A good friend has recently graduated from, arguably, one of the most left-wing institutions in the country, Evergreen State College in Olympia Washington. While this school clearly provides a number of unique educational opportunities, it seems that its real mission is to promote left-wing radicalism.
Aside from “classes” that actually teach the principles of community organizing and other forms of activism, there is a clear focus on progressive topics such as “social justice”, history deconstruction, power politics, enviro-politics, racial politics, gender politics, etc., etc., etc. All told, this sort of nonsense takes up something like 40% to 50% of their current course catalog, well on the way to overtaking content that actually deals with the development of useful skills (not to mention the real world).
Aside from wondering why a college with a nearly all-white student body would be expending so much effort on racial topics, among other 60’s-vintage anachronisms, I’m a bit more interested about how and why public money is being used to actively promote the destruction of traditional institutions, including, of course, rigorous educational standards. It’s a puzzle, to be sure, but nothing new, really, under the sun.
So, the keynote speaker at the recent graduation was none other than Angela Davis, whose speech (I was told) was “very inspirational”. Call me skeptical. For those under the age of 50, Ms. (and I do mean Ms.) Davis was, for a brief time, the #3 occupant of the FBI’s most wanted list. Today, she’s a professor – no surprise here – at one of California’s multiple versions of our own Evergreen.
Without making a big detour to fully explain Ms. Davis’ history, it seems quite likely that the sort of “inspiration” such a speaker might offer to a crowd of (mostly) young, (mostly) white, (mostly) spoiled, children of (mostly) guilt-laden, ex-60’s radicals is to gird their loins for “continuing the struggle”, as such are want to call their mission to re-write American history, destroy traditional institutions, and, by the way, create a monolithic system of centralized political power.
Ms. Davis, it seems, pauses now and again from her long-standing arguments on racial and gender politics to address what she calls the “prison industrial complex”. Here, I’m actually a bit (just a bit) sympathetic to her cause. There IS, after all, something horribly wrong with the United States, the erstwhile bastion of liberty, maintaining the largest per capita prison population on the planet.
Still, ignoring the influences that failed prohibition and failed social/racial engineering policies (e.g. prior “governmental policies”) have had on that particular issue, we are expected to believe that a long-standing communist (and one time Vice Presidential candidate on the communist party ticket) can teach us anything about liberty.
Please. Communists, after all, only know how to turn whole countries into one vast prison complex. Taking that kind of advice is something akin to attending parenting classes given by notorious pedophiles. No thanks.
It’s not a new question, at least for me, but one must wonder just how many tens (or hundreds) of millions must be killed or billions enslaved by Communism before we actually take these genocidal maniacs seriously. (Run, Forrest, run!!)
For the record, I hold no truck with any of the other various Statist solutions to our human problems, even if I have to give some reluctant bit of credit to the clearly facist-leaning form of capitalism that is now feeding billions of enslaved Chinese workers.
But, that’s just what capitalism does, even if/when it is stained and constrained by centralized planning. Philosophically (or morally) speaking, there’s very little difference among the Statist crowd. Practically speaking, even smallish measures of liberty appear to help the trains run on time and ensure that people aren’t (unintentionally) dying of starvation.
But, then, that’s merely an incidental, if intentional, by-product of the clearly desperate measure of resorting to economic liberty in the most spectacularly failed communist state on the planet. At some point, even the most vile and stupid leader might wonder “what’s the point of leading a country when everyone is dying before you can squeeze every last drop of productivity out of them?” Of course, for others perhaps, that’s the whole point.
But, we might imagine what actual, unbridled liberty can do (and has done, now and again) for the human condition. Sadly, it’s getting more than a bit difficult to conjure that image….and, well, nearly impossible for the poor students at Evergreen. But, hey, don’t waste any time actually studying history, just re-write it.