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J Bryant
J Bryant
2 years ago

The best part of this article are the last two paragraphs. At least the UK is starting to do something about this problem and not just complain about it. I’ll be interested to see if the Higher Education Bill actually makes a difference. For example, what teeth does it have for dealing with universities that ignore its requirements?
As an aside, I wonder what the author’s experience at Cambridge is like now that he’s publicly criticizing the woke agenda? I would guess the cancellers will come after him. I wish him the very best of luck.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Professor Arif Akbar has some qualities which may help him in this.

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

Have an upvote, but woke racists are still racists.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
2 years ago
Reply to  Drahcir Nevarc

By definition, To be woke is to be racist.

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
2 years ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

Yes indeed.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
2 years ago
Reply to  J Bryant

The teeth question is a good one. My suggestions would be:

  • That a university that fails on the neutrality requirement should be derecognised, i.e. stripped of its right to award university degrees.
  • Universities found to be failing their students should have their course and accommodation fees refunded to them by the university;
  • Liability for such repayment of fees to be perpetual and personal upon the senior members of the university.

The upshot would be that if a university censors dissent and rams Marxism down its students’ throats instead of supporting them in learning how to think, the university is closed, its students refunded and the academics who brought this about personally bankrupted. In short, much the same as the consequences for someone who starts a fraudulent private business.

Alex Stonor
Alex Stonor
2 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Can you explain how anti-racist training is Marxist.

Alan B
Alan B
2 years ago
Reply to  Alex Stonor

Anti-racist man does not ask that sort of question!

Tom Dalton
Tom Dalton
2 years ago
Reply to  Alex Stonor

Great question, I’m happy to take a crack: One may understand a fundamental component of Marxism as viewing all of history, and perhaps all of human interaction, as a power struggle between the Oppressed and the Oppressors. For Marx, this was understood in economic terms. Neomarxists have applied this same fundamental idea to non-economic matters, such as race. An “anti-racist” in this sense views all of history and indeed all of human interaction as a power struggle between Oppressed and Oppressor racial groups. The important and common feature is the view that other explanations of human interaction, such as an affinity for love or beauty or safety and security, are all subordinate to the power struggle-based explanation, inadequate in their explanation, or even completely erroneous (i.e. to explain human interaction in any way other than as a racial power struggle is to offer a false explanation).

Mangle Tangle
Mangle Tangle
2 years ago
Reply to  Tom Dalton

Agreed – or, put another way, wokeness is just a modern version of the age-old nihilism and destructiveness of immature radicals who can’t grow up.

Richard Turpin
Richard Turpin
2 years ago
Reply to  Tom Dalton

On the nail.

alan Osband
alan Osband
2 years ago
Reply to  Tom Dalton

How about the power relations expressed by the Indian Caste system .Brahmin Cambridge professor of post colonial literature Priyamvada Gopal seems to have nothing to say about the suffering imposed by her family on the untouchables , condemned to a lifetime of shovelling shit by their hereditary caste status .

Last edited 2 years ago by alan Osband
SULPICIA LEPIDINA
SULPICIA LEPIDINA
2 years ago
Reply to  alan Osband

How on earth can Cambridge have a Chair for “Post Colonial Literature “? What utter b*llocks!
Ms Gopal should be expelled to the sub-continent ASAP, she has no place here.

Last edited 2 years ago by SULPICIA LEPIDINA
Jon Redman
Jon Redman
2 years ago
Reply to  Alex Stonor

Read the article.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
2 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Just do not provide loans for students to attend those universities

Dustin Needle
Dustin Needle
2 years ago

Fear not, the “losers” who go through this education have the safety net of passing their debt on to the tax-payer. Taxation funded Marxist indoctrination, well done team HMG.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
2 years ago
Reply to  Dustin Needle

Unless you introduce a rule that anyone who does not pay their loan back does not dump it off onto the taxpayer. Instead, unpaid student loans are paid back by the institution that received the money, yet delivered no social benefit.
A few Marxist universities need to fold and their academics personally bankrupted. That should do it.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

I use to be in awe of universities and was never fortunate enough to go to one. Now I am more liable to have contempt for them unfortunately, apart from a few who still seem to honour the truth and get on with the job of education. I found it encouraging that many students go along with the woke but don’t really believe it deep down, although we know that many have swallowed to lies and are there for all to see.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago
Reply to  Dustin Needle

Yes governments have been very blind on this problem and are now reaping the whirlwind.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
2 years ago
Reply to  Tony Conrad

Unless, of course the government, and more importantly the civil service, is stuffed full of fellow travellers

Jonathan Weil
Jonathan Weil
2 years ago
Reply to  J Bryant

He’s been at this for a while, and no sign of cancellation yet. Was central to getting Jordan Peterson re-invited after the shameful cancellation of his visiting professorship, for example.

Here’s what a friend of mine who was taught by him years back had to say:

“Arif Ahmed was my formal logic supervisor at Cambridge and he was amazing. I have never met anyone so smart, so rigorous and so clear minded. An absolute force of nature.”

Karl Francis
Karl Francis
2 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan Weil

I think he’s fantastic. ‘A force of nature’, let’s hope so. More power to his elbow.

John Lee
John Lee
2 years ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Is that cancelers or Chancellors?

Katalin Kish
Katalin Kish
2 years ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Having a name like “Arif Ahmed“, a non-Caucasian appearance and a professorial title might shield the author from some of the woke wrath.

alan Osband
alan Osband
2 years ago
Reply to  Katalin Kish

Yes . They will still be wrathful ( perhaps even more so ) but will find it hard to accuse him of racism .

Andrew Horsman
Andrew Horsman
2 years ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Agree it is a fantastic, courageous article.

For me the bit that resonated most was the reference to the senior functionary who when pressed conceded that they were just “doing something” for the sake of doing anything. This attitude exactly explains why people still demand mask-wearing – it’s doing something for the sake of doing anything, despite mounting evidence that it doesn’t work and it causes harm.

We are facing a rapidly escalating moral and intellectual collapse in the West. As with the perpetuation of the covid delusion, the question we should all be asking regarding unthinking wokism is: who benefits? Does it benefit a super wealthy elite to distract the masses and make them feel weak, divided, ashamed, and feeling guilty or victimised? Does it benefit them for the masses to believe that their extreme, useless wealth is justified by a belief that it can be used to implement global solutions to fix global problems, both of which are largely or exclusively things that they have created? Does it benefit the Chinese Communist Party to have the ethnically diverse population of its geopolitical rivals divided against one another, and its universities and its core institutions weakened by all of this nonsense? Does it also benefit the CCP for western populations to abandon individualism and respect for basic individual human rights?

James Anthony Seyforth
James Anthony Seyforth
2 years ago
Reply to  J Bryant

I think a fantastic idea would be to make the entire offending university faculty teach in hardest lowest performing state schools for a year, similar to a kind of anti social behavior punishment – since what they project in ideology is anti social; as such they have to go in to real communities and make a difference, like the rest of us poorer, disconnected, brutish intelligent people who have no tenure, no wealth, and no extensive power, who either in our private business or else are making the world and the disadvantaged smarter through hard work and perseverance… Of course they would wriggle out of that like worms.

