David C. Stolinsky, MD
May 16, 2011
No, this is not a typo. I am not referring to manslaughter, the killing of a human being. I am referring to mindslaughter, the killing of a human mind. Like manslaughter, mindslaughter may be either voluntary or involuntary. The difference depends on the intention of the perpetrators. But it makes little difference to the victims.
In the case of manslaughter, the victims are just as dead. In the case of mindslaughter, their ability to get a good job, earn enough to support a family, be informed citizens, or even to think clearly is just as impaired. The motives of those responsible are irrelevant to the damage done.
The influence of the Left on primary and secondary education is undeniable, but its influence on the universities is even greater. My parents revered education. My wife and I have doctoral degrees. So it is painful for me to say this. I believe that the decline of Western, and specifically American, civilization occurred simultaneously with the greater percent of people who attend university.
At the university, students learn to be dependent on government-sponsored loans to pay inflated tuition, which was inflated because of government intervention. How they will repay this debt they cannot say. But having become used to this system, they see no reason not to apply it everywhere, including home loans and health care:
Government intervention à inflated costs à government aid à dependency on government + personal debt à greater dependency on government + huge government debt à economic collapse.
Students learn socialism before they attend a single class. And in class they learn more:
● They learn leftist dogma, taught as if it were truth revealed on Mount Sinai. There are conservative colleges as well as the service academies, but most universities have a marked leftward slant.
● They learn to reject facts that refute leftist dogma, rather than to reject the dogma − and if that fails, to make up “facts” that support the dogma.
● They learn to admire the ability to talk glibly, but to disregard the ability to actually do something − and to vote accordingly.
● They learn to talk endlessly about working people, but in fact to look down on them. They never learn the proverb, “Parents who do not teach their children a trade teach them to be thieves” − in modern terms, to be dependent on the government.
● They learn that everyone deserves a university education. So they teach algebra in middle school, but cancel vocational classes. As a result, many students − especially minorities − drop out, or graduate from high school with no marketable skills.
● They learn that “higher” education entitles one to make decisions for others, regardless of whether the education had anything to do with the subject in question. Thus President Obama believes that merely because he graduated from Harvard Law School, he is qualified to decide who gets pain pills instead of hip surgery, and who gets his best wishes instead of a cardiac pacemaker.
● They study Plato, and learn that a few self-anointed “elite” should rule the “masses.”
● They study social sciences under leftist professors, and learn the same thing.
● They study natural sciences, but even here, the Left twists things to suit their agenda − as witness climategate.
● They learn to blame the victim, not the assailant. So they make excuses for criminals at home and terrorists abroad, even blaming us for 9/11.
● They learn to misuse language. They pass laws too complex for them to understand − or even read. But complex laws require bureaucrats to interpret them and lawyers to litigate them. Ambiguity becomes an asset − in power for bureaucrats, in money for lawyers.
● They learn that the Constitution is a “living document” that means only what a judge says it means today. Tomorrow it may mean something else.
● They learn that there are no moral absolutes, only matters of opinion. And the only opinions that matter are those of the leftist “elite.”
● They learn, “War is not the answer.” But they never learn to ask, “What ended slavery?” or “What defeated Nazism?” or “What kept South Korea from becoming a slave state like the North?” or “What freed the women of Afghanistan from being beaten for not wearing burqas or for going to school?”
● They learn to have contempt for the U.S. military. But who else did as much to help the Haitians after the earthquake, or the Asians after the tsunami?
● They learn to have contempt for capitalism. But what other system generates enough surplus to help others after natural disasters?
● They learn to have contempt for religion. But they never learn that religious people are more likely to give to charity − both in money and by volunteering.
● They learn to “question authority” − but never to question leftist professors, who may punish dissent with lower grades.
● They learn to indoctrinate children with leftist dogmas, and even to train kids to sing hymns to the Leader. But they do not learn to teach kids to love freedom.
● They learn “multiculturalism” − that is, to respect all cultures except their own.
● They learn to refer to the “Prophet” Muhammad with respect, and even an upper-case P, but never to refer to the “Prophet” Moses or the “Messiah” Jesus.
● They learn that “feminism” applies only to us, so they never criticize burqas, or even genital mutilation or “honor” killings.
● They learn to be parrots who respond to any problem by squawking, “Spend more, raise taxes, enlarge government.” Can that be the answer for everything?
● They remain in an infantilized state, as students, well into their twenties. So they conclude that it is normal for adults to be told what to do − and what to think. When the government does this, they see no problem. It was what they became accustomed to for the first quarter-century of their lives.
They go from preschool to graduate school without ever hearing conservative ideas. Their leftist views are reinforced when they watch ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, and CNN; when they listen to NPR; and when they read newspapers from the New York Times to the Los Angeles Times. So if by chance they meet a conservative, they can’t counter his arguments with logical, fact-based arguments of their own. Instead, they call him racist, sexist, homophobic, Islamophobic, xenophobic, or even Nazi.
My uncles never finished high school, but they had more wisdom than most people in graduate school. They got it from an extended family, a religious background, and work experience. Except for immigrant groups, extended families are now rare. But we can encourage religious education and work experience. Knowledge isn’t wisdom.
In the past, there were many jobs − good jobs − that did not require a university education. In those days, high-school graduates were capable in spoken and written English, history, and basic mathematics, as well as having good work habits. But then the schools were dumbed down.
Now, a high-school diploma is often a guarantee of little. As a result, most good jobs require a university degree. That degree may also guarantee little in real abilities. But as in “The Wizard of Oz,” the brainless believe a diploma is all that is needed.
Meaningful or not, a university diploma is now considered the key to the good life. As a result, most young people feel that they must attend a university − and are therefore exposed to the most left-wing area of the educational system. Then many of them graduate with huge school-loan debts but few job prospects − and thus become disaffected leftists yearning for “change,” and ripe for exploitation by demagogues who promise it.
As things are going, we will wind up with high-school graduates who studied quadratic equations but can’t make change, and university graduates who studied leftism and environmentalism but can’t make a living.
If we hope to keep our republic, we must improve primary and secondary education, and we must hire teachers and professors who have Judeo-Christian and American values − which are now called “conservative.” If we hope to remain free, we must not allow the next generation to become dependent on the government, because their substandard education left them incapable of making it on their own.
Dr. Stolinsky writes on political and social issues. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.