Ignorance Is Strength

Posted on March 2, 2014

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Ah, the beaming confidence of a vacuous intellect!  Might this be what Professor Alan Bloom prophesied of in his book “The Closing Of The American Mind”?

I ran across a story about a young woman (at least she claims to be  and bears the marginal outward appearance thereof), that is a senior, scheduled to graduate from Haaaavaaad (Harvard) U this year.  It was at once, fall out of the tree funny – because this chicky poo is serious as a breast exam about her batty, hyper-progressive notions about what constitutes the ideal academic environment at her school.  It was, on the other hand, rather alarming because it brings us face to face with the reality of just how fallen and corrupt our national institutions have become. 

The article by this soon to be unemployed graduate had me wondering if instead of being an earnest appeal, it might have just been a prank – maybe something cooked up for us by the brilliant satirists at The Onion.com.  However, when you stop to think about what’s being served you by the mass media in the way of news, you begin to think maybe, even by accident, The Onion is more reliable.  But no, her smoldering load is evidently all too authentically koo-koo birds.  How do I know?  HuffPo lets her write a contributor column.  What’s that you say?  Yeah, I know, that doesn’t really prove anything.  

As is often my custom, I’ll share with you select excerpts of this preposterous screed entitled “The Doctrine Of Academic Freedom”,  published in the Harvard student virtual fishwrap, Crimson.  She dubs her post handle, ‘The Red Line’.  After I had begun composing this piece, a friend who has worked in Japan for decades, pointed out that to the Japanese, the ‘Red Line’ is not just a public transit option or a diplomatic boundary, but the government’s ongoing concept behind zoning off certain districts in Tokyo and the other larger metropolitan areas that cater to,  shall we say ‘adult only’ interests?  “The Doctrine Of Academic Freedom” is a hazard zone for normal and healthy firing neural synapses.  Consider this a guided tour under the protective supervision of a licensed clinician through the pot hole strewn landscape of a disordered progressive mind.  Kind of a part of town where an actual thought would be scandalized to be found slumming.

I should mention that the ebullient face with the vacuous intellect (if it could even be classified as an intellect) belongs to Sandra Korn – pardon me, Sandra Y.L. Korn.  I didn’t think anyone actually had such a name.  I thought it was just a ‘nuMetal’ alternative band from Bakersfield that is dyslexic to the degree that they scribble the name of their group with a backwards Я – as in Я you freaking kidding me?  Which is what I asked myself as I began reading Sandra KoЯn’s nonsense.  But then, doing a Yahoo search on Ms. Korn, I find out that there are at least two Sandra Korn’s.  The other one was Penthouse magazine’s Pet of the Month for March 1991.  For some reason, I think they’d get along famously together.  Don’t make me connect the dots for you on that one.

“In July 1971, Harvard psychology professor Richard J. Herrnstein penned an article for Atlantic Monthly titled “I.Q.” in which he endorsed the theories of UC Berkeley psychologist Arthur Jensen, who had claimed that intelligence is almost entirely hereditary and varies by race.  Herrnstein further argued that because intelligence was hereditary, social programs intended to establish a more egalitarian society were futile—he wrote that “social standing [is] based to some extent on inherited differences among people.”

When he returned to campus for fall semester 1971, Herrnstein was met by angry student activists.  Harvard-Radcliffe Students for a Democratic Society protested his introductory psychology class with a bullhorn and leaflets. They tied up Herrnstein’s lectures with pointed questions about scientific racism.  SDS even called for Harvard to fire Herrnstein, along with another of his colleagues, sociologist Christopher Jencks.

Herrnstein told The Crimson, “The attacks on me have not bothered me personally… What bothers me is this: something has happened at Harvard this year that makes it hazardous for a professor to teach certain kinds of views.” This, Herrnstein seems not to have understood, was precisely the goal of the SDS activists—they wanted to make the “certain kinds of views” they deemed racist and classist unwelcome on Harvard’s campus.

