They say history is doomed to repeat itself. That is what certain historical figures have continually tried to communicate to observers of history. From the end of the American Revolution to the beginning of the Cold War, democratic principles had been endlessly valued, protected, and advocated for. However, today, the social justice left has manipulated academia into an atmosphere of questioning absolutely everything- including everything that makes America great: free speech, representation, and equality of opportunity. I wish to emphasize the relevance that studying warning signs from history still plays today.
George Washington warned America in his Farewell Address:
“Why, by interweaving our destiny with that of any part of Europe, entangle our peace and prosperity in the toils of European ambition, rivalship, interest, humor or caprice? It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world.”
Former English Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, warned in his ‘Iron Curtain’ speech about Soviet Russia’s expansionist policies, and that a ‘special relationship’ should exist between England and the United States to fend them off.
The common theme amongst these two addresses is that of basic, pro-freedom political ideology. Washington elaborated on the dangers of factions and permanent allies, while Churchill thought the best way to guard democracy is through special relationships in the English-speaking world.
While both Washington and Churchill clearly prioritize democracy in very different time frames in very different ways, the fact that connects them is the importance of guarding democracy. To connect to today’s society, the next phase of ideological war resonates in the classroom. It seems as if historical documents, such as these, go unappreciated. Not only is history not being taught with the emphasis it used to be, but it is being manipulated. Through indoctrination in education, this results in students being made to only respond to historical events in either positive or negative lights. Mostly, this entails tailoring to the opinions of teachers and professors. As an attendee of both public and private institutions, I can attest to the sad truth of this.
As a member of pro-freedom organizations such as Young America’s Foundation and Turning Point USA, I can also attest to this. The reality that democratic principles emphasized in important historical documents are more than just criticized on college campuses. Ideas such as limited government, free markets, and open discourse are blatantly shut down, opposed, and drilled into student’s minds as topics that discourage ‘inclusion’ and ‘diversity.’ The popular so-called theme of inclusion and diversity dismantles tradition to create a more ‘comfortable’ atmosphere that removes negative connotations. In other words, this erases parts of history that the left pretends never happened. This is yet another example of the destructiveness that political correctness praises.
By drawing upon these historical examples and analyzing their dialogue, I have come to understand that their messages are just as important today as they were when originally stated. An intellectual war on ideology is being fought, with battlefields being college campuses. Mentioned in an article portraying pathetic responses to historical knowledge amongst youth, is Aldous Huxley’s, Brave New World. It declares, “That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history.” The novel creates a seemingly-utopian world in which ‘equality’ reigns through the implementation of a government-planned economy and scientifically beneficial children.
While these ideas may seem far-fetched to some in today’s society, they begin with simple changes. Propaganda empathically applying to the masses, while the silencing of minorities obscurely occurs, is a popular concept overlooked by many. In this case, the left propagates words such as ‘acceptance’ and ‘justice,’ to attract indoctrinated minds from studying the truth, whereas new ideas become restricted. In F.A. Hayek’s novel, Road to Serfdom, he explains how socialism uses words that we know of as our fundamental liberties, in this case ‘freedom,’ to advance their agenda. “The demand for the new freedom was thus only another name for the old demand for an equal distribution of wealth.” Behind these words are the hideous concepts of a planned economy, government overreach, and the opposite of what they truly mean.
The social justice left believes in a society in which superficially no one is hurt because they cannot think for themselves and censorship abounds. In a world where globalism is synonymous with positivity, Western traditions and ideals are sacrificed in the name of multiculturalism.
The warning signs given by history and literature should not be ignored. Said warnings come in all shapes and sizes, but without proper analysis, become twisted and avoided. However, it appears that the pro-freedom side of this war on ideology is losing. News headlines seemingly only portray the obstruction of certain speakers on campuses and the implementation of diverse (read ‘destructive’) and inclusionary (read ‘exclusionary’) speech codes. Contrary to popular belief, leaders for the advancement of fundamental rights, such as Milo Yiannopoulos, are destroying the enemy that is PC culture to ensure history does not repeat itself and that democratic standards thrive.
As the social justice, ANTIFA left violently protests the expansion of ideas and ironically destroys property in the name of diversity, Yiannopoulos, amongst other champions for freedom, directly proves the point- that political correctness obstructs the diversity of thought, which directly threatens proper historical education. “The fascists of the future will call themselves anti-fascists,” Winston Churchill wisely proclaimed. We are seeing the immediate effects of a movement gone wrong- the divisive, identity-politics-pandering, left in higher education. To win this ideological battle, freedom of speech and historical analysis must prevail.