Noam Chomsky, a Marxist professor who says he has been at MIT for 65 years, maintains that we need a new economic system. He has endorsed something called “the next system,” which is supposed to replace free enterprise capitalism. My counter-proposal is for a “next system” to replace Chomsky and other Marxists in academia. My old friend, “Jimmy from Brooklyn,” a legendary anti-communist, says what we need is the defunding of the “Marxist Madrassas,” otherwise known as college and universities.
Going further, I propose we eventually abolish the brick-and-mortar universities that employ the Marxist academics who brainwash young people in fields of study that produce few jobs, and leave them saddled with debt.
Michael Walsh is the latest to document the influence of cultural Marxism in academia and American society at large. His book, The Devil’s Pleasure Palace: The Cult of Critical Theory and the Subversion of the West, examines how American institutions have been taken over by the likes of Chomsky. The solution, however, cannot rest simply with exposure or even reform. The cultural Marxists will not cede power over the minds of the young. Instead, the solution is to establish new institutions that attract parents and young people to educational alternatives which promise marketable skills and jobs in the real economy. Those alternatives are usually grouped under the rubric of online learning. These low-cost alternatives to brick-and-mortar colleges and universities can also address another pressing problem for many young people—massive college debt through federal loans that in 40 percent of the cases are not repaid. The current federal student loan debt stands at a staggering $1.2 trillion. The current system is unsustainable.
Of course, Chomsky does not want to replace the system that pays his salary and provides a platform for his Marxism. A real alternative to the current economic system would take the taxpayers off the hook for subsidizing state colleges and universities that keep Marxists like Chomsky on the payroll and undermine traditional values.
It is said that Chomsky is a “philosopher, linguist, and social critic.” Whatever this means, it looks like he has more time to spout his Marxism than to teach his students anything worthwhile. Perhaps that is his intention. By failing to educate students in practical skills useful for real jobs, he leaves them hopeless and despondent about the system that he wants them to replace. His students are his cannon fodder for “the next system,” which is supposed to be brought into being by students who are turned into activists through brainwashing sessions organized by the likes of Chomsky.
To be sure, there are some “jobs” for these activists. But holding protest signs and occupying Wall Street does not take a lot of intelligence or produce much income. There are many more students who want to become part of the system, rather than change it. They want to be business people, engineers, accountants and scientists. They want to produce and build things. These are the young people who have been abandoned by colleges and universities emphasizing women’s and queer studies.
“We have fundamental problems because of fundamental flaws in our economic and political system,” says the Next System statement. “The crisis now unfolding in so many ways across our country amounts to a systemic crisis.”
That crisis is higher education. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has exploited a real problem—student debt—but has no solution, except to continue to subsidize the same corrupt system. The Wall Street Journal ran another article on April 7 noting the facts that we should all be familiar with—Americans owe more than $1.2 trillion in student debt and 40 percent of them aren’t paying off the loans. One reason is that these people aren’t getting the jobs necessary to generate enough income to enable them to pay off the loans.
But the article, an honest look at the student debt problem, does not address the cost of “higher education” that produces the debt in the first place.
Several years ago Bloomberg looked into the administrative costs at Purdue University, noting, “Purdue has a $313,000-a-year acting provost and six vice and associate vice provosts, including a $198,000 chief diversity officer.” Bloomberg noted, “U.S. universities employed more than 230,000 administrators in 2009, up 60 percent from 1993, or 10 times the rate of growth of the tenured faculty, those with permanent positions and job security, according to U.S. Education Department data.”
These “diversity officers” are popping up all over the place, including at the University of Virginia, where Queer Studies week includes a workshop on the proper use of pronouns. UVA offers “Women, Gender & Sexuality,” an interdisciplinary program in which students “study gender and sexualities with an emphasis on transnational perspectives.”
So the “debt” is at least partly due to rising costs at colleges and universities, which are in the business not of preparing students for a real economy, but rather of re-engineering their social lives and their social views.
Meanwhile, the Journal noted that the Education Department has assembled a “behavioral sciences unit” to study “the psychology” of students who have taken out $1.2 trillion in student loan debt “and why they don’t repay.” Perhaps a study isn’t needed. Perhaps the answer is that many don’t want to pay off their debts because politicians like Senator Sanders are promising free college for all and debt forgiveness.
The Journal quoted economist Carlo Salerno as saying that the government imposes virtually no credit checks on borrowers, requires no co-signers and doesn’t screen people for their preparedness for college-level course work. He asked, “On what planet does a financing vehicle with those kinds of terms and those kinds of performance metrics make sense?”
It’s bad enough that people aren’t prepared for the college work. It’s even worse that after four years of this kind of “learning,” they are still not prepared for the real world.
Judging by the success of Sanders in the presidential race, it would appear that the real crisis is that higher education has failed to prepare young people for the future and has instead left them struggling to pay tens of billions of dollars in student loan debt. However, those turning out for Sanders have been led to believe that more taxes and debt are the solution. This approach leaves Marxists like Chomsky, still ensconced in academia, agitating for the “next system” of socialism that will leave young people even more hopeless.
Like the commission that closed obsolete military bases, America needs to begin the process of defunding the brick-and-mortar universities that are draining money from students with no real legitimate and worthwhile educational purpose. A process of de-funding so-called “diversity” departments and offices in colleges and universities is actually underway. In Tennessee, Rep. Micah Van Huss (R-Jonesborough) introduced HB 2248 to defund the University of Tennessee’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion, after it used state funds for a “Sex Week,” for promotion of gender-neutral pronouns, and for urging “holiday parties” that did not emphasize religion or culture.
“Having seized academia,” writes Michael Walsh in his book on cultural Marxism, “they left a legacy in the cancerous growth of ‘studies’ departments (gender, race, queer, whatever) that infest the modern university at the expense of classical learning.”
This process of subversion has been going on too long to hope for reform of the academic institutions that have been captured and rotted from within. We need to defund those that already exist, and create new institutions to replace those in the hands of the cultural Marxists. Some of them are online structures such as Amberton University and Western Governors University.
My friend “Jimmy from Brooklyn” says we need to go further, in regard to existing colleges and universities, and demand a “separation of Marx and state,” so that affirmative action for conservative professors can be implemented to strive for some sort of equality and real “diversity.”
Conservatives must be the true revolutionaries and expose socialists like Sanders as the reactionary defenders of the corrupt system.
Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism, and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org