Justin du Coeur (jducoeur) wrote,
Justin du Coeur

Your Daily Dose of Conservative Mind-Control

Thanks to meranthi for a pointer to this article on one of the most subtly heinous bits of legislation yet, down in Florida. It appears to have been introduced some time ago, but I hadn't come across it previously.

It's couched in carefully positive language, but it's a cleverly-worded foot in the door to politicize college education. (It smells of a Creationism agenda, but that's not strictly obvious.) My quick reading indicates that it requires an extreme definition of "viewpoint-neutral" teaching in classrooms. The accompanying article claims that it would give students grounds to sue professors if they felt that their viewpoints were not adequately represented; I suspect that that's exactly the intent. If professors can be sued for stating their beliefs clearly and grading accordingly, the resulting chilling effect in education plays quite well into the hard-right political/religious agenda.

The article has several quotes from the bill's sponsor that support the theory that this is precisely what they are looking for -- essentially, they're PO'ed that their views aren't being taught in the state schools, so they're using the students' freedom of expression as a hammer against the professors' academic freedom.

Very clever, and very evil -- a nicely-constructed attempt to allow the politicians to influence academic direction by shutting down criticisms they don't like. I'm more of a relativist than most people, but this is a fine example of just how dangerous a weapon intellectual relativism can be when carried to an extreme. In the long run, this bill is probably one of the most dangerous I've seen to date...

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