Sunday, October 09, 2005

The left is alive and well and living in the royal family of Holland

A recent comment here (from my old buddy "anonymous," natch) questioned the influence of the left on current American politics. Scroll down at the link for the discussion which followed, if interested.

Whatever the influence of the current left in the US, here's a piece by Peaktalk's Pieter Dorsman, indicating that the influence of the very furthest reaches of the left are quite strong on at least one segment of the Dutch royal family, the queen's sister Princess Irene.

Princess Irene has said recently, in a statement indicative of a fairly extreme version of one wing of pacifism (more about that soon: Part IIB of my pacifism series is in the works):

“Western leaders of government have to take some steps. Talking to al-Qaeda and demonstrating that by doing that you can put an end to the classic enemy-view with real and open discussions”, according to Irene.

And here's Irene on the genesis of Al Qaeda:

The root causes of Islamist violence can, according to Irene, be found in poverty, trade barriers, and wrong relations. “The differences between the haves and have-nots is totally out of balance.”

Ah, but of course. A classic case of simplistic and incomplete explanations/excuses (although I'm not entirely sure what she means by "wrong relations;" that could cover a lot, including something akin to truth).

And lest you think Irene is just a blithering idiot to whom no one listens, here is more, from Pieter:

Don’t laugh. There are a lot of people who actually believe this nonsense, especially when it has a royal imprint. And the Dutch royal family is known for its willingness and ability to influence decision making in The Netherlands, not being hindered by any astute sense of what’s going on in the real world. Or by the constitutional tradition for royals to not interfere with or comment on politics.

57 Comments:

At 12:54 PM, October 09, 2005, Anonymous erasmus said...

OK, let the fun start.

1. European royals have (with some exceptions) been daft for quite some time. Remember how many British upper class twits in the 1930s wanted to make peace with Herr Hitler, that he won't bother us anymore once he's got the Sudetenland, and Austria, and...
And that little misunderstanding about the Jews, ah, a bit of low-class beer hall bravado. If only the chap had gone to Eaton, well... If the Dutch do pay attention to this admittedly dangerous blather, well, either Churchill of their own will come along and save them, or they'll stomp off into Eurabia in their wooden shoes.

2. The influence of the Left in America, which has a very different history of dealing with extreme left AND right ideologies, is another matter. If some idealistic and naive students at, say Brown University, echo the left line on appeasing Islamofascism, that is, in part, because our Bushite right offers them few positives on things like the environment, health care, the infrastructure...I mean, five-deferments and ex Halliburton boss
Cheney isn't much of a role model, and the hard-nosed insistence that the Ueber-Market will take care of everything offers little credibility. The business pages of the NYT and WSJ still read much like the police blotter three days out of five.

Two ball games here. There's no reason to pay attention to weak-chinned and weak-minded European bluebloods. But there is reason to ask why some young Americans are attracted by left thinking.

 
At 1:37 PM, October 09, 2005, Blogger Jonathan said...

Of course Irene is right. That's why so much terrorism is perpetrated by Haitians.

 
At 2:50 PM, October 09, 2005, Anonymous john moulder said...

"If some idealistic and naive students … echo the left line on appeasing Islamofascism … because our Bushite right offers them few positives on things …"

Here we go again – blaming the "Bushite right" because moonbat students have stupid ideas about Islamofascism! Please, let’s give them credit for their own idiocies, don’t lay it off on Bush.

 
At 3:03 PM, October 09, 2005, Anonymous erasmus said...

John moulder

It's not a matter of blame, but of lack or absence. The Bushites offer little appealing to a segment of the young. They are not to "blame" for the embrace by young people of stupid ideas about Islamofascism. But, for good or ill, the same young people will look around for "something," and they may fall for idiotic and disingenious prattle. The Democrats, as far as I can tell, stand only for themselves. Another empty platter. Look, when JFK anounced formation of the Peace Corps, young people jumped up and down. It turned out to be less steak than expected, but it was something. What has Cheney offered? Go do now for America what I wouldn't do in the 1960s? Swell.

 
At 3:33 PM, October 09, 2005, Anonymous john moulder said...

