Illiberal Education, by Dinesh D'Souza
This book—the most complete study we have had of the capture and degradation of higher education by the Left—received so much deserved attention prior to publication that its themes do not need much exposition. Excerpts appeared in periodicals as varied as the Atlantic, the American Scholar, and Forbes. Stories prompted by the book were published in all the newsweeklies. Its appearance caps a remarkable evolution of public opinion, in the now-widespread recognition that the universities have become engines of political indoctrination and control. This has, in fact, been true for about a quarter-century, but for various reasons, it has taken a long time to become evident, as is sometimes the case with malignancies. Whether this one can be treated, and at what cost to the patient, remains to be seen.
Illiberal Education opens with a chapter on what Dinesh D’Souza terms “the victim’s revolution.” Preferential policies in college admissions, for the presumed purpose of fostering ethnic diversity, have had the unwanted, although quite foreseeable, effects of disqualifying many able students—i.e., white males—on the grounds of race and sex, while admitting many students unable to keep up. Resentments build, and sooner or later explode in racial incidents, or at best are kept in check by de-facto self-segregation. In response, college administrations which long ago gave up the notion of in loco parentis about anything and everything, suddenly find that it has its uses after all, in suppressing sardonic and other untoward forms of speech. They promptly set up kangaroo courts to do so. But negative reinforcement is not quite enough, so virtuous thinking is further induced by mandatory education about the merits of diversity. Yet even that is not quite enough, so the curriculum is trashed and rebuilt. Welcome to Ceausescu U.
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