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Higher Education Watch
Another Casualty of Campus Orthodoxy
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  • Anthony

    History – United States – ought not become a continuing casualty (category to fight over) on the Left-Right continuum. Instead, ought we Americans to be entitled to a Discipline (All of it: Good, Bad, Indifferent – the coming of the American Revolution to the rise of Trump, perhaps) anchored to American evolution sans ideological coloration; that is, a history of instruction, despite Ivory Tower disputes, that earnestly begins in our elementary and secondary schools ( instruction including the referenced drama of American high-politics). Just maybe then, Historical Scholarship on the Collegiate level will rise to the historical preparation of its student population.

    The lament should not be American History is devoid of its traditions (moorings) – Dead White Males/Power Politics – as much as concern that the United States, at all educational institutional levels, gives improper attention to the instruction of complete U.S. History (a history from the Virginia Company to the Puerto Rico Bankruptcy). Indeed, such a history curriculum effort becomes neither left nor right but American – and precludes instruction void of both tradition (Power Politics) and Dead White Males, who play a most important (vital) role in what we all recognize as America.

  • Fat_Man

    They won’t be missed when they get defunded

    • Angel Martin

      This is why I am against any attempt to “improve” the output of the many Dept’s of PC crap. Let them have their own way until they are so compromised and ridiculous that they are easy to kill off en masse.

      • ljgude

        Agree. I can’t imagine sending a perfectly good 18 year old off to any American university in any non STEM discipline. I also think you are correct in thinking these pseudo disciplines will be easy to kill off unless, of course, they self-extinguish. They are only getting customers because the customers still think they are getting something of value – you know – Aristotle, Plato…Shakespeare, etc but instead are getting a load of codswallop, tens of thousands of dollars of debt – not to mention unemployability. The mugs are waking up. I was delighted about 4 years ago by my grandson’s decision to opt for Community College in California because it was the cheapest route to a qualification. I asked him directly if he knew about the debt trap with education and he said, “Oh Yeah.” I smiled broadly and said in my old fashioned way. “Good boy.” As it has turned out he got a part time job at a computer company, picked up programming partly on his own and partly with coursework and now works full time for the company and still hasn’t finished his 2 year degree. That’s what i call having your priorities right.

  • jeburke

    Try as you might, you can’t escape the plain fact that all the slaves who ever lived in what became the USA had only a tiny fraction of the influence on the birth and development of the nation as George Washington and a few dozen of his fellow founders — notwithstanding the obvious sweat and suffering of the enslaved. Very frankly, had slavery never existed in the 13 colonies, their growth in the 17th-19th centuries would have been propelled by the importation of even more European immigrants (and maybe some Asians, too).

    • Anthony

      Point taken jeburke but as a Yale graduate you know it’s impossible to prove a counterfactual (not withstanding the English inheritance built upon by the Founders).

  • Beauceron

    I’m afraid it’s too late for plaintive appeals to the sense of fairness of our academic overlords. They are in control, they have the power, and they aren’t giving any of it up to anyone. The thing is, education isn’t like other societal institutions. With education you are in a position to form and mold the ideas and opinions of those who pass through your system–and almost everyone in our society has to pass through this system, so it’s incredibly far reaching. So you can make it your business, or at least part of your business, to create people who think it is only right and proper, even essential, that the academy retain its ideological imbalance.

    The longer they remain in power, the stronger they will get.

  • FriendlyGoat

    ..

  • FriendlyGoat

    The simple reasons that academia has so few people willing to display themselves as “right-of-center” are 1) That too much lying is required to uphold the multiple pillars of Modern American Political Conservatism, and 2) That sort of lying cannot be defended to other staff and students in the academic setting.

    • seattleoutcast

      Wow, and I am supposed to go away with my rash generalizations? I’ll just throw away my Bastiat, Burke and Austrian texts, they’re filled with lies!

      • FriendlyGoat

        Okay. That’ll work.

        • seattleoutcast

          I’m very happy that you’ve proven my point that the left is very good at censorship rather than discussing ideas.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Hold on now. I didn’t burn (censor) your Bastiat, Burke and Austrian texts. YOU said you were going to throw them away, and I agreed (given the totality of my experience with your commentary here) that would be a good idea.

    • Diws

      Is this comment supposed to pass for thoughtful discourse? That academia is so monolithically leftist because it is a paragon of integrity?