Inspiration is largely where you look for it or where you happen to be. The question of why students are wrong about Islamofascism is very much more answered by the fact that the students are awash in lefty professors, a left-leaning MSM & partisan pronouncements from Democrats, not that Bush may be uninspiring to them. So blame the MSM, blame the lefty professors, blame naivete & youth, blame the Democrats, blame the cult of personality for student reverence for JFK but please don’t blame Bush & Cheney for student stupidity about Islamofascism.

 
At 4:12 PM, October 09, 2005, Anonymous erasmus said...

John Moulder

Let me try to leave the blame game for a while. I do not see students "awash" in lefty professors. If they are awash in aything it's in narrow, specialist professors interested in getting their papers on some hot cultural topic ("The Image of the Native American in German 19th century fiction about America") published or read at a conference. There are lefties, and students are amused or fascinated by them until the long hours at Goldman Sachs and preparing for the wedding leave little time for thought--lefty or other. The influence of lefty profs is, I suggest, short-lived and less significant than the Dave Horowitzes make it out.
The MSM, well, the NYT and WaPost may be liberal, in a non-descript sort of way, but mostly they're into lifestyle to capture younger readers in face of declining circulation.
So, you may rightly object to the left protesters accusing Bush et al of a fascist takeover. But you ought to cast a cold eye as well on the myth of left influence on many young Americans. Stupidity, ignorance, and shallowness are doing quite nicely, even without the ward Churchills.

 
At 6:18 PM, October 09, 2005, Anonymous john moulder said...

erasmus, I respectfully submit that you are mistaken. Leftward political correctness is firmly entrenched in academia. We may split hairs about degree of entrenchment but liberal influence is evident to all. Does a student speak up when a Sociology professor opines leftward? Perhaps not if said student wants a fair grading if their next term paper. Does a Ph.D. candidate contradict faculty advisors? Why take the risk? Academia is like television news hiring; the non-politically correct are filtered out. Take a little time & explore this site: http://www.campus-watch.org, then come back & comment about exaggerated claims of political correctness.

 
At 7:36 PM, October 09, 2005, Anonymous erasmus said...

john moulder

I'm familiar with campus watch. Here's the problem: I agree with you that campuses operate much under the dictates of political correctness. However:
1. Some, but not all, of pc has a left-political bent. Quite a bit of it is cultural: frothing, nutty, silly, petty, stupid, but only peripherally related to left-wing politics, even to left-wing cultural ideology. A solid piece of pc of is, well (sorry, neo) therapeutic, human potential psychology gone looney not in the service of Marx or Che, but to shore up demeaned and simplistic notions of the self.

2.I have yet to see how deep and lasting the influence of pc, left-wing political and culturally cockeyed, may be.

3. I don't think we know yet where this influence goes when the job/money real-life crunch meets up with the effect of lectures on oppression (of almost everybody and everything) and those lecture to sit in the cubicles and offices of the oppressors.

So, like you, I'm not happy with what has happened in higher ed over the past 25 years or so. But I'm not (yet) convinced that left ideology was the prime determinant in turning places for learning into something quite different.
Cheers.

 
At 7:38 PM, October 09, 2005, Anonymous erasmus said...

sorry, typo

those LECTURED TO

 
At 12:12 AM, October 10, 2005, Blogger Holmes said...

Ah yes, Capitalism cheats people, Islamofascists kill people. It's all a wash really, isn't it?

 
At 1:10 AM, October 10, 2005, Blogger JSU said...

A friend of mine notes Princess Irene's rather, ahem, illiberal past.

From literal fascist to moonbat -- who can tell the difference?

 
At 3:43 AM, October 10, 2005, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

The question isn't "Has Bush done enough to make his personage and beliefs appealing to college students".

No, the question is, "Do we want a leader that focuses more on garnering demagogic power and Youth Loyalty, than an adult that allows people to make their own decisions instead of propagandizing their message"?

It is a zero-sum situation in this case. Either a leader will be good at leading, or a leader will be good at talking. There are people who are good at both, but they were Democrats to start with (Reagan) and most of them (in the military) will not run for President.

It is easy for the President to brainwash impressionable college students, but why would we want him to?

"I mean, five-deferments and ex Halliburton boss
Cheney isn't much of a role model,"

Why isn't it a role model, most of the Leftists would have taken deferments if they were available, right?

