The history of progressivism is replete with examples of ruthless devotion to uniformity of thought and action. In reality that drive for singular thoughts and action is the hallmark of progressivism, and its opposite, the beautiful and chaotic and oh-so-individual activities of free people and market economies, is its enemy.
So their worship of consensus is not only unsurprising, it should be expected. And of course that extends to the darker side of progressivism; the destruction of all other ideas that may come in conflict with its goals. How else does one explain the seemingly insane drive in academia and increasingly in the corporate world for the “othering” of all ideas that are opposed to the socialist ideal? Diversity as currently constructed in the halls and on the greens of our nation’s institutions of higher learning is a retrograde obsession with color and ethnicity, and the idea that there should be diversity in the marketplace of ideas is laughable. Conservatives are not valued for their heterodoxy, they are hated and feared and driven from the dais.
But that way lays stagnation and sclerotic pro forma intellectual inquiry. When the answer is already known, why bother with much of a debate?
He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them. But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion… Nor is it enough that he should hear the opinions of adversaries from his own teachers, presented as they state them, and accompanied by what they offer as refutations. He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.”
— John Stuart Mill: On Liberty
Yeah…that Mill dude knew what he was talking about; almost as if the challenges of today are not new, but as old as Man.
Confront a recent college graduate and ask some questions, like…
Can you explain the philosophical underpinnings of the United States and its political structure?
Explain the difference between our system of government and a democracy.
What is the difference between the Old Testament and the New Testament?
Who was Martin Luther, and what did he stand for?
Why did America and much of the West fight against communism during the cold war?
What is a “Right,” and how does it differ from a privilege?
That’s a few random questions, all of which are easily answered with a basic education that hasn’t been skewed to the left.
But most of them would be slack-jawed and stumped!