by Solomon Wise
Higher education. It certainly sounds prestigious. It brings to mind a group of serious students in an ivy-covered lecture hall discussing the works of Shakespeare, Jeffersonian demo- cracy, or Adam Smith’s economic principles. But today in America, higher education has taken a nosedive. In many classrooms, Shakespeare, Jefferson, and Smith are out. Marx, Castro, and a host of other radical communist thinkers are in.
And it’s all done quietly and peacefully – and paid for by unknowing parents to the tune of $18,000 a year.
Radical communists teaching in U.S. universities? Surely not. If you don’t believe it, perhaps you should attend the next Marxist Scholars Conference and take a tape player. The most recent of these gatherings, held at the University of California/Berkeley last November, drew 500 American professors and political activists to discuss how they could better disseminate their views into the mainstream of American thought. Their primary target, of course, is the university student.
Here are just of few remarks made at the conference by some of these professors:
- Herbert Apthecker, law professor at the University of California/Berkeley, told the audience that communists will create a “Heaven on earth.”
- Another UC/Berkeley professor, Carlos Munoz of the Chicano Studies department, proclaimed that “This empire (of America) will fall, and we will contribute to its fall.” Munoz went on to explain that the large-scale immigration of Hispanics to the U.S. in coming years will make California “the first Third World state” – and that communists plan to control Hispanic votes.
- Philosophy Professor Jack Pitt of California State University/Fresno said that “teaching is important to those of us on the left” because the classroom is one of the “institutions which disseminate ideology that renders [the ruling class’s] control acceptable … it is essential that we see ideology as contested terrain, as one of the sites where the class struggle is waged.” Pitt said he identifies himself as a Marxist to his students only “if it’s a matter of class solidarity.”
- A high school civics teacher from San Francisco, and member of the executive board of the American Federation of Teachers, told the audience that high school students should be a prime target of their doctrines: “Our need, as educators and as Marxists, is to teach our young people what the correct choices are … I teach my students how to find examples of ethnocentrism, Eurocentrism, racism, bias, distortion …”
He also explained that many immigrants who come to America believe “the myth that America is the land of freedom,” and come with anti-communist sentiments. But he assured the audience that he was not giving up the fight:“We need more Third World teachers in our classrooms. We need more Marxists in our classrooms. We need more progressiveness in our classrooms. That’s where the future is: in the classrooms.”
- Roberto Rivera is an ethnic studies professor at San Francisco State University. Rivera explained why he uses the radical teachings of Paulo Freire, a Brazilian revolutionary, to prepare his students for revolution. “The Nicaraguan revolution is where it is,” Rivera said, because they have used Freire sucessfully in the classroom. He also predicted that the communist revolutionary forces in El Salvador and Guatemala would prevail because “they’re using Freire well.”
- Howard University Political Science Professor Michael Parenti pointed out to the audience that the First Amendment is not the enemy, but how it is used by the ruling class. Parenti also added that the appointment of another conservative to the U.S. Supreme Court would “lead to the end of democracy.”
- Ric Holt, a Northwestern Missouri State professor, told the group how he opens students’ minds to Marxist ideas. Early in the semester, he takes students to watch bankrupt farms being auctioned off as “the generations lose everything they own.”
Of all the special guest speakers at the Marxist Scholars Conference, the largest percentage of speakers were professors who hold degrees in traditional academic subjects as well as more recently invented disciplines such as Native American studies, Black studies, and Chicano studies.
Conference organizer Jack Kurzweil of San Jose State University said that the November meeting was the largest Marxist Scholars Conference in history. The principal sponsors were the Marxist Educational Press, directed by a professor from the University of Minnesota, and the Berkeley chapter of the Union of Radical Political Economists.
In early February of this year, Secretary of Education William Bennett made some fiery comments about the academic establishment which drew sparks from college presidents around the nation. Bennett said: “The American people are beginning to wonder whether the emperor – higher education – has any clothes.” Bennett charged that higher education is losing credibility because faculty members are trashing traditional disciplines for trendy, soft-headed courses.
“Is this what parents are being asked to pay $18,000 a year for?” Bennett asked.
Yes, Mr. Bennett, on many American campuses today, parents are paying that kind of money to send professors like Apthecker, Munoz, Pitt, and Parenti to meetings like the one I have described. In their meetings, they are discussing the most practical and effective ways to overthrow the American system as we know it. Parents are also paying roughly $18,000 a year for these radical teachers to indoctrinate their children in hostile ideologies.
The radical elements in U.S. academia say it’s time for revolution. I agree. I say its time for students, parents, and university administrators to revolt against this madness that is being masqueraded as academic curriculum. Pressure needs to be put on these anti-intellectuals: either they change their militant views, or they’re out of a job. It’s time that we Americans stop financing our own downfall.