December 22nd, 2012

How about our very own Gramscian march through those universities

Here’s an organization that sounds like it has some promise. Something to think about and support if you like what you see:

Apgar Foundation, Inc. (the Foundation) makes grants to undergraduate programs that increase knowledge of and exposure to aspects of Western and American culture that have been instrumental in creating and sustaining the United States and other liberal democracies. The Foundation wants college faculty and students to deepen their understanding and appreciation of Western and American traditions, institutions, and values.

Minding the Campus looks like an interesting site, as well.

16 Responses to “How about our very own Gramscian march through those universities”

  1. pst314 Says:

    I’m skeptical of the effectiveness of a grant program. It is far more important to get lots of conservatives in academia. Conservative money will merely be used to teach American history with a leftist slant. Only a large conservative presence in academia can change what is taught.

  2. neo-neocon Says:

    pst314: I don’t think it’s “either-or.” Both are necessary. Also, grants are often used to endow chairs, and don’t the grantors have some say in who gets the grant? I’m no expert on this; perhaps someone else can say, or perhaps the website explains (I don’t have time to look it up now; busy day!)

  3. pst314 Says:

    “and don’t the grantors have some say in who gets the grant?”

    I don’t pretend to be an expert either, but every now and then I read stories about grants and endowments that were used for purposes other than specified. From what I’ve read, and from my experiences (undergraduate followed by many years of contacts with professors) I believe that corruption pervades academia: The prevailing attitude is to make any promise to secure a grant and then and then do whatever they want with the money. If the grantors don’t like it, they can spend vast amounts of time and money suing.

  4. Mr. Frank Says:

    Another organization that deals with similar issues is the National Association of Scholars.

  5. Eric Says:

    Military and civil-military issues open a wide range of essential American discourse with a real-world context.

    A 1st step is a robust ROTC presence on campuses, especially the so-called elite campuses. But that’s only a 1st step, an anchor point. The mission and purpose of ROTC officers is to produce future officers, not educate the general student body. ROTC officers as a rule do not wade into campus politics and court controversy. However, they can give lectures and participate in a limited range of other activities that are set up for them.

    That means students, faculty, and alumni need to build up a highly visible and outwardly engaged ethical-intellectual and social campus culture around the ROTC anchor-point, the grain of sand that becomes a pearl.

    Some nascent initiatives have been made in this direction in the Ivies, but they’re sputtering in large part due to ROTC’s reticence to increase their presence in the Ivies, more due to cost prohibition (high tuition) than partisan distaste.

    To sum: To cure the essential American discourse on campus, restore the military and civil-military – with all their related values, representations, and implications – as a robust, active participant in the intellectual life on campuses. ROTC is the key as the anchor point on campuses, but ROTC at present does not prioritize a civil-military purpose.

  6. beverly Says:

    This is great. We need to come about and run out all cannons and fire a broadside.

    Re the Newtown controversy, this is long but the best dismantling of the usual gun control arguments i have ever read, written by an expert. Much of this I didn’t even know.

    http://preview.tinyurl.com/catntyr

    Please pass it on, if you feel moved to do so.

  7. Wolla Dalbo Says:

    I just happened to turn on the TV just now and flipping through the channels looking for something else, came upon a vampire flic on FOX—“The Forsaken,” a few minutes of which exemplifies just what a low I.Q. cesspool our popular culture has become. This aided and abetted, of course, by our educational system, whose rejection of Judeo-Christian values and moral training, not to mention its refusal to teach its students a full, true, traditional Liberal Arts curriculum, and about actual, high culture and merit, has made such corrupting poison acceptable, and nowadays the norm.

    I believe that rather than focusing on trying to storm the bastions and take back today’s corrupt, almost totally leftist dominated higher educational establishment (and popular “culture” as well)—projects that, even if doable, are going to take several generations of intellectual street and house to house fighting–Conservatives need to focus, right now, on making every effort to get as many children as possible out of the equally corrupt public school system and into homeschooling, in insulating them as much as possible from today’s popular culture, and on developing Conservative curriculums.

    In a parallel effort, Conservatives also need to focus on endowing, strengthening, and growing existing conservative institutions of higher learning here in the U.S.—Hillsdale College in Michigan is actually the only such Conservative educational institution that I am aware of—and then on establishing more thoroughly Conservative colleges, universities, and centers of learning.

    The culture is poison, and we need to see if we can find a way to immunize people, give them defenses against, and better alternatives to it.

  8. holmes Says:

    Who said that any organization that does not specifically have a conservative bend will inevitably end up controlled by the Left?

