Universities in the 20th century were dedicated to the advancement of knowledge. Scholarship and research were pursued, and diverse opinions were exchanged and argued in the “marketplace of ideas.”
This is no longer the case. Particularly in the social sciences, humanities, education, social work, and law, a single political ideology has replaced scholarship and research, because the ideology presents fixed answers to all questions. And, although the most important thing in universities today is the diversity of race, gender, sexual practice, ethnicity, economic class, and physical and mental capability, there is no longer diversity of opinion. Only those committed to the ideology are admitted to academic staff or administration.
Universities have been transformed by the near-universal adoption of three interrelated theories: postmodernism, postcolonialism, and social justice. These theories and their implications will be explored here.
There Is No Truth; Nothing Is Good or Bad
Postmodernism: In the past, academics were trained to seek truth. Today, academics deny that there is such a thing as objective Truth. Instead, they argue that no one can be objective, that everyone is inevitably subjective, and consequently everyone has their own truth. The correct point of view, they urge, is relativism. This means not only that truth is relative to the subjectivity of each individual, but also that ethics and morality are relative to the individual and the culture, so there is no such thing as Good and Evil, or even Right and Wrong. So too with the ways of knowing; your children will learn that there is no objective basis for preferring chemistry over alchemy, astronomy over astrology, or medical doctors over witch doctors. They will learn that facts do not exist; only interpretations do.
All Cultures Are Equally Good; Diversity Is Our Strength
Our social understanding has also been transformed by postmodern relativism. Because moral and ethical principles are deemed to be no more than the collective subjectivity of our culture, it is now regarded as inappropriate to judge the principles and actions of other cultures. This doctrine is called “cultural relativism.” For example, while racism is held to be the highest sin in the West, and slavery the greatest of our historical sins, your children will learn that we are not allowed to criticize contemporary racism and slavery in Africa, the Middle East, and the equivalents in South Asia.
The political manifestation of cultural relativism is multiculturalism, an incoherent concept that projects the integration of multiple incompatible cultures. Diversity is lauded as a virtue in itself. Imagine a country with fifty different languages, each derived from a different culture. That would not be a society, but a tower of babble. How would it work if there were multiple codes of law requiring and forbidding contrary behaviors: driving on the left and driving on the right; monogamy and polygamy; male dominance and gender equality; arranged marriage and individual choice? Your children will learn that our culture is nothing special and that other cultures are awesome.
The West Is Evil; The Rest Are Virtuous
Postcolonialism, the dominant theory in the social sciences today, is inspired by the Marxist-Leninist theory of imperialism, in which the conflict between the capitalist and proletariat classes is allegedly exported to the exploitation of colonized countries. By this means, the theory goes, oppression and poverty take place in colonies instead of in relation to the metropolitan working class. Postcolonialism posits that all of the problems in societies around the world today are the result of the relatively short Western imperial dominance and colonization. For example, British imperialism is blamed for what are in fact indigenous cultures, such as the South Asian caste system and the African tribal system. So too, problems of backwardness and corruption in countries once, decades ago, colonies continue to be blamed on past Western imperialism. The West is thus the continuing focus on anti-imperialist and anti-colonialist sentiment. Your children will learn that our society is evil, and the cause of all the evil in the wider world.
Only the West Was Imperialist and Colonialist
This ahistorical approach of postcolonialism ignores the hundreds of empires and their colonies throughout history, as well as ignoring contemporary empires, such as the Arab Muslim Empire that conquered all of the central Middle East, North Africa, southern Europe, Persia, Central Asia, and northern India, and occupied them minimally for hundreds of years, but 1400 years in the central Middle East and North Africa, and occupy them today. China, once the Communists took power, invaded Inner Mongolia to the north, Chinese Turkestan to the west, and Tibet to the south. Once in control, the government flooded these colonies with Han Chinese, in effect ethnically cleansing them. Postcolonialists have nothing to say about any of this; they wish to condemn exclusively the West. Your children will learn to reject history and comparisons with other societies, lest the claimed unique sins of the West be challenged.
Western Imperialism Was a Racist Project
Postcolonialists like to stress the racial dimension of Western imperialism: as an illustration of racism. But postmodernists are not interested in Arab slave raiding in “black” Africa, or Ottoman slaving among the whites in the Balkans, or the North Africans slave raiding of whites in Europe, from Ireland through Italy and beyond. Your children will learn that only whites are racist.
Israeli Colonialists Are White Supremacists
A remarkable example of this line of thinking is the characterization of Israel as a settler colonialist, white supremacist, apartheid society Allegedly white Israelis are oppressing Palestinian people of color. The (non-postmodern) facts make this a difficult argument to sustain. As is well established by all evidence, Jewish tribes and kingdoms occupied Judea and Samaria for a thousand years before the Romans invaded and fought war after imperial war against the indigenous Jews, and then enslaved or exiled most of them, renaming the land “Palestine.” Then, five centuries later, the Arabs from Arabia invaded and conquered Palestine, going on to conquer half of the world. The Jews returned to “Palestine” after 1400 years; most were refugees or stateless, so not colonists from a metropolis. Almost half of Israelis are Jewish Arabs thrown out of Arab countries, not to mention the Ethiopian and Indian Jews. Furthermore, Arab Muslims and Christians make up 21% of Israeli citizens. So to characterize multicolored Israelis as “whites” oppressing “Palestinian people of color’ is an imaginary distinction.
