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Why Johnny Can't Think Paperback – March 5, 2004
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About the Author
Robert W. Whitaker has "been there and done that" in the world of politics. His unique perspective is insightful and vital. You may not agree with everything he says, but he will make you think. Bob Whitaker was born and raised in South Carolina, went to the University of South Carolina and the University of Virginia Graduate School. He has been a college professor, international aviation negotiator, Capitol Hill senior staffer, Reagan Administration appointee, and writer for the Voice of America.
He has written numerous articles and two previous books, The New Right Papers and A Plague on Both Your Houses. Bob now lives in Columbia, SC.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Foreword by Joe Sobran
Why Johnny Cant Think is an odd book, if you can even call it a book. Its tone, thesis, and style are defiantly anti-academic. Many would call it anti-in-tellectual and so it is, if the life of the mind is equated with the people we call intellectuals. It doesnt rely on charts and statistics; it appeals to common sense.
A former professor himself, Bob Whitaker believes that formal education has become dangerous, and often fatal, to common sense. This is nothing new, but Americans believe so deeply in formal education that they routinely sacrifice their childrens youth to it, often paying staggering amounts of money to shield them from the real world.
Bob reminds us that in the Middle Ages, the advance of science was retarded not by the ignorant, but by the learned. All educated people "knew" that heavy bodies fell faster than light ones, and that men had more teeth than women. The great Aristotle had said so. And educated people preferred the authority of Aristotle to the simplest experiments and ob-servations, which could have told them that the great Aristotle was just plain wrong.
Today the sciences are taught on a sounder basis. But, says Whitaker, the "social" sciences are another matter. These "social" sciences are often directly contradicted by the hard sciences. They are built on ideas and theories that are not only unproven, but demonstrably and obviously false. Yet they are aggressively promoted by the academy, followed by the media and the government, and anyone who openly denies them can forget about a career in these institutions. Even real scientists are forced to bow to the idols of "social" science.
This system of modern dogmas, of superstitions passing for scientific knowledge form what is now called "Political Correctness," closely linked to "Multiculturalism." It trains the young to accept and parrot the notion that all races, cultures, sexes, and sexual practices are equal, and that it is a grave thought-crime to deny this. Political Correctness, like Aristotles physics in the Middle Ages, is what every educated person "knows." And a huge class of pro-fessional educators is richly rewarded for teaching it.
True science is based on demonstration, not authority. But it is only authority that sustains and enforces the doctrines of Political Correctness. And this authority is supported by enormous amounts of public money.
As Whitaker reminds us, formal education is far and away the biggest industry in the United States. Americans pay trillions of dollars, in both taxes and private tuition, to have their children indoctrinated in a false and destructive ideology, which serves as the basis for a series of disastrous public policies. In Whitakers words, "Nothing liberals do ever WORKS."
That bluntness is typical. You may feel that Whitaker could use a little more qualification, subtlety, and even statistical evidence here and there. But British understatement isnt his style.
For Bob Whitaker, nuance is something they do in Europe. He isnt really trying to prove anything. Hes trying to make you open your eyes. He dares you to tell him hes wrong, when reality is there, big as life, to back him up. He never tries to be clever; he likes to say what is startlingly obvious but, thanks to the code of Political Correctness, taboo.
Whitaker is at his funniest and most scathing when he discusses the liberals most valuable ally: the "respectable" conservative, whose role is to reinforce liberalism by treating it with respect. This respect is what makes him "respectable." That is, welcome in the media as liberalisms loyal opposition. The conservative who gives liberalism the horselaugh it deserves quickly forfeits any hope of being invited back. Whitaker long ago ceased being invited back.
Liberal programs dont just fail; they backfire, aggravating the problems they are meant to solve and destroying the things they are supposed to improve. But they are rarely repealed. They become entrenched, and the public, "educated" to accept the authority of liberalism, forgets how much better many things were before liberalism started improving them.
Unlike "respectable" conservatives, Whitaker re-members. He sees. And he laughs.
On Campus I Want Less Marxists And More Revolutionaries
My immediate goal in writing this book is to see more students give their professors a hard time. When it comes to the social sciences, nobody on campus has to think. You get a degree by hopping through hoops and proving that you "fit in."
Todays campus has a group of perfectly tame students who call themselves "revolutionaries" because their hero Karl Marx was revolutionary. But that was in 1848. The novelty has worn off of Marx and of Marxism.
On the other side a few carefully chosen "conservatives" are allowed to speak on campus and in the media.
Our so-called National Dialogue is like an Oriental play where each actor has a mask on to tell you all about him: Sad Face, Happy Face, Angry Face. We have our Conservative, our Revolutionary Marxist, our Thoughtful Liberal, our Moderate, and so forth. Everybody above the age of fourteen already knows exactly what they are going to say.
Life is short and campuses are boring. This is because students quickly learn Rule One: if you want to fit in on campus, dont think.
Lets see if we cant shake that up a little.
Top customer reviews
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It explains why Political Correctness is not like a religion, it literally IS a religion. Have you ever laughed at those people in the Soviet Union who seemed so clueless about their system? Did you ever sneer at those who stood by while "witches" were burned alive? You won't laugh or sneer again. You will see that it is happening right now.
Be prepared to have your worldview blown apart. This is potent stuff, exhilarating stuff.
Most recent customer reviews
For those of us frequently angered and sometimes amused by rampant Political Correctness he offers...Read more