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The way to crush the middle class is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation. – Vladimir Lenin

National Association of Scholars: Social Work Education is a National Academic Scandal

Posted by iusbvision on July 30, 2008

A group of people who seek to change the political, cultural and economic circumstances of their constituencies and engineer their view of an ideal society through the wielding of political and economic power.


Is the above the definition of a school of education or is that the definition of a political party?

The National Association of Scholars (NAS) released a study that reviewed the course materials of 10 schools of social work:

The study, which reviewed social work education programs at ten major public universities, aimed at assessing whether or not they conformed to the academic ideals of open inquiry, partisan disengagement, and intellectual pluralism. Instead, it found the descriptions of social work education programs to be, at every level, chock full of ideological boilerplate and statements of political commitment.

For example, all ten programs reviewed accepted accreditation from a body — the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) — that expects programs “to integrate social and economic justice content grounded in an understanding of distributive justice, human and civil rights, and the global interconnections of oppression”; nine of the ten programs require students to conform to the Code of Ethics of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), which enjoins social workers, using similar left/liberal rhetoric to, among other things, “engage in social and political action” and “advocate for changes in policy and legislation to improve social conditions to meet basic human needs and promote social justice.”

The mission statements of the programs reviewed are replete with similar ideologically fraught statements ranging from an avowal of commitments to the “empowerment of oppressed people” to an emphasis on understanding “the forms and mechanisms of oppression and discrimination that lead to poverty, racism, sexism, heterosexism, classism, ableism, and ageism” as a means of advocacy “for social and economic justice.” These thematic preoccupations receive further reinforcement in several official student handbooks.

Course descriptions also contain highly politicized content or ideologically slanted premises. For example, “Organizing for Social and Political Action” at the University of Michigan is described as preparing students to use “political advocacy as a form of mobilization” with special emphasis “placed on organizing communities of color, women, LGBT populations, and underrepresented groups in U.S. society,” while “Muslim Families” at the University of Washington assumes the existence and discusses “the effect and interaction of cultural imperialism on Muslim communities, both in the United States and abroad.”

Commenting on these findings, NAS president Stephen H. Balch remarked, “It is totally unacceptable for an academic discipline to load mission statements with question-begging concepts that preempt the discussion of unsettled questions, prepare students to become activists for particular causes, or require that students swear loyalty to creedal formulations in order to graduate. Social work education does all these things.”

“What we’ve uncovered,” observed Dr. Balch, “reveals a field that has supplanted open minded inquiry with left-wing, morally relativist, and occasionally paranoid dogma. There is certainly room for vigorous debate about the extent to which responsibility for life’s problems derives from individual choices as opposed to social structures, discrimination, or even, as the CSWE would have it, ‘the global interconnections of oppression.’ But there is little in the doctrinaire, activist stance of contemporary social work education to encourage such colloquy. Instead, academic freedom has been replaced by ideological lockstep.

Oh it all just sounds so warm a fuzzy doesn’t it; social justice and helping the oppressed?

What many students are too young to understand is that these are the euphemisms employed by socialists, communists and tyrants from the Bolshevik Revolution to the destruction of the Iron Curtain. ‘Social justice’ means strong limitations on economic freedom, reduction of economic growth and the creation of wealth, and the redistribution of wealth to the constituencies of those in power by use of government force.

Conveniently, the ‘oppressed’ are only those who seek to put such political elites in power or can be manipulated into doing so. Those who oppose their ascendancy to power are the ‘oppressors’.

The communists came to power by promising social justice in the name of the oppressed working class. Of course once the communists attained power it was the workers who found out that it was they who were oppressed at the hands of their ‘liberators’ and their secret police forces such as the KGB. Stalin killed over 30 million of his own citizens in order to achieve his ‘workers paradise’.

Leftist academics say that pointing out such history is “fear mongering”. However, after having been fortunate enough to talk to some Eastern Europeans who have lived through it, the distance and mystery of what went on behind the Iron Curtain becomes a stark reality. Having lived through the cold war, it was leftist academics and journalists that praised the centralized economy of the Soviet Union as the model for us all. They praised it almost to the day it all collapsed and condemned those such as President Ronald Reagan who worked to bring about that collapse.

The goal of those claim to be for ‘social justice’ and helping the ‘oppressed’ is often just the establishment of a political class that has central control over the economy and our lives. Their actions and behavior demonstrate that they believe people are too stupid to be entrusted with their own freedom.

Chuck Norton

6 Responses to “National Association of Scholars: Social Work Education is a National Academic Scandal”

  1. KC said

    Actually, social justice is no Marxist meme. For one, it’s a tenet of the Catholic Church. Look in the Catechism.

  2. KC,

    Nice try. There is a reason why the Marxist left has adopted the words “social justice” as a euphemism for anti-capitalism and the fact that the words appear in the catechism is one reason why they use it.

    Catholic’s define social justice as an act of charity followed up with the preaching of the Gospels and assistance to help get the person off of charity for good.

    “Social Justice” when practiced by the far left, are programs designed to redistribute wealth by force, not out of the charity of ones heart, and to transfer just enough wealth, and implemented in such a way so that the constituency becomes dependent. As a result politicians use this to buy votes and go on to push an anti-capitalist ideology and implement more central control.

    It is easy to find “socialist worker” sites that use the “Catholic” moniker but when you examine the agenda it becomes very clear that it is the Marxist version of “social justice” that they are working towards.

