Author Topic: DeSantis Promoting Thought Police  (Read 15622 times)

jaxlongtimer

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DeSantis Promoting Thought Police
« on: June 23, 2021, 05:35:24 PM »
DeSantis appears to be following in the steps of George Orwell's 1984, Iran, North Korea, Russia and China as he signs a bill "surveying" professor's points of view so he can regulate "thought" at universities. The similarities, by example, to what China is doing to Hong Kong are striking and scary.

Like any society experiencing governmental intervention in intellectual pursuits, I expect Florida's state universities to begin suffering a brain drain as intellectuals look to find more "hospitable" institutions.
Quote
Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida on Tuesday signed legislation requiring the state's public colleges and universities to survey students, professors, and staff members about their political views in an effort to crack down on intellectual "indoctrination" on campuses.

DeSantis, a potential 2024 presidential contender who's closely aligned with former President Donald Trump, threatened to cut funding from state universities that he determines don't promote "intellectual diversity."

During a press conference at a middle school in Fort Myers, the governor said campuses that are "hotbeds for stale ideology" were "not worth tax dollars, and that's not something that we're going to be supporting going forward."

The bill says the annual surveys would assess "intellectual freedom and viewpoint diversity" and determine "the extent to which competing ideas and perspectives are presented" and whether students, professors, and staffers "feel free to express their beliefs and viewpoints on campus and in the classroom."....

https://www.businessinsider.com/desantis-signs-law-to-punish-student-indoctrination-at-florida-universities-2021-6

China does the same in Hong Kong:
Quote
In the year since China passed a sweeping national security law for Hong Kong, the mainland government has steadily tightened its grip on the city, quashing the pro-democracy movement.

Officials said they would censor Hong Kong films that they considered a threat to Beijing’s sovereignty, a sharp slap to the city’s artistic spirit. In March, Pro-Beijing lawmakers called for work by the dissident artist Ai Weiwei to be barred from a museum. Courts have sentenced pro-democracy activists to prison. And last week, the police raided Apple Daily, the biggest openly pro-democracy newspaper in the city, arrested its top editors and froze its bank accounts. Today, the newspaper said it would close this week...

A lot has changed, but all in line with a general trend: increasingly harsh, and overt, suppression of the rights that made Hong Kong different from mainland China. An annual vigil on June 4, to commemorate the 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre against pro-democracy protesters in Beijing, was banned.

China has overhauled Hong Kong’s election system. Before anyone can run for office, they will have to pass a screening committee set up by Beijing. The central government had gotten worried that pro-democracy residents were going to try to sweep the upcoming legislative elections. So Beijing passed another top-down order, as it had with the security law.

There are a few major changes. Only “patriots,” defined by a screening committee, will be allowed to run for office.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/06/23/briefing/china-hong-kong-apple-daily-closure.html



Charles Hunter

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Re: DeSantis Promoting Thought Police
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2021, 05:47:55 PM »
Change the references in the first article to some blue-state governor, but leave all the other words the same, and Tucker Carlson and the rest of the Trumpists would be in full-blown loon mode.

How easy would it be for 'undesirable' people on college campuses to game the system by answering the survey in ways to please DuhSantis?

vicupstate

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Re: DeSantis Promoting Thought Police
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2021, 05:48:49 PM »
Scary times indeed.

As bad as DeSatan is, he isn't alone. There had to be a majority in both Houses for it to pass. Floriduh and Texass lead the way in the demise of American Democracy. China is quickly becoming the most important nation in the world and the US is becoming more like them at the same time. The world became dramatically more democratic in the last 50-60 years, but it is headed in the opposite direction now. By 2030-2040 the world could be a far different place than it is now, and not in a good way.     
« Last Edit: June 23, 2021, 05:54:59 PM by vicupstate »
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Tacachale

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Re: DeSantis Promoting Thought Police
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2021, 06:24:38 PM »
Very scary precedent. Something few conservatives would have touched a 10 foot censor bar even 10 years ago.
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BridgeTroll

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Re: DeSantis Promoting Thought Police
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2021, 07:49:39 PM »
No need to read further than Desatan and duhsantis... name calling is pathetic and clearly comes from a position of weakness...

Please continue...  :)
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Charles Hunter

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Re: DeSantis Promoting Thought Police
« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2021, 09:02:55 PM »
OK, "name-calling bad" - there are posts critical of the new law. Feel free to defend the merits of inquiring about the political positions of university faculty and students, along with the threat to reduce funding for "undesirable ideologies."

jaxoNOLE

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Re: DeSantis Promoting Thought Police
« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2021, 09:59:35 PM »
I'm exhausted by the overwhelming one-sidedness of most university "intellectuals". I recall a class on "multiculturalism " I was required to complete in order to graduate from a public Florida university that was exclusively left-of-center. Multiple selected readings from Marx, including arguments about the evils of money, but they willingly cashed my tuition checks.