Just for the record I am a state school raised Masters in Physics who has worked in schools, for children’s charities/businesses and in private scientific business. So I know exactly how difficult it is at the cutting side of things, and how wokism is just the fluff of the weak and entitled who know nothing about transforming poorer or disadvantaged people’s lives for the better.

Melanie Mabey
Melanie Mabey
2 years ago

wokism is just the fluff of the weak and entitled who know nothing about transforming poorer or disadvantaged people’s lives for the better.’ yes I think you are right, it is the last religion perhaps of the dwindling middle classes.

Jonathan Andrews
Jonathan Andrews
2 years ago

The fluff of the weak.

Brilliant

Charles Lewis
Charles Lewis
1 year ago

What does ‘fluff’ mean here?

Jonathan Andrews
Jonathan Andrews
2 years ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Privatise the universities. Let them earn money through the value that those wish to attend give them.

Paddy Taylor
Paddy Taylor
2 years ago

My concern with this ever-growing trend of Critical Race indoctrination at our universities is that the people who are driving it have NO INTEREST WHATSOEVER in achieving equality between the races.
Because, quite simply, they are not in the Equality business, they are in the Grievance business.
And business is good at the moment. There are careers to be had and fortunes to be made, stirring the pot, feeding the sense of guilt among whites and feeding the sense of victimhood among (what, until last week, we were expected to refer to as) the BAME community.
Truly – WHO DOES THAT SERVE? Are these people looking to improve relations between communities? It would appear not, as they only seem to seek division – separating and segregating people based on which “community” they “belong” to.
When it comes to the vast majority of those students who’ve bought into the woke agenda, I think it comes from a good place. Many seem unaware of the malignant undertones of the BLM movement, or seem unable take a step back and recognise that Robin Di Angelo, Ibram X Kendi and Layla Saad are really little more than arms dealers in the culture war. 
I’m not paranoid enough (yet) to believe that the majority of the “anti-racist woke” actually want to see society divided – but I cannot fathom how they think the divisive, separatist attitudes of their movement can possibly bring us together. It seems so evidently self-defeating.
Just a few years ago we were exhorted as a society to be colour-blind, to accept people simply as people, whatever their background, their lifestyle, their “differences”.
What happened to that idea?
For many years I lived in London and worked in an industry (Broadcast TV) that was as diverse as one could possibly find anywhere. As far as we were concerned the arguments of Race, Gender, Creed, Orientation had been fought and largely won. We seemed at the time – perhaps naively – to be enjoying the peace.
Maybe those who are inclined to be activists feel they have to keep picking at the scab and reopening old wounds or there is no point to their existence, but it seems incredible that we’ve gone so far backwards and quite so quickly.
As I say, I have a good deal of sympathy with the young in all this – not the activists who are driving this damaging and divisive movement – but those who’ve grown up in this atmosphere. They’ve been fed a constant diet of woke totems and “progressive” thought (actually horribly regressive thought) throughout their education and now must navigate a “thought-crime minefield” where the slightest miss-step can blow up in their faces.
Some, believing what they’ve been taught – and with the best intentions – try to stick to all the latest approved attitudes and mantras and find themselves saying and doing things that (I can only hope) will make them shudder with embarrassment when they look back on them in years to come. I’m optimistic that they’ll be young enough to still have the chance of an awakening (from their awokening?). Others eschew the whole concept of inclusivity and adopt almost a siege mentality that helps no one (the rise of the young alt-right in America is a direct consequence of US College campus PC conformity).
The liberal-left decries inequality of opportunity and income disparity as the two main evils that are fracturing society. But I’d suggest this Identity politics agenda is a far more pernicious way to separate us.
Identity politics is the very antithesis of the principles of universalism – it suggests what differentiates us is more important than what we have in common. Surely we should treasure more what we share as members of a diverse community rather than seek to silo people and segregate that community into ghettos based on our racial identities, sexual orientation, age, gender or creed?
How do people who claim to speak for progressive attitudes justify shifting the argument from Martin Luther King’s dream of a future where people are judged according to their character rather than the colour of their skin to the point where these activists are calling for PRECISELY THE OPPOSITE? That you are defined, as a person, solely by the groups to which you belong. To abandon that call for universalism in favour of separatism is surely a retrograde step?
But not only does the politics of grievance divide us, it makes us weaker. It glorifies victimhood and vilifies anyone who tries to suggest otherwise.
The #metoo movement could have been empowering, yet insisting that a clumsy advance, or an unwanted touch of a knee, is somehow equivalent to rape is insane. Who is that empowering? Telling every woman they are a victim, teaching impressionable young women they are likely to become victims, that all men are naturally predatory? Does that heal divisions in society or exacerbate them?
Similarly, teaching young black men that they are oppressed, that society doesn’t value them as much, that the police are not to be trusted. Who does that help? Does it improve their chances of success in life or does it weigh them down with unnecessary baggage? Does it drive a wedge between communities, between groups? I would suggest that, yes, of course it does.
The matter of one’s race, gender, age or creed should not add a jot or subtract a tittle from the validity of one’s argument – but we know that it does in today’s marketplace of ideas. Writing as a British, middle-class, middle-aged white man, I am on much thinner ice tackling contentious issues such as race than if I were black, or younger, or any of half a dozen other differentiators. Because, according to Critical Race Theory, the very fact of my whiteness supposedly stops me from being able to discern systemic racism – and thus I can be safely ignored. Any attempt to push back against that is dismissed as defensiveness and further proof of my racism – apparently.
It is therefore crucial that enough intellectuals and writers of colour take on the divisive racial myths being peddled by race-baiters, the leftish media and academia and the ever-growing army of (largely well-meaning but chronically misinformed) young, indoctrinated woke – who I like to call the Children of the Quorn. 
More power to the author for daring to speak out publicly – I hope at no cost to his career.
Many of these university activists would undoubtedly denounce any who’d think to pigeonhole someone whilst, almost in the same breath, constructing a fairly sturdy pigeonhole themselves and stuffing it with a well-fed pigeon.
You can’t win (unless you simply refuse to play their game).

Last edited 2 years ago by Paddy Taylor
Samuel Ross
Samuel Ross
2 years ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

Wow. What an incredible and detailed article. All true points, and thanks so much for posting!

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
2 years ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

Others eschew the whole concept of inclusivity and adopt almost a siege mentality 
Maybe it is the only sensible alternative. After all we have listened long enough to people calling for dialogue, debate, free speech while all the time watching our institutions and the Overton window move ever leftwards.
Do we make a stand now while we still have a chance or do wait a while longer to give the meaningless platitudes that have failed us to date more time to have effect?

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago

The trouble is that many of our leaders have been tainted with the same brush.

SULPICIA LEPIDINA
SULPICIA LEPIDINA
2 years ago
Reply to  Tony Conrad

Yes, worthless dross! But were Eden, Heath, Callaghan or Blair any better?

Charles Lewis
Charles Lewis
2 years ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

Of course all this shit is divisive. That is the point of it. Critical theory and its adherents seek to weaken our society in order to replace it in time with one of their own choosing. Rubbishing our history weakens us. Trans ideology with its patent nonsenses and erasure of lebians, and women and its destruction of children and young people weakens us . Celebrating mental illness weakens us. Teaching us to need a safe space, to take offence as much as possible, to seek victim-status, to feel unsafe or threatened weaken us. That is what the likes of George Soros are paying for. And with a woke PM and his wokier (sorry, wackier) wife, we are not all that far short of collapse, and ushering in the brave new world of 1984 (forgive the tropes).

