Tag: Universities

Author and investor Michael Gibson joins Brian Anderson to discuss the work of the 1517 Fund and the Thiel Fellowship, why real technological progress has stalled and how elite universities contribute to that stagnation, and what some promising new educational models and institutions look like. His book, Paper Belt on Fire: How Renegade Investors Sparked a Revolt Against the University, will be published November 29.

Find the transcript of this conversation and more at City Journal.

Echoes of Fascism


For me, this video had echoes of the Kapos who operated in the concentration camps under the Nazis. The young lady’s sweet and gentle manner wasn’t reassuring to me, either.

Ayaan speaks with Lawrence Krauss about the new religion of wokeism and how it spread throughout academia. They discuss the impacts that political correctness and cancel culture have on science, and what it means for the future.

Lawrence Krauss is an internationally known theoretical physicist.

Critical Corrosion of American Military, Pt. 2


You really do not want a military whose leaders are actually divorced from or in open opposition to civilian culture. That is the way of the old Kemalist Turkish military, holding itself the guarantor of a Turkish society held perpetually to Ataturk’s vision. That is a bit of colonels periodically ejecting corrupt generals and their presidents for life in Latin America. That is entirely alien to our constitutional republic. Yet, it is dangerous for that same constitutional republic when a professional military elite is corroded by critical theory. “Critical Corrosion of American Military, Pt. 1,” sketched the shifts, over time, in policies and programs addressing ethnicity, sex, and sexual identity. Now we turn to the shaping of military leaders’ outlooks relative to their civilian counterparts.

Underlying Conditions

America was born with a deep suspicion of a standing army on our soil. An army, mind you, not a navy, air force, or space force. The navy depended on ports and yet could not project power by itself into the interior. True, starting with the Battle of Britain and the attack on Pearl Harbor, the long-range fires of naval and land-based airpower, including missiles, are devastating. Yet, they cannot march house to house and drag people away to prison camps. A brief review of our fundamental law, the words voted upon by the people in their several states, outlines both the feared danger and the attempt at risk management in an imperfect world.

Heather Mac Donald joins Brian Anderson to discuss how academic institutions responded to the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and how academia’s monolithic belief in systemic racism has fueled recent riots across the United States. She also answers questions from a livestream audience.

Audio for this episode is excerpted and edited from a Manhattan Institute eventcast, “Fearless Thinking in an Age of Conformity.” Find out more and register for future events by visiting our website, and subscribe to MI’s YouTube channel.

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The Trump administration’s new guidelines under the Department of Homeland Security are not allowing foreign students to continue their studies on line while remaining in the U.S. The new guidelines are apparently requiring foreign students to return to the classroom or face deportation and continue on line studies from their country of origin. This is […]

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The sordid trash heap institution of higher learning where I obtained my graduate degree has made explicit what was long implicit: the modern university exists for no purpose other than to manufacture ideologues of a very particular sort. Beginning next semester all students, all professors, and all TAs will be subjected to mandatory struggle sessions […]

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The Case for a Free Speech Union


The idea for a free speech trade union was born at a conference for canceled academics in Oxford last year. It was organized by Nigel Biggar, Regius Professor of Moral and Pastoral Philosophy at Oxford, who was targeted by an outrage mob in 2017 after writing an article for the Times of London entitled ‘Don’t feel guilty about our colonial past.’ Because Nigel was bold enough to defend Bruce Gilley, a conservative political science professor at Portland State, who had made the case for colonialism in an academic journal called Third World Quarterly, he became the victim of a witch-hunt. Colleagues stopped collaborating with him, open letters circulated calling for his academic work to be de-funded and a Cambridge lecturer accused him of being a “white supremacist.” Needless to say, Professor Gilley had it much worse. The editors of Third World Quarterly received death threats from enraged members of the woke Left and withdrew the article, although it was republished by the National Association of Scholars.

Bruce Gilley was at Nigel’s conference, as was Bret Weinstein, who was chased off the Evergreen State College campus by baseball-bat wielding thugs, and Amy Wax, who was relieved of some of her teaching responsibilities at Penn Law School after she had the temerity to co-write an article for the Philadelphia Inquirer defending the bourgeois virtues. There were others, too.

Listening to their stories convinced me the time had come to take a stand. What was needed was a trade union-like organization that stood up for the speech rights of its members. The idea was simple: everyone who values intellectual freedom should organize so if the mob tries to pick one of us off, we can unite in his or her defense. The enemies of free speech hunt in packs; its defenders need to band together too.

It’s All Unraveling (And Why That’s a Good Thing)


Michael RamirezAmerica, tired of being lied to by its coastal betters, chose a President to tear it all down to the studs, from where a more hopeful and stronger country could rise again. Much of the anger that brought Donald Trump into office was certainly directed toward Washington DC’s elites, but also our cultural pillars. With a $20 trillion national debt, politicians had been Weinsteining their constituents for decades and people of both parties have had enough of the D.C./entertainment/sports/media complex.

The only results from the Progressives’ identity politics prescribed by Leftist septuagenarians was to balkanize a once civil union. Meanwhile, the overpaid, yet feckless consultant class on the right finagles their benefactor’s largesse but yield few results. Jabba the Hutt politicians along with their K-Street enablers tied the American voter to his chain, while they focused on reelection. It’s only about their power. From their mahogany walled watering holes in DC, they laugh at us idealistic rubes while ensuring their marble streets remain shiny in National Harbor. Americans weren’t just voting against DC. They were voting against the cultural rot that started decades ago.

