The New Prison Camps

If you want to know what it’s like to live in a totalitarian dictatorship, you don’t have to look far. American colleges and universities, the so-called “institutions of higher learning”, have become the equivalent of Communist reeducation camps in which people are subjected to endless propaganda and compelled to mouth agreement with political slogans. If a teacher or student commits the slightest infraction of “woke” orthodoxy, he will be fired or suspended from his job or expelled from school, His rights do not matter. Students are also subjected to Covid tyranny even more than the general population.

Let’s look at some examples. For the past 75 years or so, Orwell’s 1984 has been the classic attack on totalitarianism. Now, at some universities Orwell’s book has been banned. Daniel Newton gives us the details: “As free speech is destroyed under the guise of ‘wokeism,’ one would agree there is no lack of irony in a recent report that a trigger warning was placed on Orwell’s novel due to ‘offensive and upsetting’ material.

The University of Northampton, UK, placed warnings on the grounds of ‘explicit material’ it claims is contained within the iconic book.

The advice has enraged critics who argue it runs contrary to the themes of censorship in the book. Orwell’s dystopian story, published in 1949, is set in a totalitarian state which persecutes individual thinking. The book’s main character is a government employee arrested and tortured over an illicit love affair. Ironically, the book is one of several literary works which have been flagged for students at Northampton.

Students were warned that the module ‘addresses challenging issues related to violence, gender, sexuality, class, race, abuses, sexual abuse, political ideas, and offensive language.’ Academics also identify several works in the module thatare ‘offensive and upsetting,’ including the Samuel Beckett play Endgame, the graphic novel V For Vendetta by Alan Moore and David Lloyd, and Jeanette Winterson’s Sexing The Cherry.

Tory MP Andrew Bridgen was not lost on the irony either, saying:

‘There’s a certain irony that students are now being issued trigger warnings before reading Nineteen Eighty-Four.’ ‘Our university campuses are fast becoming dystopian Big Brother zones where Newspeak is practised to diminish the range of intellectual thought and cancel speakers who don’t conform to it,’ he added.”

Have you thought about applying for a job at UCLA? Better think again. Here is what you need to submit: “Thanks for your interest in a career at UCLA! Equity, diversity, and inclusion are key components of The University of California’s commitment to excellence. Thus, teaching, research, professional, and public service contributions that promote equity, diversity, and inclusion are encouraged and given due recognition in the evaluation of each candidate’s qualifications.

To aid the hiring or promotions committee’s review, please provide an Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Statement that describes your past, present, and planned contributions to equity, diversity, and/or inclusion. Although far from exhaustive, relevant contributions noted by the UC Office of the President include:

To gain a better sense of how UCLA thinks about ‘equity,’ ‘diversity,’ and ‘inclusion,’ please read UCLA’s faculty hiring guide: Searching for Excellence (at 4-6).”  If you are already on the faculty, you also have to provide a diversity statement, and how the diversity police assess you will play a major role in your getting a job or being promoted. Many other universities do the same thing.

These days, the supreme offense you can commit on campus is to use the “n-word.” That is at least as bad as murder. A professor at USC was suspended—not because he used the word—but because he said a Chinese word that may or may not sound like it. This offended some students who don’t belong in a university at all, and that was enough to get the professor canceled. “A US university investigation into one of its professors has ignited a debate over the use of a seemingly innocuous Chinese word.

Professor Greg Patton at the University of Southern California (USC) was telling students in a communications lecture last month about filler, or pause words, such as ‘err’, ‘umm’ or ‘you know’ in English.

Footage of his lecture, which has now gone viral, shows Prof Patton saying: ‘In China, the common pause word is ‘that, that, that’. So in China, it might be na-ge, na-ge, na-ge.’

Enunciated, na-ge sounds like the N-word, which led several of the professor’s students to complain to the university. Responding to the complaint, the dean of the university, Geoffrey Garrett, told students that Prof Patton would no longer be teaching the course.

‘It is simply unacceptable for the faculty to use words in class that can marginalize, hurt and harm the psychological safety of our students,’ he said.

The university says that Prof Patton ‘volunteered to step away’ from his role amid the investigation into complaints made against him.”

