The Social Sciences Are Dead
And we killed them
Who cares for the Humanities?
Recently, a video has surfaced of a teacher in San Diego yelling at students for their so-called white privilege, and demanding that racial minorities have unions, but not white students. This is not an isolated case. At the beginning of the school year, in September, a school in Connecticut sent white privilege forms home with kids. I suppose that the schools wished to inform their nine-year-old students that they are guilty by association; the amount of melanin they have in their skin attributes them to a certain level, or lack thereof, of morality. Later, in February, a school in New York sent children home with a “white identities” chart meant to teach students to become “white traitors” and advocate for “white abolition.” (This all sounds like tribalism to me, but hey, I’m not a teacher.)
According to a poll in 2017 by Education Week, 41 percent of teachers in America identified as Democrats, 30 said they were independents, and just 27 percent said they were Republicans. (41 percent is 51 percent greater than 27 percent.) Evidently, there is clear bias in education. This, in and of itself, does not have to be a problem. The problem is that certain ideologies and biases are being forced upon students.
This impetuous denigration of the social sciences is an antecedent towards a failed society. Education becomes indoctrination as students are taught what to think instead of how to think.
“The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently.” — Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
For as long as I have been in school, the social sciences have always been frowned upon by those that choose to focus on the natural sciences; chemistry, biology, and physics were always more important than anthropology, political science, and economics. I myself am a seventeen-year-old student that will be taking electrical engineering at university next year, before going onto medicine after my undergraduate. I have a 4.0 GPA, I have given a TEDx talk on optogenetics for addiction, and I have worked under a neurosurgeon where I studied chronic pain modulation through nerve stimulation. Additionally, I currently work at a math clinic teaching students Grades 1 to 12.
I assure you I am not attempting to be ostentatious — many readers will have far greater achievements than I. I list these characteristics so that my perspective may be more meaningful to those who may have been indifferent to the humanities as I was. To these folks, it behooves you not to be indifferent and not to be passive. This indifference to the humanities will be the corollary of your acceptance to their denigration — and this field cannot be denigrated.
The humanities generally consist of history, English, social studies, and a few other subjects in high school. For those who are in high school, you may have noticed the shift of your teachers over the past year. For those who are not, you may have still witnessed this shift in schools across the United States; high schools are not the only educational institutions that have been compromised by intersectionality and progressive politics. Institutions from public primary schools in California, to universities in Massachusetts, have seen the effect of these politics.
Now, why should any citizen feel apprehension at the denigration of these fields?
The humanities teach students how to read, write, and think. More than that, the humanities teach students how to live. This is the reason Plato, Socrates, Marcus Aurelius, Carl Jung, Friedrich Nietzsche, Albert Camus, and all the great writers over the course of human history are remembered; albeit, some more fondly than others, but remembered nonetheless.
Below is a video of Dr. Jordan Peterson — a Canadian professor of psychology who has become a best-selling author — addressing the issue of humanities.
Keep your mind
This is certainly a question that is asked by many who find themselves in this circumstance. For students, challenging a teacher can precipitate a tension so opaque they stumble to the end of their class. It may mean they risk punishment, suspension, or even expulsion. This seems like a remarkable price to pay just to challenge one or two foolhardy teachers. But, it must also be asked: What is the price of your silence?
It is your mind.
“Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing.” — John Stuart Mill
To witness immorality and do nothing would make you privy to that immorality — and you know it. This is quite the burden for any conscience. Many individuals may remind themselves that their situation is temporary. They need to remain silent — or else. What must be realized is that the “or else” will always be present. There will always be future colleagues, bosses, teachers, friends, and family who will be ready to slander and defame you for your opinion; despite whatever prominence these individuals may hold, they are not worth more than your mind.
To not be silent does not require much. It certainly does not mean that you slander and defame those who would do so to you. You may be hated, but you must not give way to hating; you may be lied about, but must not deal in lies. To do so would sacrifice yourself just as much as your silence would. Moreover, it does not mean you do not listen, just that you challenge that which you understand and find immoral. You do not need to go to war with your opposition (though they may want to do so with you). Sometimes, all that is required is for you to say is, “I disagree.”
This simple phrase can stop you from dismantling your own hierarchy of values, and losing your very Being. It will stop you from entering a perpetual cycle that leads only to cynicism, and perhaps even nihilism.
“I never worry about action, but only about inaction.” — Winston Churchill
Do not be indifferent. Do not acquiesce. Do not give in.
This is something of an open letter — and not just one to students. It is a reminder to everyone who sees the impact of proclaimed progressive thinking on their own lives. Dr. Jordan Peterson covers much of this discussion in his new book Beyond Order — specifically, rule five (“Do not do what you hate”) — but hopefully there is something useful in this essay that someone will be able to learn from.
Now, to parents specifically, be aware that your children's teachers will have bias. This is merely human nature. What you must do is be wary of those teachers who wish to enforce their biases on your children and call it “teaching.” Have your children read good books; Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Discrimination and Disparities, and The Gulag Archipelago are some examples. Fiction books such as Animal Farm and The Fountainhead will also serve them well. Additionally, I will always recommend Beyond Order: 12 more Rules for Life and its predecessor 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos to those searching for good literature.
And, to the students who witness the immorality that comes with the denigration of the social sciences, I implore you, rebel.
“I rebel; therefore I exist” — Albert Camus
Do not sacrifice yourself to anyone around you. Do not sacrifice your mind, your body, or anything else. Sacrifice does not consist of just giving something up. True sacrifice comes when you give up something less than for something greater than. For example, it is not a sacrifice to try and save loved ones at your own expense, because it would be hell to live without them. A husband using his life savings to try and save his wife dying from cancer is not a sacrifice.
Do not give your mind up — your teachers, colleagues, and bosses are not worth it.
If more citizens refuse to be compromised by the current nature of the status quo, then perhaps we can bring the social sciences back.
But, as of now, the social sciences are dead.
And we killed them.