The whingeous right

12 03 2008

The Liberal Party’s two-party preferred vote has dropped to 37%, its leader enjoys the support of 7% of the population, and its youth wing has decided that the most pressing issue facing the nation today is the fact that not all academics share the political views of the Young Liberals:

NATALIE Karam, a second-year university law student, recently changed classes because she was so uncomfortable about the ideological stance of one of her lecturers.Hers is the kind of story the federal branch of the Young Liberals wants to hear about as it launches a nationwide campaign to stamp out bias in education, under the slogan “Education, Not Indoctrination”.

The organisation’s federal president, Noel McCoy, is urging students to record lectures that may exhibit bias and report back.

According to Ms Karam, the lecturer asked the class to complete questionnaires, including their names and student numbers, as part of an attempt on his part to get to know them better.

One question asked was to what extent an apology to the Stolen Generations should play a part in the Australian legal system.

Earlier, the lecturer had told the class his political affiliation.

“He said: ‘I’m going to out myself now, I have been a member of the Greens Party for 15 years,” Ms Karam said.

“Not only did it make me feel uncomfortable, it made me feel marginalised as someone with mainstream views.”

Cue the world’s smallest violin. I’m sorry, Ms Karam, but your lecturers are under no obligation to pander to your personal political opinions. I realise you probably devoutly wish the world looked like Andrew Bolt’s wet dream: a world with no Stolen Generations and with John Howard still occupying the crease. But alas! This is the really real world. John Howard isn’t the PM anymore. And give that the current PM has already apologised to the Stolen Generations, and your Federal parliamentary party supported him, the question of to what extent such an apology should play a role in our legal system is both pertinent and legitimate, and by no means biased. This is the really real world, and you’re at uni now. So grow up. Your problem, you see, is your cognitive immaturity: your unwillingness to countenance ideas that challenge your worldview. That might have been excusable in high school, but it’s time to get past that now. You’re in a tertiary institution, and you’re going to encounter people who think differently and vote differently than you do. Some of them (gasp!) may even be your lecturers. Deal with it. Grow with it. And hopefully someday you’ll realise that you don’t win an argument by wrapping yourself in ideological cotton-wool, or attempting to stifle those with whom you disagree. All you succeed in demonstrating is your inability (or unwillingness) to cope with the rigours of academic intellectual life.

The inspiration for the Young Libs’ assault on education in lieu of substantive policy is a similar campaign in the US spearheaded by professional whiner (and liar) David Horowitz and his Orwellian “Academic Freedom” movement–a movement that is basically devoted to nurturing cognitive immaturity. Horowitz’s ideas are currently being used in the Florida legislature to push creationism on public school kids, and have been reflected in similar pieces of legislation introduced in many other US states. The federal president of the Young Libs wants the Federal party to mimic the Republicans (as it has been doing for a long time anyway) by conducting a Senate inquiry into the oppression and persecution of Young Liberals in Australian universities. And this is the best bit:

“Lecturers and tutors are brazenly forcing students to agree with their political or ideological views and we want to catch them doing it,” Mr McCoy said.

In other words, he is advancing a claim he has zero evidence for, and he wants to spend your tax dollars looking for this evidence.

This is a political organisation that deserves its irrelevance. Via The Faithful Penguin.




One response

12 03 2008

As I pointed out at Grods, political bias/preference is not the same thing as indoctrination. The former is a position/disposition the latter is a methodology.

Of course, what they won’t (yet?) admit is that their bias-indoctrination conflation/right-wing relativism argument “argument” necessarily posits that a biology class that doesn’t teach creationism, but does teach neo-Darwinian evolution is guilty of said imaginary indoctrination. So is teaching 1+1=2 in preference to 1+1=4 (plus all the other degrees of infinity – giving even time in this case literally means no time to any interpretation of 1+1, which I guess may placate those of the 1+1=4 “world view”.)

This is obviously stupid but it’s the unavoidable outcome of the dodgy epistemology of these witch-hunters.

There is another thing of course that they won’t admit. Learning is a cognitive progression and the generation of new knowledge is by definition progressive (possibly to the extent of the appeal to novelty). The absence of learning is cognitive conservation and adherence to orthodoxy in spite of reason is conservative (necessarily to the extent of the appeal to tradition).

Are they going to right off 50% of research grants, and channel the saved money into “repeating the status-quo” grants? I’m there is more than one theology department, and a number of clerics whom I won’t name, who would very much be happy with this.

And lets cut the crap. That’s what it’s all about. All new thoughts necessarily dissent from old thoughts to at least some degree (even if not revolutionary) and thus to a traditionalist, preventing progressive bias is about stamping out dissent through discovery.

That’s what the young Libs are doing (as well as the dissemblers from the likes of Accuracy in Academia). They disagree with research findings because they contradict party dogma, ergo they must be stamped out. They aren’t about stamping out indoctrination but rather stamping out anything that competes with the indoctrination of ignorance.

It’s just an anti-free-thought brigade.

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