Jason Bayless is a life-long activist and is currently working at The Pachamama Alliance. When he is not working he spends, working with Center for Farmworker Families and spending his time recording shows, writing blogs, collecting 3D movies, and playing VR games.
In the United States, people take for granted the freedom we have been given when it comes to our educational systems. Many people believe that we have the option to study, teach and learn anything without any form of restrictions based on ideology.
News stories of how our academic freedom has been taken over by extremists to infiltrate American textbooks in Texas have saturated the media. As reported in The New York Times, these textbooks will stress the superiority of American capitalism along with questioning the Founding Fathers’ commitment to a purely secular government and presenting Republican political philosophies in a more “positive light”. Many have said that they are pushing a total white teaching of, not just Texas history but world history.
The feeling of academic repression is not only heard in the board rooms of lawmakers, students are even taking to the streets to protest and speak out against the institutions of higher learning.
Erica Goldson, is an excellent example. She is a valedictorian who spoke out against how the current system is creating, as she says, “robotic bookshelves, conditioned to blurt out facts we were taught in school.”
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She also makes some very interesting points when she quotes H. L. Mencken in saying the aim of public education is not “to fill the young of the species with knowledge and awaken their intelligence. Nothing could be further from the truth. The aim … is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed and train a standardized citizenry, to put down dissent and originality. That is its aim in the United States.”
Not much has been written about modern academic repression and we wanted to learn more. I reached out to talk with Anthony J. Nocella II, editor of the book, Academic Repression: Reflections from the Academic Industrial Complex so we could have a deeper understanding of what the ‘academic industrial complex’.
You can hear that interview here
This edited anthology brings together prominent academics writing hard-hitting essays on free speech, culture wars, and academic freedom in a post-9/11 era. It’s a powerful response to attacks on critical thinking in our universities by well-respected scholars and academics, including Joy James, Henry Giroux, Michael Parenti, Howard Zinn, Robert Jensen, Ward Churchill, and many more.