Monkey See, Monkey Do
History professor Heather Cox Richardson reporting a few days ago - "Not to be outdone, in Florida, Governor Ron DeSantis today signed a law requiring that public colleges and universities survey students, faculty, and staff about their beliefs in order to make sure the institutions support “intellectual diversity” … Without citing any evidence, Republican lawmakers have warned that there are “socialism factories” in the state universities. The law permits students to record lectures without the consent of the professor or other students to be used in legal cases against the school."
You would think that future presidential candidate DeSantis would be more careful about the Chinese imports he chooses to buy. But there it is in all its fear and trembling – students recording professors and turning them into the authorities. Where else do we find such exhortations to students?
Well, of course, in Mr. Xi’s China. From the New York Times, almost two years ago - With a neon-red backpack and white Adidas shoes, he looks like any other undergraduate on the campus of Sichuan University in southwestern China…But Peng Wei, a 21-year-old chemistry major, has a special mission: He is both student and spy.
Mr. Peng is one of a growing number of “student information officers” who keep tabs on their professors’ ideological views. They are there to help root out teachers who show any sign of disloyalty to President Xi Jinping and the ruling Communist Party.
“It’s our duty to make sure that the learning environment is pure and that professors are following the rules” ….
In a throwback to the Mao Zedong era, Chinese universities are deploying students as watchdogs against their teachers, part of a sweeping campaign by Mr. Xi to eliminate dissent and turn universities into party strongholds.
The students said they were inspired by a call by Mr. Xi in March to strengthen ideological training and to prepare for a “national rejuvenation.” They started an anonymous social media account where they published line-by-line criticisms of Professor Lü’s lectures….
I am personally aware of a couple of Chinese professors being disciplined or demoted in this crackdown on speech and thought. All students need do is report on professors to the tuanpai (Youth League) in the school. The Party organizations will do the rest. No doubt DeSantis will have a similar procedure.
A couple of years ago, I wrote a series of posts on similarities between Mr. Xi and DJT, GOP and CCP. Even post election, nothing persuades me that the GOP and CCP are not still aligned in their goals of purification and elimination of dissent. Power corrupts. Ok. But power doesn’t necessarily take down leaders. It first takes the innocent, the curious, and the thoughtful, whether the power is in GOP or CCP.
Nice to know that in this era of restrictions on Chinese imports, the GOP can still be selective about the imports it chooses to freely adopt.