So is Cheney's problem that he is a mirror of the Left's character problems and therefore they react negatively to anyone that makes them look inward?

If that is so, Bush's lack of personal charisma towards youths is the last thing we should be worried about.

 
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At 6:41 AM, October 10, 2005, Anonymous erasmus said...

But folks, why so much defending of Bush when he was not under attack. That many students don't like him is indeed irrelevant. What is not irrelevant:
1. Cheney was pro-war (Vietnam), but had "other priorities" and did not serve. The "lefties" in those days were against the war and tried to evade service. Not quite the same, is it?
2.Holmes: nobody, certainly not I, made the equivalence between the offenses of corporate types and the killing by Islamofascists. You claimed it was suggested that these two are a "wash." Please. I did say that the business pages of our papers quite regularly read like the police blotter. Ain't that so? How would you expect any of us, not just a junior at Michigan, to react to that? It's not a case of a few rotten apples in the barrel, is it.
The anti-Americanism by the far Left (say "Counterpunch") is one thing, thoughtful criticism of policies and actions by our leaders quite another. Let's not toss them into the same pot.

 
At 7:28 AM, October 10, 2005, Anonymous john moulder said...

Erasmus, I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree. I think PC is a problem on the campuses & in the classroom & that it is almost entirely of a left-political bent. David Horowitz & Russell Jacoby debated this subject at http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=18947. I invite the readers to peruse & make up their own minds. Another bit of writing about the PC/campus/classroom problem that I found informative is Victor Hansen’s article at http://www.opinionjournal.com/extra/?id=110007319. I want to be respectful of your opinion but I find the assertion that Bush & Cheney are somehow responsible for this state of affairs is, well, strange to say the least. I will agree with you that PC in our institutions of higher learning is frothing, nutty, silly, petty, stupid & loony, but then much of what the fringe on the left (& right)adheres to is frothing, nutty, silly, petty, stupid & loony – but that doesn’t, in my view, make it any less harmful. I believe many of these cockeyed ideas are internalized by the students & carried into later life, for example, the notion that students’ employers after graduation are oppressors.

 
At 8:23 AM, October 10, 2005, Anonymous john moulder said...

For me the fact that business leaders are caught, tried & sentenced is an affirmation of the system, not a condemnation. I would be more worried if the business pages did not occasionally carry such news, like, say, in a Marxist or Islamofascist state where all news is censored.

 
At 8:24 AM, October 10, 2005, Anonymous erasmus said...

John Moulder

Ok,I agree with you that pc is a problem, but looking at its takeover of campus attitudes and views, apart from left-wing influence on the "soft" disciplines (English, history, politics...), do you not also see mighty powerful forces shaping PC:

1. Consumer culture
2. Popular/celebrity culture (TV...)

And do you believe that a graduate of, let's say Princeton, will continue to carry the banner for his professor's post-colonialist theories after he or she has joined the international finance department at Goldman Sachs?
I just don't think that's how it works. What graduates cultivate after commencement are, primarily, friendships and connections, far less the left-wing ideas of some of their profs.

 
At 8:54 AM, October 10, 2005, Anonymous erasmus said...

John Moulder

By the way, no, I don't hold Bush & Cheney "responsible" for anything on our campuses. The developments we're talking about started a couple of decades ago.
This blog is unusual. On most, it's a simplistic "you're with us, or you're against us" line-up. Makes it very hard for me, who stands left of center on many economic and social issues but strongly conservative on cultural ones.
When Michael Walzer asked a while ago: "Is there no decent left?" he received no answer. Very little of a decent Left left. But if you listen to the name-calling and labelling of anything critical as "left-loony-liberal" on many right-wing sites, or are exposed to the ravings of Ann Coulter, Walzer's question might soon be asked of the right too.
Do you recall the Buckley-Vidal debates? Now, that is the kind of informed, thoughtful--and yes, at times heated--exchange we need.
Alas.
Let's try to keep something like that going here. I enjoy and respect your post, whether they stimulate agreement or disagreement matters less.

 
At 9:49 AM, October 10, 2005, Anonymous john moulder said...

