Duck and cover once more

James Wynne

15 March 2019 | Ideas@TheCentre

At this time of year, universities across Australia welcoming a new crop of impressionable young students, who enter educational facilities that increasingly resemble Soviet-style indoctrination camps.

Given the intellectual straightjacket imposed by progressives in education, it probably should be no surprise a majority of millennials prefer socialism over capitalism. Young voters are flocking to the banner of far-left and democratic socialist voices like Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn in the UK, and Senator Bernie Sanders and Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio Cortez in the US.

Students who are ignorant of history might think these are new ideas, but in fact, these are the same failed ideas of the past reaching out to infiltrate a new generation.

Millennials did not witness the rise and fall of the Berlin Wall, nor did they live through the threat of Mutually Assured Destruction, so perhaps they can be forgiven for their ignorance.

However, their professors should know better. The fact that students have not been taught about the dangers of socialism is further evidence of academia’s embrace of the tribal ideas of the left.

Of course, academics have always been sympathetic to the radical ideas of the left, according to KGB defector Yuri Bezmenov. In an interview 35 years ago, Bezmenov outlined his role targeting egotistical academics and impressionable youth with Marxist and Leninist ideas that over time would brainwash a nation.

“Ideological subversion” was a form of psychological warfare that hides in plain sight and if successful the fallout would be irreversible.

The only solution to these disturbing trends is an institutional change that challenges the dominant left-wing narratives at universities. It’s either that or we start building bomb shelters again!

Though some exaggerate the dangers of the progressive stranglehold on education, it is proving to be very difficult to inject some much-needed pluralism into the culture of our universities, as the Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation has discovered.

The Centre sought to provide several Australian universities with generous scholarships for students to study the great ideas of Western Civilisation. But, after being rejected from several prestigious Australian universities, their subsequent decision to partner with the University of Wollongong was met with resignation and controversy.

If the introduction of different ideas so challenges academics, there is no doubt that universities have strayed from their true purpose. It’s a sad irony that students go to universities to learn but graduate ignorant.

James Wynne participated in the CIS intern program.

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