Warren T
Warren T
2 years ago
Reply to  Charles Lewis

Precisely. It’s all about creating a police state to step in some day….for the good of us all.

Jonathan Andrews
Jonathan Andrews
2 years ago
Reply to  Warren T

I wish to avoid paranoia but in my 56 years, it’s only now I have feared the future.

It’s not poverty or strife or God help me even war that are hopeless but removing the primacy of the individual.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago
Reply to  Charles Lewis

It is basically between good and evil as it has always been. We happen to live in dark days where truth is sacrificed for deception.

Martin Adams
Martin Adams
2 years ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

An excellent, wide-ranging and profound comment, that analyses the problem and offers solutions. Ultimately your last paragraph says what must be done to reduce and, ultimately (one hopes), eliminate the influence of these self-righteous power-pedlars and their poisonous ideologies.
Thank you!.

Last edited 2 years ago by Martin Adams
SULPICIA LEPIDINA
SULPICIA LEPIDINA
2 years ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

What a brilliant synopsis, thank you.
Presumably you ‘ride to hounds’?

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

The grievance business would be about destroying the present order by whatever means and I would guess to replace it with marxism and all the woes that would bring.

Alison Wren
Alison Wren
2 years ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

Hi Paddy please stop saying that common euphemism for sex, gender. Male and female are distinct unchangeable entities, and rights are being utterly eroded for both women and men by insisting gender, or gender identity ( a totally unprovable construct ( or construction!)) is the important characteristic.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

I think this comment should be published by Unherd!

hayden eastwood
hayden eastwood
2 years ago

Great article. Wokeism is inextricably built on double-think and ambiguous, vague terms that can mean anything.

Obvious double-think examples:

  1. Race is a construct but white people are uniquely oppressive. If race is, as they say, just a construct, then why would white people have any more propensity to construct oppressive systems than other groups? They claim in one breath, therefore, that race is a construct, while in the next advance a position that implicitly assumes biological differences between races.
  2. Gender is a construct but men are uniquely oppressive. Same doublethink as above.
  3. We should be kind to homosexuals because they didn’t choose their sexuality, but people choose their sexuality as a result of the patriarchy. ie sexual orientation is both biological fact and construct, simultaneously.
  4. All ways of looking at the world are equally valid, but our way is more valid. They believe in cultural relativism while they simultaneously assert the moral and intellectual superiority of their own values.

I see more and more students graduate with confused minds like this, locked in primitive medieval dualism, as if the enlightenment itself had never happened.
Calling them sheep is almost too charitable. Certain experiments show, for example, that primates outperform humans in a variety of cognitive tasks. This is because our large brains compound cognitive biases, which we have greater capacity for.
Sheep, as such, may be at a distinct advantage in navigating their environment compared to many (or most) current day humanities graduates.

Last edited 2 years ago by hayden eastwood
Jonathan Weil
Jonathan Weil
2 years ago

An even more glaring version of contradiction number 2: gender is a construct unless you are trans, in which case your preferred gender is totally innate and immutable, to the extent that living in the wrong body is unbearable for you (I have no reason to doubt trans people who say this is so; but it rather scuppers “gender is a construct”, doesn’t it?)

hayden eastwood
hayden eastwood
2 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan Weil

That is a very good point and one I should have added!

Michael K
Michael K
2 years ago

I remember reading a study within which it was shown that baby monkeys, who saw a human do something to get a treat in addition to pressing a button that did nothing, would copy the behavior that led to the treat, but would ultimately not press the useless button. Whereas baby humans would press the button ten out of ten times.

Alex Stonor
Alex Stonor
2 years ago
Reply to  Michael K

I can’t resist a button.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
2 years ago

Why do leftists always talk about a “construct” when they mean a “construction”?
Do they take sildenafil for their “erect” problems, and suffer from “confuse” when they get dementia?

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
2 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Also, what’s with “behaviours”?

Anthony Lewis
Anthony Lewis
2 years ago

The cognitive dissonances and contradictions are so basic, so obvious and so untethered from reality I remain aghast that this brain rot is taught in universities and that people hold professorships in this nonsense and pump out gobble look research paid fro by the tax payer – I am a scientist so ahem never been exposed to this nonsense but recently had to research what Critical Justice was about for a talk I was giving, I remain astounded that the whole edifice of nonsense has been built a top of underlying assumptions and assertions which do not stand 5 minutes of critical intelligent challenge – it really is untethered brain rot

Alison Wren
Alison Wren
2 years ago
Reply to  Anthony Lewis

Even science departments are being required to sign up to the nonsense that is transideology. Interestingly, the ONLY objectively definable protected characteristic in the 2010 equalities act is sex (and the pregnancy and maternity that are the province of the female sex). Race, disability, even age where records are not kept have very porous boundaries…..

Andrew Horsman
Andrew Horsman
2 years ago

This comment is spot on in my view. You could add to the long list of inherent contradictions of woke thinking (if you can call it that, perhaps doctrine would be better) that if race is an unhelpful social construct, why reinforce that construct by constantly banging on about it and devising tortuous metrics to hold people to account for how many “BAME” students they attract to their lectures or courses or whatever.

The problem is is that they really do believe that their way of looking at the world as being above politics, beyond challenge, and almost axiomatically right. It’s godless faux-religion for a dissociated materialists with no connection to their inner-selves. We see the same thing with vaccine-faith – it just cannot be that the deplorables could be right and the righteous, clueless “liberal” academics are wrong. Usually when people start asserting that their worldview is beyond question and start trying to force reality to fit their half-baked theories bad stuff starts happening.

Karl Francis
Karl Francis
2 years ago

This is a magnificent piece from Professor Arif Ahmed. This is exacy what I came to UnHerd for. Writing and reflection of this calibre give us all some much needed hope. Undoubtedly there have been incidents in his life which could have made him cynical and resentful, but no, his stance is fair and philosophical. I very much look forward to reading more from him in the future. Well done UnHerd, and Thankyou.

Matthew Powell
Matthew Powell
2 years ago

Universities were already firmly in the territory of the upper middle classes and those who aspire to join them. It should be of no surprise that seeing popularist governments elected on the promise to redistribute wealth from the upper to the lower middle classes and to curb the excesses of globalisation which they have benefited from, has produced an inevitable backlash.

CRT is the perfect tool to divide and conquer the now ethically diverse West. By postulating a permanent victim class, who’s needs not only justify the granting of preferential treatment, quoters and increased funding etc, needed to win elections but also justifying the denial of funding to groups, who may even be economically worse off, on the grounds that they are the privileged oppressor cast; thus keeping the overall economic costs down enough not to impact the wealth of the upper middle classes though higher taxes.

I am not a Marxist but I certainly think that he was right that most intellectuals have a propensity to conclude that what is true, is also what is most advantageous to themselves.

