May 8, 2002
Eight words: Read Andrew Sullivan's
Eight words: Read Andrew Sullivan's blogs on Pim Fortuyn's assassination. (Scroll a bit -- the bulk of Sullivan's posts were made on the 6th and 7th.)
Four more words: Read the linked articles.
One last word: THINK.
On a distantly but deeply related note, here are some additional articles on the subject of yesterday's blog: partisan politics and uneven funding patterns in higher education. David Horowitz has written a follow-up to his article on Vanderbilt, and Christina Hoff Sommers has a piece in the current Christian Science Monitor on campus political bias.
Horowitz's article is very strongly worded, and most academics will not immediately recognize themselves in his portrait of them as "Gramscian communists whose quest for control over universities, churches, media and other institutions of the political culture is part of a grandiose effort to destroy the foundations of American society and replace it with a 'socially enlightened' totalitarian state." Nevertheless, it's worth asking how Horowitz arrived at such a dismal picture of academe. He's right about the left-wing bias. He's right about the academic romance with Marxist theory. He's right about the academic contempt for mainstream American culture. He's right about the academic hatred of conservatives. He's right about the casual--and occasionally virulent--anti-Americanism that goes along with it. He's right about the disrespect for tradition. He's right about the abuse of parental trust. He's right that many college teachers believe it is their job to rescue their students from their oppressive and unenlightened political and social assumptions (in other words, he's right that education and indoctrination are tightly intertwined). He's right that nonconformists are not welcome, and that dissent (real dissent, not conformity to the prevailing posture of dissent) is punished. He's right about the smugness of the believers. He's right about the spinelessness of those who see a problem but do not speak out. He's right about a lot of things. So ... maybe he is also right to use words such as "Orwellian" and "McCarthyism" to describe the climate of the contemporary campus.