Money Won't Fix Our Corrupted Education System
What has been allowed to transpire in our education system, from grade one through to post-secondary, should constitute a crime. Not only is it a slap in the face to have the gall to refer to a system that contains only the musings of a single political ideology an "education", but it’s also an absolute disgrace to democracy to have curriculums reflect only one political party’s aims. It took far too long, but it would appear that the mainstream right, both American and Canadian, have now become privy to the goings-on in our education system and are prepared to do something about it. There have been several prominent people speaking out about the ideological stronghold of the radical left within the education system, people who have been instrumental in bringing the problem of a one-party system to light. But their proposed solution, while a laudable start, will not in and of itself fix the problem.
Conservative Party leader, Andrew Scheer’s recent statements regarding universities finally addresses this long overdue issue. As you are likely aware, Scheer plans to “withhold federal grants from universities that won’t respect a diversity of viewpoints.” His most recent email to Conservative Party subscribers tells us the usual, that universities should be bastions of free speech and freedom of thought. He calls for diversity of opinions of belief, and agrees with the bulk of us, that speakers invited to campuses, who hold controversial or even just alternative points of view, should not fall victim to the protestor’s veto. Something tells me, however, that rather than the occasional guest speaker serving as a genuine alternative to students, professors will use their rare and random appearances as real-life examples to students of how not to think. Scheer’s plan to withhold funds from universities will not solve our problem. I acknowledge it’s a start, and I hope he carries it forward and wish him success in doing so, but it isn’t enough.
Now prominent academic, Jordan Peterson, has said similar things as Scheer regarding university funding, proposing to “cut the university funding by 25% until they sort themselves out”. Peterson’s belief being that useless and politicized disciplines like Women’s Studies or African Studies will be the departments put on the chopping block. It should be said, that it was Peterson himself who labelled these fields as “activist disciplines” and given their powerful manifestations in the real world, its questionable whether or not these disciplines would in fact face an axe. These disciplines, after all, teach a science of revolutionary strategy, get their students to raise public consciousness on social media, i.e. recruit members, and teach Alinsky-style protest tactics. Not only have the meek and mild mathematics or physics professors not been preparing for political battle their whole careers, they are additionally outnumbered by the activist professors in the humanities. I’ll leave it to you to determine which disciplines would be privileged if universities were forced to reallocate funding.
Peterson had also suggested on the Joe Rogan podcast, that parents send their children to trade schools instead of university, accurately describing universities in their current form as “doing more harm than good.” This is a particularly appalling suggestion, as not only does it avoid the problem all together, but it disadvantages the individuals who are steered towards the trades. We all know that university degrees predict a higher income in the workforce, but are additionally required for careers that shape the future of this country. Money is power, but so too are the careers that a university degree provides, whether that’s public office, law or journalism. To take our own children out of the political fight and disadvantage them monetarily is a sure-fire way for the political right to lose, it also hurts our children as individuals, something I don’t see as a viable option at all. While I could be wrong, I also have a sneaking suspicion that Peterson won’t be pushing his son to become a welder, nor his own daughter to become a day-care owner.
Both Dr. Peterson and Andrew Scheer are trapped in seeing the solution to this problem as solely economic, which is interesting when we consider that those in positions of power within the education system aren’t motivated by money. Sure, they enjoy the consumer goods that money provides all of us, but higher salaries aren’t their end game. Should they be successful in bringing their utopia to bear, salaries wouldn’t exist, instead each would provide within their ability and receive in accordance to their need. The humanities professor isn’t motivated by money, but by ideology, and that’s exactly why economics alone, won’t solve this issue. Cutting funding is only the beginning.
There are solutions to this problem that exist outside of economics. While I have some suggestions, which I will detail below, they are only a springboard. We on the right, need to be open to any proposed solutions that could help return our schools to their original purpose, namely providing an actual education. In that regard, we shouldn’t see Scheer or Peterson’s proposals as solutions to this problem, they are instead the beginning of a series of steps that need to be taken.
Firstly, we need to push for a reformed curriculum in each province, for grades one through to grade twelve, and not let up until we get it. While open for debate and discussion, I propose that this curriculum purposely identify materials based on their political affiliation. It would ensure that children knew political streams of thought, their tenants, and could accurately identify the political affiliation of an author. We would require that children read excerpts of writings from all across the political spectrum on all issues. This means that our children would simultaneously be taught that anthropogenic climate change was real and not real. It would mean our children would be taught concurrently that the West was a force for good in the world, and also the sole source of historical wrongs and evil. It would ensure that a teacher would raise an issue and specifically ask, “What would a Marxist say about this? A Conservative? A Libertarian? A Classical Liberal?” It is only through teaching our children who is speaking, what axioms they hold and what the speaker desires, that our children can defend against their own values and thwart indoctrination. A political affiliation held by default isn’t a true choice. Nor is hearing only the musings of one political affiliation a true education. This curriculum would ensure that come election time, our newly turned eighteen-year-olds would think a little harder about which box they put an ‘x’ in.
