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  • Indoctrination at U-Delaware

    Posted by David Foster on March 22nd, 2009 (All posts by )

    Here’s a video, made by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, about the indoctrination programs that have been implemented at the University of Delaware as part of their Residence Life program:

    Part One

    Part Two

    Watching this, I was reminded if a German folk song that dates from the early Middle Ages: Die Gedanken sind frei. This translates as “the thoughts are free”…in one of the many versions of the song, it is “only the thoughts are free.”

    It is apparently the desire of the University of Delaware–and of the administrations of many other American universities–that not even the thoughts should be free. As the professor interviewed in the video said, the long-term effect of programs such as the ResLife program at Delaware is to create conformity.

    (Ralf, what would be the proper German translation for “not even the thoughts are free?” I think U-Delaware needs to be honored with its own version of the song.)

    The inculcation of unthinking conformity seems, increasingly, to be a primary objective of American universities. And unthinking conformity is something that harms a society in many ways–see my post here for related thoughts.

    For your listening pleasure, here’s a MIDI version of Die Gedanken sind frei.

    Video link via Erin O’Connor.

     

    5 Responses to “Indoctrination at U-Delaware”

    1. Andrew Garland Says:

      The little people must be led. The important thing is to give them the right thoughts. Encouraging them to think is difficult and counterproductive. They might come to the wrong conclusions. A uniform conformity allows them to discuss things among themselves and see that everyone has come to the same conclusion. A little force works well if some people refuse to see the light. (sarcasm warning)


      Leading the People

      [excerpt] He argued that only a radical change in government would bring about a better society. I disagreed. He said that I should join the demonstrations against the University to end the Vietnam war. I thought a sit-in demonstration against the University was misdirected. I suggested the he should demonstrate against the government; the University was not at war.

      He said that his movement would become stronger, and eventually I would agree with him. I asked, what if I didn’t agree with him, even later? He flashed anger and told me that if I didn’t agree on my own, he would make me agree. I saw that as the end of the discussion.

    2. Bob O'Hara Says:

      I really enjoyed the quotation from Chesterton about individuality that you posted the other day on Erin’s blog, David. I’ve picked up on it in a post over at the Collegiate Way: “The Fierce Varieties of Men.”

    3. fred lapides Says:

      The films are a propaganda pitch against the program. Now the program might well be
      dumb and questionable, but where are we given the point of view of those who put the program together. Has the program been challenged, and, if so, by whom officially? The board approves the program, and that board responsible to the Governor etc…has this been brought to the attention of the elected officials, the taxpayers? Has the faculty approved the program? If so, when and did they vote on it?

      I agree the program sounds damned stupid…But many schools have odd introductory programs for new students…How many of those objecting have transferred out?

    4. david foster Says:

      Fred…lots more information here.

    5. Mike Cunningham Says:

      David,

      It require a small intellect to identify propaganda, but it also requires a great deal more to expose, condemn and reverse the insidious effects of that propaganda.

      What we must always remember is the target audience, which is a body of young impressionable students. If they are not alerted, who will advise them of the truth in later life?

      As an Englishman, I also have been subject to mis-informed propaganda, and the results of that propaganda; the results being the bombing raids by the Nazis on my home city when I was but a boy; my uncle losing his life on the day after D-day whilst fighting against the tyranny which supported that same insidious propaganda!

      The liberal elite who support such ideals as are represented by this Residence Life programme are settled in their tenure, and almost unassailable, but they should be shifted, even if one at a time, because students need advice and guidance, not a crippling bunch of lies and a mish-mash of half-truths as are served up inside these so-called Induction programmes!