Extended Interview with Students for Western Civilisation

Today, Students for Western Civilisation posted an extended version of my interview on academic bias against right-wing thought. Watch it below if you want. And if you enjoy it, please like and share the video.

There’s a shorter version, too, which they used for their video on “How Far-Left Universities Create Far-Right Students,” available here. You can learn more about Students for Western Civilisation and watch their other videos on their website.

A lot of what we talked about overlaps with an argument from an essay by Leo Strauss that I like and recommend you read, called “German Nihilism.” (There’s a Millerman Talks video about it, incidentally). The key point from the essay that concerns academic life is when Strauss addresses the issue of what kind of professor is best suited to deal with young men who are not inspired by the ideals of liberalism, to say nothing of communist ideals, which they abhor even more.

The problem today is that there are comparatively few “undogmatic” “old-fashioned” professors, who can understand the legitimate opposition to levelling political theories. What we have instead are “progressive” professors, who completely fail to grasp the positive significance of their students’ opposition to doctrines of equality and end of “confirming them in their beliefs” about the poverty of such doctrines.

I have long thought that universities should provide a basic education in the principles and virtues of our own regime. Students should not be indoctrinated into anti-liberal thought, typically leftist anti-liberalism, without knowing anything about the foundational arguments, ideas, and institutions that underlie a liberal regime.

But universities should also foster philosophical thought, which by its nature transgresses the axioms of any given regime, including the liberal one. If we completely limit at the outset the possible outcomes and directions of philosophical thought – for instance so that they cannot be allowed to reach to the Right – then we are not fostering philosophy at all, but forcing students to conform to ideological tests and worldviews. I’ve made the argument in slightly more detail on the Psych Rabble blog, so check that out, and feel free to let me know what you think.

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