      • FriendlyGoat

        What I said is that the entire collection of “conservative” principles taken together require too much lying to be defensible in the academic setting.

        High-end tax cuts don’t “create jobs”. Climate change related to greenhouse gases is taking place. Selling insurance across state lines won’t protect families on health care. Common Core is not evil. Unions are not evil. The conservative rationale for Voter ID if a fib. Deregulation of corporate business practices is not a good idea. The wealth divide in America and worldwide is a serious problem. Women actually do deserve choice over whether they will or will not be mothers. We really do have too many guns already. Same-sex couples actually can and do have marriage. Public education actually still is a good idea.

        To be a conservative today, one is required to argue against all of those things AT ONCE—-and more. Not too many people want to attempt that or are capable of doing that with faculty and students in a free academic setting. At Bob Jones U or Liberty U or Oral Roberts U? Sure, there they are paid to play along and conservatism is legislated and coerced into people’s minds. In any free academic setting, not so much.

    • RealityCheck

      Yeah because modern progressivism is so defensible, please tell me again how human beings are evolving into higher beings i.e. overcoming human nature thus ushering in a post foundational society which focuses on utility and sustenance for all people. Sure nothing in the historical record suggests this is true but hey Marx’s explanation was everything in history is post means of production therefore it does not represent people but people corrupted by the means of production. Funny how defensible ideology is when you create circular reasoning based on theoretical pre history states of humankind that have no empirical basis from which to argue against but as Marx was always quick to suppress neither is this position defensible. Just out of curiosity if you are the intellectual you present yourself to be how do you reconcile the contradictory elements of progressivism namely post-modern rationalism and a residual faith in the arc of history?

      • FriendlyGoat

        What I said is that the entire collection of “conservative” principles taken together require too much lying to be defensible in the academic setting.

        High-end tax cuts don’t “create jobs”. Climate change related to greenhouse gases is taking place. Selling insurance across state lines won’t protect families on health care. Common Core is not evil. Unions are not evil. The conservative rationale for Voter ID is a fib. Deregulation of corporate business practices is not a good idea. The wealth divide in America and worldwide is a serious problem. Women actually do deserve choice over whether they will or will not be mothers. We really do have too many guns already. Same-sex couples actually can and do have marriage. Public education actually still is a good idea.

        To be a conservative today, one is required to argue against all of those things AT ONCE—-and more. Not too many people want to attempt that or are capable of doing that with faculty and students in a free academic setting. At Bob Jones U or Liberty U or Oral Roberts U? Sure, there they are paid to play along and conservatism is legislated and coerced into people’s minds. In any free academic setting, not so much..

        • RealityCheck

          Right so by the same generalization all liberals believe that blue model pension systems are infallible, unions can do no wrong, business is evil, multiculturalism isn’t about accepting one another but highlighting who has what and who owes who usually white men owe everybody else, the western canon should be derided and not taken seriously because of the age and gender of its main contributors, military spending is a waste of time, teachers unions are universally good (b/c they are a primary donor to the Democratic Party ;)), the constitution doesn’t need to be amended to represent a change in the temperaments or moods of the people it just needs to be interpreted loosely, institutions are only good as long as they don’t get in the way of progressivism, cops are to blame for the social quarantine we put on inner cities to protect the middle and upper classes from the poor rabble who coincidentally happen to be disproportionately minorities and therefore cops are racist, socialism will solve all our problems, we can just raise taxes on the wealthy to pay for expansive social programs unlike European countries that use payroll tax that everyone pays, we should be more like Europe even though the rosy eyed picture liberals paint of Europe is far from reality, Israel is the devil, it’s more important to get worthless climate deals without any means of enforcement then to discuss the dangers of rogue actors like N Korea. Women who don’t like abortion didn’t make that choice out of agency but because they are just secret misogynists who have been socialized by our evil patriarchal society. Checks and Balances aren’t important when you have a progressive president opposed by an unprogressive congress instead he assumes a vast new reservoir of authority. As well as the underlying ideological assumptions I stated in my first comment.

          Obviously it’d be ridiculous to assume you believe all that by virtue of being liberal. I don’t care if gays get married, women have abortions, or men want to be women whatever the reasons biological or simply choice. But I do care that progressivism largely ignore the latent barbarism of human nature and refuses to acknowledge that the freedom and liberty we have now must be fought for if they are to survive the growing strength of autocratic governments around the world.

