in the notion of the online university. One good thing about the online university. If you don't like your rude, crude lefty instructor cramming his reactionary pre-modern ideas down your throat you can change him for a better one.

The principle of evolution, that our liberal rulers revere as "science" when it serves their purpose, is that all things die out, sooner or later. The things that die out later are the things that learn to adapt. The curious thing about all institutions is that they are designed not to adapt, whether a royal dynasty, a church, or a corporation. Nobody cares much if churches and corporations die out when they fail to adapt; people just invent new ones. But political dynasties are different. They generally do not go peacefully. They try to stay in business by force and prefer to sacrifice the livelihood and sometimes the lives of millions rather than exit followed by a bear. But in their latter daysw they find it very difficult to stay in power because they have to keep paying out pensions to their loyal supporters even if they are useless bureaucrats or tenured faculty in charge of failing institutions.

The question for us today is how to let our institutions evolve to serve the needs of the 21st century. But the first thing to acknowledge is to admit that we don't know what is needed. All of our educational institutions were designed for another age. It is said that automation is going to make the current notion of a job extinct. So we really don't have a clue how to prepare the kiddies for the future. We do not know what the future will look like.

That means that we need to stand back and let a thousand ideas about education and childhood bloom, and let the best ideas take over the world.

Yes, but what about the poor and marginalized? Exactly. The poor are the ones most cheated by the current system, which sends the worst teachers to the worst schools, and prevents poor parents from getting their kids out of the gutter.

On my system, most parents will  be educating their own kids, or sending them off to work as they used to do, and this would free up a lot of money to help the poor educate their children.

And anyway, don't you believe in Change?

And along the way we would solve the problem of little lefty regime thugs shouting down honorable and worthy men like Charles Murray, whose only sin is that he has shone a light on the fact that modern education privileges the intelligent over the less intelligent.

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