A retired college professor confirms what many Americans already believe: universities have abandoned the concept of being a marketplace of ideas.
Speaking on American Family Radio earlier this week, Dr. Carol M. Swain said campuses used to be places with opposing views and debates.
"Opposing sides came together, people listened, and the person with the best arguments and the best data and ideas would be the most persuasive – and people would leave the debate forum probably thinking differently than when they entered because they would have heard more sides," said Swain, who had been a professor of political science and professor of law at Vanderbilt University since 1999.
"[But] I think the universities today have a viewpoint, and they're very much into indoctrination; and when students arrive, they teach them what to think, not how to think critically."
Swain's comments come amid efforts by universities to restrict speech in some areas of campus, and outright bar conservative speakers from appearing at student-led events. In some cases, riots and violent demonstrations have occurred based on the speakers' viewpoints.
"It goes back to Karl Marx and the Communist Manifesto," she explained. "And if you study what has happened over the decades, when the economic revolution that Karl Marx predicted did not take place, later scholars decided the reason it failed was because of Western civilization, Judeo-Christian ties; and to change the Western world to bring about the utopia, you have to change the hearts and minds of people," she continued. "So they decided to attack the culture."
Swain went on to point to the rise of Herbert Marcuse, Angela Davis and Saul Alinsky, saying the fruits of their radical actions and theories are evident on university campuses today.
"I would say that President Obama was very much seeped in Saul Alinsky's tactics, but it goes back to Karl Marx," Swain continued. "Scholars looked at Marx's revolution that didn't occur, they applied it to the culture, they began to change the language – and they developed this whole idea of cultural Marxism where you change the hearts and minds of the people, beginning with children."
According to Swain, a lot of the progressive approach to sex ed comes directly from Herbert Marcuse.
"And I'm talking about the sex education where you would normalize things that we would, in earlier generations, consider perversion," she clarified.
Swain is co-author of Abduction: How Liberalism Steals Our Children's Hearts and Minds, released last year. Another of her books, released in 2011 from Thomas Nelson Press, is entitled Be the People: A Call to Reclaim America's Faith and Promise.