Christopher Chantrill
Christopher Chantrill
2 years ago

The question is: what is the point of “anti-racism” for its practitioners? Actual racist laws were abolished half a century ago. So what’s the point?
Obviously this is partly to allow the Stiltstockings throughout what Curtis Yarvin calls “the Cathedral” to advertise their virtue and their adherence to ruling-class orthodoxies.
Then, to me, we have an Activism Culture that is rather like the good old medieval romance. The ruling class in the autumn of the middle ages liked to listen of an evening to stirring tales of noble knights rescuing damsels in distress and searching for Holy Grails. Our modern activists are pretending to be noble revolutionaries fighting for helpless victims of oppression. Yep, come up with another Cunning Plan, Baldrick.
Plus, there is the fact that “there is no politics without an enemy.” So there must be racists out there somewhere.
Then, I suggest, there is no religion without an Old Scratch. Every believer is determined to root out evil.
Finally, I suggest, our modern education system is a complete mess. You tell me what schools and universities are doing that couldn’t be done by low-status nobodies at 25 percent of the cost. So the high-status Somebodies have to invent a narrative to justify their magnificent robes and sinecures.

Last edited 2 years ago by Christopher Chantrill
Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
2 years ago

Before universities and much more important than universities come schools.

These middle class, ‘clever’, professors can write papers and articles until the cows come home but they won’t have any effect where it matters, with working class children in inner cities. Personally, I see all of this emphasis on BLM actually causing more racism, which will lead to more articles from more professors ……..

When all of the students are brainwashed there will be a bigger and bigger gulf between them and real people.

Andrea X
Andrea X
2 years ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

Indeed, like the article yesterday in the Spectator (buried under 100 articles on partygate) on the racist use of the word “eloquent”.

James Joyce
James Joyce
2 years ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

This reminds me a story I read about some decades ago. Some black guys who made it to Stanford, but only because of what Brits call positive discrimination, and even though technically oriented, couldn’t keep up. They either switched majors and/or stopped hanging out with the tech geeks of the day, and ended up going to the anti-racist programs of the day, claiming victimhood, oppression, discrimination.
The point of the article was that these dudes later regretted their choices. Instead of attending “anti-racism” protests, they could have been Google employee 135, or FaceBook Employee 99, etc. They had. realization moment (or many) when they realized that they had missed their chance…..

Michael K
Michael K
2 years ago

This whole “woke” thing is a self-fulfilling prophecy. And it’s our fault. Yes, it’s the fault of all of us.
Not only has the West lost any coherence we ever had by abolishing religion; which is exemplified quite well by the Nietzsche quote “God is dead”. Indeed, we have done an excellent job by making fun of religion for it’s inevitable quirks; while at the same time we have failed horrendously in providing a replacement for the vital role religion plays in matters of psychological health. “Therapy” unfortunately is not a valid replacement for “faith” or “meaning”.
We have, in addition, managed to create or at the very least have tolerated political narratives that put blame on random people, and judge them by the “mob mentality” of a tiny minority on “social” media channels.
We have raised our children (and I include me, even though I have no children) in too much of a secluded, materialistic way: not only spoiling them with everything they could ever want, but also treating them like royalty, like adults when they were irrational, but then coddling them when they would have taken risk. Ultimately, we hypercontrolled their safety, to make them into objects of our own success unto which we project our inflated ego. Thus, they are sent to university to study “something” and subsequently be “successful” (though this view is obviously rather dated). This is clearly evident by the shortage of manual workers we face today, indeed, there could not be more irrefutable evidence for this point of failure.
The last point especially has put enormous pressure on our children, expectations they had to fulfill, whether the parent has claimed so or not (in the latter case it is implied through their behaviour towards the child, and children can read body language incredibly well). At the same time, we have decided to give out participation trophies, completely confusing any understanding the child may have had for success or failure, or for telling apart important and unimportant matters.

The net result? A generation of weak, spineless people, who never managed to build up any courage, because they were not allowed to take risk or be responsible for anything by themselves. A generation of spoiled people, who now have to come to grips with the reality that out there in the real world, people do not in fact throw free stuff at you at the mere mention of it. People who now have to realize that out there, in fact, nobody cares about how good you feel, because they’re all busy with how good they feel, seeing that they were raised in the same way you were. A generation of people who have no practical skills, are essentially useless aside from a boring office job, and who know and feel that reality quite well.
Wokeness is a spiral of mediocrity, it’s a kicking contest, in which these spoiled, faithless, spineless, and ultimately useless people WE created, try to make sense out of their lives by focusing on the next best thing, posting it on social media, and hoping to get a morsel of appreciation proven by “likes”. And you know what? They are in fact the victims. The perpetrators of wokeness themselves are the victims, of a culture that has lost its soul to the devil of materialistic crap nobody needs, and likes nobody should care about.
We are in for a rough ride. All the adults who are left must take responsibility, otherwise, we are done for.

Last edited 2 years ago by Michael K
Warren T
Warren T
2 years ago
Reply to  Michael K

Well said. I would also argue that we merely switched religions in the West. We went from the Judeo/Christian tradition to Consumerism.

Judy Johnson
Judy Johnson
2 years ago
Reply to  Michael K

The inevitability of Woke is very well analysed by Carl Foreman in his book, ‘The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self.’

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago
Reply to  Michael K

Good piece but I would have preferred ‘Faith in God’ and not ‘Religion’

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
2 years ago

An excellent and encouraging article. I have never assumed the colour of a man’s skin has any bearing on any other quality he may have and dividing men into different races is a piece of 18th century junk science. My eldest son was delivered by a doctor with very black skin and I never had the slightest qualm about it.
However, if this anti-racism nonsense continues am I not going to be much more concerned that in future when I encounter a dark skinned doctor I will wonder if he has in fact been properly trained but instead has been passed through the system because it has discriminated in favour of the irrelevant factor of the colour of his skin and he has benefited from an anti-racist blind eye to his deficiencies of skill? The whole anti-racism scam appears to be deliberately designed to promote racism where none previously existed.
Anti-racist training appears to be deliberately designed to promote racism rather than reduce it, just as the evidence in the article indicates is the effect. This is the result of cynical PR and the machinations of those who wish to actively promote conflict. They should be driven from our institutions as hate mongers.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

Similarly quota systems are in danger of promoting less qualified persons over more qualified persons to the detriment of the company or employer.

Jeff Carr
Jeff Carr
2 years ago

Thank you for eloquently writing what I think.
Having recently listened to a BBC programme about harmful cults, I wonder how close our universities are to being classified as cults.

Saul D
Saul D
2 years ago

Universities create weak and non-vocational courses that then flush out to end up recruited as managers into the public sector, the law, NGOs and public administration, or at best HR in a larger company.
A tweak to public sector hiring, such as to require a minimum of one year working in the private sector (which could be on the tills or the shop floor) prior to application, would have the benefit of grounding people in the concept of productive work and act as a brake on nonsensical courses.
It would also reconnect the admin-bound middle-classes with the working class and the realities of the burdens of bureaucracy, and the need to focus on pragmatism and practicality over book-bound theory.