Erasmus said: “By the way, no, I don't hold Bush & Cheney "responsible" for anything on our campuses. The developments we're talking about started a couple of decades ago.”

Erasmus, it’s just that the below quote read to me like you were holding Bush & Cheney responsible for nutty, leftwing ideas that students hold about Islamofascism. But if you are repudiating that interpretation of the below quote, then we have no argument on that particular point. It might be helpful if you attempted a elaboration on just what you were trying to express – then again, it might not.

“If some idealistic and naive students at, say Brown University, echo the left line on appeasing Islamofascism, that is, in part, because our Bushite right offers them few positives on things like the environment, health care, the infrastructure...I mean, five-deferments and ex Halliburton boss Cheney isn't much of a role model, and the hard-nosed insistence that the Ueber-Market will take care of everything offers little credibility.

Erasmus said: “And do you believe that a graduate of, let's say Princeton, will continue to carry the banner for his professor's post-colonialist theories after he or she has joined the international finance department at Goldman Sachs?”

Yes, exactly! Far too many graduates “carry the banner” after graduation. It could hardly be otherwise since they are immersed in left-wing theories put forth with little opposition by left-wing professors & administrators. I have a bunch of wingbat friends & acquaintances that cling to left-wing theories & attitudes that they first learned in college. Where do you think wingbats take employment after graduation? I’m sure Goldman Sachs has their share, along with other employers that hire college graduates.

On the Buckley-Vidal debates: Do you mean the debate during the Democratic Convention in Chicago where Buckley threatened to punch Vidal if Vidal didn’t stop calling Buckley a fascist?

About those “oppressor” employers, should we also mark that up to incoherence of style or difficulty of expressing your thoughts in writing?

 
At 10:09 AM, October 10, 2005, Blogger maryatexitzero said...

If some idealistic and naive students at, say Brown University, echo the left line on appeasing Islamofascism, that is, in part, because our Bushite right offers them few positives on things like the environment, health care, the infrastructure...I mean, five-deferments and ex Halliburton boss

erasmus, before we discuss the reasons why "naive students" are echoing the left line on appeasing Islamofascism, can we discuss numbers?

What percentage of college students echo the left line on appeasing Islamofascism? I'd guess the number is very small. I've watched (but not participated in) a few anti-war rallies, and they are mostly populated by greying Woodstock attendees, aging Chavez supporters and hippie moms dragging their kids along. Most of the college age people, capitalists that they are, are selling t-shirts.

Do you recall the Buckley-Vidal debates? Now, that is the kind of informed, thoughtful--and yes, at times heated--exchange we need.
Alas.


Please don't insult our intelligence by bringing terror-supporter Gore Vidal into the debate. Vidal praised Timothy McVeigh for his "heroic aims" while comparing Bill Clinton to Hitler. Vidal tried to convince the world that McVeigh didn't do it, and that terrorist militias were caused by poverty.

"Vidal alleged that the FBI not only knew about the plot, it was involved in it. Having infiltrated the rightwing militia group that planned it, it did nothing because it wanted to pressure President Clinton into pushing through draconian anti-terrorist legislation he was refusing to sign. "Within a week of the bombing, Clinton signed it for 'the protection of the state and of persons', using the exact language that Adolf Hitler used after the Reichstag fire of 1933."

"America was in the grip of what he called "a revolutionary situation" because wealth had become concentrated in the hands of only 1% of the population. "The truth is that 80% are not doing well, and many of those are farmers out in the mid-west who have been driven off their land by big business. They are the backbone of the militia movement. Many of them are as crazed as you can find. But they number over 4m, 300,000 of which are active."
:::

Alas indeed.

Yes, some young Americans are attracted by Vidal-style Leftist "thinking." Some young Americans are attracted to white supremacist groups too. Young KKK members are fans of Cindy Sheehan, but neither of these extreme groups are in the majority.

The anti-war movement isn't a college/youth movement at all - for the most part, college students really couldn't care less about your "movement". Your old road is rapidly aging.

 
At 10:28 AM, October 10, 2005, Anonymous erasmus said...

You're right. College campuses are awash in left-wing profs and graduates carry left-wing ideas into their lives and work. How do I know? Dave Horowitz tells me so.

