Monday, September 11, 2017

The Regrettable Left-Wing Tyranny of Opinions on American College Campuses

The author is often asked why he chose to study in Japan when there are so many more reputable schools in the US.  Surely, even though he was flatly rejected by several of the country's best, if applications to slightly lesser known schools are submitted, there would have been a fairly good chance he would receive admission and scholarship to study.  In response, he would often cite the cheaper tuition and shorter time needed to complete studies in Japan, along with familiarity, convenience, and even lower living expenses in Tokyo.  But in using such mundane reasons, he declines to state one of the biggest reasons for not studying in America.

And that reason is the increasing sensitivity toward differing political thoughts among both students and faculty.  In the field of humanities and social sciences, the so-called left-wing progressive students are increasingly voicing their opinions against what they perceive as backward and conservative teaching methods and curricula, in what they themselves deem as an "intellectual revolution."  On some of the "cutting edge" of social issues, whether it be inclusiveness of race, diversity of sexuality, and fluidity of gender, the "revolutionary" students have openly came into conflicts with the status quo in order to promote their own views.

The result has been an increase in disruption of regular academic activities, all in the name of social progressivism.  There have been boycotts of lectures, talks, and individuals deemed hostile to socially progressive agendas, and those willing to support said events and people are quickly labelled as racist, sexist, or just plain insensitive and stupid.  The advent of "safe spaces" and radical activist groups have led to widespread suppression of alternative, right-wing thoughts on school campuses, with many conservatives silenced through fears of social isolation, censure, or outright criticisms from the left-wing activists.

The reality of left-wing tyranny of opinions on American campuses will fundamentally undermine the very liberal traditions the leftist students seek to uphold.  In their often confrontational efforts to seek a more diverse population of students in terms of ethnicity, sexual orientation, and gender, the self-styled social progressives simultaneously help to reduce the diversity of ideologies and opinions.  By being intolerant of the people who they consider to be intolerant, they in essence create only a superficial visual diversity while destroying any diversity of thinking among students.  

Eventually, American school campuses under the tyranny of the "social progressives" will look no different from the country's political scene in the Trump era.  The liberal population will continue to dismiss conservatives (aka Trump supporters) as ignorant rednecks incapable of rational thinking.  As the left refuses to take real grievances and opinions of the right seriously, the backlash of the right will further enhance the standing of eccentric characters like Trump.  Ideological divisions deepen while objective discussions are replaced by simple "I am right, you are wrong" statements by both sides.

Put in the context of college campuses, such a situation cannot be any more harmful for academic research.  In social science, particularly, the advancement of knowledge requires objective examination of the intellectual origins of even the most vile and reviled ideologies espoused by mankind.  But if a bunch of self-styled revolutionaries prevent the very presentation of such ideas as Nazism and Social Darwinism, then there can be no systematic studies to ensure they do not reappear in today's society.  The left-wing students' sensitivity toward ideologies opposing their own retards intellectual pursuit necessary for academic study.

Even if any advancement in academic research is made under such a sensitive environment, there needs to be plenty of self-censorship before presentation and publication of the results in order not to arouse the violent passions of the self-styled social progressives.  Objective facts that illustrate the dire situations of the people left-wingers supposed speak for must be curtailed, while any suggestions that realist cost-and-benefit analyses justify sacrifices made and to be made by certain minority social groups cannot possibly be accepted.  How to talk about the research results become just as important as the research itself.

It is not an academic environment that the author, for one, would like to participate in.  In their noble cause to defend the underrepresented and the socially repressed, the left-wing social progressives on American school campuses is inevitably dismantling the open, liberal academic environment that made America a top educational destination in the first place.  If school administration and faculty members cannot control and rein in the assaults on objective intellectualism committed by these left-wing activists, the reputation of American academic tradition will be irreversibly damaged over time.  

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