No Shock, Just Facts: Liberal Indoctrination on Campus

“Cream pie,” writes David Horowitz, in his latest exposé of malfeasance in higher education, is “deeply … sexual.”

Well, not really.

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Not all in one place, anyway. “Cream pie” comes from page 20, “deeply,” from page 41, and “sexual,” page 37.

But the book isn’t titled "Indoctrination U: The Left’s War Against Academic Freedom" for nothing. And if the standards set by the nation’s intellectual elite might be stretched outside the classroom — and their guiding principle of “no higher principle, except for that which furthers personal political bias and politically charged correctness” might be applied in these outer arenas — then most certainly, to some, David Horowitz believes in the aphrodisiac powers of cream pie.

Laughable as it would seem, this outright fabrication very nearly reflects the true day-to-day affairs in America’s supposed hallowed halls of higher learning, according to Horowitz’s findings, which come as a sort of follow-up to his previous book, "The Professors: The 101 Most Dangerous Academics in America" (Regnery, a Human Events sister company.) But while "The Professors" focused on people and on holding those individuals responsible for the decay of American education, "Indoctrination U" points to the failing system as a whole — the insidious usurpation of college administration, policy, and course and class offerings by sundry Marxists, Socialists and anti-Americans who seek nothing less than to brainwash students with the politically favored causes of the day.

It used to be, Horowitz writes, that “in a democracy, the purpose of an education [was] to teach students how to think, not what to think.” These principles were held in such high regard that they were encapsulated in “the more formal phrasing of the 1915 ‘Declaration of Principles’ on academic freedom.” Horowitz continues, quoting the declaration’s entreaty that students not be provided with “ready-made conclusions,” but rather trained to “think for themselves,” and that professors act more as facilitators and provide “access to those materials which they need … to think intelligently.”

And now?

Now students at such honored places as the University of California, Santa Cruz, are treated to the musings — or ravings, depending on your point of view — of faculty radicals who morph certain classes that are already left-of-liberal into the arenas of the extreme and fanatical. Take the Women’s Studies Department, for example. “This anti-intellectual development in higher education is … manifest [here],” Horowitz writes, referring to the professor-led preference for a new departmental name: Feminist Studies. “Its curriculum represents an undisguised program of ideological indoctrination in the theory and practice of radical feminism. This includes the recruitment of students to radical causes.”

Or consider Peace Studies at Ball State University — another thinly veiled “recruitment and training” ground. Here, the indoctrination focuses on “left-wing politics and anti-military attitudes” pushed by a professor schooled, not in military history or political science or even international affairs, but in music. The Peace Studies professor is a music teacher. He’s a “performance artist in the Department of Music,” Horowitiz writes. “His academic credential is a doctorate in education and his specific expertise is the saxophone.” Perhaps that explains this professor’s bizarre text selection: He chose Peace and Conflict Studies, which advocates violence of the revolutionary kind so long as it brings the types of tremendous gains as seen in Cuba, where life nowadays is “generally improved.”

Horowitz’s reaction to these ill-disguised brain-washings was to create and promote an Academic Bill of Rights for students, making clear the mission of a university is to provide an atmosphere for “the pursuit of truth, the discovery of new knowledge … the teaching and general development of students,” and so forth. And because higher learning has failed so thoroughly in these regards, Horowitz also took steps to promote a similar document for grades K-12, the breeding ground for the university-level abuses.

This latest book details Horowitz’s success in bringing these documents to formal adoption by America’s schools and universities. But, for example, here’s how the battle’s being waged, as illuminated by the sarcastic reception of a union leader who caught wind of the document as it wound through the State University of New York system for administrative review and consideration.

It’s an “Academic Bull of Rights,” he quipped.