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The Academy Has Fallen. The Children Are Lost.
Get your money and your kids out of this institution. It is infested. It is sick. And it is the world's leading social problem.
The Cybelian lynch mob is named after the Greek goddess Cybele, who falls in love with her castrated grandson Attis, whereupon she is forced to roam the world with an army of embittered, sexless eunuchs in tow, as a kind of apocalyptic zombies of antiquity. The Cybelian lynch mob is quite simply the price we humans pay for long periods of peace, stability, and growing surpluses.
—Alexander Bard and Jan Söderqvist, from Process and Event
Every employer should view an Ivy League degree as an explicit warning that you are likely about to hire a grenade with the pin already pulled.
Ophiocordyceps unilateralis is a parasitic fungus that mercilessly exploits carpenter ants, transforming them into unwilling zombies. It ravages their bodies for nutrients and commandeers their brains, manipulating them to climb plants and clamp onto a leaf in an ideal fungal breeding zone. There, it sprouts a spore-laden stalk from the victim’s skull, dooming its colony mates to the same grim fate.
Critical social justice is the ophiocordyceps unilateralis of civilization. Our children are hosts.
Recent events indicate that higher education is rotten, particularly in the Anglophone world, though not exclusively. As I wrote elsewhere, I can sense myself getting pulled back into the “cold logic of tit for tat and the blazing fires of ideology and vengeance.” The truly liberal disposition is to resist this instinct. Still, when it becomes clear that two groups have incommensurable vocabularies—and if you belong to one such group—the other group may eventually decide whether you are enemies.
I want to take that blazing fire and burn the academy down for ruining a generation so thoroughly. Devoid of self-awareness, this generation cries out for safe spaces in one moment yet delights in violence against people and property in the next. Witness the platforming of such barbaric notions on NPR.org, a state-funded propaganda organ in the United States:
Can you talk about rioting as a tactic? What are the reasons people deploy it as a strategy?
It does a number of important things. It gets people what they need for free immediately, which means that they are capable of living and reproducing their lives without having to rely on jobs or a wage — which, during COVID times, is widely unreliable or, particularly in these communities is often not available, or it comes at great risk. That's looting's most basic tactical power as a political mode of action.
It also attacks the very way in which food and things are distributed. It attacks the idea of property, and it attacks the idea that in order for someone to have a roof over their head or have a meal ticket, they have to work for a boss, in order to buy things that people just like them somewhere else in the world had to make under the same conditions. It points to the way in which that's unjust. And the reason that the world is organized that way, obviously, is for the profit of the people who own the stores and the factories. So you get to the heart of that property relation, and demonstrate that without police and without state oppression, we can have things for free.
Remember, this is the same organ willing to refer to Donald Trump as a purveyor of “stochastic terrorism.” In any case, this is just the sort of up-is-down your alma mater is teaching a generation.
So they throw around terms like “colonizer” and “fascist” without a hint of irony. When they goose-stepped out into the streets to announce their solidarity with terrorists, everyone seemed surprised. I’d been watching the slow-motion suicide of liberal education for 30+ years.
In the early 90s, the indoctrination of Oppressor/Oppressed was in its first wave. It is exactly the crude Manachaeism you imagine. I was subjected to heavy doses but not turned. I thought others could see it for what it was, too, and all of it would fade away like JNCOs.
It went dormant.
Despite my feelings about the twisted professoriat that trained them up, I can only stand in awe at their success in creating the zombie army. If only a fraction could be retrained and inspired to serve the true, the beautiful, and the good.
But like a cancer that roars back after inadequate chemotherapy, the disease returned—more potent and more virulent than ever. Now they march like those zombie ants, chanting all manner of senseless things. But they can no longer hide behind platitudes of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Their ideology has been laid bare: The Weather Underground meets ISIS.
The above video by John Papola had to be recut and reposted due to supposed violations of community standards. It’s not just academia that’s infested.
The World’s Leading Social Problem
In “Academia as the World's Leading Social Problem and What to Do About It,” educational entrepreneur Michael Strong makes the following case.
Nineteenth-century liberals upheld the beliefs that economic systems grounded in property rights, rule of law, and contractual freedom were the bedrock of wealth and global peace. They championed virtues like hard work, self-discipline, and ingenuity as the path to personal success. These tenets, widely accepted in Britain and the U.S. during that era, faced significant opposition from academic circles in the twentieth century. Various illiberal doctrines became fashionable among the intelligentsia, who formed a countercultural elite.
Academics in the humanities and social sciences spent decades contesting these bedrock liberal ideas without disproving them empirically. They were ideologues. And ideology, like any other faith, is belief in the absence of evidence. Strong argues that this systematic intellectual insurgency, which replaced beneficial truths with destructive falsehoods of rootless (and ruthless) ideologies, meant atrocities of the mind led to atrocities in the world.
He goes on to say that if, instead, twentieth-century academics had propagated nineteenth-century liberal doctrine, the world would have enjoyed far more peace, freedom, and abundance.
Instead of sparking social conflagrations, more people could have created new societies such as Hong Kong, Dubai, or Switzerland—or smaller niches of possibility. Trillions could have been redirected to experiments in human flourishing. Strong criticizes the purposeful sabotage of true liberalism, which created a series of ideological shifts that continue to bear poisoned fruit today.
Strong notes that despite the proliferation of for-profit universities and online educational models, these ventures have not significantly challenged the perverse and destructive mind viruses infecting elite institutions.
So What Should We Do?
Free-speech advocate Greg Lukianoff, inwrites:
We can’t afford to ignore these institutions and must try to reform them.
If, by “reform,” Lukianoff means fighting political trench warfare against an ideologically captured class that enjoys multiple sources of subsidy, I’d say forget it. But if, by reform, Lukianoff means “criticize by creating,” then I can go along with it.
I think he gets it. Lukianoff writes,
In fact, I pointed out, supporting alternative higher ed start-ups may be the only action that really gets elite colleges’ attention. When a journalist recently asked me if I thought UATX could fix higher ed, I responded “No, not ‘a’ UATX. We need 100 -1000 more experiments like it.
1000 experiments, indeed.
Here are my Top Five suggestions:
Build something better but different.
Because higher education receives so much federal and state subsidy, its rot is subsidized to colonize. That subsidy gets dumped into a cartel that leverages the accreditation system to maintain its structure as it continues to extract rents.
They are predators and parasites in robes. And they’re not going away.
Because your tax dollars will continue to fuel these grotesque indoctrination factories, you can no longer justify them on school spirit or nostalgia. For Heaven’s sake, don't let a goddamn sports team cloud your judgment. Your alma mater is no longer what you graduated from; your money doesn't just go to scholarships and library books.
Every time you donate to your college or university, you are almost certainly padding the bank accounts of those working every day to bring down civilization and install Utopian barbarism. Not only will your gifts fan the flames of radicalism, but you will also be churning out the next generation of civic illiterates and zombie activists.
What were two distinct movements—social justice and terrorism (The Dionysian Swarm and the Cybelian lynch mob )—have made an uneasy but unsustainable alliance. Pink-haired relativist androgynes make strange bedfellows with Bronze Age fundamentalists. But the academy provides aid, comfort, and indoctrination.
Thank goodness there are alternatives.
Thank goodness there are people of conscience willing to do the hard work of building up parallel alternatives to those who infest towers still inscribed with words like Veritas. As to the question of such inscriptions?
Nothing could be further from the truth.