Friday, November 09, 2007

Indoctrination University Paradigm Confirmed by AAUP

The AAUP’s new doctrine is a transparent attempt to justify the transformation of the university into a home for these sectarian creeds by shielding them from the scrutiny of scientific method. In the new dispensation, political control of a discipline is the sole basis for establishing “truth,” and closing off critical debate. The idea that political power can establish “truth” is a conception so incompatible with the intellectual foundations of the modern research university that the AAUP committee could not state it so baldly. Hence the disingenuous compromise of “truth within a relevant discipline.”...The End of the University as We Know It, David Horowitz, Front Page Magazine, 11/9/2007

Wonker won't be surprised, as he experienced this decades ago in his brief university career, but it is depressing nonetheless that the principal faculty union, the American Association of University Professors, has responded to a decade-long counterinsurgency against university indoctrination by essentially saying "we've got a good thing going here; screw you".

Horowitz writes a strong, detailed analysis of the historical precedents (and resistance to) this conclusion which, more or less, says that if a professor is passionate about a subject, that alone makes how a professor addresses the subject "true." Desolate -- it's like going back to the medeaval university.

However, students know something that professors don't seem to grasp. For every point of view espoused in the classroom as absolute truth, if only in a given discipline, there are a dozen others, as forcefully argued, on the Worldwide Web. The politically heuristic cave is full of holes which any student with a Web-enabled cell phone can escape through.

Nonethelss, AAUP has now put itself on the side of the political absolutism of any given professor, making what had been ad hoc policy the official position of a major faculty union. This is a disgrace to the union and to the professors and universities associated with it. It is a move one might have expected in the defunct Soviet Union, not in the "free" West.


1 comment:

Wonker said...

Thanks, Luther, for putting this topic front and center. The universities have once again been discgracing themselves on this and on other matters, and it still bewilders me as to how and why they get away with it. College costs are going up much, much faster than the "obscene" medical costs that are providing the tailwinds for HillaryCare II via next year's elections. It's a wonder to me why a more egregious situation is not being looked at by the public.

Except, of course, that universities today are a haven for leftist propagandists who are, in turn, shielded from media scrutiny.

Posts like yours, and info such as that obtained by Horowitz, are already starting to chip away at the Cone of Silence, the complicity between media and faculty leftists that has denied students another classroom viewpoint since the mid-1970s, when I was one of the earlier genuine academics who got blackballed for not "fitting in." Hopefully, the Wonkers of the future will have less difficulty penetrating this closed system.

The irony is that all the Wonk ever wanted to do was teach literature. When politics did rear its ugly head (as in Dickens novels, for example, when socio-politcal material is very thinly disguised), I always encouraged exploration of both points of view as a way of exploring and ultimately validating or invalidating arguments. I regarded this as the essence of education.

But it violated the Party Line. And in so doing, to this day, one removes oneself forever from the tenure track. Which is why the first step in any solution to this mess is eliminating tenure.