The University of Wisconsin removed a symbolic large boulder named Chamberlin Rock from it’s Madison campus in recent weeks. This was done allegedly at the request of minority students and with the approval of University Chancellor Rebecca Blank, for reason of the rock being a ‘symbol of racism’.
Chamberlin Rock is named after Thomas Crowder Chamberlin, a geologist and former university president. The complaints of racism do not originate with his personal history, but instead from a Wisconsin state journal story from 1925 which referred to the boulder by a derogatory name ( a commonly used term at that time for dark rocks). No other instance of the term has been discovered by university historians.
It goes without saying that removing a boulder- especially one named after a historic hero of the campus – for ‘racism’, seems an insane overreach. In all honesty it is really nothing to do with social justice, and certainly nothing to do with education, but is merely a flex of progressive power. A kind of threat which says: ‘yes we are insane, we have removed the evil rock, what are you going to do?’
Sadly this is but one of many examples of recent power displays of the removal and attempted removal of symbolic campus heroes and patrons across Western universities. It is also a prime example of why these universities are now little more than anti-Western brainwashing and propaganda camps, and no longer hallowed halls of learning.
The canon of Western learning itself descends to us from thousands of years of questioning and study, centuries of the inherited writing and thinking of philosophers, scholars, mystics, scientists, and artisans. Their learning was long-protected by a system of rational truth-seeking they developed, which really was the virtue of truth at all cost. This (once-sacred) learning fills old bookshelves with complex tomes on law, life, spirit, and hope – the most valuable of the preserved thoughts of our ancestral stewards.
Unfashionably, these are all ‘old white men’.
Platonic philosophy was a prime influence on the development of Western academic thought, in the system of Socratic dialogue (question everything, what is knowable requires rigour). This is the system which led to what Aristotle codified as the scientific system. Sadly this historic devotion to truth has finally met it’s match in our contemporary values-alteration, which places feelings above truth. This new feelings-approach is itself a cloaked pretense, it is protective of it’s own dogmatic ideology, that which we now paraphrase as ‘woke’. There is no fact, no hero, no history, even perhaps no foundation of science, which cannot be revised or discarded to fit our modern anti-truth ideology.
One of the more acute divides between current east/west geopolitics is the skepticism and criticism of countries like China, Russia, Hungary (and others) towards these recent attitudes of the the American empire towards itself and it’s past. The east have an awareness, perhaps through painful past experience, that a strange bridge has been crossed, and that Western morality somehow evolved along the way into something disastrous. They can see clearly what we are mostly blind to: that at some point the West crossed a rubicon of no return, and became officially suicidal (I would say around the time of 3rd wave feminism).
Many in the West have come to this same conclusion.
The purpose of university is the education of young minds in the canon of their history, with a goal to discovering truth. And objective truth requires studying relative viewpoints, with an understanding of rooted historical identity based on unwavering moral principles. The West is not only failing in the true education of it’s young people, it is failing to defend them from dangerous political bias which teaches them a suicidal self-hate.
It is abject and total failure.