The decline and fall of the university
Dec 3, 2015
Bishop Hill in Academia, Civil liberties

'Is it OK to write "kooky", I wonder'.A series of stories in recent days leaves me with the impression that the university system in the Anglosphere countries is on the verge of total collapse.

Take for example the story that students at Brown University are going underground in order to meet and discuss current affairs free of university policies on "safe spaces", which, for the unitiated, are designed to restrict any speech that challenges left-wing memes.

Tales of similar left-wing attacks on free speech at other American univerities are rife as well.

Until recently, I had rather blithely assumed that such foolishness had not yet crossed the Atlantic, but how wrong I was. This video of a debate on gender politics at the University of Bristol is a case in point. The constant hesitation by the panel chairman, as he tries to work out whether what the speakers have said falls foul of the "safe spaces" policy, is something to behold. Is it OK to say "kooky", the panellists wonder at one point.

(If you don't want to watch the full thing, there are highlights here, although you will miss most of the bits I'm talking about. That said, parts of the debate are very funny and I enjoyed seeing the feminist loon being repeatedly skewered).

At universities across the country, speakers have been banned because their views are distasteful to Moslems, to feminists or to socialists.

As Allister Heath says in the Telegraph today, Universities are quickly making themselves irrelevant. The faculty is overwhelmingly socialist and openly hostile to conservatives, they forbid free speech, most of their work is never even read, let alone cited or used, and as readers here know, much of it is written with political ends in mind.

I wonder what will replace them?

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