Harvard’s deans were also unhappy.  They expressed concerns about student activists’ “interference with the academic freedom and right to speak of a member of the Harvard faculty.”  Did SDS activists at Harvard infringe on Herrnstein’s academic freedom?  The answer might be that yes, they did—but that’s not the most important question to ask.  Student and faculty obsession with the doctrine of “academic freedom” often seems to bump against something I think much more important: academic justice.”

A few things here.  She mentions SDS as a model for activism leading to the type of perfected Marxist Myopian Utopia that transforms a college campus into a thought free zone.  You’ll recognize SDS as the Students for a Democratic Society.  Their break in the early 60’s from the socialist group the League for Industrial Democracy (LID), was precipitated by the fact that the LID leadership dared to condemn the Soviet Union as a totalitarian regime.  But as you can see, Ms. Korn is completely in the bag for educational tyranny.  As she says, academic ‘justice’ trumps academic freedom.  Even as agit prop, I’d deem it severely lacking – it’s really more like agit poop, to be honest.

This is consistent with another thread that runs through my columns when dealing with the progressive movement – their hostile takeover of terms that once exclusively had noble and virtuous connotations.  Now, one has to be on guard when words like ‘justice’, ‘democracy’, and  ‘reform’ are referred to.  No doubt Orwell saw this coming from afar, in his novel 1984, with maxims disseminated by Ingsoc’s ‘Ministry of Truth’ – such as “War Is Peace” and “Freedom Is Slavery”.  I think the Ministry of Truth’s slogan “Ignorance Is Strength” best exemplifies the sentiments and beliefs of Ms. Korn.  She further elucidates the shortcomings of academic freedom in the context of Harvard.

“If our university community opposes racism, sexism, and heterosexism, why should we put up with research that counters our goals simply in the name of “academic freedom”?

Ms. Korn, seems to be of the firm conviction that racism, sexism, heterosexism or any other ‘ism’ that she and her little club of Heaven’s Gate cultists  object to,  is only what they define it to be.  Because of this, academic freedom should be replaced by Academic Stalinism.  As she notes, “When an academic community observes research promoting or justifying oppression, it should ensure that this research does not continue.”  So – battle arbitrarily defined ‘oppression’ with more oppression???  This is mind fornication you can’t pay for except perhaps with student loans, study grants and scholarships.

She then says, “In its oft-cited Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure, the American Association of University Professors declares that “Teachers are entitled to full freedom in research and in the publication of the results.” In principle, this policy seems sound: It would not do for academics to have their research restricted by the political whims of the moment.”  She should have left it at that, because any rational, objective individual would support that statement without qualification – it’s self evident, or should be.  But no, Sandra knows better.

“The power to enforce academic justice comes from students, faculty, and workers organizing together to make our universities look as we want them to do. Two years ago, when former summer school instructor Subramanian Swamy published hateful commentary about Muslims in India, the Harvard community organized to ensure that he would not return to teach on campus.  I consider that sort of organizing both appropriate and commendable.”

You see, Sandra and her clang intend to be both the arbiters of what is “appropriate and commendableand  the committee to sterilize and blacklist that which in their exclusive view, isn’t.  How cozy and convenient?   She might as well put her cards face up  on the table and recommend that Harvard not have a President, a Dean, or an administration and turn everything over to Sandra’s ‘Dictatorship of the Proletariat’.  Naturally she’d expect to be the Reich Minister of Propaganda in this lusty clamor for ideological purity.  She’s a specimen of lefty, however,  that has no authentic interest in any sort of activism other than rhetorical flatulence.  The very mental image, much less the real prospect of participating in an Occupy rally, would cause hyper-ventilation for the likes of Ms. Korn.  They don’t fancy getting any dirt under their nails in the trenches.  Playing ‘radical’ in the virtual environment is more fun and less risk than speaking the truth to power, up close and personal.