Goethe once asked why an "either-or" mentality had to prevail in so many areas of human conduct. Why so little "as well as."

The more things change...

Frontpage or Counterpunch? In their approach, maybe a nickel's worth of difference.

Bye.

 
At 10:48 AM, October 10, 2005, Anonymous erasmus said...

marya

Yes, thank you for a touch of sanity.

The Vidal I recall from the old days was not yet conspiratorial or delusional. He could, at times, engage in cogent argument.

But I give up. Caring about what happens in this country, to which I came as a boy after WWII, has become unhealthy. I no longer want to listen to the shouting from the Left or Right. So, after decades of engagement in the political and cultural life of our society, it's time to step back. If I can do it,I'll try look at what America does the way a bemused spectator looks at the activity in an anthill.

 
At 11:06 AM, October 10, 2005, Blogger troutsky said...

The poor princess was only echoing some ideas picked up from Jesus, the Dali Llama, Ghandi and others and certainly was not looking for a debate with Chris Mathews for cripes sake.When your minister says something like "love your enemy" do you jump up to say NO, all Islamofascists must be killed? Should all religious extremists be put in re-education camps? Should all their ideas be destroyed, say, burning all their books, eliminating all zealot discourse? Or are there conditions that could be changed that make those ideas acceptable to people, that contribute to people acting on those ideas?Is it possible there is oppression on the planet, even just percieved, that might motivate people to violence to obtain what they see as justice? Could religious fanatics exploit this sense of injustice for their own ends? Could it just be possible that one could point out some of these conditions, disparities in wealth and developement, a lack of sensitivity to others cultural values, the real or percieved hegemonic ambitions of a superpower re-awakening old colonialist era ethnic wounds, and not be called a "wing -nut" or apologist or collaborator or twit or idealistically naive, looney moonbat etc... I am a leftist who enjoys debate where there is a civil tone but it has to begin with a certain level of common understanding.So attempt to understand this, an employer can be an oppressor.There are shelves of scholarly works by various economists spanning two centuries on this subject you might want to look into before dismissing this concept.The idea that dissent is stifled in academia has to be answered by asking in what forum is dissent more greatly encouraged? Media, politics,the corporate world? Or could it possibly be that right-wing ideology is rejected by so many educated people because it is intellectually vacuous? No , it must be a conspiracy.Perhaps it is not students "carrying the banner of a lefty profs post-colonial ideas" but students exposed to knowledge making an educated analysis?

 
At 11:25 AM, October 10, 2005, Blogger Dymphna said...

Neo--

Sorry I got on this so late. This is a slooow heal from my accident with the ladder.

But anyway...I came by to say be of good cheer -- look at the Queen of Denmark, who told the Muslim immigrants if they want to live there, they'd better learn the language and be good Danish citizens.She actually accused her subjects of being a bit lazy about the situation...great stuff.

Buy the Book

(the link title refers to a book she wrote about the subject). Now if she could just get Queen Elizabeth to be so outspoken.

~D

PS the first three letters of the word verification for this comment were "goy" --oy, oy.

 
At 11:39 AM, October 10, 2005, Blogger maryatexitzero said...

The poor princess was only echoing some ideas picked up from Jesus, the Dali Llama, Ghandi and others..

Was the poor princess echoing ideas picked up from Jesus when she gave that sieg heil salute?

Should all religious extremists be put in re-education camps? Should all their ideas be destroyed, say, burning all their books, eliminating all zealot discourse? Or are there conditions that could be changed that make those ideas acceptable to people, that contribute to people acting on those ideas?Is it possible there is oppression on the planet, even just percieved, that might motivate people to violence to obtain what they see as justice?

..umm...are you making the same argument as Gore Vidal here? Do you think McVeigh's actions were motivated by Bill "Hitler" Clinton's oppression? Do tell.