Tony Lee
Tony Lee
2 years ago

You have to laugh; well at least I do. The whole thing is so utterly ridiculous. The emperor’s new clothes in human form. I’m too old and insignificant to be cancelled. Too at peace to be woke. This all smacks of Communist Bulgaria/USSR in the 80’s, where there were three kinds of truth. Political truth, which we all knew was a lie. Public truth, which was probably a lie. And the truth you told at home, but only if you trusted the people you lived with. Humour is the only cure for such nonsense.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
2 years ago
Reply to  Tony Lee

The woke have destroyed ‘comedy’ as well. In the USA, several years ago comedians Jerry Seinfeld & Chris Rock announced they would no longer, perform on college campuses because of woke intolerance. Famed (black!) comedian Dave Chappell has been attacked for his refusal to accept the ludicrous pronouncements by the woke. This is a struggle. Luckily, some comedians are tough nuts & subversive by nature and refuse to bend. Seems like this ‘woke’ thing is a virus unto itself and hopefully it will run its course and expire.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

I think it is more insideous than that and that it is something we individually have to deliver ourselves of.

Milos Bingles
Milos Bingles
2 years ago

Universities have always been left-wing. Always will be. It’s hardly a shock. Cancel culture is an issue! And that should be dealt with but students are students. University students are still very young and their approach to political matters is very heavy-handed when it comes to discovering their political selves. I know when I got to Uni, I was shocked at being called working class by a majority of privately educated peers. I had no concept of class growing up in Leicester. However, at uni it was extreme. My reaction to it was extreme and I became an incredible inverted snob for a time.
Yes, they are heavy-handed in how they express themselves but I do feel like this whole debate about left-wing students is another battlefront in the culture wars that have come to the UK from America. I understand the intentions of the article but the bigger picture seeks to further divide those that have and have not been to university. It seeks to divide those that have and have not been educated. The use of the phrase sheep is particularly reminiscent of the phrase “sheeple” used in the culture war parlance.
I’m aiming for at least -50 on this one.

Last edited 2 years ago by Milos Bingles
Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
2 years ago
Reply to  Milos Bingles

It’s less the students that concern me, as you say most have always been on the left, but the administrators who are enabling, or even promoting this nonsense. When the students leave school get a job, pay taxes,get married get a mortgage (if they’re lucky!) have children, their views then often modify, but the administrators and some (many?) academics should know better. What are they up to? What do they gain? Malcolm Bradbury’s The History Man (published in 1975) showed the beginnings of these behaviours; and it seems to me that such people gain credit with the young remaining at one with them forever, thus avoiding growing-up.

Karl Francis
Karl Francis
2 years ago
Reply to  Milos Bingles

Uptick for the candour about your time at Uni. It’s not nice being condescended to or pigeonholed is it?
I watch GB News from time to time by the way…. all the best mate.

Warren T
Warren T
2 years ago
Reply to  Milos Bingles

You must be a younger person and are falling into the common trap whereby we all think the world started the day we were born. Universities were not always “left”, as most of the greatest universities were founded by Christian organizations over the centuries. They began to turn left during the 1960’s.

Judy Johnson
Judy Johnson
2 years ago
Reply to  Warren T

There are left Christians!

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago
Reply to  Judy Johnson

Depends what you call a christian. There are many in name only. By their fruits you will know them.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago
Reply to  Warren T

That is very true. It was the christians as well who started the schools and hospitals but today it is frowned upon if you even pray for someone in those institutions.

James Joyce
James Joyce
2 years ago

“It isn’t too late, though. The obvious solution is the immediate and permanent scrapping of any kind of politically or ideologically oriented training or induction. It has no place in a university.”
I fear it is too late, and constantly have this debate with a British friend who is a maths professor in the US. I believe that the unis must be torn down brick by brick and that higher education must start over. This exaggerates my actual position a bit–but just a bit. He, of course, disagrees, though he is in one of the least woke areas–higher maths research and teaching calculus, though “anti-racist” maths is making inroads.
If it is not too late, it will take several generations for the unis to go back to their original purpose. The damage has been done, on a massive and institutional level.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago
Reply to  James Joyce

How can you have antiracist maths? If you disobey the logic it is useless.

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
2 years ago
Reply to  Tony Conrad

Logic is racist.

Al M
Al M
2 years ago
Reply to  Tony Conrad

I was thinking of Orwell’s thoughts on 2 + 2 = 4 with regard to this, but then found a better quote: Some ideas are so stupid that only intellectuals believe them.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago

They would soon shut up if you declared your point of study was to actually prove the anti-racism creed you believe in so adamantly by proving all societies have the same IQ, Scientific successes, Political Justice, Literary excellence, artistic and musical sophistication. That in fact all peoples are equal, and have always been.

I remember from PG Wodehouse where the Head of a very top school would say at assembly:

‘Education is not a putting in – it is a drawing out.’

The old days and their silly thinking and ideals……

Postmodernism, Neo-Marxism, Liberal-Fas* ism. As pernicious a philosophy as any ever founded.

Warren T
Warren T
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

But how can you argue when they insist that even a mathematical equation is racist. If you believe that 2+2=4, then you are not being sensitive to cultures that don’t believe in preciseness. The same goes with believing in the rule of law. They believe that some people should be able to steal from others because the concept of private property is not sensitive to cultures that don’t believe in privately held property. These types of irreconcilable differences have been settled by war for eons.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago
Reply to  Warren T

Lawlessness then.

Colin Elliott
Colin Elliott
2 years ago

I’ve recently begun to feel as though I’ve woken to find the country occupied by The Enemy; an alien and hostile force. To pursue the analogy, I also find that the government (in which of course civil servants vastly outnumber politicians) contains a number of Quislings. Finally, I feel horribly powerless.

Justin Clark
Justin Clark
2 years ago
Reply to  Colin Elliott

a number can be very large indeed

Deb Grant
Deb Grant
2 years ago
Reply to  Colin Elliott

Yes. Rod Liddle”s Spectator article this week hughlights the involvement and numbers of civil servants.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago
Reply to  Deb Grant

With their gold plated pensions at our expense.

Last edited 2 years ago by Tony Conrad
Benjamin Jones
Benjamin Jones
2 years ago
Reply to  Colin Elliott

The film ‘ They Live’ springs to mind.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago
Reply to  Colin Elliott

Welcome to the club.

G H
G H
2 years ago

All very well and no dissent at all. Though, I miss the economic analysis here. My current hypothesis is that this wave is happening due to an overproduction of scholars in the humanities: they need to find a field where they can supersede their tenured predecessors who block their academic advancement and where they finally can make some money, This is just the next step after the firm establishment of the therapeutic society (Rieff et al) following the overproduction of psychologists, sociologists, etc. Society will have to find an alternative to such excess production of non-productive disciples unless we really yearn for a new Savonarola and his bonfires of the vanities.

Last edited 2 years ago by G H
Al M
Al M
2 years ago
Reply to  G H

A recent article in The Critic by Mary Harrington proposed something similar, but with the focus on academic support departments.

Last edited 2 years ago by Al M
Deb Grant
Deb Grant
2 years ago

We never hear discourse about the causes of racism – which is generally fear and lack of positive experience or exposure to people different from ourselves. Some of this stems from serious negative experiences like terrorism or knife crime if you live in some areas, some is irrational, low level anxiety.

Where is the understanding about why people feel this way? We often excuse criminality and antisocial behaviour because some people are worse off than others in life. We’d be better equipped in knowing how to tackle racism if we understood both the rational and irrational fear which surrounds it.