Meanwhile, Hollywood, known for facades phonier than Obama’s Greek columns, somewhere along the way went from dream factory with a few crazies, to become the worst stereotype conservatives always believed it was. Its incestual, intellectually shallow, immature, and chronically insecure inhabitants know only two modes: reading someone else’s words for a living or regurgitating Bill Maher’s. These people have spent so much energy on dividing the country into a caste system, they hadn’t realized their product has suffered, relegating themselves to brain-numbing CGI superhero remakes and Oscar-bait no one will ever see, but … another award show to congratulate each other on our brilliance! Movie audiences are responding with their wallets as year-over-year box office receipts have plummeted.

Berkeley Cowers from Campus Violence


Do you remember hearing last year about the special door for the Berkeley university chancellor’s office that was built to protect him and his staff from potentially dangerous protestors? You probably didn’t. But the Wall Street Journal “outed” them last week. According to the WSJ,

In a proposal requesting funding for the $9,000 security door, the chancellor’s office detailed the risk of ‘vandalism & malicious mischief’ and a ‘high . . . level of probability of future loss or injury if [the] condition is not addressed.’ The proposal noted that protesters had ‘rushed the building and attempted to occupy’ the chancellor’s office in April 2015. ‘Staff people pushed to close the office doors while protestors pushed them open.’

Making Tuition Reform Palatable


Tuition reformHow can we reduce the astronomical cost of college tuition?

The most direct but politically impractical solution would be to cut off all financial aid for three to five years. Universities would complain loudly, but if a Republican President and Congress persevered, ultimately the universities would be forced to cut bureaucratic and academic bloat — and hence tuition. Subsequently, we could revive aid, but only for the very poor who show academic ability. This would have much less of an inflationary impact.

If we do this, the universities will scream that American higher education will be destroyed. The student-age population (and their parents) will be affronted and outraged, making this approach politically untenable.

Review: Remembering Who We Are: A Treasury of Conservative Commencement Addresses


rem-who-we-areAccording to US Federal Election Commission data, 96 percent of Ivy League faculty and administrators that gave money to a presidential candidate in 2012 donated to President Obama. The left-leaning nature of American academia is well-known, but rarely raised in polite company. Speaking at Harvard’s 363rd commencement last year, however, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg did just that. Citing the Election Commission’s figure, he uncomfortably tempered Harvard’s next generation of leaders with a message of tolerance over uniformity. “There was more disagreement than that among the members of the old Soviet Politburo,” he said, adding the obvious sleight that “a university cannot be great if its faculty is politically homogenous.”

In order to weather its current economic and political challenges, America needs not only a more balanced exchange of ideas, but to reconnect with tried and tested principles. Thus, the purpose of Zev Chafet’s Remembering Who We Are, a diverse collection of college commencement addresses, “is not to develop a right-wing orthodoxy, but precisely to show the intellectual and cultural nuance on that side of the spectrum.”

From neurosurgeon Ben Carson, to playwright David Mamet and others, the speeches thread messages of individual liberty, responsibility, free enterprise, and the rule of law with personal experience and advice to the next generation.

Title IX, 1999, and 1789


The Office of the Independent Counsel was created post-Watergate to investigate executive branch wrongdoing. The Democrat-majority Congress reasoned that the DOJ would not be able to effectively investigate its colleagues and bosses. Republicans objected to the independent counsel statute for decades, both on separation-of-powers grounds, and because it was used as a political tool to harass Republican presidential administrations. But it wasn’t until Democrats’ own ox was gored, during the Clinton administration in the form of Kenneth Starr, that Democrats realized what they had wrought. The statute was allowed to expire quietly in 1999 with bipartisan agreement.

I thought of this history as I read Laura Kipnis’s account of Northwestern University’s own independent investigation of her conduct. Kipnis, a liberal professor at the university, has dedicated her career to feminist causes. However, after she recently wrote about her concerns regarding new university policies on sexual relations between professors and students, she became the focus of protests by feminist students. At first, she brushed off the protests. “I’d argued that the new codes infantilized students while vastly increasing the power of university administrators over all our lives, and and here were students demanding to be protected by university higher-ups from the affront of someone’s ideas, which seemed to prove my point.”

Do American Universities Still Teach Your Favorite Subjects?


booksWe all have favorite subjects.  or example, I know beyond doubt that anonymous loves science in all its aspects. Casey loves the Greek classics. Lance loves music.

One of the problems with American (and other) universities that many subjects are either beyond the pale or have been so distorted as to be meaningless.

For example, my favorite subjects are:

Back to School


shutterstock_28662005How many people here have been to college more than once? By that, I mean that years passed between a first and second degree, perhaps even in unrelated fields. When did you go back? Why did you go back? How was it different the second time?

I didn’t make the most of my first college experience. Since I decided to focus my career on my writing skills, an English major seemed appropriate. One doesn’t need a degree to learn to write. But employers expect a degree. So there I was, grudgingly. That grudging attitude wasn’t helpful. Nor were the frivolous elective courses. And if any degree would do, I was stupid to pursue a degree in the Liberal Arts.

So now, a decade later, I’m looking into programming degree plans. Any advice? Is an Associate’s degree sufficient for many decent jobs? I’m considering an AAS (Associate of Applied Science) with advanced certificates in C++ and Visual Basic. Programming experience would be useful in many fields, both for corporate and entrepreneurial efforts. But I’m particularly interested in game design, of which I’m fairly familiar and have connections.

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I’m dismayed by the trend started at Vanderbilt and California’s state universities to withdraw official recognition from Christian campus groups. But it raises a question. Most universities–at least public ones–have one or two conservatives (or sane moderates) on their governing boards. What will these people do to reverse the tide of gender theory, Marxist rantings, […]

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