An Indian immigrant's view: Leftist indoctrination in Europe
The Leftwing narrative is running unopposed on European campuses. The institutions of higher learning that once heralded the age of enlightenment are looking more and more like Leftwing, neo-totalitarian Seminaries, and I say that coming from India
While giving finishing touches to his Ph.D. dissertation the Dutch student Jerke de Vries had a seemingly harmless idea. A believing Christian that he was, he decided to thank God in his dissertation acknowledgement.
What seemed like a nice gesture to him, did not sit well with the members of the Dissertation Committee at the University of Wageningen (The Netherlands). They gave him a choice between God and the doctoral title.
He was ordered to blacken the sentence acknowledging God in several hundred printed copies of his dissertation, or face a certain rejection of his thesis.
Apparently in the committee’s view, it is one thing to acknowledge a favorite pub, a regular hang-out or even the local soccer team, like other batch mates, but by mentioning God the student had clearly crossed the norms of acceptability.
Finally, Jerke de Vries did bowed down to the dictates of the committee, but kept his pride by physically removing the entire acknowledgment page from several hundred copies of his dissertation, instead of blackening out the ‘objectionable’ sentence, as the committee had instructed.
What happened last week in a Dutch University is not an isolated case of academic overreach by overzealous members of a committee. Universities throughout Europe and North America are increasingly turning into hostile places, not only for believing Christians, but for anyone holding convictions other than the ones approved by the leftwing establishment.
The leftwing “Inquisitors” running amok on European campuses are not to be confused with the run-of-the-mill atheists or old school liberals. They have a well articulated faith and are anything but “liberal” in the originally intended meaning of the word.
Instead they are intolerant “professors” of the doctrine of religious Leftism bent up moulding young impressionable minds into their own image.
By default, they occupy the moral high ground in every campus debate. They claim to be impersonating dissent, while attacking every other dissenting opinion. They claim to be the champions of minority rights, while demonizing minority groups that do not confirm to the leftwing world view.
They take words like "democracy" hostage, while whitewashing the present and historical transgressions of leftist regimes and despots of the world.
These leftwing activists have deep contempt for the western society and laws, but are unhesitant in misusing free spaces and legal recourse provided by the society to slander, malign and destroy their perceived enemies.
By the end of the 1960s, sensing the failure and imminent disintegration of the radical student movement many European leftwing thinkers like the German agitator Rudi Dutschke called for a “long march through the institutions” as an alternative means of effecting “radical change” – alluding to the famous “Long March” that brought the Communist leader Mao Zedong to power in China.
They wanted a Cultural Revolution – another Maoist term – to transform society by taking control of academic and cultural institutions. This was in contrast to the classical Marxist notion of transforming society by taking over the means of production by force.
Today’s leftwing dominated academia is result of this meticulous ‘Long March’. Leftwing members of academia do not simply hold radical views, but take it upon themselves to indoctrinate their unsuspecting students. This indoctrination does not only take place in class rooms but permeates every aspect of teaching and formal learning.
In European countries like Germany, Holland or Belgium this indoctrination starts even more rigorously at the school level. A random look at the text books and curricula would prove the point. The constant looming threat of activism barging into classrooms makes even teachers with dissenting views toe the “party line”.
The Left has already succeeded in producing a resentful generation in times of economic stagnation. A generation not taught to use its rational faculties in debate, but to get shocked and offended in the face of diverging opinions.
Despite “expertise” in class warfare and degrees in areas like gender and ethnic studies, this generation is not getting what it thinks it is “entitled” to. This generation is not taught to be objective and self critical, lest it be too hard on itself! So if these young people are not getting what they think they deserve. Then, it has to be the system’s fault.
Universities and institutions of higher learning that once heralded the age of enlightenment and brought forth the marvelous innovations of the industrial revolution are turning into Leftwing Seminaries geared to produce committed leftists -- to paraphrase the American social commentator Dennis Prager.
The Leftwing narrative is running unopposed on our campuses with no opposing narrative to counter it. Today, nothing less than the very soul of the Western civilization is at stake and we just might be letting the other side win by default.
Vijeta Uniyal, an Indian-born analyst based in Germany, is a Contributing Editor to The Commentator
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