Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this column are the opinions of the author and don’t necessarily represent the views of AtWork Personnel
I wasn’t around in the 60’s, but from what I understand colleges were pretty messed up then, what with all the hippies, pot-smoking, horrid tie-dye, and Vietnam war protesting going on. Since then, it seems like they’ve always been breeding grounds for societally destructive ideologies that have nothing to do with receiving a quality education that will actually be productive in the real world – you know, the capitalist world where one has to actually produce something for someone else in order to make a living for oneself.
Sure, they’ve been bad for a LONG time, but I can honestly say I think we might have finally reached an all-time low. Consider the odd happenings at Midwestern Ohio’s Oberlin College, where the precious, precious snowflakes (er, students) want to spend more quality time doing important things like activism, protesting, “social justice,” making the world safe for Marxism, and otherwise making a general nuisance of themselves without having to worry about those silly little things called grades.
In fact, more than 1,300 of the delicate creatures have signed a petition asking to be guaranteed a C for the semester, regardless of what they actually earned in class. Because social justice is all the class they need, yo!
Some even want to replace essays and midterms with a pleasant talk with the professor. How quaint.
Apparently, combining those heavy course loads (who knew “The sociology of Miley Cyrus”, “The joy of garbage” and “What if Harry Potter is real?” were such difficult courses!) with their heavy activism work makes it hard on a precious flower these days. (Not to mention all the work it takes to plant all those fake hate crimes, but that’s a whole other deal.)
This, from the same group that gave us so many laughs with their January demands for an $8.20/hour “activism wage.” (Hey, even SJWs gotta eat!) Of course, that did die down a bit when administrators refused to pay it and also possibly because students may have figured out they could make $15/hour protesting Trump rallies. Cha-ching!
I realize the situation at Oberlin is more drastic than most of the country (thank God), but one would be hard-pressed to name a prominent college, from the University of Missouri to Cal Berkley, where social justice warrior nonsense, from BLM and Marxist activism to outright conservative speech suppression, isn’t an issue. When did colleges stop becoming institutions of higher learning and turn into mind-control factories?
Not to get all academic on you, but the answer is most likely the early 60’s, when the theories espoused by the Frankfurt School, a group of Marxist researchers associated with the Institute for Social Research in Frankfurt, Germany, became entrenched in Americas colleges and universities. According to rational.wiki, “Members of the group developed the concept of “critical theory” (as opposed to traditional theory), which involves applying Marxist theories to social matters in order to – in the words of prominent Frankfurt School member Max Horkheimer – liberate human beings from the circumstances that enslave them.”
In short, the Frankfurt school is the origin of the destructive concepts of “cultural Marxism” that so dominate the Left today.
To bring this home, I recently attended a speech given by our local mayor at a civic club I belong to. She lamented the early 90’s decision of schools across the nation to do away with vocational schools and shop classes in favor of the theory that everyone, yes everyone, should prepare to attend college.
In truth, the mayor accurately said, plumbers and mechanics and welders can make as much or more money than college-educated, entitled, deep-in-debt, mind-numbed, Marxist-slogan-spouting sheep who come out of college wanting, nay expecting, to supervise the peons doing the real work (OK, maybe the mayor didn’t say that last part exactly, but that’s basically what she meant, or might have meant).
We’ve told a generation of kids that they won’t be a success if they don’t attend college, but in truth, people are different and not everyone is equipped for what at least should be the rigorous academic demands traditional college presents (or used to present). However, those same people might be smart in other ways – maybe they’re mechanically inclined or just great with their hands. Heck, maybe they COULD go to college but they’d rather work outside than be stuck behind a desk all day. Really, short of doctors, lawyers, and certain white collar professions, why are we insisting that all our young people attend institutions that ARE going to put them in debt, AREN’T going to teach them anything useful, and ARE going to program them to, in all reality, be a drain on society?
Back to the Oberlin princesses and their quest for a guaranteed minimum grade of C. Sometimes these students have to, horror of horrors, leave their safe spaces and drive across town to find a cause to champion (because studying is so boring). Megan Bautista says, “A lot of us worked alongside community members in Cleveland who were protesting [the 2014 Tamir Rice shooting by a police officer], but we needed to organize on campus as well. It wasn’t sustainable to keep driving 40 minutes away. A lot of us started suffering academically.”
“You know, were paying for a service. We’re paying for our attendance here. We need to be able to get what we need in a way that we can actually consume it,” student Zakiya Acey told The New Yorker. “Because I’m dealing with having been arrested on campus, or having to deal with the things that my family [is] going through because of larger systems having to deal with all of that, I can’t produce the work that they want me to do. But I understand the material, and I can give it to you in different ways.”
I’ve got a novel idea, Zakiya. How about learning something that will actually PRODUCE something society NEEDS (and we don’t need more protesters, Zakiya, we really, really don’t), then use that skill to take care of yourself and your family?
American factories are disappearing. The ones that are here struggle to find qualified workers (and we staffing agencies struggle to find workers for them) while fewer and fewer people are obtaining the skills needed to fill current jobs and especially lure manufacturers here to begin with.
There are signs, like the speech from my mayor, that this could be slowly turning in the right direction. Maybe it’s not too late, but maybe it is. All too soon, the delicate flowers at America’s universities will soon be writing the speech codes that take away the last vestiges of freedom America has remaining.
God help us all.
This post originally appeared on Staffing Talk.