No, universities are not pure vestiges of free thought anymore. I don't care for the government meddling in thought policing, nor do I care for DeSantis, but public universities are themselves an arm of the government, so...political bias in public universities is a form of thought policing, too. Two wrongs don't make a right, but it's not surprising to see backlash against curricula that increasingly teach us to be ashamed of many of the defining characteristics that used to form the concept of "American exceptionalism", which any college campus will now dutifully inform you is a white-privileged and racist concept.

Yes, shame on DeSantis for this overreach. But my goodness, talk about pearl-clutching: shame on universities for failing to maintain a spirit of civic debate and open-mindedness in favor of causes and controversies du jour.


jaxlongtimer

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Re: DeSantis Promoting Thought Police
« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2021, 10:01:16 PM »
A couple of other points: 

1.  Which university departments have professors "indoctrinating" students?  Chemistry, biology, math, physics, English literature, Spanish, French, criminology, sociology, geography, medicine, veterinary, dental, law, economics, accounting, finance, IT, statistics, marketing, culinary/hospitality, journalism/media, visual arts , theater, music, architecture, nursing, environmental sciences, engineering, political science, physical education, food science, fashion design/merchandising, sports*... Really, how does this even begin to play out?

2.  This appears to be V 2.0 of the attack on critical race theory.  More Tallahassee big government meddling in local issues and free thought.  Just the opposite of what DeSantis and his ilk complain about the Feds.  How about practicing what you preach?!

*  Are we going to have both a Republican and Democrat teacher/coach/janitor/cafeteria worker/administrator/college president for every class, sport and staff position so things are "balanced?"  Just double the payroll across the board?

Ironically, the governor appoints most or all of the trustees of our state universities.  Most are picked for their politics so no doubt trustees lean to his liking.  Is he going to balance out the trustees and pick some left leaning ones to insure no Republican "indoctrination" at the trustee level?  John Thrasher was a Republican speaker of the house and Republican party chair before becoming FSU president.  What does DeSantis say about that?

 

vicupstate

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Re: DeSantis Promoting Thought Police
« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2021, 10:03:40 PM »
No need to read further than Desatan and duhsantis... name calling is pathetic and clearly comes from a position of weakness...

Please continue...  :)

Sorry, not sorry.

The man is dangerous and is destroying a country many gave their lives to create. I am not going to treat a tyrant with respect.   
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jaxoNOLE

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Re: DeSantis Promoting Thought Police
« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2021, 10:06:39 PM »
^Jaxlongtimer: well, that's the challenge. Universities should protect the expression of diverse points of view on both sides of the aisle. If anything, more controversy is better as it encourages debate.

True balance should be the product of freedom, not regulation. When you see conservative speakers and student groups censored or denied a platform, that's not freedom. If a free and open debate skews left, so be it. :)

vicupstate

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Re: DeSantis Promoting Thought Police
« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2021, 10:13:54 PM »
I'm exhausted by the overwhelming one-sidedness of most university "intellectuals". I recall a class on "multiculturalism " I was required to complete in order to graduate from a public Florida university that was exclusively left-of-center. Multiple selected readings from Marx, including arguments about the evils of money, but they willingly cashed my tuition checks.

No, universities are not pure vestiges of free thought anymore. I don't care for the government meddling in thought policing, nor do I care for DeSantis, but public universities are themselves an arm of the government, so...political bias in public universities is a form of thought policing, too. Two wrongs don't make a right, but it's not surprising to see backlash against curricula that increasingly teach us to be ashamed of many of the defining characteristics that used to form the concept of "American exceptionalism", which any college campus will now dutifully inform you is a white-privileged and racist concept.

Yes, shame on DeSantis for this overreach. But my goodness, talk about pearl-clutching: shame on universities for failing to maintain a spirit of civic debate and open-mindedness in favor of causes and controversies du jour.



Why is reading what Marx ACTUALLY said, rather than what popular culture wants you to believe he said, a bad thing?

Did you see what the Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staffs said today on this subject? 

If not, check this out: https://twitter.com/mattgaetz/status/1407780765421740032?s=20
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jaxoNOLE

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Re: DeSantis Promoting Thought Police
« Reply #11 on: June 23, 2021, 10:27:19 PM »
^it's not bad. But pushing only that perspective, and teaching it as truth (which was my experience in that one class), as part of a class that is government mandated to fulfill graduation requirements, is tantamount to indoctrination. And the irony was that the class was to fulfill a "multicultural " learning requirement, and it was one of the least perspective-diverse classes in my curriculum.

No, that one experience is not statistically meaningful, but you asked, so I thought I'd elaborate.

jaxlongtimer

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Re: DeSantis Promoting Thought Police
« Reply #12 on: June 23, 2021, 10:51:25 PM »
I'm exhausted by the overwhelming one-sidedness of most university "intellectuals". I recall a class on "multiculturalism " I was required to complete in order to graduate from a public Florida university that was exclusively left-of-center. Multiple selected readings from Marx, including arguments about the evils of money, but they willingly cashed my tuition checks.

