Editor’s Note: The following is Michael Huling’s weekly Highlight.
On Thursday, I wrote my debut piece for Campus Reform in which I discussed some exam questions that were given in my introduction to political science class. After reading some of the comments and having conversations with a couple people about the article, I’d like to make a few points to provide some clarification.
I’ll be the first to admit that Campus Reform journalism isn’t really my style, although I do think the publication is entirely necessary and serves a great purpose of exposing the constant leftist extremism that plagues our academic institutions.
But when opportunity knocks…
I decided to write the article because the questions (and answers) on the exam featured such an obvious bias that I felt should be exposed. The first question equated capitalism with exploitation and sweatshop working conditions. MSNBC Associate Producer Brian Latimer tweeted the following in response to my piece:
Latimer correctly points out that sweatshops did begin under capitalist economies as a method of mass production. Although these conditions are a horrible aspect of developing economies, they do pave the way for robust growth and innovation, leading to an economy that doesn’t rely on sweatshops. Poor working conditions were certainly common at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, but faded away over time as these economies continued to develop.
One thing that is somehow forgotten is that wealth and prosperity aren’t the default for human existence. We’re born into the world with no clothing, no money, and no experience. The question is not how do people become poor; the question is how do people become wealthy?
The Industrial Revolution, for all of its issues, was the greatest economic boom in the history of civilization. As capitalist nations sprung into the future, the rest of the world was left in the past.
The Heritage Foundation’s Economic Freedom Index ranks the nations around the world based on their economic freedom. The countries that rank near the top of the list include Singapore, Australia, Luxembourg, Norway, United States, Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, and Iceland. The bottom three nations are Cuba, North Korea, and Venezuela. Suffice it to say that the nations that have higher levels of economic freedom are also wealthier, freer, and more prosperous. Furthermore, these developed countries no longer have to resort to sweatshops to produce goods and services.
Some argue that these wealthier nations simply import products from nations that rely on cheap labor and sweatshop working conditions. In some cases this is true, but each of these nations also have a robust domestic economy. The reliance on cheap labor is actually a huge reason why these poorer countries are able to develop, as the constant demand for their products creates more wealth. This is exactly what has allowed places like Singapore, Hong Kong, and South Korea to become some of the most prosperous nations in the world.
The expansion of capitalism and democracy throughout the world has led to unbelievable progress that is overlooked far too often.
Extreme poverty is below 10 percent for the first time in human history. Every day, the number of people living in extreme poverty around the world decreases by 217,000, 300,000 more people gain access to clean drinking water, and 325,000 more gain access to electricity. The fact is that there has never been a better time or place to live than in a developed, capitalist nation in 2018.
None of this is to say that capitalism doesn’t have flaws, it does. However, the willingness of this professor to wildly exaggerate these flaws beyond any recognizable truth, parading around as an “anti-capitalist” while refusing to even acknowledge the monstrous failures of socialism is an insult to education.
Many of the worst atrocities in human history have come under the guise of socialism. The entire premise of socialism is that your labor is owed to the state, stripping each person of their individuality and the freedom to pursue their own interests. It tells people that what is best for themselves and their families is utterly irrelevant, and the only thing that matters is serving the state. The results of this are tyranny, prison camps, starvation, poverty, and mass genocide. The genocidal death toll under socialist governments during the 20th century alone is well documented, with Harvard University estimates putting the number in the neighborhood of 100 million people slaughtered by their own governments. Socialism is an immoral idea in theory, and an evil one in practice.
The other exam question called the entire “War on Terror” a mass propaganda effort promulgated by the American government. While there were certainly elements of propaganda in this messaging, dismissing the entire fight against terrorism as total propaganda is simply false. The attacks on 9/11 may seem like a distant memory, I was only four years old when they happened. The threat of terrorism was very real then, and it still is today. The notion that there is only hatred and conflict in the Islamic world because of American intervention is patently untrue. The actual conflict in the region is far deeper than most would like to admit. The aggression of radical Muslims goes back well over one thousand years. Even today, most victims of Islamic terrorism are Muslims. Despite all of this, this professor continuously calls the United States the number one terror state in the world, and the “aggressor” in the Middle East conflict.
The examples of extreme leftist bias and abuse at universities across the nation have become ubiquitous, but this particular case shows that community colleges have precisely the same issues.
Thanks to everyone for reading and supporting my work, as well as engaging in civil discourse about our disagreements. These conversations truly are important, and I believe that they make our country and our world a better place.
The Fun Stuff:
March Madness is in full swing, with a couple of thrilling games yesterday. My hometown San Diego State Aztecs went down in a valiant effort, and the losses of both Miami and Arizona were the tournament’s first major upsets.
For whatever reason, I’m much more interested in college sports this year than I have been in recent memory. Perhaps it’s being in college myself that has peaked my interest, but either way this college football season was fantastic and now March Madness is already proving to be exciting. Don’t get me wrong, I’m itching for baseball’s opening day more than anyone, but the tournament will surely be more than enough entertainment in the meantime.
The San Diego weather forecast at the beginning of the week predicted a lot of rain, but thankfully this hasn’t been the case. Despite the best efforts of some to convince me otherwise, I still think the rain is just awful. The only downside of it not raining much this week is that this very clever tweet is now meaningless:
St. Patrick’s Day is also tomorrow, so be ready for everyone to suddenly recall their Irish heritage, including me.
Have a great weekend and God bless.
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