Portland State U. professor resigns, saying university has become an indoctrination mill

You may have seen Peter Boghossian in various online debates, or you may remember his name from the “social text 2.0” style punking he carried out [with Helen Pluckrose] in which totally and wilfully absurd garbage was submitted — and published! — in various “scholarly” social science journals to show their total lack of standards as long as you parrot intellectual AIDS postmodernist dogma.

He made a point, apparently, of inviting controversial speakers of all stripes to get students used to critically processing and debating their arguments. But that might make them question pseudoscientific neo-Marxism used as a Trojan horse for neo-feudalism woke ideology, and we can’t have that.

I never once believed —  nor do I now —  that the purpose of instruction was to lead my students to a particular conclusion. Rather, I sought to create the conditions for rigorous thought; to help them gain the tools to hunt and furrow for their own conclusions. This is why I became a teacher and why I love teaching.

But brick by brick, the university has made this kind of intellectual exploration impossible. It has transformed a bastion of free inquiry into a Social Justice factory whose only inputs were race, gender, and victimhood and whose only outputs were grievance and division.

Students at Portland State are not being taught to think. Rather, they are being trained to mimic the moral certainty of ideologues. Faculty and administrators have abdicatedthe university’s truth-seeking mission and instead drive intolerance of divergent beliefs and opinions. This has created a culture of offense where students are now afraid to speak openly and honestly. 

I noticed signs of the illiberalism that has now fully swallowed the academy quite early during my time at Portland State. I witnessed students refusing to engage with different points of view.  Questions from faculty at diversity trainings that challenged approved narratives were instantly dismissed. Those who asked for evidence to justify new institutional policies were accused of microaggressions. And professors were accused of bigotry for assigning canonical texts written by philosophers who happened to have been European and male.  

At first, I didn’t realize how systemic this was and I believed I could question this new culture. So I began asking questions. What is the evidence that trigger warnings and safe spaces contribute to student learning? Why should racial consciousness be thelens through which we view our role as educators? How did we decide that “cultural appropriation” is immoral?

Unlike my colleagues, I asked these questions out loud and in public. 

Read the whole thing to see what happened to him. I hope Hillsdale College (or its Israeli counterpart, Shalem College) make him a good offer soon.

I could not help being reminded of one of the most morose Scandinavian metal songs I know. (In drop-C tuning, the song nearly plays itself ;)) The lyrics are ostensibly about the breakup of a toxic relationship. But by accident, the first verse fits what Dr. Boghossian went through.

The neck, and then the chain 
The head is hung in shame 
The neck, and then the chain 
The head is hung in shame 

I thought that you had grown 
That you’d carry on 
But now that I am gone 
What else’s been withdrawn 

you used to be like my twin 
And all it’s been 
Was it all for nothing 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s