Washington and Lee University Offers Course in 'Overthrowing the State'

(Leah Hogsten/The Salt Lake Tribune via AP, Pool)
AP featured image(Leah Hogsten/The Salt Lake Tribune via AP, Pool)

It is no secret that the modern left has a stranglehold on the curriculum for most institutions of higher learning.  The indoctrination that is offered in most colleges is downright laughable at times, but the young and impressionable minds seem to forgive the extreme views as those shared by an “expert,” their professor, or the curriculum established by the administration.  Each year we hear about college professors suggesting their students are neo-nazis or mocking their students on social media.


Now as we enter into the final stretch of the 2020 election, one Virginia college has decided to up the ante and offer a writing class on developing manifestos and other narratives to overthrow the government.

You read that correctly…. To Overthrow the Government.

From the Washington and Lee University Catalogue:

“Fall 2020, WRIT 100-18: Writing Seminar for First-Years: How to Overthrow the State (3). Prerequisite: First-year class standing . Concentrated work in composition. All students write at least three revised essays in addition to completing several exercises emphasizing writing as a process. All sections stress active reading, argumentation, the appropriate presentation of evidence, various methods of critical analysis, and clarity of style. This course places each student at the head of a popular revolutionary movement aiming to overthrow a sitting government and forge a better society. How will you attain power? How will you communicate with the masses?  How do you plan on improving the lives of the people?  How will you deal with the past? From Franz Fanon to Che Guevara to Mohamed Ghandi and others, we explore examples of revolutionary thought and action from across the Global South. Students engage these texts by participating in a variety of writing exercises, such as producing a Manifesto, drafting a white paper that critically analyzes a particular issue, and writing a persuasive essay on rewriting history and confronting memory. (FW) Gildner.”


The Washington & Lee University class, which is deemed a writing seminar, is offered by Professor Robert M. Gildner and appears to be a new class added to the course catalog this semester, as no evidence of the class being previously offered can be found.  The purpose, as described in the course catalog is, to assign students a hypothetical country in which they are going to overthrow the state.

While I am sure there will be historical examples examined and writings from other revolutionaries explained, the class’s description lacks any reference to the American Revolution or Revolutionary leaders.  Who is mentioned though?  Some of the classic favorites of the left like “Franz” (misspelled in the course description, his name is spelled Frantz) Fanon, a Caribbean Marxist and everyone’s favorite Che Guevara, another Marxist “revolutionary” and buddy of Fidel Castro, famous for killing LGBT people.

The course description also mentions a “Mohamed Ghandi,” presumably speaking of the Indian revolutionary Mahatma Gandhi, anti-colonialist, and anti-capitalist who was Hindi, not Muslim.  The course says that the class will focus primarily on the “Global South,” a term originated by the World Bank as an alternative to the apparently offensive “third world” term previously used.


The Washington and Lee University student who brought this to the attention of RedState questioned the University’s decision to offer the class.

“I am completely disappointed with the University’s blatant appeal to Marxism through this class.”

Considering the three referenced “leaders” were all Marxists (well, Gandhi was Marxist-adjacent) they are not concerned with balancing the class with others that make the students better prepared to deal with a variety of issues.  Notably missing are Hugo Chavez or Nicolas Maduro, both of whom have overseen the Marxist rule of Venezuela.  Of course, you’d leave out the leaders who went on to victimized their entire populations and reduce their economy to rubble.

Also alarming is the class’s directive to students that they will have to rewrite history.  As liberals typically do, when history doesn’t serve their narrative they change history.  Founding Fathers of the US are described in horrible phrases that ignore the many contributions they made to the country and statues of abolitionists are ripped down in the name of tolerance.  Pretty ironic for a University named in part for a Confederate General.

There is no additional information as to a syllabus for the class, but presumably all the students will pool their grades and share one average.



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