Earlier I used to reject the idea that statecraft is soulcraft. But now I have a better knowledge of history, more experience, and perhaps I am wiser—and I have realized that statecraft is indeed soulcraft. A nation which does not engage in soulcraft, or does not use political methods to mould the mind of the new generation for ensuring that they grow up into moral and productive adults, is destined to lose its cultural and political identity and fail. There has never been a society in which academia is free from political influence. In Ancient Greece, the institutions of Plato and Aristotle were aligned to the political factions of their time; in Vedic India (more than two thousand five hundred years ago), the institutions run by the Gurus were aligned to the ruling classes of that time.
The idea that the academic sector should be free of political influence is a utopian ideal propagated by the classical liberals and libertarians. The classical liberals and libertarians ignore the basic facts about human nature and history while formulating their utopian theories. The truth is that human beings are political animals. Our politics is not confined to the sphere of governance; we take our politics to every sphere of activity in which we venture. In our age, everything that people do is imprinted with their consciously or subconsciously held political opinions—politics is there in the judiciary, in the mainstream media, in the big and small businesses, in the entertainment sector, in academia—and there is nothing wrong with this because this is in accordance with man’s identity as a political animal.
If some political faction refuses to venture into the academic sector, then other political factions will take advantage of their absence and move in to take total control of the universities. This has already happened in most democratic countries—the conservative forces, under the influence of the classical liberal and libertarian type thinking, which became popular after the 1950s, decided that it is unethical to exercise political control over the universities, but that has not made the universities free of politics. The left has ventured into the areas where the conservatives won’t go. After the 1950s, the universities in democratic countries have been slowly transforming into leftist indoctrination centers, and in the twenty-first century, the left enjoys a monopolistic control on the academic sector.
The idea that academia should be kept free of political influence might sound good in theory, but in practice, it has an unexpected consequence—it allows the left to take control of the education of the new generations.