Has brainwashing by the far-left gone too far?

Well-known historian Niall Ferguson complains from the dominance of leftist ideas on American universities, especially on the faculties of history, political sciences and sociology.

In a recent interview he lamentingly said he was so naïve because he thought talents, perseverance and efficiency are the standards of progress in academic work and in all other fields but he was wrong as he recently figured out that ideology is the most important factor.

Those with a leftist ideology support one another and eliminate people with different ideas until their voice and influence disappear. Whenever a conservative academic leaves a faculty, he’s replaced with a historian with a leftist tendency. By doing so, the influence of the leftist ideology increases.

The leftist vision thus decisively dominates students’ minds even in the most prestigious universities. Ferguson, who published interesting writings including an important biography about the most famous secretary of state Henry Kissinger, said that while substituting for a lecturer at the University of Berkeley once, he noted the religious reasons behind the September 11, 2001 attacks but he felt students were uncomfortable about this truth as they preferred other ideas that were planted in their heads, such as the idea that the attacks were a reaction to American “imperialism.”

Based on a personal experience, I’ve seen how leftist ideas overwhelm students’ little minds that are dazzled and incapable of resisting. In the American university where I studied, I took plenty of history lessons and found that the American lecturer strongly opposed her country’s policies and did not mention any of the latter’s advantages.

We took many lessons about the Vietnam War and the tragedies that happened, and we watched the documentary which features US Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara in tears for he regretted some of his decisions. This perspective may be right but it also forgets the bigger picture which is that the US has formed the face of the modern world which we live in with power sometimes and with diplomacy at other times.

It destroyed Nazism, Communism, Fascism and Al-Qaeda and supported Muslims in Bosnia and Kuwait. All these threats would have changed the face of the world today if they hadn’t been confronted and eliminated by American force. However, it’s difficult to bring up a free discussion in faculties that plant ideas in students who turn them into accepted facts. I remember I objected to this sharp and subjective vision but teachers pityingly looked at me implying I am deceived and brainwashed.

You would not expect the tails of this ideology to reach practical technological specialties like media production but I was wrong. Among the courses I wanted to study was the history of American media but the excitement to learn something new and get to know this huge media quickly disappeared.

Volatile ideas

The lectures were sessions to plant the leftist doctrine in one’s mind and heart. Lessons turned into trials and sessions that aim to dig ideas and find racist insinuations hidden in the folds of articles and in documentaries, movies and series. Some of them were right but they were also based on exaggerated analysis that’s driven by paranoia and that’s obsessed with the evil conspiratorial approach rather than with facts.

Another strange thing I heard was from a far-left lecturer during a lesson that aims to understand protest movements and follow their right approach. A course about social justice turned into an introduction to revolting! I then understood the secret of why there are plenty of frivolous and reckless figures who despise the idea of the state and development in favor of lustrous, empty slogans.

Those with a leftist ideology support one another and eliminate people with different ideas until their voice and influence disappear.

Mamdouh AlMuhaini

Ideas are volatile and these institutions need human demons to bring them up and increase their influence over the public imagination. American President Nixon was suitable for this purpose. He was completely demonized although he is to thank for the largest transformation our world is witnessing today, as he’s the one who opened the door to China to enter than international order and his visit to the Soviet Union was the actual beginning to disciplining the latter and declawing it. However, in an exclusionary atmosphere, it’s difficult to speak out and voice this opinion!

The situation was different at the faculty of economy. For the first time ever we heard about prominent economists like Friedrich Hayek, Milton Friedman and Thomas Sowell. The reason is because the faculty is famous for its faith in the principle of the free market and in its belief that the government should stop interfering in economy and was also against a minimum wage. All these ideas oppose the traditional leftist ideology. The faculty however was recently under heavy criticism due to its ideological approach, and the donor funds were also questioned. The aim is to subjugate it to one ideology, as per the fanatics’ way. The Wall Street Journal wrote an editorial defending it.

Due to the dominance of this sharp and narrow-minded ideology, several thinkers, journalists and writers were targeted and faced restrictions as they were literally deprived of the chance to hold open lectures. You would not expect something like this to happen in the US but in recent months, students at famous universities committed acts of violence and arson after they announced hosting figures with ideologies that are different than the common ideology. One of the angry students who contributed to silencing an author said: “We stopped the event from happening. This is great. Mission accomplished.”

The resistance

This ideology raged after President Trump arrived to the White House and it became some sort of resistance as they themselves say. Some wonder about the reason behind this terror and anger in the American media which transformed into a partisan media in crisis but they are not aware that most of these journalists and anchors are the product of this ideological environment which formed them and firmly established their principles and that they live among angry masses that share the same ideas and increase their rush.

This is why they celebrated President Obama and turned him into the prophet of the new era. As we celebrated the first black president, they saw in him the first president who will achieve their worldly and missionary prophecy on earth.

According to the recently published book by Ben Rhodes, Obama’s close adviser, Obama was shocked when Trump was elected after him as he viewed this as treason to his legacy and he talked as if he is a savior whom his people did not understand and he said with a sigh: “Sometimes I wonder whether I was 10 or 20 years too early,” i.e. the people are not yet ready for his teachings.

Of course these ideas extend to reach our world. We can thus understand why we find it difficult to convince these figures in universities and in the media that Iran, for example, is the most destructive element in the region and that it allies with Al-Qaeda and that the Muslim Brotherhood is a terrorist group on the ideological and practical levels hence it’s not possible to get rid of terrorism while keeping it and that the terrorists’ doctrine is due to an extremist religious doctrine and not because of the illusion of a western invasion. These figures have lived in a shell since an early stage and haven’t yet come out of it.

This article is also available in Arabic.

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Mamdouh AlMuhaini is the Editor-in-Chief of Al Arabiya News Channel’s digital platforms. He can be followed on Twitter @malmhuain

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:53 - GMT 06:53
Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.
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