Another thing that has no real attraction for Ms. Korn is the possibility of putting her theoretical abstractions in motion in the scary career world outside the comfy womb of the university.  How do we know this?  She admitted in a high minded glob of drivel on HuffPo:

I am not interested in TFA.  For one, I am far from ready to enter a classroom on my own.  Indeed, in my experience Harvard students have increasingly acknowledged that TFA drastically underprepares its recruits for the reality of teaching.   But more importantly, TFA is not only sending young, idealistic, and inexperienced college grads into schools in neighborhoods different from where they’re from — it’s also working to destroy the American public education system.

The TFA she refers to is Teach For America and despite repeated attempts to solicit interest in their paid teaching internship programs and even spritzing heavy liberal fragrances like “race and class,” “equal opportunities,” and “educational injustice” – terms that are focus group tested to be strong hooks to the shallow idealism of her ilk,  Sandra demurred.  The impulse of turning another generation of young brains into useless mush, into compliant drones in government schools should be irresistible, in the estimation of TFA.   But  no, employment is much too bourgeois and restricting for Ms. Korn.  She’s too good for it and to even attempt such a thing without someone constantly there to hold her hands is beyond comprehension don’t you see? 

What’s more, Sandra would rather continue theorizing about the ‘victim’ classes she champions – the disadvantaged and  oppressed, rather than actually come face to face with them in “schools in neighborhoods different from where (she’s) from.”  I guess that’s why the government mandated school integration schemes of the 60’s and 70’s, bussed students around, but not teachers.    

Either she is simply a freak or this is the kind of rigorous academic performance that Harvard is encouraging and promoting.  I hope that the former, not the latter, is the case.  It might be both.  Her progress-o-babble  screed and the Bolshevist bong hit that gave vent to it, is beautifully described by Rush Limbaugh in this signature riff:

Suzy Creamcheese (a cryptic reference to a Frank Zappa caricature) gets into George Washington University and borrows from the government the requisite $212,000 to obtain an undergraduate degree, and what is Suzy Creamcheese’s degree in? She spent it on a degree in Oppressed People in the Orient, some meaningless degree like Conflict Resolution 505, whatever, some meaningless, worthless degree.  She’s comes out after borrowing $212,000 with no marketable skills, and the only thing she has learned at Bill Ayers’ University is it’s all America’s fault.  She goes in, gets a stupid degree, worthless education, $210,000 in debt, and she has no marketable skills.  And it’s America’s fault after she’s borrowed all this money.  So now here comes Obama riding to the rescue after his buddies in academe — i.e., the Bill Ayers types — have taken these young skulls full of mush and turned them into basically pizza.”

Ms. Korn – adding to the list of Sandras that are ethically and intellectually out to lunch (Sandra Fluke?) tags her piece on Harvard’s ‘Red Line’, thusly:

“Sandra Y.L. Korn ’14, a Crimson editorial writer, is a joint history of science and studies of women, gender and sexuality concentrator in Eliot House. Her column usually appears on alternate Mondays.” 

Is it just me, or does this smack of the pretension that she’s more motivated and is intending to project some quasi official status as mentor over the rest of the plebes in Eliot House?  Was Eliot House misspelled – was it supposed to be Idiot House?  What does ‘Y.L.’ stand for?  Young Lesbian? Youth Leninist?

“Alternate Mondays”???  It should read “Alternate Universe Mondays”.  The ‘joint history’ I completely get, although I resent her for being an argument against the legalization of Marijuana that I have fondly embraced as part of my Libertarian Lite policy platform.  I guess I don’t so much resent stupidity itself  – as much as I resent the collateral impact and costs I sustain as a consequence of it, that’s all.

Finally, what the hell  is a women, gender and sexuality “concentrator”?  Is that a euphemism for girl-girl plus indeterminate whatever it might be – dorm sex? 

If this is typical of the Harvard product they’re  going to be pushing out onto the streets and into the swelling ranks of the unemployed – we’re screwed as a nation, people.

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