[First published December 22, 2005] When North Vietnam took over the South in 1974, they introduced re-education camps. Their purpose was to brainwash those who had lived under capitalism and an anti-communist government. First, camp leaders daily drilled into prisoners’ minds the evil of greedy, exploitive capitalism and the selfishness and self-centeredness of freedom. This was followed by drilling, drilling, and more drilling into prisoners’ cleansed minds the glories of the people’s democracy, and its selflessness, compassion, and real freedom. The prisoners had two choices: accept this or else.
Well, you may not have realized it, but we have our own re-education camps in the United States. Young people are practically forced into the camps if they want to be professionals in some field or get a good job and income. Once in the camps, these youths are required to submit to re-education sessions (called classes) led by those well selected for this purpose. As they move towards getting a signed release from the camps in four or more years, they are successively brainwashed of the mental pollution instilled by parents, and their capitalist, racist, homophobic, bigoted Christian, right wing conservative environment. And year-by-year they are re-educated into the left’s view of the world — socialism, secularism, moral relativism, rabid environmentalism, fanatical feminism, anti-anti-communism, pro-homosexuality, and finally, but not least, fervent anti-Americanism.
Before they get their release from these camps, students must undergo constant testing to assure their session leaders that their minds have been washed, dried, and ironed with the approved mental creases and folds. The students have two choices: accept this or else.
Such is the higher education system in the U.S.
What, I exaggerate? Tell that to the young conservative Democrat, Republican, or libertarian who has gone through four years in almost any university or college to see how well this re-education analogy holds true.
For those who attended college before the 60’s flower children, “anti-war”, and pro-Vietcong demonstrators took over higher education as faculty and administrators, and need additional evidence, this can be easily found on the Internet. Just some recent references: “Intellectual diversity hoax”, “What keeps conservatives out of academia?”, “College chiefs favored Kerry 2-to-1, poll finds”, “Jihad on Campus”. And here is one of a long line of formal studies, “College Faculties A Most Liberal Lot, Study Finds” When reading such reports, keep in mind that academic departments include mathematics, physics, chemistry, and those in the business and engineering schools. These are where the small percentage of conservatives come from. The social sciences and humanities departments, however, have virtually no conservatives or libertarians.
No informed reader can deny that the University now runs to the left; that the left owns and controls it. Why is this? It is because universities are inverted pyramids of power, quite unlike organizations outside this enclave. It is the faculty that decide the essential questions — who will be hired and fired, what courses will be taught, what grades will be given students, and what their recommendations will be. Moreover, faculty decide what students will be awarded teaching and research assistantships, and higher degrees. So as the faculty moved left, so did the university.
And the reason for this is that once leftists gradually got control over university departments, such as sociology, political science, anthropology, English, and history, they always could find a reason not to hire someone not loyal to their cause: he or she is “politically insensitive,” their research is “incompetent,” their scholarship is “lacking,” they would not “fit into our program,” or they are “anti-diversity.” Moreover, students who try to keep an open mind are soon taught to keep their ideas and questions to themselves. Leftist teachers and advisors approve and shape their term papers, MA thesis, and Ph.D. dissertation. Anyway, few lowly students have the ego to disagree with a full professor who may be well known and often cited in his field.
What to do? Any attempt to work inside these re-education camps is doomed to failure. Since administrators are generally drawn from the faculty, and therefore are often as leftist as the faculty, the left organize and control these camps. They will bloc, weaken, delay, and redefine any attempt to reduce their power. It must be done from the outside, by boards of regents, legislatures, alumni, and grant givers. I suggest that a first step is to abolish tenure, which assures the left its positions and stability, and in its place have a five-year contract system, with renewal.
Secondly, I subscribe to the Academic bill of rights, and believe it should be legislated for those camps receiving state funds, and established as a governing charter by boards of regents for private camps.
Third, these bodies should also establish an outside appeal system for faculty and students who believe they have been subject to ideological bias.
Finally, if students and the few non-liberal-left faculty there are would expose what is going on in their departments and courses, legislatures and board of regents would be encouraged to act. It is the great ignorance of the public as to how their tax or tuition dollars are being spent that enables these re-education camps to exist as they are.
And how will the leftist faculty attack all this? They will scream that this is “a direct right wing attack on academic freedom.” Yes, freedom for the left to run their re-education camps. Can’t give the same freedom to those “stupid, ignorant, immoral, fascist, and just plain wrong,” conservatives, you know.