Legislatures, It’s Time to Defund Universities

May 5, 2021 Updated: May 10, 2021

Commentary

Our universities have been uniformly corrupted by neo-Marxist political ideology. They no longer teach the great wealth of knowledge of Western Civilization, or engage in research to advance that knowledge. Instead, they indoctrinate their students in “postmodern” nihilism, postcolonial anti-West vilification, and identity politics of sexism and racism.

Postmodernism teaches that there’s no truth objectively reflecting the nature of the world and its inhabitants. Rather, it teaches that all ideas are subjective, so that each person can have his or her “own truth.” This supposedly being the case, the academic requirement that ideas be supported by logical argument and by demonstrable evidence is no longer applicable.

Postcolonial theory teaches that the world was a lovely, friendly, and fair place before evil Western imperialists spread around the world to conquer harmless peoples, enslave them, and oppress them. All the problems of the world and its peoples thus derive, so says postcolonial theory, from the ill deeds of Western imperialists and colonialists. For example, the United States and Canada have no legitimacy as states or societies, because they stole their land from indigenous people and engaged in genocide against indigenous people. That’s why “anticolonial” struggles should undertake to return these countries and everything that their inhabitants built to the indigenous peoples.

Slavery, now taught as having been invented by the evil United States in 1619, is a special evil that now requires that the country be turned over to “people of color,” especially the great-great-grandchildren of slaves, and even those who aren’t citizens but who illegally flood into the country over the open border. The genocide of indigenous peoples and the enslavement of people of color are the double sins of the United States, which must be viewed as entirely illegitimate, and must devote itself entirely to recompense for people of color.

“Social justice” theory requires “equity” for justice, with “equity” being defined as equal results in education, occupation, economics, and office holding, for collective genders, races, sexualities, and ethnicities, although greater than equal results are fine for preferred categories. “Critical race” theory shows the way by adopting the Marxist “class struggle” theory and dividing the world into oppressive races and victim races, oppressive genders and victim genders, oppressive sexualities and victim sexualities, and oppressive ethnicities and victim ethnicities.

I don’t want to keep you in suspense about who is who: whites are oppressors and people of color are victims; males are oppressors and females are victims; heterosexuals and those clinging to their birth sex are oppressors and LGBTQ++ are victims; Christians and Jews are oppressors and Muslims are victims. According to “social justice” theory, who is good and who is evil is very clear: oppressors are evil and victims are good.

That’s what’s taught in universities today, and only what is taught. There are no alternative perspectives allowed. Universities have a monoculture from which students and professors may not deviate. Every university has scores or hundreds of “diversity and inclusion” officers who enforce conformity to “social justice” ideology and punish deviants. “Academic freedom,” we’re told, must be limited to supporting “diversity, equity, and inclusion.”

No one is hired or promoted without having declared loyalty to the trinity of “social justice.”

As there’s no longer a search for truth, and everyone is deemed to have their “own truth,” no evidence is ever demanded to support these neo-Marxist ideologies. For example, many of the claims of “racism” refer to statistical disparities, i.e., the greater number of members of one category in a particular job, or admitted to universities, or having a higher salary. The inference is then made that any disparity must be the result of gender or racial discrimination, and this assertion must be taken as absolute truth (even though they don’t believe in truth). But no evidence of such discrimination is ever presented, because there is no such discrimination.

Statistical disparities can be explained by many other factors: differences in personal preferences; differences in levels of educational achievement; differences in family structure, such as two-parent families; differences in community cultures in regard to education; and differences in crime and social pathologies.

“Social justice” theory claims that American and Canadian societies are “systemically racist” and “patriarchal.” This claim, originally by race activists inside and outside universities, has now been adopted by the American Democratic government and the Canadian Liberal government, the heritage and mainstream media, big tech platforms, business and industry, the K–12 school system, and the military. The cause of this racism and sexism is alleged to be “white male supremacism,” which suppresses and oppresses all females and “people of color.” Inside and outside of universities, males and the “white race” are vilified, thus demeaning and condemning the supermajority of citizens of the United States and Canada.

It’s puzzling, in terms of this “white male supremacism” account, how it is that for 50 years, females and black citizens have been given preferential treatment and special benefits under government policies of “affirmative action.” And under “diversity, equity, and inclusion” mandates from the government on down, not only do females and people of color receive special consideration, but so do LGBTQ++, Hispanics (designated by the wokerati as “Latinx”), Muslims, and, in the many sanctuary states and universities, illegal aliens.

As for “white supremacism” oppressing “people of color” to maintain their control and “privilege,” how do we explain that the most successful people—educationally, economically, and professionally—in the United States are Asians? And that African and black Caribbean immigrants are as or more successful on average than whites? The evidence refutes the claim of “systemic racism.”

Neo-Marxist ideological poison spreads from university graduates to schools via radical departments and faculties of education, from university graduates to the media, high tech, business, and beyond, from law and medical schools to the professions, and finally arrives in legislatures and government officials, as we see today in America’s Democratic and Canada’s Liberal administrations.

From the poisoned well, all of our institutions are polluted.

Our most representative institutions are state and provincial legislatures. They’re closest to the citizens and tend to be most sensitive to public opinion. Citizens generally don’t agree with claims of systemic racism, and disagree with policies based on race hate and gender hate, and disagree with fighting imagined discrimination with real discrimination. State and provincial legislatures are the funders of public universities and school systems, and subsidizers of private universities. They’re in a position and have a duty to be the antidote to the poison that has infected our institutions.

Universities that are past reform should be defunded until they return to their educational mission. State and provincial departments of education should be revamped to ensure diversity of opinion. Schools should be defunded until they’re rid of racist and sexist ideologies. Our future depends on state and provincial legislatures proactively providing the antidote.

Philip Carl Salzman is professor emeritus of anthropology at McGill University, senior fellow at the Frontier Centre for Public Policy, fellow at the Middle East Forum, and president of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.