 
At 11:59 AM, October 10, 2005, Anonymous erasmus said...

troutsky

Thanks. I was a prof for twenty years and then worked in journalism and the defense industry. Among the faculty I encountered in four colleges, many were dedicated to their discipline and wanted their students to experience an intellectual awakening; others were careerists, professional ladder climbers, not unlike managers in a corporation; and then there were the left-wingers we hear so much about. The last of these groups was by no means the dominant one on any of the campuses I knew. Very few in any of the three groups stifled debate or dissent.
You are right on target about the vast literature about life in the corporate world. The best is honest and nuanced.
Today, when I try to tell someone on the Left that I agree with some conservative criticism of curricular follies ("culture studies" etc), they soon call me an elitist, racist, old fogey. And whe you tell those on the Right that liberal or left criticism of "unfettered capitalism" or the growing income gap or the rolling back of the social safety net may have a point, they call you a left liberal looney.
The security of their respective -isms cannot be challenged. Where are these -isms more regularly or easily challenged--in the faculty lounges of America or in its board rooms? I've been in both.
Cheers.

 
At 2:42 PM, October 10, 2005, Anonymous john moulder said...

Troutsky said: “The idea that dissent is stifled in academia has to be answered by asking in what forum is dissent more greatly encouraged?”

Hey troutsky, I don’t think dissent should be stifled or encouraged in academia. Academia should be more or less neutral in regards to dissent. Academia should be teaching students to think, not stuffing shopworn leftist slogans down the throats of those attending classes. As for “There are shelves of scholarly works by various economists spanning two centuries on this subject” – I noticed you didn’t name any, however I’ll let that pass because I’m sure there are books by economists that cover many aspects of economy - but if the books say employers are oppressors I’m equally sure they were written by Marxist authors. Troutsky, can you name any Marxist nations that have done well with their national economies? The Marxist economic template has been thoroughly refuted by history.

Troutsky said: “Could it just be possible that one could point out some of these conditions, disparities in wealth and (sic)developement, a lack of sensitivity to others cultural values, the real or (sic)percieved hegemonic ambitions of a superpower re-awakening old colonialist era ethnic wounds, and not be called a "wing -nut" or apologist or collaborator or twit or idealistically naive, (sic)looney moonbat etc...”

In a word, no. Your list is composed entirely of classic, cherished, moonbat issues. If expounding without opposition is your goal your best bet for indulgent, non-antagonistic discussion of those points is someplace like The Daily Kos, where you’ll get a nice backrub & a verbal cup of warm tea. Here, more often than not, you’ll pick up a debate.

Maryatexitzero said: “What percentage of college students echo the left line on appeasing Islamofascism? I'd guess the number is very small. I've watched (but not participated in) a few anti-war rallies, and they are mostly populated by greying Woodstock attendees, aging Chavez supporters and hippie moms dragging their kids along. Most of the college age people, capitalists that they are, are selling t-shirts.”

Students may not participate in antiwar rallies in great numbers, I wouldn’t know one way or another & respectfully submit you wouldn’t know, either. Personal anecdotes from anonymous posters are of slight value in a debate. Fuzzy ideas about Islamofascism do not necessarily spur participation in anti-war protest gatherings. My guess is that the ages of today’s anti-war protestors probably mirror the age distribution of the general population more closely than during the Vietnam era. Conditions are different: There’s no draft, casualties in Iraq are low & Ho Chi Minh’s couterpart(Saddam) is captured & soon to be undergoing trial for his crimes. But even if today’s students are not very participatory that doesn’t mean campuses aren’t imbued with PC-ness. You’ve not heard of campuses banning conservative speakers? It’s been happening for many years.

Erasmus, I might take your personal anecdotes on how sweet & apolitical it was during your jobs in the universities, along with your journalistic & corporate career reminisces(how convenient to have had all three) a bit more serious if you were not hiding behind anonymity. Anecdotes mean little coming from anonymous sources. I don’t agree with Horowitz on many things but I think he’s correctly gauged the present state of affairs in the leading universities – you might try refuting him with something more factual than anecdotal material from your anonymous life instead of dismissing him because he puts forth a view with which you don’t hold. Horowitz left Jacoby(a UCLA prof) choking in the dust in the debate I linked to in a previous comment. Erasmus, it’s so PC in our leading universities that even the President of Harvard University is not immune from its wrath, as the Hansen article to which I linked makes clear.

 
At 3:31 PM, October 10, 2005, Anonymous erasmus said...