We’re teaching our descendants another form of prejudice and bigotry, not reducing racism.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago
Reply to  Deb Grant

‘Some of this stems from serious negative experiences like terrorism or knife crime if you live in some areas, some is irrational, low level anxiety.’
Having lived in the inner city that is very true. For me it was also the loud music droning on through the night. Always one particular race. I strive not to be racist because of it but what you say is true.

Fred Atkinstalk
Fred Atkinstalk
2 years ago

“five years after instituting required training for managers, companies saw no improvement in the proportion of white women, black men, and Hispanics in management”
This is one of those statements which usually go by unchallenged, but really should not. It should say that there was no “change” in the proportion of white men etc – that would be reasonable. By using the word “improvement” there is an implication that a change would be for the better. Is that axiomatic?

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago

Quite so. It should be about ability without and racist bias.

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
2 years ago

I think that you are nit-picking. As the Powers that Be (PTB) were aiming for an increase (I assume) in white women, black men, Hispanics etc. in management, then an increase would be an improvement. For the PTB no improvement equals no change they have the same for them.
On a personal note, I think that it would be an improvement.

Fred Atkinstalk
Fred Atkinstalk
2 years ago

Yes, I am nit-picking. But I have a personal dislike of subjective qualitative comments masquerading as objective quantitative measures.

And you are very welcome to think that an increase would be an improvement as long as you accept that other views are also (note I do not say equally) valid.

What do you think about ‘diversity’? That is a word which has become charged with qualitative meaning, to the point where it is almost forbidden to say that diversty is not, always and everywhere, a positive thing. (Of course, it’s all about context : I want doctors to be homogenous : well trained, well qualified. I don’t care whether they are ethnically diverse, because as far as I know that has no relevance to competence.)

Fred Atkinstalk
Fred Atkinstalk
2 years ago

Going back to your comment, why would that be an improvement? Are you saying a range of backgrounds would make the individual managers better, or are just virtue-signalling?

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
2 years ago

I never virtue-signal (or at least I hope I don’t). I believe that, all other things being equal, having a range of different experiences in people in management roles would improve decision making. If all mangers were Old Etonian Oxbridge graduates, for example, the way that they look at the world would be from their own particular bubble and they would probably miss how these decisions impact people outside this bubble. This is the problem we have at the moment in our political class, particularly in the Labour ranks, where they are top-heavy with university to political assistant to MP types, sometimes stopping off as civil-rights lawyers on the way. They find it difficult to relate to the voters and their many different life-experiences.

Fred Atkinstalk
Fred Atkinstalk
2 years ago

Very good points, thank you. I am, however, not convinced that a range of different experiences equates to or necessitates a range of diiferent ethnicities or genders. If you want different experiences, recruit for that specifically.

Last edited 2 years ago by Fred Atkinstalk
Peter LR
Peter LR
2 years ago

This could devalue university education especially when the possible financial rewards are set against the fee debt incurred. I positively encouraged my children to consider a university education but not now as enthusiastically my grandchildren (although there may be no choice if considering a STEM subject). Hopefully this indoctrinating disease is not spreading to the technical sector.
PS “ This isn’t empty whataboutery” – I agree, Arif, but doesn’t that accusation have the same intent as say ‘gaslighting’: ie shut up, I don’t like what you’re asking me to think about or to face up to hypocrisy!
Jordan Peterson discusses university decline here:
https://youtu.be/dncyXvPR8uU

Last edited 2 years ago by Peter LR
Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
2 years ago

This phenomenon has unfortunately spread much wider than academia. I am currently reading Douglas Murray’s ‘The Wisdom of Crowds’ which is brilliant if depressing. In it he refers to a seminar he attended where the ‘Chief People Officer’ of the Daily Telegraph, of all institutions, was expounding this claptrap!
The West really will be finished it it endlessly genuflects to its endless racist and patriarchal etc evils, while China, Russia and indeed most of our rivals and competitors do not. Frankly, we need Orban-like political will to combat this cancer, but I don’t think we will get it. I have to say one of my consoling fantasies is to imagine something like Putin’s police force giving the grievance victim crybully students something real to complain about. And of course sacking Judith Butler and others and perhaps re-educating her by getting her to do something useful, like maybe a job at cleaning. She could actually then interact with some real people.

Last edited 2 years ago by Andrew Fisher
Jill Corel
Jill Corel
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

Yes, Douglas Murray’s book is brilliant. It is, however, called “The Madness of Crowds” not “The Wisdom of Crowds”.

GA Woolley
GA Woolley
2 years ago

They might be sheep factories, but at least you come out with a BAA in sociology. (ack Milton Jones).

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago
Reply to  GA Woolley

You mean like the sheep.

Alan Thorpe
Alan Thorpe
2 years ago

Why do the university students act like sheep – because their training starts in schools.

Andrew Roman
Andrew Roman
2 years ago

Is this type of indoctrination found in universities in other countries?

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Roman

Yes, that is why he quoted the story of education under Stalin – to show it is the same as UK is now.

My favorite Biologist of all time is Lysenco, the Biologist Stalin put over the entire Russian Biology research and education and practice.

“Lysenkoism was a political campaign led by Soviet biologist Trofim Lysenko against genetics and science-based agriculture in the mid-20th century, rejecting natural selection in favour of a form of Lamarckism”

He had such an insanely wrong understanding of Biology that it resulted in a very great many real scientists and teachers disappearing into the Gulags and to their deaths because they could not believe the utter falsehoods, and go along with them. Russian agriculture under this crazy man caused mass starvation…

We enjoy teaching Ibram X Kendi, Nikole Hannah-Jones, and other Social Scientists with great insights, and it is reasonable to expect the same results as Lysenko gave to his Nation.

Alison Wren
Alison Wren
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

I’m quite fond of Galileo myself. Muttering under my breath such heresies as ” sex is unchangeable in mammals” and ” natural immunity is better ( and cheaper) than a vaccine for most people”……

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
2 years ago
Reply to  Alison Wren

natural immunity is better ( and cheaper) than a vaccine for most people
Very debatable in the case of COVID.

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Roman

Yes, mainly in the Anglosphere.

Steven Campbell
Steven Campbell
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Roman

It’s been brewing here in the States since the 60’s. Vietnam was the catalyst and many found that if they couldn’t win elections, they’d win the classroom. The Media was all in and now the left has won that battle. Control the minds of youth then the transition to Corporations and Government is easy. We’ve been indoctrinated to accept the Big Lie.

Last edited 2 years ago by Steven Campbell
Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago

There appears to be a massive change in the USA (The land of the free) since Biden got in but I assume it was happening in the dark and has now come of age. It’s not the America I thought I knew. How the mighty have fallen but we are not far behind.

Last edited 2 years ago by Tony Conrad
Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
2 years ago
Reply to  Tony Conrad

It was going on well before Mr. Biden, it’s just coming to a head now, post-George Floyd.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
2 years ago

Might be worth taking a look at this one – a radical feminist taking on her university and trans activists for bullying.

Isabela Fairclough
Isabela Fairclough
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Thanks, just pledged ÂŁ20 to her appeal.

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Thanks. I am ashamed of Bristol as my alma mater, and have just pledged ÂŁ50.

