Mein Kampus

College has long been bigoted toward conservatives.  We have all seen it in the elevation of relatively untalented radical Leftists like Angela Davis, Ward Churchill, and William Ayers to professorships while genuine conservative scholars like Newt Gingrich were denied tenure.  David Horowitz has built an entire organization simply to defend the individual rights of students against bullying by radical professors (professors, some of  whom in their day overran college administration buildings and intimidated the campus faculty.)

The Leftist tilt of academia is an old story -- a very old story.  As early as 1924, James Collins in the Saturday Evening Post was warning of the "spread of radicalism in our colleges." Edwin Hadley in 1932 wrote:

"It is a singular thing that college authorities who stress the fact that students should hear every side of every question generally take the precaution of having the radical side predominate... One of the favorite methods of the radical professors is what is called the ‘insinuating method.'  The words, Socialism and Communism, are carefully avoided.  The professor moves by indirection.  Skillfully, he presents his subject in such a way that the pupil thinks he is making up his own mind without the professor's influence."  

Hadley also notes that the president of the University of Missouri was fired for trying to dismiss two radical professors.  Eighty years ago the persistent push to the Left in college education being studied and discussed.

The ideological straightjacket of our campuses grew progressively worse over time.  In 1975, Victor Hickem wrote: 

"By 1970 the conservative point of view had virtually vanished from the American university scene...By 1968, academic liberalism reached the position that no applicant for a faculty job could be considered unless he or she possessed the standard precepts of liberal ideology...Distinguished conservative professors were forced to suffer indignities in silence.  Sometimes ‘unpersons' to their colleagues, they failed to match the promotions and salary increases of liberal and conforming colleagues."  

Anyone who endured college life then, as I did, can confirm the utter intolerance of conservative thought in academia.  I thought that I could not be shocked any more by the Stalinist mindset on college campuses.  I was wrong.

My wife's friend, a middle aged woman going back to school to get a degree in Criminal Justice, took a course entitled "Ethics and Criminal Justice."  She lives in a very conservative community in a very conservative state.  The university she attends would never be considered a hotbed for radicals.  Her course of study is not political science, sociology, psychology or some other field which may naturally attract idealistic Leftists.  She rather took a course in criminal justice, more of a hard-line conservative discipline.

So imagine my surprise when she shared with me "Course Paper / Fall 2008" instructions.  The mandatory topic of this paper was the firing of U.S. Attorneys by the Attorney General.  The "Bush White House" is accused of using the Justice Department to suppress voter turnout (perhaps this professor never heard of ACORN registering Mickey Mouse and household pets to vote in presidential elections, or perhaps this is not an ethical problem.)

The professor's written instructions harangue students to rely upon facts, not political opinions, in writing the paper and to use at least fifteen different sources.  All sources, however, were not equal.   Three of those fifteen sources were required to come out of the New York Times; five of those sources were required to come out of the Washington Post;   two of those sources had to be the Guardian.  Ten of the fifteen mandatory sources, in other words, had to come from periodicals rabidly hostile to President Bush.   Three of the citations had to come from articles by Dana Priest of the Washington Post.  But that was not all.  No credit at all would be given for using sources that "have a reputation within the news industry for distributing their own political views at the expense of the facts, e.g. Fox News." 

The shocking thing about all this is that no one reading it is probably shocked at all.  The creeping Leftist totalitarianism in academia is so ubiquitous and so mundane that when it appears in a discipline not thought to be overflowing with nutty Leftists, like Criminal Justice, we yawn.  We students are told to do a "research paper" which explicitly directs them to sources that they must use and sources that they must not use, we shrug in indifferent despair. 

Our colleges have adopted the same attitude toward intellectual inquiry and scholarly objectivity that colleges in the Soviet Union and in Nazi Germany.  The Communist Party in the Soviet Union demanded, for example, that biologists use the fantastically silly theories of Lysenko, and those who did not ended up in the Gulag.  The Nazi Party insisted that colleges use Nazi racial theories in every area of study, and with very few exceptions, the professors of Germany nodded in agreement.   

Is Mein Kampus a more descriptive term for many colleges in America today? Once politically correct thinking was limited to those disciplines which deal directly with politics.  Today biologists must have politically correct views on Darwinism, geologists must have politically correct views on global warming, and criminal justice professors must have politically correct views on President Bush. 

A recent Zogby poll of Obama voters found disturbing (and controversial) results.  These voters knew almost nothing at all, and that is hardly an exaggeration.  I wonder how many of these voters graduated from college?  I wonder how many of them teach at our colleges?  I wonder how many of them spent their formative adult years in the bowels of Mein Kampus?

Bruce Walker is the author of two books:  Sinisterism: Secular Religion of the Lie, and his recently published book, The Swastika against the Cross: The Nazi War on Christianity.
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