John Moulder:

1. Since you placed (sic) twice into quotes from troutsky, why not insert them into your own writing:
--(sic) reminisces
--a bit more (sic) serious

But I would never have thought of doing that you, and I could find places in my own replies for siccing, if you had not put them there first. Why bother, when you know that many of us are sloppy on the internet. We're not doing scholarly publications. Why be so petty and small-minded to troutsky?

2. Look, I agree that PC is very big on our campuses. But you insist that left profs, left ideas are to blame. Let me suggest that you look as well at the growth of our consumer culture, at the role of popular culture and television, at the professionalization and specialization among faculty members (esp. in the humanities and social sciences.) And you might include the love affair with amassing wealth and i-banking among many students in our elite colleges.

Everything is not the fault of lefty profs. I'm not saying they are not out there, but they're not the mighty force Horowtz makes them out to be. It's his "shtick," his ride to fame and lectures and debates. There's a bigger picture here. Whether you want to see it is another matter.

I'm posting as erasmus for reasons that are related to this topic. By the way, I left academe for journalism (business area) and then defense because the campus was turning PC and pop at that time.

 
At 4:20 PM, October 10, 2005, Blogger maryatexitzero said...

even if today’s students are not very participatory that doesn’t mean campuses aren’t imbued with PC-ness. You’ve not heard of campuses banning conservative speakers? It’s been happening for many years.

Yes, but how many students believe and accept, without question, the PC dogma? How many students blindly accept the tired extreme left-wing anti-American dogma that their professors spout? Got any poll results to prove that they do?

erasmus et al are saying that American college students are stupid enough to blindly believe Leftist dogma, but they haven't proven that this whifty generalization is based on any facts. Why are you willing to believe them? They have no proof of this, and neither do you.

If erasmus said that the world is flat, and the Bush administration is to blame, would you then go on to argue that no, in fact, the left is to blame for the world's flatness? Point 1 appears to be stuff he made up, so his point 2 is irrelevant.

 
At 4:38 PM, October 10, 2005, Anonymous john moulder said...

Erasmus, I’ll have to admit all that “siccing” was a bit mean-spirited & petty. Troutsky, I apologize for that. I am puzzled about your notation on my “reminisces” & “serious.” Where is the error?

On your observations about campus PC versus pop culture & television PC & their relative importance: The campuses inoculate & pop culture & television perpetuate. I think without the inoculation pop & TV PC would more easily be seen for what it is – but with all 3 operating in tandem the danger is that PC eventually becomes the conventional wisdom. You may not think academic PC is significant but it almost got a Harvard President fired. Think about that for a moment: University Presidents are people that wield a lot of power yet President Lawrence Summers of Harvard University, arguably this country’s most notable institution of higher learning, was turned into craven coward by a few miffed feminists because of a statement he made about gender differences that wasn’t considered PC. I would call that kind of display a “mighty force” indeed. Something’s very wrong when crap like that can happen.

Erasmus, stay anonymous if you wish, that’s your privilege, but don’t regale me with personal anecdotes from your anonymous careers & expect me to take them serious.

 
At 5:16 PM, October 10, 2005, Anonymous john moulder said...

Maryatexitzero, quoting me: even if today’s students are not very participatory that doesn’t mean campuses aren’t imbued with PC-ness. You’ve not heard of campuses banning conservative speakers? It’s been happening for many years.

Maryatexitzero said: Yes, but how many students believe and accept, without question, the PC dogma? How many students blindly accept the tired extreme left-wing anti-American dogma that their professors spout? Got any poll results to prove that they do?

Actually, my exchange with erasmus, at least in the beginning, was more about Bush & Cheney’s responsibility for student stupidity about Islamofascism. I never really addressed whether students were actually stupid about Islamofascism, only that if they were that it certainly couldn’t be Bush & Cheney’s fault. I think they probably are(stupid about Islamofascism), but that’s just a guess.

Maryatexitzero said: erasmus et al are saying that American college students are stupid enough to blindly believe Leftist dogma, but they haven't proven that this whifty generalization is based on any facts. Why are you willing to believe them? They have no proof of this, and neither do you.

