Academic Assertions & Authenticity

Many of the “Progressives” in the U.S. were the protestors of the 1960s. The Baby Boomers, numbering 76 million, as identified in demographics from 1946 to 1964, were quite vocal and resistant to the American values in which they were raised. To be fair, they had never seen the economic hardships of the 1920s and 1930s; they were raised in a consumer economy, a materialistic culture that was an economic gift to their parents and a curse to them. One of, if not the biggest influence was a college education, which, according to Inside Higher Ed, the “undergraduate enrollments increased 45 percent between 1945 and 1960, then doubled again by 1970.”

Certainly the U.S. was not a perfect society where the Boomers grew up, but when compared to other nations, the Boomers in the U.S. grew up with a prosperity that their parents could only imagine. That freedom and prosperity was threatened by the Vietnam War, where fifty-five thousand American young men perished for reasons that, in an historical perspective, seem pointless.

Somewhere the radicals realized that it wasn’t hip to resist authority; it was better to be authority.

So they sought academic positions. If their ideology on the streets was met with resistance, fire hoses and riot gear, in academia, it would be met by young minds open to their ideology. Education became not a learning experience, but an ideological indoctrination. The young minds read Karl Marx when they should have Adam Smith and Milton Freidman. Any disagreements with the prevailing ideology today are banned from college campuses.  The academics speak the truth, the whole truth, and only their truth.

To quote The Wall Street Journal of January 5, 2024: “Like Ms. Gay, they’ve done so by impugning as deplorables half of the country that doesn’t share their views. If you support voter ID laws, you’re a racist. If you oppose modern progressive cultural orthodoxy about gender identity or pronoun use, you’re a bigot. If you question the left’s climate policies, you’re anti-science.” In the nineteen seventies, climate scientists declared that we would soon experience another Ice Age. That didn’t happen.

Somewhere the radicals realized that it wasn’t hip to resist authority; it was better to be authority.

Image Credit: New York Post

“There are five Pleistocene glacial/interglacial cycles recorded in marine sediments during the last half million years, but only three classic glacials were originally recognized on land during that period (Mindel, Riss and Würm).” I have yet to see any definitive explanations as to why those Ice Ages occurred. I do not deny that the earth is getting warmer, but as the former Ice Ages cannot be explained, I am unsure as to the reasons given by climatologists. Not to mention the Little Ice Age, from early 14th century until the mid-19th century, a relatively recent climate change that, again, has no definitive explanation to my knowledge.

I remember a physical geography professor who declined to teach the chapter on global warming, for reasons he did not divulge. I took his refusing to teach the global warming chapter as his denial as to the reasons for it, but, again, he simply refused comment either way. I think he feared consequences if he denied the prevailing global warming theory to a class of students. In academia, political correctness is above all else.

Again, The Wall Street Journal of January 5, 2024: “Former New York Times editorial page editor James Bennet wrote in the Economist last month that his former newspaper ‘is becoming the publication through which America’s progressive elite talks to itself about an America that does not really exist.’”  The “enlightened” see things only in their light, even if no one else sees it their way.

Free speech in college, where suggesting that a certain ethic group be killed, does not, in fact, depend on context, despite what three college presidents stated in unison; two of which have resigned. Free speech in college where the speech includes insisting that an ethnic group be killed is intolerable. Hate speech is not academic.

Free speech in college where the speech includes insisting that an ethnic group be killed is intolerable. Hate speech is not academic.

One aspect that I have not seen, though, is this: Harvard President Claudine Gay has been accused of plagiarism in her academic papers. While Harvard said that they had her “correct” some citations on her doctorate, there seems to be other academic papers in question.  My question to Harvard is, weren’t those papers reviewed for plagiarism well before now? I have seen no communication from Harvard defending the academic honesty of Ms. Gay. Does Harvard mean to tell us that they, in fact, didn’t review Ms. Gay’s papers for academic dishonesty before she was appointed president?

The French Canadians have a term , “the revenge of the cradle” which meant that the youth would carry their ideology into the future while outnumbered in the present. Indoctrinating the youth is not unique to our present century. Efforts to stop the indoctrination may have taken the first step.

Jeffrey Neil Jackson

Jeffrey Neil Jackson is an
Educator & Literary Mercenary

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