Sunday, February 5, 2006

Orwell Warned Us About People Like This

Another University instructor is excommunicated for heresy by the Darwinist Inquisition. This time it's Caroline Crocker at George Mason University. The Washington Post has a lengthy piece on the ugly business which is summarized here.

One part that caught our eye was this:

GMU spokesman Daniel Walsch denied that the school had fired Crocker. She was a part-time faculty member, he said, and was let go at the end of her contract period for reasons unrelated to her views on intelligent design. "We wholeheartedly support academic freedom," he said. But teachers also have a responsibility to stick to subjects they were hired to teach, he added, and intelligent design belonged in a religion class, not biology. Does academic freedom "literally give you the right to talk about anything, whether it has anything to do with the subject matter or not? The answer is no."

Well. If GMU is going to refuse to renew the contract of every lecturer who talks about something other than what he/she was hired to teach there will certainly be a lot of job openings at that university next Fall. We can hardly wait to see the panic on the faces of all those English and sociology instructors who use their podium as a stage for criticizing George Bush's foreign policy when they find out about this.

On the other hand, we suppose the GMU faculty really need not worry. Everyone knows that what Mr. Walsch meant to say was that academic freedom doesn't give an untenured instructor the right to talk about weaknesses in materialistic evolutionary theory when she's supposed to be drilling into students' heads that it's true, for heaven's sake.

We need to realize, Mr. Walsch reminds us, that contrary to what the rubes who send their children to them think, universities do not exist to challenge established thought-forms, they're not supposed to be "opening" minds. The task of the modern university is to indoctrinate, stifle curiosity, and regiment student thinking along lines that are left-wing in their ideology and materialist in their metaphysics. Anything else is treated as a heresy.

Mr. Walsch tells us in no uncertain terms that teachers at his university must conform to the accepted dogmas and orthodoxies and refrain from trying to pry open closed minds with heterodox ideas or they can look for employment elsewhere.

Sounds like one of those communist re-education camps, doesn't it?

Preparing For the War That'll Never Come

Ralph Peters has an absolute must-read article at The Weekly Standard. His essay ranges over the war against Islamist terror, the looming potential conflict with China, and the role of the global media and intelligentsia. He puts his finger on every weakness that besets us and argues persuasively that we are simply not suited temperamentally or philosophically to face the challenges that await us in the decade ahead. We rely too much, for example, on technology to defeat an enemy driven by a passionate, if misguided, faith against which the effete secularism of the West is no match.

Here are just a few excerpts:

There is...not a single enemy in existence or on the horizon willing to play the victim to the military we continue to build. Faced with men of iron belief wielding bombs built in sheds and basements, our revolution in military affairs appears more an indulgence than an investment.

Not a single item in our trillion-dollar arsenal can compare with the genius of the suicide bomber--the breakthrough weapon of our time. Our intelligence systems cannot locate him, our arsenal cannot deter him, and, all too often, our soldiers cannot stop him before it is too late. A man of invincible conviction--call it delusion, if you will--armed with explosives stolen or purchased for a handful of soiled bills can have a strategic impact that staggers governments. Abetted by the global media, the suicide bomber is the wonder weapon of the age.

The Chinese version of the counterrevolution in military affairs puts less stress on a head-to-head military confrontation (although that matters, of course) and more on defeating the nation behind our military. Despite the importance Beijing attaches to a strong military, China won't fall into the trap that snared the Soviets--the attempt to compete with our military expenditures. Why fight battles you'll lose, when you can wage war directly against the American population by attacking its digital and physical infrastructure, its confidence and morale? In a war of mutual suffering, which population would be better equipped, practically and psychologically, to endure massive power outages, food-chain disruptions, the obliteration of databases, and even epidemic disease?

Plenty of Americans are tougher than we're credited with being, but what about the now-decisive intelligentsia? What about those conditioned to levels of comfort unimaginable to the generation that fought World War II (or even Vietnam)? Would 21st-century suburban Americans accept rationing without protests? Whenever I encounter Chinese abroad I am astonished by their chauvinism. Their confidence is reminiscent of Americans' a half century ago. Should we pretend that Chinese opinion-makers, such as they are, would feel inclined to attack their government as our journalists attack Washington? A war with China would be a massive contest of wills, and China might need to break the will of only a tiny fraction of our population. It only takes a few hundred men and women in Washington to decide that a war is lost.

America's triumph shames the Middle East and Europe alike, and has long dented the pride of Latin America. But the brotherhood of Islamist terrorists and the tribe of global intellectuals who dominate the media are the two groups who feel the most fury toward America. The terrorists dream of a paradise beyond the grave; intellectuals fantasized about utopias on earth. Neither can stomach the practical success of the American way of life, with its insistence on individual performance and its resistance to unearned privilege. For the Islamists, America's power threatens the promises of their faith. For world-intellectuals, America is the murderer of their most precious fantasies.

Is it any wonder that these two superficially different groups have drifted into collusion?

Every word of Peter's article is enlightening and urgently needed. It's a little long, but don't miss it.