Even if you tell your students how terrible the word is, you still have to go. You have committed the supreme sin and have to be offered up as a sacrifice: “In October 2018, Philip Adamo, a history professor at Augsburg University in Minneapolis, used the n-word in a class discussion of the slur, prompted by its appearance in James Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time. Adamo led a similar discussion in his next section, and later that day he emailed his classes articles that addressed the question of in what context, if any, the N-word may be properly used. Students across campus expressed discontent by showing up to his next class and questioning him, by shooting videos of these class discussions, and by writing articles for the student newspaper that outlined why Adamo made them uncomfortable and how his actions fit into a larger problematic trend at the university. Augsburg Provost Karen Kaivola removed Adamo from his teaching position and from his duties as honors program director, suspending him pending a formal review.”

Naturally enough, the universities are enforcing Covid tyranny, requiring students to get “vaccinated” and enforcing lockdowns and quarantines in the dorms and throughout the campus. Here is one tragic case: “John Stokes’ senior year golf season at Tennessee State University (TSU) has been ruined, and his life is now in jeopardy. The 21 year-old OVC Medal of Honor recipient was diagnosed with myocarditis at Vanderbilt hospital on September 4,[2021] four days after receiving his second dose of the COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine. Stokes was unaware of the potential side effects from the COVID-19 vaccines, including the alarming data involving myocarditis in young men from the Pfizer vaccine.

Myocarditis is an inflammation of the heart muscle, which reduces the heart’s ability to pump blood and leads to rapid or abnormal heart rhythms. This condition can often cause symptoms similar to heart attacks, chest pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, and abnormal heartbeats.

Stokes had not previously been infected with COVID-19. He had no pre-existing medical conditions. He was a perfectly healthy young athlete. Before receiving the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, Stokes was told by TSU staff there would likely be a vaccine mandate at the university. While there had been no vaccine mandates for Tennessee public universities, state case numbers were climbing due to the delta variant, a few private universities in the state had mandated vaccines, and there was growing public demand for the state to implement mandates at public institutions. Stokes feared he would be unable to participate in his senior season without receiving the vaccine, so he decided to receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

While in the Vanderbilt hospital being treated for his new health condition, Stokes posted a video on TikTok, warning others about the risks associated with COVID-19 vaccines and stating it is immoral to force people to take them. He was short of breath throughout the video. He called out the NCAA for not informing student-athletes of risk factors associated with the COVID-19 vaccines. Stokes also said he had been in touch with other NCAA student-athletes who have had negative side effects from COVID-19 vaccines, many of them with heart complications. One of his peers needed heart surgery as a result of the vaccine. TikTok removed Stokes’ video as it began to spread, but you can now find it on YouTube.”

What can we do about this? We need to abandon these miniature totalitarian states and turn to institutions built on principles of individual liberty. I confess that one such alternative institution is foremost in my mind. A long-held vision of both Ludwig von Mises and Murray N. Rothbard is now a reality. Their vision? A graduate school of Austrian economics.

Throughout its nearly forty-year history, the Mises Institute has been focused on providing support to students of other educational institutions. Helping students discover the economics of freedom and inspiring them to go on to teach at the university level is and has been a priority for the Institute. Excellent service that is personal, responsive, and geared towards assisting students in reaching their individual educational and career goals has been emblematic of all Mises Institute programs.

At the Mises Institute, we aim to continue the tradition of education so eloquently expressed by Ludwig von Mises and Murray Rothbard were among the highest exemplars of the values of Western civilization, and this is what we endeavor to transmit to our students.

The Mises Institute’s Master of Arts in Austrian Economics is unique. It is the first graduate program in the United States dedicated exclusively to the teaching of economics as expounded in the works and great treatises of Ludwig von Mises and Murray N. Rothbard. The goal of the program is to assist students in mastering the principles of this great body of work and putting these principles to use in their chosen endeavors.

To this end, the Institute has carefully selected an outstanding faculty, with PhDs from prestigious universities including New York University, UCLA, Columbia University, Cal-Berkeley, Rutgers University, and Virginia Tech. All are accomplished scholars who have lectured or taught at Mises Institute events and published in its journals, books, or online publications. Many were personal friends or protégés of Murray Rothbard.”

Thanks to the generosity of the Mises Institute’s donors, the cost of the program is well below that of other M.A. programs in economics or the related social sciences, whether traditional or online.

I urge parents to consider our program. Will we succeed? Of that I can’t be sure. But I am sure of this: Our current educational disaster cannot continue for very long.