          Lastly this article highlights the growing illiberal trends within the progressive movement and this magazine chronicles the same trends among the conservative movement not a lot of love for Donald here. But for you to simply suggest that academia is overwhelmingly liberal because of the pure righteousness of the left’s cause it’s just mind boggling. I can admit when conservatives are out of line can you do the same for you’re crowd?

          • FriendlyGoat

            The thing is, you are complaining about the fringes of liberalism and I am complaining about the core of conservatism. I am not insisting on the righteousness of liberalism. I am rejecting most of what is in the GOP platform and I think many-to-most adults in colleges likewise do because they know they cannot defend it except—-as you are doing in your long paragraph—-by counter-snark.

            There are basically two kinds of conservatives—those motivated at the root by abortion and disapproval of gays/transgenders and those who want to let “them” (more than half of America and the world) “eat cake”. It’s my observation that most adults in colleges do not want to self-identify with either branch of the tribe.

          • Albert8184

            No. What you are doing is complaining about the planks in a particular political platform. What you’re pointing out has as about as much to do with “conservatism” as the barnacles clinging to the keel of a battleship have to do with naval engineering.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Sorry, but you cannot escape the GOP platform by imagining you are some “other” kind of conservative. That periodic written statement of values and goals for government is all any right-side movement has that is even HALF detailed and it is all everyone else has to view as an accurate picture of conservatism.
            Almost ALL conservatives actually favor corporatism over workers and families—— whether they even know it or not. A cloud of smoke surrounds you with words like national sovereignty while you all vote with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. This has been going on since 1980.

          • Albert8184

            Hmmmm…. did you really read my comment? I’m not trying to “Escape the GOP platform”. What I’m doing is pointing out to you that neither you or the GOP platform as you see it really define American conservatism.
            Three other points. You shouldn’t assume I’m a Republican. I’m not. Secondly, you shouldn’t assume the Democrats and Republicans are really that different when it comes to actually RUNNING the country. They aren’t – they just tell different lies to different voters. And finally, corporatism and globalism are NOT at all representative of the philosophical attitudes of the first generations of Americans.
            And no, 1980 was well AFTER that original generation of Americans.

          • Tom

            “The thing is, you are complaining about the fringes of liberalism and I am complaining about the core of conservatism.”

            Heh. Heh. Heh. I think you actually believe that, more’s the pity.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Of course I believe it. There is no actual evidence to the contrary.

          • Tom

            (Starts laughing uncontrollably)

          • FriendlyGoat

            Happy to entertain you, but it doesn’t change the fact that the sum of positions in the core of conservatism can’t be defended in colleges or college towns. If those positions all made supported sense, the reverse would be true. Colleges—-especially public ones—–would be bastions of conservatism.

          • Tom

            Heh. Heh. Heh.
            Wrong.
            You somehow, for some reason, think that college professors are disinterested observers who only pursue truth?
            They’re just as prone to arrogance as anyone else–more so, actually–and as prone to follow what is flattering to them as anyone else. Furthermore, all too frequently, they are people who have never engaged in life beyond academia, and have yet to figure out that writing something doesn’t make it so.
            And we haven’t even gotten to the students yet.

          • FriendlyGoat

            A vast left-wing conspiracy?

          • Tom

            Nope. Just a series of groups of like-minded people gathering together and groupthinking. Standard human group behavior.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Like the Rush Limbaugh audience and the Fox News audience?

          • Tom

            You made the comparison. Not me. Speaking as someone who is a member of neither group, I am perfectly content to have them compared to the denizens of academia and their hangers-on.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Well, there is the difference that the academic crowd has a bit of education and acts like it does. The Limbaugh and Fox people don’t (or they wouldn’t be at Limbaugh and Fox). So the comparisons are limited to the fact that both are like-minded people gathering together and groupthinking (but on more-or-less different planets.)

          • Tom

            So, tell me, do you often trip with your nose held up in the air like that, or do you only walk where the ground is swept before you?

          • FriendlyGoat

            Has nothing to do with my nose. This year’s iteration of conservatism (Trump) is selling best among those with high school educations and less. That’s reported all over the place and is no surprise. It’s the Limbaugh/Fox message both dumbed down and smart-mouthed up (at the same time.)

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