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This article is excerpted from LiberatED, a weekly email newsletter where FEE Senior Education Fellow Kerry McDonald brings you news and analysis on current education and parenting topics. Click here to sign up.
“I criticize by creation, not by finding fault,” said the Roman philosopher Marcus Tullius Cicero. This is such an important message.
There is a lot to be critical about in our current culture, and finding fault is easy, but it doesn’t prompt change. Change comes from creators. These entrepreneurial individuals see unmet needs and missed opportunities and develop solutions. They imagine alternatives to the status quo, and they invent new and better products and processes. They inspire others to do the same, collaborating and competing in a dynamic free market of ideas and innovations.
A recent example of this in the education sector is the launch of the University of Austin, a new, brick and mortar university set to compete with the legacy institutions that have become both financially and ideologically extreme.
“Something is rotten in the state of academia and it’s no laughing matter,” wrote Niall Ferguson, a former Harvard professor and one of the new university’s cofounders, at Bloomberg this week. “Grade inflation. Spiraling costs. Corruption and racial discrimination in admissions. Junk content (‘Grievance Studies’) published in risible journals. Above all, the erosion of academic freedom and the ascendancy of an illiberal ‘successor ideology’ known to its critics as wokeism, which manifests itself as career-ending ‘cancelations’ and speaker disinvitations, but less visibly generates a pervasive climate of anxiety and self-censorship.”
The University of Austin plans to evolve slowly, beginning with a summer program, followed by a Master’s program, and eventually a full suite of undergraduate liberal arts degree programs. The creators hope that this new university will compete with existing higher education institutions and provide an alternative for the many parents and students seeking a more balanced education rooted in free thought and inquiry.
Ferguson writes that “it often feels as if there is less free speech and free thought in the American university today than in almost any other institution in the U.S.” He later adds: “When a […]
One Sick Day Proves We Need More Voices in Truthful Media
On October 19, I was sick. It crossed my mind that I had finally gotten the ‘rona, but my wife’s cream of chicken soup and a few extra hours of sleep into mid-afternoon had be back up and running after a sleepless night before.
When I finally stumbled over to my computer in the evening, I was met with a deluge of concern from readers. They asked what had happened as only one article had been posted that day. Generally, we post between 10-20 daily between all of the sites, not included curated and aggregated content. Seeing that we’d only posted my super-early morning article before taking the rest of the day off had readers assuming the worst.
We have a wonderful and talented group of writers who volunteer their time for the sites and their readers. Sharing their amazing perspectives has always been a blessing to us because we cannot afford to hire anyone at this time. But having great writers is meaningless if we don’t have great editors, or at least one additional. My wife helps me read and edit stories from time to time, but I’m a one-man show when it comes to getting the stories posted.
Whenever I highlight our desperate need for donations, I note that we do not receive money from Google ads even though most in conservative media are beholden. I often ambiguously note that the money donated will help us grow. Today, I’m highlighting a specific need. We must get an editor to help take some of the load and to expand on our mission of spreading the truth to the world. One sick day proved that.
The great news is that there is no shortage of people who CAN help. I am emailed variations of resumes every week by people who are much smarter than I am. As much as I’d love to hire some of them, we simply cannot. That takes money and as blessed as we’ve been to receive donations and collect ad money (though not from Google or Facebook), we have still fallen short.
Those who have the means, PLEASE consider donating. We have the standard Giving Fuel option and people can donate through PayPal. We are also diving into what we believe is extremely disruptive technology at LetsGo.finance, the world’s first major donation portal for crypto. I’ll be talking a lot more about them in the near future. Those who prefer Bitcoin can send to my address here: 3A1ELVhGgrwrypwTJhPwnaTVGmuqyQrMB8
We can get the voices out there and we’re willing to shine a spotlight on new talent. We just need the resources to make it happen. If you can help, we would be extremely grateful.
Thank you and God bless!