Oaths to Diversity. Mobs of filled-diaper students raging with demands. Academics thrown off cliffs by their vice-signalling brothers. De-platforming. Cowardly administrators. Craven professors. Social justice warriors. Student evaluations rated by inclusion. Studies degrees. Exorbitant student loans. Assistant Deans. Trigger warnings. Professors exiled for consorting with the wrong sort. Atheist theologians.
It goes on and on and gets worse and worse. No amount of publicity, exposure, teasing, or threats have made a dent in a ever-leftward slide into tyranny and ideology. Or into slowing an ever-burgeoning administration. Administrators now actually believe universities are theirs, and not the professors’.
“C’mon, Briggs. It’s bad in some places, sure. You’re only focusing on the negative, though. Math and science are doing fine.”
No, they’re not. They’re just being attacked last. Quotas are already in place. We have feminist math, queering physics, math education——
“Bull. There is no such thing as queering physics. Don’t exaggerate.”
Uh huh. “Teaching Queering Physics An Agenda for Research and Practice” in STEM of Desire. And “Queering Science for All Probing Queer Theory in Science Education.” How about a list of astronomers who have publicly revealed their enjoyment of sodomy?
Don’t stop me now. “Physics of Blackness: Beyond the Middle Passage Epistemology“, “Queering Architecture“, Queer mathematics, “Gender parity and queer awareness needed in mathematics“, “Mathematical Inqueery“, “Queering Critical Literacy and Numeracy for Social Justice: Navigating the—”
“Okay, okay, I get it. But——”
But me no buts. Have you ever spent a half hour browsing New Real Peer Review? Right now, right at the top, “Caravan Poetry: An Inquiry on Four Wheels“. Says “Through this inquiry into a new spatiotemporality for our research encounters, we experienced how the caravan offers a rupture from the mundane ongoingness enabling us to reconnect to the moment…” blah blah blah. By a person in the Department of Business Studies.
It never stops. It never slows. It grows, grows, grows.
It is true good chunks of students don’t experience the worst of this. They manage to get their “degree”, and, saddled with enormous debt, they escape with most of their reason intact. Yet there is no sense this is getting better. The infection spreads.
Most of the faculty in every department, at most places, is progressive. The balance between progressives and Realists never turns in the direction of Realists. (You know you’re a Realist if you agree with John Henry Newman that theology is the queen of sciences.) There are fields more closely aligned with Reality than others, such as physics and math. The progressive professor in these areas can turn against his belief, acknowledge Reality, and do good work. This becomes increasingly difficult the more important ideology becomes. Mentioning this sort of thing is enough to get you kicked out of the academy.
Money washes over universities like waves at high tide in hurricanes. This ensures “research” continues to be done, and will continue in those areas in which the government demands results.
Universities need not be places of research. There are two mistakes in thinking here. One, that “research” must be done at universities, and two, that professors should do research. Both damage education for (what we call now) undergraduates.
Yes, doctoral trainees should apprentice under masters of research, but this need not take place at institutions which also house the young. The overhead, the huge wad of cash tacked onto research funds, is being put to ill use by administrators in their corruption of education.
The requirement that professors who teach the young must publish or perish causes the propagation and great surge of nonsense. Those who profess who have something important to say about Reality are morally obliged to say it. It follows that those who have nothing interesting to say, or those who shun Reality, should keep quiet. (Claude Shannon: “A few first-rate research papers are preferable to a large number that are poorly conceived or half-finished. The latter are no credit to their writers and a waste of time to their readers.” I confess guilt here.)
But they don’t keep quiet, and they can’t. To gain the job and the keep it, they are required to issue a constant stream of mush, the mere bulk serving to appear as if something important is happening.
Again, there is no sense any of this is going away or that anything internal can fix the situation. Therefore, if Reality is going to be preserved and passed, which was the original intent of the university, we must conjure something external.
Which brings us back to the idea of a loose confederacy of scholars, a sort of open secret, an organization without legal standing or possessing money, for if it had either, then the enemy would use the law to suppress it. Other successful Reality-based underground movements might be our model. It has to be beholden to a higher, nay, ultimate authority.
The need for such a movement does not appear pressing to most. We have not reached bottom in regular universities, and, history being what it is, the bottom may never come, and thus effort spent thinking of fixes will be wasted.
On the other hand, if we wait until the end, the fix will be infinitely more difficult.