    Words mean things, and the redefining of words and social institutions is a key element of political propaganda. Just ask those who have lived in Eastern Europe.

  3. KC said

    I’m not going to get in an argument on this website. As George Bernard Shaw said, “I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it.” I will post some excerpts from the Catechism, though, in case readers are interested.

    1938 There exist also sinful inequalities that affect millions of men and women. These are in open contradiction of the Gospel:
    Their equal dignity as persons demands that we strive for fairer and more humane conditions. Excessive economic and social disparity between individuals and peoples of the one human race is a source of scandal and militates against social justice, equity, human dignity, as well as social and international peace.

    1941 Socio-economic problems can be resolved only with the help of all the forms of solidarity: solidarity of the poor among themselves, between rich and poor, of workers among themselves, between employers and employees in a business, solidarity among nations and peoples. International solidarity is a requirement of the moral order; world peace depends in part upon this.

  4. KC – of course you are not going to want to get in an argument with me, because you are going to lose and I see that you are abandoning substance and starting the personal attacks already. Of course this is also an excuse to avoid my substantive points because you know very well that my analysis is spot on.

    I also find it ironic that you attempt to twist Catholic virtue to your cause when the majority of your comments in the past could not be posted because they were filled with very hateful language.

    Let us start with not just isolated quotes from the catechism that you can use out of context to serve your own purposes.

    Above is the link with the entire context of this area of the catechism.

    Here is the linch pin of that charity that I mentioned above, about not using force etc:

    Respect for the human person entails respect for the rights that flow from his dignity as a creature. These rights are prior to society and must be recognized by it. They are the basis of the moral legitimacy of every authority: by flouting them, or refusing to recognize them in its positive legislation, a society undermines its own moral legitimacy. (Cf. John XXIII, PT 65) If it does not respect them, authority can rely only on force or violence to obtain obedience from its subjects. It is the Church’s role to remind men of good will of these rights and to distinguish them from unwarranted or false claims.

    Leftist “social justice” relies on force and it is designed to create a political power class and keep that power class in power by any means necessary.

    The catechism speaks of dignity and respect for the rights of others. Leftist regimes do not respect that dignity or those rights. They seek to expand the power of the state over the rights and dignity of the individual.

    Slavery was seen to be undignified because it robbed the individual of the fruits of his own labor and imagination. Leftists believe in the philosophy “from each according to his means, to each according to his needs” which has led to a tremendous degree of human suffering. It also leads to the rise of an elite political class.

    Redistribution of wealth by force, get-even-with-em-ism and the politics of envy are not Biblical or Catholic virtues, they are leftist ones.

    Let us look at recent examples. This web site, and FIRE’s and ADF’s web site are filled with examples of violations of freedom of speech and conscience by leftist academics. I have experienced, and defeated attempts to violate my rights as well by leftists at this very university. I have also defended the rights of other students who were attacked by leftist academics.

    One example of many: Look at what Wayne State University is doing to a pro-life student group in violation of the law –

    Look at attempts to pass a so called “Fairness Doctrine” by Democrats to silence talk radio.

    The left seeks to deprive the people the ability to defend their freedom with effective means with their assaults on the Second Amendment. Your presidential candidate (Obama) voted against a bill in Illinois that would have allowed people to defend themselves in their own homes when their life was in danger.

    Is that respecting dignity or human rights?

    Lets get back to social justice and the catechism:

    Article 7. The Seventh Commandment, You shall not steal.
    I. The Universal Destination and the Private Ownership of Goods

    In his use of things man should regard the external goods he legitimately owns not merely as exclusive to himself but common to others also, in the sense that they can benefit others as well as himself (GS 69 § 1). The ownership of any property makes its holder a steward of Providence, with the task of making it fruitful and communicating its benefits to others, first of all his family.

    It says that the ownership of property makes him a steward of providence, not you, your Marxist friends or the government the steward of his property. The Christian ethic of freedom with restraint and responsibility holds true for capitalism. When people are free to enjoy the fruits of their labor and genius it benefits all of us. Those who create and enjoy that wealth should make those efforts fruitful for himself and his family and his community. It is clear that this is the responsibility of individuals. Americans give more money to charity than the rest of the world combined.

    You see the problem with poverty in some parts of the world is not the unequal distribution of wealth, the problem is the unequal distribution of freedom. Look at Cuba, where they have suffered from water and fish shortages. An island surrounded by water and fish, and they have a shortage. This is the misfortune that government controlled economies bring. Not enough freedom means not enough water and not enough fish. Catholics understand that without freedom there will be little wealth to be charitable with.

    In fact – since you are so into the Catechism today, here is another quote from it – it speaks of another right – the right to LIFE:

    Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person—among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life.

    Perhaps i will see you at the next pro-life rally.

  5. Jason said

    Hey Guy,

    I have read this post as well as your discussion also. I can’t say anything to you because you both looks like experience professionals of this field when I am just as student of a school of social work where I will learn all this things. But, this type of post are very useful for me to improve my knowledge, and I would like to say thanks for that !

    How Can I get more information about it which is very useful for me during my final term examination

    Help me Plzzzz !

    Thanks !

    Keep Posting !


    [Hi Jason,

    I have next to no faith in modern social work education. The few working social workers I do know are disgusted by the current state of social work education. Some of the social work profs on campus are also overtly too political to maintain “professional partisan detachment”. – Editor]

  6. i have been a volunteer for 2 years on social works and this is a very exciting job for me *:-

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