I’ve long believed that if our children had been educated properly, the problems we’re now facing with universities wouldn’t exist. If our children showed up, knew the politics behind what was being taught, could spot indoctrination, and knew there existed many sides to an issue, these Marxist and Post-Modernist Professors would have been laughed into submission long ago. Instead, our children have been rendered intellectually weak, hearing only one side of an issue, having certain things taught as axiomatic and non-negotiable, and having no working knowledge of history. To give a tangible example, the pursuit of equality of outcome has brought the world more than 100 million deaths. Our children sadly, however, know more about the founding mothers of feminism than the crimes of Mao or Stalin. It’s been by conscientious design that this has been the case, and it’s had real-world results. An American Enterprise Institute poll showed that 32% of millennials truly believed more people died under George W. Bush than Stalin. This ignorance opens the door for the creation of public policy based on the same belief system that will produce similar carnage.
It's harsh, and it’s unfortunate that we’ve arrived at this place, but going forward, we need to consider disciplinary action against teachers who privilege one politics above another, or teach only one side of an issue. It should go without saying that a student should not be able to ascertain the political affiliation of their teacher.
Also, it needs to be said, specifically to the conservatives in our readership, that everything is either political or eligible to be politicized. To those who suggest our education systems should solely focus on the basics of math, science and bare-bones history, and leave political issues aside to be taught by parents, I invite you to think of how we arrived at this mess in the first place. It is a conservative instinct to keep things simple, but more importantly, to avoid things. I’m suggesting to you that we can no longer run and no longer avoid these things. If we are not the vanguard in instituting a fair and balanced curriculum, someone else will be, and we won’t be able to guarantee its fairness. As the adage goes, any organization that isn’t explicitly right-wing will become left-wing in time. Here, I am proposing we politicize in favour of all parties and affiliations, so our education system does not again fall victim solely to one party.
Secondly, we need to legislate the hiring practices of universities. There has been a myriad of writings to explain the disproportionate existence of left-wing professors to right-wing professors in academia. One explanation has been that we make alternative career choices, that conservatives run or create businesses, and leftists, being more creative and expressive, naturally gravitate towards the Ivory Tower so they can orate and write. There have been writings to say how bad right-wing professors are treated, how they need to remain closeted to get ahead in their careers, and other writings that suggest, in fact, they don’t have it so bad. We cannot know for sure which is truly the case, and certainly the reception of right-wing academics is situational and varies on an individual basis. That said, if we have made peace with holding open first-year law school seats for First Nations people, and attempt to accept an equal number of males and females into university programs, we should hold the same affirmative action-esque standards for university hiring practices. As long as universities are going to be publicly funded, or partially publicly funded, they need to operate within the public’s interest. It may come as a shock to a humanities professor, but the populace consists of people who hold views from all over the political spectrum.
Hiring quotas, however, are something that would ultimately benefit our children more than the individual professors themselves. Not only would it be beneficial to hear counter arguments and differing opinions, it would allow for students who wish to continue with their educations do so without suffering their beliefs.
Ask yourselves this, would you actually be able to be a supervisor for a Master’s thesis on how the rape rate on campus is not in fact 1 in 5, and how the falsification of statistics of this type are used to further the trend of what I call the Glorification of Victimhood? Would I be able to find a supervisor if I reached the conclusion, after research, that Christianity, on the whole, had been a force for good in the world? The answer is no, because there exists only a negligible numbers of right-wing academics. The reason I got A’s in my undergrad was because I chose to make every project and paper a repeat of the Sokal affair. It’s sad that one has to suffer their own thoughts and research in order to navigate our education system, whether student or professor. Requiring that universities hold open positions for an equal number of professors on both the left and the right, would ensure that not only would there be a chance to take a class that teaches material counter to Progressive dogma, but additionally, that students on the political right could actually have the opportunity to continue with their academic careers (Masters, PhD, law school, etc.) without fear of mistreatment, or without suffering their views or research to appease a Marxist, as there would exist professors on the political right.
Despite writings to the contrary, the political right do not get jobs as academics if they take positions counter to the usual tenants of Progressivism. If they can hide themselves long enough to get in, straying only slightly from the hard left’s tenants will find them facing severe backlash or even joblessness. If you doubt this, I invite you to look into the case of Tom Flannigan’s comments surrounding child porn, Jordan Peterson’s critiques of the Gender Identity movement and the legislation relating to the same, the treatment of feminists like Christina Hoff-Sommers or Janice Fiamengo, and so on and so forth. This is the new Old Boy’s Club and you either belong or you don’t. Unfortunately for them, the above listed professors, in addition to many others, have been ousted. It should also be said that not only do professors receive good pay, and at times achieve fame and notoriety, but they more importantly play an unbelievable role in shaping public policy. If the political right (or even people on the moderate left) do not find a competing voice within the system, we will continue to see laws and regulations instituted that are solely in the interest of the hard left.