No, universities are not pure vestiges of free thought anymore. I don't care for the government meddling in thought policing, nor do I care for DeSantis, but public universities are themselves an arm of the government, so...political bias in public universities is a form of thought policing, too. Two wrongs don't make a right, but it's not surprising to see backlash against curricula that increasingly teach us to be ashamed of many of the defining characteristics that used to form the concept of "American exceptionalism", which any college campus will now dutifully inform you is a white-privileged and racist concept.

Yes, shame on DeSantis for this overreach. But my goodness, talk about pearl-clutching: shame on universities for failing to maintain a spirit of civic debate and open-mindedness in favor of causes and controversies du jour.

"Free thought" to me includes a good bit of thinking "outside the box."  By that, I mean challenging the status quo and considering new and novel ways to address society's issues and problems.  It doesn't mean all such ideas that are generated by the process are good and/or viable, but it does imply a "liberal" or open minded approach that challenges defenders of the status quo (i.e. conservatives).  To me, due to their primary mission of expanding thought, this makes universities and much of our media fall more into the "liberal" think mindset and I don't see it ever disappearing.  Even in the most restrictive societies, such as Russia, China, Iran, etc., universities and media (other than state run) tend to be the bastions of "liberalism," i.e. challengers to the status quo.

Virtually all advances in civilization have been the result of such "outside the box" thinking starting with challenging conservative/orthodox theology or other entrenched institutional explanations for the world around us.  "Progress"/societal advancement is by its very nature a creation of someone finding a "newer and better" way to do things that those before them had not envisioned, contemplated, tested, or attempted.  Again, it is "liberal" thinking that accomplishes this.

We can live like a truly conservative/tradition bound society but that would put us in the "third world" status where such societies generally reside.  Even "second world" countries like Russia and China suffer from a hybrid of this world view.

Notably, the very creation of our country was founded on what, in its time, was considered a liberal approach to organizing and governing a society.  I truly doubt our founders would not be supportive of tweaking their model over the decades and centuries to address changing times and circumstances as they very much thought "outside the box."  This is further evidenced by the flexibilities they embedded in our governing processes.  And, while it's clear they didn't all see eye to eye on how to go forward, they, in the end, melded their differing points of view, collectively, mostly "liberal" (concessions to slave holders being a notable exception) in their day, into a single constitution via compromise.  Again, they left the door open for society to fix those things that didn't exactly stand the test of time.  [To me, this is why the strict constructionist/originalist approach of some of our Supreme Court justices is off the mark.  In fairness, it is true, Congress (like our State legislature) fails to bite on the toughest issues leaving the door open for courts to tackle them.  This isn't right and often the courts call out the legislative functions for it.  But, when the courts don't and, instead, step in to make a tough decision, the legislatures still have the ability to reverse the courts with new legislation.  This, they should do, if they are truly not happy with a court "legislating" but it seems many times they just want to scapegoat the courts rather than execute properly their own responsibilities.]


jaxoNOLE

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Re: DeSantis Promoting Thought Police
« Reply #13 on: June 23, 2021, 11:26:10 PM »
^Thank you for a very thoughtful post. In most aspects, I agree. It's unfortunate to me that "conservatism" has become synonymous with dictating what people do in their own homes. To me, "conservatism" is adhering to the founding values of our country and making limited changes only as a matter of necessity. I think our founders painted clear lines, identifying specific values that were non-negotiable regardless of changing times (the Constitution + enumerated rights, including those reserved to the states) and leaving everything else open to the very interpretation and evolution you allude to. Obviously, the amendment process provided for changes to the non-negotiable by virtue of supermajority support. To me, conservatism in this country is adhering to that philosophy. You are 100% correct that our founders based this country on liberalism, and our tradition is liberal in the sense that we define ourselves by our freedom. I view myself as conservative because I subscribe to those traditional governmental ideals: freedom to express my opinion, defend myself, earn a living, and live my life free of interference from others so long as I refrain from interfering with them.

I do agree that universities are bound to float liberal when left to their own devices. I'm fine with that, and that's why the DeSantis measures are unacceptable. But there have been examples of one-sided censorship against the minority right-leaning voices on campuses  nationwide that primed the pump for this political play here in Florida. Censorship in all forms should be abhorred in academia; when it is allowed to pass on one side of the aisle, we shouldn't be shocked to see similar evils perpetrated in retaliation.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2021, 11:28:24 PM by jaxoNOLE »

Adam White

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Re: DeSantis Promoting Thought Police
« Reply #14 on: June 24, 2021, 02:47:56 AM »
I went to UF and ended up graduating from UNF (in 1995). So I appreciate that it has been a *number* of years - but in my experience, I never had a professor 'indoctrinate' me (or attempt to). I had a professor at UF who taught a course on the history of Christianity by talking about liberation theology and how he used to march with Martin Luther King. But he never tried to tell any of us how to think. I had a couple of very conservative professors at UNF (poly sci and history) and although they were opinionated, they didn't seem like they were trying to change minds.

It's weird how conservatives are so worked up over 'liberal' bias or 'indoctrination' in universities but not fussed at all about right wing bias and indoctrination in the military.
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