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Sunday, March 29, 2015

Rex Murphy: The modern university risks becoming a cocoon of self-indulgence and anti-intellectualism

We went from "risk becoming" to "are" about 20 years ago, but otherwise, some fine insight by Rex Murphy:

...Literally, you could multiply the instances of silly thinking and foolish actions by the hundredfold that now burden universities across the West, as the institutions that have carried the light of intellect from the earliest days of Athens, through the Renaissance, right to our present day, have surrendered to every passing fad and fancy of ever-more trivial and mentally bankrupt causes. Such as the Occupy the Syllabus farce at the University of California at Berkeley, which lamented the presence of such feeble intellects as Socrates, Aristotle, Hobbes, Locke and Hegel in a course, they being that terrible triune of white, dead and male.

What is more dismal than the modern campus, with its litany of “safe spaces,” its protection from offence, its bleats about micro-aggressions, the chatter of white privilege and the spate of hysteria over the “rape culture?” The new model of the university risks becoming a cocoon of self-indulgence and actual anti-intellectualism. Administrators, in particular, take a craven posture before any challenge that might land them in the minefields of identity or gender politics...

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