The success of the “progressive” project of taking over America’s educational institutions is evident from the fact that these institutions are now dominated by authoritarians who like to punish anyone who happens to displease them. Even the slightest, most innocent deviation from wokeness is apt to lead to severe consequences.
One such event recently occurred at the University of Michigan, when a professor showed the film of Othello, where Sir Laurence Olivier appeared with his face darkened. Some nasty students saw a chance to make the professor suffer.
In today’s Martin Center article, Garion Frankel explains why “Woke Universities are Rousseau’s Children.”
American colleges and universities are gripped by a new civil religion of “woke” beliefs. Frankel writes that, “The primary philosophical source for this civil religion is Jean-Jaques Rousseau. While the founding fathers largely rejected Rousseau, educators and curriculum designers love him. Rousseau was far from an anti-racist, but his predilection for censorship and authoritarian behavior make him a patron saint for modern social movements.”
Rousseau favored censorship of views that went against his fuzzy idea of The General Will. Similarly, today’s campus radicals think themselves entitled to silence anyone who dissents from their belief system.
The American philosopher whom we should look to instead, argues Frankel, is Thomas Paine: “Fortunately, Americans have their own philosopher to battle Rousseau and the academics who emulate his censors. Nobody could think to accuse Thomas Paine of authoritarianism or dictatorship. The man was as committed to democracy as they come. More importantly, Paine was an ardent defender of free thought and expression—in education and elsewhere.”
Let’s counteract Rousseau’s authoritarianism with Paine’s liberalism.
Source : https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/intolerant-people-now-control-our-campuses/360