Canadian? You Have No Right to Stolen Native Land
If indigenous Jews are deemed to have no claim to their ancient homeland, then Euro-Canadians, Asian Canadians, African Canadians, and Latin Canadians are colonialist settlers without even an excuse. You have stolen Native land. The only moral course, according to postcolonialism, is to give everything back. At the very least, in order for “decolonization” to be implemented, the First Nations must be ranked above the interloping settlers, must be given special preference in all benefits, the law must make special exceptions for them. First nations must receive ongoing grants, pay no taxes, be given special reserved places in universities and government offices, and they have a veto over any public policy and be ceremonially bowed to at every public event.
As we are guided by postcolonialism rather than by human rights, we can disregard the human right of equal treatment before the law. That is just a rule of foreign settlers anyway. And the cities and industries and institutions built by the settlers, so the decolonialization story goes, really should belong to the natives, even though they lived in simple settlements or were nomads, depending upon simple shelters, with limited hunting or cultivating subsistence economies. There was no civil peace among the many Native bands and tribes, with raiding, enslavement, torture, and slaughter common.
White Men Are Evil; Women of Color Are Virtuous
Social justice theory teaches that the world is divided between oppressors and victims. Some categories of people are oppressors and other are victims: males are oppressors, and females are victims; whites are oppressors, and people of color are victims; heterosexuals are oppressors, and gays, lesbians, bisexual, etc. are victims; Christians and Jews are oppressors, and Muslims are victims. Your sons will learn that they are stigmatized by their toxic masculinity.
Individuals Are Not Important; Only Category Membership Is
Social justice theory has taken university life by storm. It is the result of the relentless working of Marxist theory, adopted by youngsters during the American cultural revolution of the 1960s, then brought to universities as many of those youngsters became college professors. Marxism as an academic theory was explicitly followed by some in the 1970s and 1980s, but it did not sweep everything else away, because the idea economic class conflict was not popular in the prosperous general North American population. The cultural Marxist innovation that brought social justice theory to dominance was the extension of class conflict from economics to gender, race, sexual practice, ethnicity, religion, and other mass categories. We see this in sociology, which is no longer defined as the study of society but has for decades been defined as the study of inequality. For social justice theory, equality is not the equality of opportunity that is the partner of merit, but rather equality of result, which ensures the members of each category at equality of representation irrespective of merit. Your sons will learn that they should “step aside” to give more space and power to females. Your daughters, if white, will learn that they must defer to members of racial minorities.
Justice Is Equal Representation According to Percentages of the Population
As there is allegedly structural discrimination against all members of victim categories, in order for equality of result to prevail, representation according to percentages of populations must be mandated in all organizations, in all books assigned or references cited, in all awards and benefits. Ideas such as merit and excellence are dismissed as white-male supremacist dog whistles; they are to be replaced by “diversity” of gender, race, sexual preference, ethnicity, economic class, religion, and so on. (Note that “diversity” does not include “diversity of opinion”; for only social justice ideology is acceptable. Any criticism or opposition is regarded as “hate speech.”) Academic committees now twist themselves into pretzels trying to explain that “diversity is excellence.”
Members of Oppressor Categories Must Be Suppressed
Of course, the requirement of representation according to population applies only one way: to members of victim classes. If whites, men, heterosexuals, Christians, etc. are underrepresented, that is fine; the fewer the better. For example, females now make up 60% of university graduates, although in the general age cohort males are 51%. There is no social justice clamoring for males to be fully represented. Members of disfavored oppressor categories are disparaged. The classics of Western civilization should be ignored because they are the work, almost exclusively, of “dead white men.” Only works of females, people of color and non-Western authors should be considered virtuous. So too in political history. The American Constitution should be discarded because its writers were slaveholders.
Victims of The World Unite!
“intersectionality” is an idea invented by a feminist law professor. It argues that some individuals fall into several victim categories, for example, black, female lesbians have three points in the victim stakes, as opposed to male members of the First Nations who receive only one point. Further, on the action front, members of each victim category are urged to unite and ally with members of other victim categories, because sharing the victim designation is the most important status in the world. This leads to some anomalies. Black victims of racism are urged to unite with Arab victims of colonialism, even though Arabs have been and still are holders of black slaves.
Female victims of sexism are urged to support Palestinian victims of “white” colonialism, even though Palestinian women have always been and continue to be subordinated to men, and are subjected to a wide range of abuse. Your children will learn that to be accepted, they must assume victim status or become champions of victims, and ally with other victims.
Being Educated Is About Being on The Right Side
As Karl Marx said, “The philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways. The point, however, is to change it.” The objective of a university education today is to ensure that students chose “the right side” in changing the world. The idea that it probably makes sense to try to understand the world before attempting to change it, is rejected as outmoded, modernist empiricism and realism, now superseded by postmodernism and social justice. If there is no Truth, and whatever one feels or believes is one’s truth, then trying to gain an objective understanding of the world is futile. Anyway, Marxist social justice offers all the answers anyone needs, so no inquiry or serious research is required. Be confident that at university your children will learn “the right side” to be on, if little else.