Think what you want of Tesla founder Elon Musk. Doing space tourism for the rich is a dubious thing. But the innovative man has now also done something remarkable with his fortune: he is supporting an attempt to restore academic freedom of thought. American university professors who have been “cancelled” – silenced, expelled and hushed up – for daring to claim that there are only two sexes, with his financial support (and successful crowdfunding) in Texas have a new one University was founded, where discussions, thoughts and arguments should take place again. So where everything that actually constitutes science and university will happen.
In America, the word “toughtcrime” is used to indicate a departure from mainstream thinking. We still leave this open language to the Chinese (who now even have to obey the “thoughts of the great leader Xi Xi Ping”), but the effects are the same. University professors are very careful about what they say in lectures – otherwise they will get themselves into endless trouble. The commissioners of political correctness are always there and make sure that the prevailing morality is not harmed. The universities, once a place of intellectual debate, where progress in all areas of knowledge was achieved through rational argument, the open clash of different theories and justified contradiction, now sees itself as a re-education institution.
Rarely has this become so clear as with the complaint of a Viennese student against the prescribed gendering in the diploma thesis. The young man studied translation sciences, as the interpreter training is now called. Anyone who has ever translated knows how important clear language is – so it is not surprising that someone who interprets is not happy with the language-distorting gender stuff.
But the university is not about language at all. It is written in black and white in the guidelines for the thesis: It must be changed in order to achieve “social change” and “influencing established norms and power relations”. It is openly stated why the ORF news torments us, why legal texts are made illegible and the national anthem ridiculed (“daughters’ sons”): It’s about power.
(Of course it is only a footnote that fits into the picture that 73 plagiarism passages can be found on 220 pages of doctoral thesis, if one also considers the right gender as a prerequisite for academic consecration among lawyers. Only – then Alma Zadic has the power got, with their Mach-Werk. And now some top-class law professors are wondering. Stupid.)
Think for yourself, think differently: that doesn’t seem to be a requirement in high schools in this country either. Of course, it is primarily about funds, if even on university soil, for example, no more criticism can be expressed about the “scientific climate rescue”. Here, too, people are muzzled, “dissenters” exposed to defamation – and kept away from public research funding pots. A different opinion is not listened to anyway
We have just experienced how scientific statements have to change constantly due to further research and new influences: The virologists and epidemiologists let us experience this on the open stage during the pandemic.
We should not experience this as helplessness, as “exposing a vaccine-crazed power elite,” but as an example of what scientific progress is. It has been shown that when searching for new solutions, for forward-looking results, there is only one thing that must not exist: bans on thinking.
But even then there are confused facts. If it suits the “power” of the zeitgeist, even iron certainties like “2 x 2 = 4” can be questioned because they are supposedly only “signs of white supremacy” (that’s called ethnomathematics). However, when a scientific finding goes against the spirit of the times, it is suppressed. This restriction of academic freedom of thought has spread unnoticed. But that affects us all – because the future of our country also depends on the quality or lack of quality at the universities.
If the education minister dares to tackle this problem after his quarantine, he might be able to follow in Werner Fassmann’s footsteps after all.