Justin Clark
Justin Clark
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

just donated – great cause and wish her best success

Fred Atkinstalk
Fred Atkinstalk
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Perhaps I am getting old and cynical, but as a white male of a certain age, when I read the article I see a person (a radical feminist) who would probably treat me with contempt and hostility picking a fight with someone else (trans activists) who would probably also treat me with contempt and hostility. Why should I care? If I see two dogs fighting in the street should I take sides?

Last edited 2 years ago by Fred Atkinstalk
Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
2 years ago

She would probably treat me with contempt and hostility too, no disagreement there. But at the moment she is fighting for freedom of thought and expression, and against a cabal of bullies who are trying to force everybody else to adopt their far-out politics. My enemy’s enemy, right? Who else do you see who is fighting that fight and has a chance of winning something?

Fred Atkinstalk
Fred Atkinstalk
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

You make a good point, but I have never believed that the enemy of my enemy is anything but his enemy – remember when the West courted the Taliban because they were fighting the Russians? That was a bad call!

Also she is not fighting for “freedom of thought” – she is fighting for freedom of HER thought. It would be nice to think that it will make her a more tolerant person (she might be one already, I don’t know) but I have my doubts. It might just make her feel vindicated in her beliefs.

Last edited 2 years ago by Fred Atkinstalk
Alison Wren
Alison Wren
2 years ago

See my comment above. The transactivist bullies in Bristol are appalling. And she believes women should be able to meet without the presence of men who say they are women….wouldn’t you agree with that?

Last edited 2 years ago by Alison Wren
Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
2 years ago
Reply to  Alison Wren

Exactly.

Fred Atkinstalk
Fred Atkinstalk
2 years ago
Reply to  Alison Wren

I would unequivocally agree with that – in some circumstances, like toilets and changing room etc (I have daughters and they are very vocal on that subject.) I also am fine with all-women social groups (clubs) as long as all-male groups are equally privileged.

But no-one in their right mind would say that trans women are the same as women, particularly if the original ‘bits’ are still attached!

Alison Wren
Alison Wren
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

See my comment above

Alison Wren
Alison Wren
2 years ago

I know Raquel well having been to her women only groups. She is the kindest most lovely person, don’t make assumptions please. She would judge you on your behaviour not your sex!

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
2 years ago
Reply to  Alison Wren

OK, that was a rather quick remark, from my side. Radical feminists are generally my political enemies. even those who seem very reasonable (like bell hooks, say), or where you respect their personal qualities (like Julie Bindel). However nice she might be I would be surprised if I agreed at all with Ms Sanchez political proposals – or she would agree with mine. Still, it is nothing personal. I supported her case, no? If you meet her, give her my best wishes.

Fred Atkinstalk
Fred Atkinstalk
2 years ago
Reply to  Alison Wren

With respect, how would you know that if you, a woman, only know her through her woman only groups?

Though for the record, I take your word for it!

David Morley
David Morley
2 years ago

Good article, but in a sense it does not really provide the answer promised by the headline. Why is it that institutions that should be especially resistant to dogma and indoctrination have been so easily won over. Indeed have actively bought into it and started seeding the rest of society.
In a sense we already know the “how” in one sense – how it unfolded. The “how” we need the answer to is “how could something like this happen”.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago
Reply to  David Morley

The great falling away? 2 Thessalonians 2:3

andymwilliams1963
andymwilliams1963
2 years ago

What I cannot comprehend is how any of these slightly frozen ice in a nice pattern types think they can make a living. I know so many people in their 20s who have never had the benefit of a “university” education who will wipe the floor with the snowflakes

Caroline Martin
Caroline Martin
2 years ago

I am impressed by this article as being full of the common sense I hope most of us share. Also I am impressed by many of the comments. One thing I hate about all the having to be guilty and be aware of out privilege etc is that it divides us. I do not want to be made so aware of our differences. I want to think rather of out likenesses.

John Riordan
John Riordan
2 years ago

“As hundreds of studies attest, it just doesn’t work. It may even exacerbate existing prejudice.”

But that, too, is the point. One thing the anti-racism bandwagon will never do is render itself obsolete by succeeding in its mission statement. Like all politically-inspired agendas whose job is to solve social problems, what it does is entrench those problems so that the institution itself lives forever. The problem and the solution become political symbiotes, each needing the other to survive. All of this comes, of course, at colossal cost to the society within which it exists, effectively as a parasite within wider society.

The anti-racism industry is there to continually produce new racists to justify its own continued existence. Both by inventing ever more abstract and contrived definitions of racism which can’t be falsified because they produce no testable predictions and are intentionally crafted so as to be immune to rational analysis, and also by simply pissing everyone off so much that a small but significant number of new people end up secretly holding genuine prejudice that they would never otherwise have taken on board had they not been sat down and told that they are scumbags by virtue of having been born white.

Last edited 2 years ago by John Riordan
John Hicks
John Hicks
2 years ago

Hoping that Professor Ahmed is still around to inspire the grandchildren. And that there are Institutions remaining to attract his intellectual integrity. Apart from well invested Endowments and Bequests from colonialists, slave-traders and similarly well-heeled benefactors, the funding pool must surely be drying up. Certainly mail from the Alma mater seeking pledges of “giving back” no longer excites interest. Then again maybe this has also been anticipated in order to promote generational disconnect and a new kind of Benefactor with vested interests in sheep factories?

Kathryn Dwyer
Kathryn Dwyer
2 years ago

Thanks, I really enjoyed your essay. ‘an anti-corporate bullshit policy’ indeed!! How extraordinary though, that it should be even necessary for parliament to have to tell universities to promote free speech!

alan Osband
alan Osband
2 years ago

And what does Boris ( or his brother who was Universities minister ) have to say about all this ? Zilch

nigel roberts
nigel roberts
2 years ago

Brilliant article. And brave.

Sean Penley
Sean Penley
2 years ago

Don’t do something. Just stand there!

Reagan was wise beyond the bounds of his own life

agsmith.uk
agsmith.uk
2 years ago

A very refreshing article. It can be summarised as ‘universities have re-defined themselves as indoctrination colleges, telling you what to think as opposed to encouraging you to think for yourselves’. Some great ideas already posted about the ‘teeth’ required to be included in the forthcoming Higher Education Bill. Looking forward to studying it!

Last edited 2 years ago by agsmith.uk
john zac
john zac
2 years ago

The dominant group, the group with the greatest opportunities is the group that can borrow endlessly at the lowest rates. Everything else is just a diversion

Jesse Porter
Jesse Porter
2 years ago

This article should challenge the reader (and the writer) to reject the notion, “Communism has passed away.” One could respond that the communist state of the USSR has passed away, but that is merely stating the obvious. The communist state of The ‘Republic’ of China is stronger than ever.
Communists like to hide their identity under the rubric of Socialism, still praising Marx but never having read his theories with any critical thought. The key to understanding Marxism and the theory of evolution on which it is based is Godlessness. Without God and his Revelation, there is no light. Therefore, trying to describe the world, including humanity, is like the blind men trying to describe an elephant. The only way to arrive at a ‘meaningful’ description is by consensus, voluntary or by force.
Anyone who tries to hold a belief in God and to scientism, believes in Deism–an absentee landlord God, in effect a universe without God. Again, without light.

