Thursday, April 07, 2005

Those Who Can Indoctrinate, Teach

I read this article today by an anonymous European university professor, decrying the totalitarianism exercised by the Left in academia. His testimony is part of a rising movement among conservatives that involves many professors and students speaking out about the overwhelming liberal bias in higher education. David Horowitz and crew are leading the way by lobbying for the Academic Bill of Rights.

This conservative movement for academic “diversity” (funny how liberals cringe at their own buzz word when it comes to diversity of thought) is not insignificant or marginal, as evidenced by the number of professors (maybe twenty-five or more out of a crowd of forty) who attended a lecture here at Georgetown two weeks ago by Yale Law professor Robert Post. Post’s talk, entitled “The Structure of Academic Freedom,” denounced the Academic Bill of Rights and proclaimed the benefits of self-regulating ethics among university faculty. Post pointed out the moral hazard created by such systems of self-regulation in other fields such as medicine, accounting, and architecture, but somehow maintained that university professors would be immune to the traps that those lesser mortals have fallen into.

Okay, he didn’t say “lesser mortals,” but that was the basic idea conveyed. I guess when you spend so much time looking out from the ivory tower, the reality of your own moral vulnerability escapes you. It must be that allegory-of-the-cave-induced blindness from seeing the scorching light of your own brilliance.

With names like Ward Churchill and Lawrence Summers making recent headlines for their provocative statements, the Academy is circling the wagons, scurrying to be the first and fiercest defenders of “free speech.” Yet, these same academics are working hard to stifle any dissent in their ranks.

[A] conservative faculty member – junior professor, still far from going up for tenure – was harassed for his political beliefs on an almost daily basis. The harassment was executed by tenured, senior members of his department and took such extreme measures that he simply packed up and left his position at the school.

This isn’t late-breaking news or anything, especially for anyone who has spent time as a conservative on a university campus, but it is more than just a nuisance for those of us who have to tolerate having our views belittled on a regular basis. As the anonymous professor points out, liberal professors who use their classrooms to present their ideologies as truth breed liberal college graduates who vote for liberal politicians.

I started this post with a point in mind, so here’s the part where I actually get to it: I think the more serious problem than the fact that a majority of college graduates vote for liberals is the fact that college graduates become teachers in elementary and high schools. Thus the liberal indoctrination that infiltrates college campuses is more than just an abstract problem for conservatives who dislike the one-party state that is academia. This is something that Americans need to take seriously for the long-term good of our children and our culture.


Geoffrey Shipsides said...

So much to say about this issue. We, the Fed. Soc. at GULC, really need to make a stand on this issue here at Georgetown. Investigation first, then Action.

Charles Iragui said...

Deborah, Geoff,

Take it easy - the liberals are on the ropes. Give them a chance to breathe and a chocolate bar: they just got 25 years of having their asses kicked. These smart people may, just maybe, be open to persuasion. So, I humbly submit, now is a good time to be less strident, more conciliatory, but no less principled.

As I mentioned to Geoff earlier today, appealing to a desire for connection to the real world, where conservatives are a majority, will compel reasonable minds of a liberal persuasion that they MUST have conservatives on the faculty or be cut off from ex-academia decision-making.



PS: I believe that liberal thinking is correct but only as second order principles: unequal bargaining power, effects of historic injustice, etc.

Paleocon said...

Yes, that's what we need... state enforced intellectual diversity.

Geoffrey Shipsides said...


Who said anything about "state enforced intellectual diversity"?

Anonymous said...


Clearly the solution is to ensure that those who teach in elementary and secondary schools do not have college degrees.

Charles Iragui said...


I think you may have misinterpreted my "MUST" comment. I meant simply that a law faculty needs to stay abreast of the law as it is developing in the courts and that reasonable liberals here will WANT conservative faculty, even though they may well disagree with them.


Clearly, you are a nitwit.



Anonymous said...

Liberals cringe at the use of the word diversity almost as much as conservative cringe at the use of the phrase 'affirmative action,' which is exactly what many conservative seem to be calling for in professorial hiring.

As for your reference to a "one party state" -- let me get this straight -- Republicans control all 3 branches of government, and you're worried about a one-party state in academia? Wow.

And lastly, I am truly sorry that you have to "tolerate" having your views "belittled on a regular basis." Poor, poor conservatives. Always having their view belittled. They own all 3 branches of government, but it's those bullying liberals that are having all the fun.

It's called academic debate -- deal with it. I'm tired of conservatives on campus acting like some sort of oppressed minority. If you have a view, shout it out! Don't be afraid to defend it! It's law school -- if you're intimidated by liberal professors now, I hope you're not going to do litigation, because opposing counsel will school you.

I for one would love it if more of the conservatives on Gtown's campus (of which there are plenty) would quit playing solitaire and defend their views in class. Misha is a good example of someone who isn't afraid of doing just that.