Dr. Richard Cirulli, Ph.D., delves further into his growing body of work regarding societal evolution, known as the “Boomerang Series,” in his most recent article: From Liberalism to Fascism By Dr. RICHARD CIRULLI, Ph.D., this Friday, October 13, 2017th at 10am DST, on the Westchester On the Level Internet radio broadcast. Listen “Live” or “On Demand”. Use the following hyperlink — http://tobtr.com/s/10277537. Listen to this segment from 10-11am.
From Liberalism to Fascism By Dr. RICHARD CIRULLI, Ph.D.
The Identicalness of America’s New ‘Diversity” of “Free Speech”
The Boomerang Series
As some of us Baby Boomers look back to reflect upon our impact on society today, one topic that comes to mind is that of free speech, especially considering many of our academic elites, the media, and the current atmosphere of hate crimes against opposing proponents of disparate views and dogma. What our nation is currently experiencing is the systematic silencing of free speech. It is quite ironic, and depressingly melancholic, how today’s academic institutions, under the aegis and stewardship of their leadership who fear free speech, and it is their angst that undermines the very integrity of open discourse. When these same institutions were at the epicenter of the highly influential Free Speech Movement (FSM) it often had sway with the burgeoning New Left. The New Left was the same movement that advocated for student’s right to free speech, supported the American Civil Rights Movement, and the Anti-Vietnam War Movement. One of the key members of the Berkeley Free Speech Movement was Mario Savio, who presented a passionate campus speech on December 2, 1964. Savio dedicated and worked toward promoting the free speech that has remained historically relevant to this day, even though these same institutions are presently engrossed in silencing the free speech they once espoused. Unlike many of today’s college students who attend higher education whose efforts are focused on securing a safe zone, free from the realities of life. Savio spent his summers working with Catholic relief organizations in Mexico helping to improve sanitary concerns in the slums. He was arrested for demonstrating in support of the Civil Rights movement. If America’s youth are headed to college to secure a safe zone for themselves while the rest of the world is suffering, our academic institutions may be defined as having failed. There was a time when academe was tasked to educate students about life’s problems and to assist in mitigating and solving them. Today many are demonized for running from those issues, and spawning a form intellectual cowardice not recognized in generations past.
Many now ask in utter bewilderment, “How did we get here?” The answer may be simple. Academe, coupled with political correctness has conditioned our future generations to fear discourse, the reality of life, and in so doing permitting the hiding of mediocrity nurtured by lowering standards, grade inflation, and designating everyone as number 1. As reported in the Wall Street Journal in the October 7th, 2017 edition, the lede read, You’re All No.1! High Schools say ‘Vale’ to the Valedictorian”. Today many schools are doing away with the traditional title, to prevent a single student to be hailed with the honor. At some schools, all students with at least a 4.0 GPA will be granted this distinction.
Speaking as a former professor, who like many of my peers were tasked to educate college students ill-prepared for college life, incidents of grade inflation were well known, and wide spread, though hushed and unspoken among most administrations. In the not so distant past, one of the college deans requested a copy of my final exam for administration review. I was informed one of the students complained about the content of the exam as being too difficult to achieve an “A” grade the student desired to attain. I was given the option to just change the student’s grade to an “A” and nothing more would be said. When I refused to change the grade, the administration reviewed my exam, called me and berated me by stating, “What the hell kind of exam is this? This is not Harvard. Truer words were never spoken. I refused to change the grade, and was asked not to return the following semester. I never looked back.
What is obvious to many, is that our academic institutions’ have lowered standards for future generations, exacerbating the likelihood for our student population losing their ability to think and solve issues critically. We are failing to prepare future students to engage in discourse. Today, academe runs in fear of discourse, advocating a submissive role for students so that they may blindly and unquestioningly adhere to agenda acceptable to one institutions dogma o er another so as to “better” the world. And, to respond with violence to any differing opinion. Regretfully the works of Savio and the FSM are silenced my academe’s fear of the opposition. As a suggestion to academe, they may wish to consider the writings of Sun Tzu, who authored, “The Art of War”. The following quote from his book offers much relevance and clarity to today’s fear of hearing the opposition, “If you know the enemy you know yourself, you will need not fear the result of a 100 battles.”
Academe is promoting the diminution of our nation’s discourse by disavowing the introspection and shallow depth of our past discourses, which asserting it is being embellished. the reality is that we are regressing to a state of not even knowing the little that we claim to know. By the time we confront our lack of knowing who we are, and not knowing how to respect others, it will likely be too late to confront the issues that we are permitting to undermine ourselves. perhaps then we will recognize the enemy is us. And our enemies will know us before we awake from our slumber of mediocrity.
Dr. Richard Cirulli is a retired professor, business consultant, writer, columnist, and innocent bystander at large. He welcomes your comments at Profirulli@optonline.net