The question posed is “why are we where we are”, a place of seemingly irrational activism where those who behave like fascists call others fascists and those who behave like racists call others racists.
Without doubt before the problem is resolved a solution must be found. This article will try and end with what may be the only solution left.
There can be many worlds in a person’s life but four of them would be the world of self, the virtual world, the imaginary world and finally the real world.
There many types of virus but three groupings are the biological virus, the virtual virus, and finally the ideological virus.
By far the most prevalent of activists recently are the 18 to 30 year age group.
When Labour vowed to raise participation in higher education they would have been aware of the socialist virus in educational institutions. When streptococcus infects the heart it is pumped around the body and will kill the host.
With biological viruses the education system is a breeding ground; so it is with the ideological virus.
This is not a tribal observation. It would be equally wrong if universities encouraged Creationism (Genesis 1-2) or men’s superiority over women (Qur’an 4.34). It would also be wrong for other political views to be favoured such as Anarchism or Autocracies.
The universities are pumping out infected graduates and dropouts every year at an increasing rate and at a higher level of indoctrination.
The normal expectations of higher education are not being met.
In formal education one would expect that the information and concepts conveyed relate to the real world. The other worlds are responses and for individuals to explore, in context. Those responses will drive a student’s development which must be unhindered by bias and indoctrination. Yet the system is creating a swathe of virtual signallers in their selfish worlds. Their perception of the real world has been distorted. This growing problem is a reaction to an unnatural environment.
Focus can be placed on the Administration and Faculty (AF) or the misguided actions of the students and of the Students Union (SU).
Are the ‘safe areas’ the ‘no platforming policy’, and the political correctness regime sanctioned by the AF for fear of the SU, or could it be the momentum and groupthink of the students themselves?
Initially political correctness may have been cultivated with a hidden agenda with the excuse of protecting the students. Has student behaviour now deteriorated to such a degree that the university administration feel compelled to impose political correctness to protect vulnerable students? Has a political virus coalesced within academia and the AF have merely become acquiescent to a vicious circle?
Who decides what is offensive? It has to be a subjective decision and made by the SU.
When we see the majority of university students against Brexit, supporting man-made global warming, at ease with gender self-identification, political correctness and white guilt, one wonders if we have financed a generation of emotionally fragile youth.
That may be a clue to the solution.
Either the AF is responsible for student behaviour or they are acquiescent. The students are either victims of manipulation or they are unwitting perpetrators. It is one, the other or both. The erosion of standards in universities is without doubt. There is a dichotomy between the freedoms and the protection of the young.
The problem has not been solved and there are various surveys that suggest both sides are at ease with the status quo. This would suggest both sides are culpable. To a majority of outsiders the perception is that young minds are not being taught ‘how’ to think but rather ‘what’ to think. We naturally assume that the AF are in charge. This may not be the case and the agenda may now be driven by the students.
The importance of critical analysis and independent thinking transcends safety and protection. The young should challenge the norms, but also challenge their own beliefs. The world is not a safe place and contrived ‘safe places’ in the academic environment is a misguided concept.
The principles of freedom of speech apply as equally anywhere in the world as they do here in the UK but we seem to pride ourselves that we have the most advanced and free society. That may now be an erroneous perception in this country
It would be cynical and naïve think that the fear and anxiety is not based on some truth, or that confusion in understanding events does not exist. Nothing it seems is black or white, there are not hard lines and definitions, but a fuzzy world of partial justification with pinches of truth in the potion that makes it easier to swallow.
Claiming ‘partial justification’ does not cut the ice when our freedoms, culture and history are at stake. Perhaps the time has come when the answer must be no.
Society has been going in the wrong direction for nearly 50 years. The evidence for our confusion can be found in the youth of our society.
Nothing will turn back the clock but the direction of movement should be drastically changed to bring society back to a healthy course.
That leads to possibly the only solution left – another radical change in a time of radical changes.
The universities must be defunded.
We have had enough of this souring of our society. All must enter the real world of hard work and responsibility.
The universities will not fail because of other incomes but they will get a huge shock from the defibrillator, and we will no longer be complicit in this ruinous saga.
Universities must be broken up.
The disciplines of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), now under threat, must be freed from association with Sociology and some of the dubious ‘studies’ for their own survival.
That would also suggest that the Humanities should be broken up. This virus must be challenged.
There must be radical uncompromising change.