Undoing the brainwashing
As college students return home for the summer, many parents may notice how many politically correct ideas they have acquired on campus. Some of those parents may wonder how they can undo the brainwashing that has become so common in what are supposed to be institutions of higher learning.
The strategy used by Gen. Douglas MacArthur in the Pacific during World War II can be useful in this very different kind of battle. Instead of fighting the Japanese for every island stronghold as the Americans advanced toward Japan, MacArthur sent his troops into battle for only those islands that were strategically crucial. In the same spirit, parents who want to bring their offspring back to reality need not try to combat every crazy idea they picked up from their politically correct professors. Just demolishing a few crucial beliefs, and exposing what nonsense they are, can deal a blow to the general credibility of the professorial pied pipers.
For example, if the student has been led to join the crusade for more gun control and thinks that the British have lower murder rates than Americans because Brits have tighter gun control laws, just give him a copy of the book “Guns and Violence,” by Joyce Lee Malcolm.
My own recent book, “Intellectuals and Race,” exposes the fallacies in most of what is said about racial issues in college classrooms.
The classic study of Third World nations is “Equality, the Third World, and Economic Delusion,” by the late P.T. Bauer of the London School of Economics. He made a veritable demolition derby of most of what has been said in politically correct circles about the relationship between rich and poor countries.
There is no book that exposes the human consequences of the welfare state more poignantly than “Life at the Bottom,” by British physician Theodore Dalrymple. Although Britain is the setting for “Life at the Bottom,” Americans will recognize very similar patterns here. Problems found in black ghettoes in the United States are found in low-income white neighborhoods in Britain, where none of the usual excuses about racism, slavery, etc., apply. The only thing that is the same in both countries is the welfare state and its poisonous ideology.
If your student has been led to believe that “comprehensive immigration reform” — amnesty — is the only way to go, a book titled “Mexifornia,” by Victor Davis Hanson, introduces some cold, factual reality into a subject usually discussed in sweeping and lofty rhetoric.
A book that offers a choice between the island-hopping strategy that MacArthur used in the Pacific and the all-out assault across a broad front that was used by the Allied armies in Europe is titled “The New Leviathan.” It has 13 penetrating articles by leading authorities on such subjects as national security, ObamaCare, environmentalism and election frauds.
Parents who want to follow the MacArthur strategy can recommend reading one, or a few, of these articles, while those who want to follow the strategy of attacking across a broad front can recommend that their student read the whole book.
However the battle is fought, what is most important is that the battle be fought, since the young are the future and the propaganda of today can become the government policies of tomorrow.
Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Two wild-card format hurting Pirates in short term
- Pitt men’s basketball adds junior-college guard
- Starkey: The kick returner and the grizzly bear
- Bryant suspension opens doors for other Steelers’ receivers
- Animal activists targeting Vick at Steelers preseason game
- Risks don’t get any better as online dating prospers
- Steelers notebook: LB Harrison believes Goodell will prevail in Brady ruling
- Honored Westmoreland youth counselor sought in theft of money from clients
- Steelers trade 6th-round pick for Jaguars kicker Scobee
- Pitt defense is entering new season with something to prove
- Potential suspension of Pennsylvania AG’s license unusual