The Strange Death of the University, Part 1: The Red Thread
The New Discourses Podcast with James Lindsay, Episode 95
We all know academia is in trouble. In fact, we're not even sure it can be saved. To put it simply, the university is dying. To be sure, it's a strange death, however, because the university is in some sense going back to its roots, returning to being theological seminaries, though in a completely new religion. That religion is the transformative religion of Dialectical Leftism, and its materialist watchword in the 21st century is "Sustainability." In this New Discourses Podcast series, host James Lindsay takes the listener through a 2022 UNESCO book, Knowledge-driven Actions: Transforming Higher Education for Global Sustainability ( that calls upon all "higher education institutions" to transform themselves so that they align, promote, and help complete the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals as a part of the 2030 Agenda.
In this first episode of the series, Lindsay goes through the preliminary materials, including a foreword that explicitly grounds the entire purpose of the document in the work of the Critical Marxist Herbert Marcuse. "Transformation is the red thread running through all the Sustainable Development Goals," we're told in the first sentence of the foreword. The goal in this executive summary is clear. The university must be transformed. It must be made into a think tank that services the UN 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals meant to achieve it. All institutions of higher education, colleges, universities, seminaries, and beyond, must be bound and oriented in this one particular Neo-Communist direction. They must abandon their missions and take up the core value of sustainability, on the UN's agenda-driven terms. They must install "sustainability officers" and refuse to engage in any activity that supports "non-sustainable" practices. Join James and be shocked at what the United Nations thinks it can coerce the world's colleges into doing.
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