Academic Agitators Rely On The Public Purse

Academic Agitators Rely On The Public Purse

On Sunday the ABC published an article stating that masculinity is the biggest obstacle to climate ­action. The highly offensive piece, which was steeped in misandry and titled “Is fragile masculinity the biggest obstacle to climate action?”, was written by University of Sydney academic Megan Mackenzie. It was published exactly the way you would expect: with a triple barrel of taxpayer funds.

First, Mackenzie is employed at Sydney University, which is a taxpayer-funded institution. According to its annual report last year, the university pocketed a total of $710.3m in Australian government grants, plus an extra $45.5m in NSW government grants. This is hardly an insignificant amount of taxpayer dollars.

Second, Mackenzie’s research work also has been generously funded by the taxpayer. In 2014, she received an Australian Research Council grant worth $434,692 to fund a project entitled Women in Combat: A Comparative Analysis of Removing the Combat Exclusion.

Third, her article has been published by the ABC, which is, of course, another taxpayer-funded institution funded to the tune of more than $1bn a year.

While Mackenzie has completely bought into the notion that white men are the embodiment of evil, she needs to remember that a large number of Australian taxpayers who are funding her research are hardworking white men against whom she rallies.

It is wrong for researchers such as Mackenzie to continue to take benefit from the money of people who they consistently and openly deride in the public forum.

Last year, Sydney University hosted American professor, author and “renowned anti-racism educator” Robin DiAngelo on campus so she could harangue white people about how racist they were. Taxpayer money is being used without the slightest hint of questioning, self-reflection or consideration for the taxpayers themselves. If academics such as Mackenzie were to attempt to make a living from propounding identity politics, radical gender theory and eco-poetics, they would not survive in this world. This is because there is no market among the general populace, who naturally have little desire to pay someone to insult them. The harsh reality for those employed in the humanities is that without funding via other people’s money, they would struggle to earn their keep.

What Sydney University academic Mackenzie has done is to connect two diametrically opposed topics that currently obsess the elite of this country: gender and climate change.

This is something at which the university appears to excel. Readers will now be familiar with its FutureFix program, in particular the Multi­species Justice project, which is described by the univer­sity as “a post human reconceptualisation of justice via a multi­species lens” and that looks at how “justice across the human and natural world (would) look like and entail”. Moreover, a lecturer also proposed that we need to consider seriously the “arguments for the formal inclusion of animal interests in democracies”.

The university even has its own all-encompassing Environment Institute, which covers everything from the Great Barrier Reef to justice and culture. In October, the institute hosted a two-day symposium titled Unsettling Ecological Poetics, during which various participants from universities around Australia gathered to read poems about climate change, sustainability, radical feminism, racism and LGBTQ+ issues.

The move to combine disciplines is part of a growing worldwide trend to create new and exciting interdisciplinary studies. In a recent article for The Conversation, a couple of academics from the University of California stated the case for combining climate change science and the humanities with their article “Why science needs the humanities to solve climate change”.

There is little doubt that Australian universities are in crisis. This is because academics such as Mackenzie have completely rejected the cornerstones of Western civilisation and, in doing, so are cutting themselves and students off from truth, reason and knowledge. The reason student numbers are falling in the ­humanities is because academics appear to be indulging in their own interests without consideration for anything else.

These cloistered academics are completely out of touch with mainstream Australians, but even in the face of resounding defeat they refuse to see it. They belong to the elite who were voted out in May by mainstream Australians and rejected en masse by the British public last week.

Yet the government continues to fund agitators who are filled with the zeal of the righteous, and who not only believe their own propaganda but also insist everyone else must believe it, too. By giving money to institutions such as the university, the ARC and the ABC, the Coalition is funding a progressive ideology that is contrary to tradition, contrary to what people believe and contrary to the truth. The Coalition might keep winning elections, but as long as it keeps funding left-wing institutions that promulgate insidious identity politics it will continue to lose the battle of ideas.

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