  9. holmes Says:

    Wolla- I guess. I attended public schools and a public university and it didn’t influence me really.

  10. betsybounds Says:

    John O’Sullivan, editor-at-large of National Review, said that all organizations that are not explicitly right-wing will, over time, become left-wing. I’ve seen it referred to as O’Sullivan’s Law.

  11. physicsguy Says:

    As Frank mentioned, the NAS is also good ( I am a member). the trouble is that we are having a hard time attracting younger faculty. The NAS ia a very grey and bald group.

  12. sdferr Says:

    See perhaps Eva Brann’s Paradoxes of Education in a Republic.

  13. Francesca Says:

    holmes Says:
    December 22nd, 2012 at 5:34 pm
    Wolla- I guess. I attended public schools and a public university and it didn’t influence me really.

    Forgive me, but I would ask how long ago that was for you? As a teacher at both high school and college levels, I must say that the public schools k-12 are cesspools of leftist thought. It is unbelievable how this line of thinking is woven into everything throughout the school day.

    At my community college recently, the course “Intro to Atheism” was being promoted on the overhead screens throughout the main building. Where was the “Intro to Christianity” class, you may ask? My answer, “Surely, you jest.”

  14. Wolla Dalbo Says:

    Holmes/Francesca—Well, I believe that starting around 1950, the K-12, undergraduate, grad, legal, and professional education I received was just on the edge and shading into the decade’s long radical transformation of our education system, and despite–here and there–the occasional and to be expected psychos and egomaniacs, the teachers I had were generally well-educated, hard-working, and played it straight, and whatever their politics were they never entered into the classroom; my one horrible year of law school being the only real exception.

    In our house education was not exactly a priority and, as for books, if you looked high and low in our house you would have found only the World Book, my dictionary and thesaurus, perhaps a Bible lying around somewhere, my textbooks and library books, and the Science Fiction I bought at local stores.

    However, I was extremely fortunate in high school to have had a dedicated school librarian who encouraged me to read plus a few outstanding teachers, and “old-fashioned” as they were, the spirit of the early 1960’s had not yet tainted them. They set me on my course, and in the subsequent several decades I have done an awful lot of wide-ranging supplemental reading.

    But, then, I had a fairly good idea of where to look in my explorations because of the things my formal education taught me, the subjects it explored, the directions it went in, the people and books and concepts it introduced me to.

    So, what happens if the entire educational system, a large majority of the teachers in it, and virtually all the curriculums (many likely created by Bill Ayers or one of his acolytes) and textbooks are dedicated to ignoring, obscuring, twisting, and leading you away from the whole traditional world view, and its leading thinkers and their ideas and writings, its values, subjects, concepts, philosophies, and ways of thinking? What then?

    How do you find your way back to a tradition that you may not have a clear idea even exists, or that you have been told is not worthy of study—“dead old white men,” “colonialism,” “greed and rapacity,” “slavery,” “oppression,” “war,” “environmental degradation” and all that? Where are the signposts to point the way and lead you back?

    How to sense and find what you don’t even know is there to be found? How to take a book out of the library if the librarian has decided it is just not worthy to be “selected” for the collection? What if the only history of the U.S. used as a textbook is Howard Zinn’s “A People’s History of the United States,” and you don’t know any better—after all the school has chosen it, so it must be accurate, right? What if the fact that a book is titled “A People’s History” of anything just doesn’t set off alarm bells, because you haven’t been taught to be wary of what that “People’s” in the title likely means?

    And that, of course, is the whole idea.

  15. physicsguy Says:

    Wolla and Francesca,

    Where the left won the battle is in the schools of education in the universities. They took those over to insure that THEY were the ones teaching the teachers. The final nail in the coffin happened about 8 years ago when they imposed “dispositions”screening for all teachers in training. This means they screen the student teachers, generally in their junior year, to see if they have the proper “dispostion” to become a teacher. Of course, this means they make sure the student has the proper leftist leanings.

    FIRE has been successful in dealing with a few cases of conservatives kicked out of education schools, but the vast majority are cranking out radicals to teach our kids. And, yes, I believe Ayers was one of the architects of the dispostions idea.

  16. CV Says:

    I would like to give a shout out to campus organizations such as the Anscombe Society, which got started at Princeton I believe but has expanded to other universities including Ivies. It stands in thoughtful opposition to the hookup culture. Here is the anscombe site at MIT:

    http://web.mit.edu/anscombe/www/index.shtml

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