GA Woolley
GA Woolley
2 years ago
Reply to  Jesse Porter

My universe is missing all 2400 gods listed in the Non-Observers Guide to Gods and Minor Deities. I guess yours is missing 2399 of them. Which is the one you’re referring to?

John Davies
John Davies
2 years ago

The Higher Education Bill will be helpful to an extent though there are shortcomings. Among them the scope for universities to argue that not all opinions amount to protected ‘free speech within the law’. Also, as the article alludes to, giving students the right to free speech does not help them much if they are being subjected to institutional pressure which effectively moulds their opinions, at least in the short term. And the Bill does not address the issue of recruitment: the easiest way for a university to ensure that it can sustain a particular ideological culture, after the enactment of the Bill, is to ensure that only fellow travellers are appointed. A positive and comprehensive mission statement of the kind discussed here is an excellent idea.

Kiat Huang
Kiat Huang
2 years ago

The institutional insistence that it’s second-hand dogma must be accepted, or else, is chilling. That it is targeting only a subset of its own community – and the majority to boot – is it’s achilles heel. The bear will awaken from its slumber and shrug this nonsense off.

Howard Gleave
Howard Gleave
2 years ago

Well said, Professor Ahmed. If the new Bill actually mandates diversity of opinion, which should hardly need doing in a so-called institution of higher education but all too clearly does, then institutions breaching this university code should have state funding withdrawn until they comply.

LCarey Rowland
LCarey Rowland
2 years ago

Thank you, Arif, for your perceptive report.

Su Mac
Su Mac
2 years ago

When I was at Polytechnic in Leeds in the 1980’s I am pleased to say no one took any notice of all our half baked, performance oriented, political posturings – I consider them to be nothing more than practising being a grown up and lots of showing off – but I also recall there was basically no institutional agenda either. Lucky days.

Howard Ahmanson
Howard Ahmanson
2 years ago

I will admit to occasional evil thoughts about race, just as I admit to evil thoughts of lust and rage. But I am not going to take the burden of historical guilt on my shoulders.

Paddy Taylor
Paddy Taylor
2 years ago

….

Last edited 2 years ago by Paddy Taylor
chris sullivan
chris sullivan
2 years ago

nils bastardo carborundum if possible…..

Andrea X
Andrea X
2 years ago

[OT]
Is this sentence correct (it is about half way down)?
“Doing something, at least *seeming to do* something, is a familiar practice”

I want to say at the very least “seeming to *be doing* something”. I had to reread that sentence a few times as I couldn’t quite understand it.
Maybe it is just me
[/OT]

alan Osband
alan Osband
2 years ago

Are these initiatives straight forward copies of ones happening in the US ? The examples given read like they could be . Perhaps women are more numerous than men in the administrative jobs in higher education and are more susceptible to influencers and crazes of every kind .

It’s a form of social contagion from the US , and probably the administrators think they are just showing their love for their ethnic minority students . Or they may have unhealthy (corrupt ?) relationships with the businesses making money out of compulsory courses .

No one should be forced to take these courses which seem to be everywhere , not just in Universities . Why can a conservative government not see that ?

Charles Lewis
Charles Lewis
1 year ago

I wrote some time ago to the Daily Telegraph:
Sir,
While sympathising with students who may be upset not to secure a place in a university of their choice, I would suggest they console themselves with the truth that no university currently offers an education worthy of the name. What is on offer from the current herd of woke academics is relentless indoctrination in becoming infantilised and enfeebled victims, forever feeling ‘unsafe’, frightened of free speech, quick to take offence and spot micro-aggressions, insecure, demanding and non-resilient, utterly unfit and unprepared for their future role in the real world, sadly deserving the much-derided name of snowflakes.
Better and far less expensive alternatives can be found, in the form of apprenticeships, internships, and so forth
Sincerely,

It was not published

Barbara Williams
Barbara Williams
2 years ago

It seems that the ‘Higher Education Bill’ is in direct conflict with the new ‘Policing Bill’. Do we wish to hear dissent or silence it? Do we wish to wake up to the fact that we are fuelling our extinction with our pursuit of GDP growth or continue to uphold business-as-usual? All the evidence is on the latter and we shall continuing pushing our only habitable planet well beyond carrying-capacity in the same way that we have been doing since the I=PAT insights were revealed in the 1970s. GDP is in fact a very good measure of manmade ecological degradation.
ImPAcT = Population * Affluence * Technology

hayden eastwood
hayden eastwood
2 years ago

Your point is well made, it just bears no relation to either the article or the discussion arising from it.

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
2 years ago

Crank.

Barbara Williams
Barbara Williams
2 years ago

What a joke ‘The Higher Education Bill ‘ seems to be a total contradiction to the new ‘Policing Bill’. What do we really want, do we want to speak truth or to be silenced? The truth is that the manmade ecological apocalypse is escalating fast. Our addiction to GDP growth is fuelling that collapse. Our academics are in denial that CO2 levels are the symptom not the cause. We do not teach ecological overshoot or I=PAT or Jevons paradox as part of our key skills. Consequently childless men are choosing to protect their progeny from becoming cannon-fodder in the imminent resource wars by choosing vasectomy – a more selfless act of love I cannot imagine. https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2022/jan/12/more-people-is-the-last-thing-this-planet-needs-the-men-getting-vasectomies-to-save-the-world
Extinction rates are 10,000 times higher than at any point in our history. The Ecologist magazine has only woken up to reality – how long will it take the rest of us? https://theecologist.org/2021/dec/21/degrowth-and-colonialism
Degrowth and colonialism

George Glashan
George Glashan
2 years ago

Ooo eee ooo ah ah ting tang walla walla bing bang

Warren T
Warren T
2 years ago
Reply to  George Glashan

Even that is too serious of a response. 🙂

Justin Clark
Justin Clark
2 years ago

prefer not to discuss your religion here, thanks

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
2 years ago

When you abandon God you allow something else to stand in His place. In your case it is the eco-apocalypse agenda and those who believe the Earth would be a much better place for their children with fewer of yours in it. Your desire to ‘do good’ is being turned against you.

Last edited 2 years ago by Julian Farrows
Doug Pingel
Doug Pingel
2 years ago

The first thing you must do to reduce these delusions to a manageable level is to STOP reading the Gruniad. Then invest the money saved from reading that Horror Comic and read people like Patrick Moor (ex Greenpeace) – Bjorn Lomburg’s “False Alarm” and Steven Koonin’ “Unsettled” (one-time Obama advisor). All available from Amazon at reasonable prices so you won’t be making Jeff much richer. One person you should STOP listening to is that charlatan Attenborough. He is misleading people with many untruths.

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
2 years ago
Reply to  Doug Pingel

Good call, particularly re Patrick Moore in relation to his exposure of Greenpeace’s obstruction of the Golden Rice roll-out, which amounts to a crime against humanity.

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
2 years ago

Barbara, what you have written here is interesting, if a little overwrought, and I wouldn’t diagree with much of it (except using the Guardian as a source for any reliable data), but is really not on topic. Have you perhaps found the wrong thread?

Andrew Horsman
Andrew Horsman
2 years ago

This vile XR death cult will drive the next attempt at mass extermination.