How to stop thinking and learn to loathe the West

Caption: Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the modern Humanities academic

When the Australian National University abruptly kiboshed talks to establish a Ramsay Centre for the study of Western Civilisation, academics were particularly indignant at the suggestion that university Humanities have been taken over by leftists. Anyone who’s studied a Humanities at an Australian university knows that the dominance of the left is unmistakable. When my son took on history/politics in his first year, he said that there was no way he could make his own views known in discussions. He’d just be shouted down by far-left students and lecturers.

This is why one justification offered by academics for dumping the Ramsay Centre, that students already study Western civilisation, rings so hollow. Yes, students study Western civilisation (the fact alone that the West dominates university curricula is testament to its unique brilliance), but what do they actually learn about it? Quote:

University of Sydney historian Dirk Moses raises an interesting point when he declares that the problem is declining enrolments in the Bachelor of Arts in Australian universities…But Western civilization is not being undermined due to a lack of students, but rather because of the particular version of Western civilization that they are being offered in the humanities. End of quote.

One need only survey Professor Moses’ oeuvre: Genocide, Slavery and the Return of the Colonial Repressed, The Transformative Occupation of Palestine, Europe in the world: systems and cultures of violence. There’s a balanced view of the West if ever there was. Quote:

Academic positions have been filled by individuals who have based their entire careers on propagating [Karl Marx’s analysis of class] which sees society as a zero-sum contest for power between the privileged and the oppressed. As a result, the subjects they teach, and the extremely limited range of fields in which they specialise, are almost entirely confined to themes which fit Marx’s model.

…Left-wing leitmotifs have replaced the essential core subjects which explain the political, intellectual, social and material basis of the history of Western civilization. The concepts that should be transmitted to university students, such as respect for the individual, equality of men and women under the law, the abolition of slavery, freedom of speech and religious toleration…are not being taught. End of quote.

Blogger Ashraf Ghebranious responded to the Ramsay Centre debacle by whining, “Greek: Empire. Rome: Empire. English: Empire”. Mr Ghebranious seemingly forgot the Ottoman Empire, Mughal Empire, Seleucid Empire, Umayyad Caliphate, Seljuk Empire, Ghaznayid Empire, and the Mongol Khanate among many other violently conquering Islamic empires. As I previously wrote, the West isn’t perfect, but it isn’t unique in its sins either. Quote:

Stan Grant rightly pointed out both the complete lack of diversity insofar as humanities subjects at ANU are concerned, as well as the fact that Western civilization at the university is being taught from a hostile and adversarial point of view…undergraduates enrolled in the Bachelor of Arts at ANU are being taught to hold Western civilization responsible for all evils in the world, past, present and future….The stunning complexity of the past is reduced to an analysis of class, race and gender. End of quote.

After just one year of this sort of tripe, my son decided to take a sabbatical. I’m not sure he’ll go back even though he achieved good results. The monochrome intellectual atmosphere is just too stultifying for students who actually want to think. Quote:

why would you want to enrol in a Bachelor of Arts if class if all you were going to hear was class, gender and race? This problem was raised in an interview with [Professor] Mark Bauerlein..who remarked:

“…identity politics is a downer. ‘Wait, wait. You’re going to sit and talk about Emerson and how racist he is? I don’t want to take this class! I don’t want to hear so much negativity’. And identity politics is a negative. It’s not a positive formation.” End of quote.

A recent study in the United States found that fully one-third of students finished a four-year degree with no discernible improvement in their critical thinking ability. When they’re being hammered with dogmatic left-wing dross is it any wonder? Quote:

Students in Australia are not being given a “positive formation.” Instead, they are being taught a narrow, one-dimensional view of the world seen through the prism of class, gender and race, over a curious and inquiring three-dimensional view of the world which opens the mind. They are being led down the path of un-enlightenment and un-education. They are not being offered new approaches or new ways of looking at the world. There is no diversity in what is being offered to them. It is unadventurous and is failing to inspire future generations of Australians. End of quote.

Former Labor leader Mark Latham has recently argued that universities Humanities departments have become so culturally damaged that the only solution is to shut them down and start again.

He might have a point.


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Who is Lushington D. Brady?

Well, a pseudonym. Obviously.

But the name Lushington Dalrymple Brady has been chosen carefully. Not only for the sum of its overall mien of seedy gentility, reminiscent perhaps of a slightly disreputable gentlemen of letters, but also for its parts, each of which borrows from the name of a Vandemonian of more-or-less fame (or notoriety) who represents some admirable quality which will hopefully animate the persona of Lushington D. Brady.

To read my previous articles click on my name in blue.

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