This is an age in which even the most honest and intelligent debate on social topics is risky. Free inquiry, which was once the pride of higher education, has almost disappeared as our politicized campuses have become one-party systems tolerating little dissent from the established orthodoxy. The ideology of multiculturalism in particular has led to demands for conformity in education and in society in general, and even threatens the liberties of Western civilization.
Debate on fundamental issues has become rare, and nowhere is it rarer than in higher education, which at one time exulted in debate and in defending unpopular views. This happens because almost all institutions of higher education are today dominated by a narrow portion of the political spectrum; fashion and rigid consensus, not debate, determine campus policy.
The essays in this book deal with topics that in some quarters are in questionable taste, such as why:
American students rank at the bottom in international tests
“Celebrating diversity” may be a bad idea
Artificial intelligence may eliminate all human jobs
Demographic change threatens America’s 2-party system
Marshmallows may make kids smarter
We need the common core
Whatever the political stance of the reader, it is my hope that they will find these essays thought-provoking.