Later on the debate became more about whether PC is rife on the campuses, which I think it is & I offered some facts vis-à-vis the 2 links in an earlier comment. Erasmus replied with anecdotes. I doubt if there are any polls extant on the subject of student susceptibility to campus PC. If you find one, please feel free to key in the link. I would be interested in the results. But when student bodies will not allow conservatives to be scheduled to speak, I think that a strong indication that PC is prevalent on the campuses.

Maryatexitzero said: If erasmus said that the world is flat, and the Bush administration is to blame, would you then go on to argue that no, in fact, the left is to blame for the world's flatness? Point 1 appears to be stuff he made up, so his point 2 is irrelevant

No, I would simply say don’t blame Bush if the world is flat – that if it is flat there are far more likely culprits on hand than Bush or Cheney. I would further contend that point 2 is never irrelevant because all kinds of untrue crap is blamed on poor Bush. Bush is blamed by some quarters for global warming, which is patent nonsense, yet if folks don’t speak up & let such canards slide by without opposition, untrue or not, a certain amount of the gullible will believe it.

 
At 5:17 PM, October 10, 2005, Anonymous erasmus said...

marya
I'm erasmus (without et al) and not saying that at all. I've been arguing that the exposure to left-wing profs is not as wide as Horowitz, or John Moulder here, make it out to be, and relatively short-lived.

John Moulder:
I won't sic either, but type more carefully.

reminiscences (noun)
seriously (adverb)

 
At 5:47 PM, October 10, 2005, Blogger maryatexitzero said...

I would simply say don’t blame Bush if the world is flat – that if it is flat there are far more likely culprits on hand than Bush or Cheney. I would further contend that point 2 is never irrelevant because all kinds of untrue crap is blamed on poor Bush.

Yes, but if you prove from the beginning that the world is not flat, you'd save a lot of time.

But I'm getting in the way of a left vs. right, politics as team-sport argument here, where facts are rarely the point. Nevermind.

 
At 8:24 PM, October 10, 2005, Blogger vbspurs said...

Firstly, thanks to JSU for linking to my piece Going Dutch, which was the second-named link in Pieter's blogpost.

A few comments on Erasmus' point 1, which really made me sit up and take notice as you will see.

1. European royals have (with some exceptions) been daft for quite some time. Remember how many British upper class twits in the 1930s wanted to make peace with Herr Hitler, that he won't bother us anymore once he's got the Sudetenland, and Austria, and...
And that little misunderstanding about the Jews, ah, a bit of low-class beer hall bravado. If only the chap had gone to Eaton, well... If the Dutch do pay attention to this admittedly dangerous blather, well, either Churchill of their own will come along and save them, or they'll stomp off into Eurabia in their wooden shoes.


First off, let me explain that I am British, and favour a republic in my country, rather than a monarchy.

But if there's anything I dislike, is taking a little bit of knowledge and expounding on it, to shore up your point.

Erasmus, (a) royals are no daffier than any self-made millionaire in the US who give way to their own desires and indulgences, all this without benefit of inbreeding, and (b) Royalty are not considered part of the "upper-classes".

In Britain, the Lords and Ladies Londonderry, Astor, Halifax, et. al. are nobles, not royals.

It is therefore unfair to lump both categories of the aristocracy by using these sad examples of NOBLE appeasers as part of some royal cabal towards Nazism -- thereby implying daftness.

Whatever else one may call royals, they were overwhelmingly anti-Nazi in WWII, even surprisingly, a few German royals.

It is true that there were such examples as the Duke of Saxe-Coburg, the Duke of Windsor, Prince Philipp of Hesse-Kassel, who all leaned more towards the Nazis, but oftentimes they did so because people in power wish to remain in power, and often go to where they sniff that power.

But Christian IX of Denmark used to ride on his horse in defiance of the Nazi occupation of his country.

King Haakon VII of Norway broadcast from Britain his hopes to his people to remain strong in the face of tyranny.

Queen Elisabeth of the Belgians, when Belgian Jews were ordered to wear the odious yellow stars, sewed one on her coat, and wore it publicly. When asked why, she said "we are all Jews now".

The Crown Princess of Germany, when her husband invited Hitler over to dinner shortly after he became Chancellor, loudly ordered her servants to open every window in the Potsdam palace, the better to "get the stink out quickly".

Princess Alice of Battenberg/Greece, the mother of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, personally hid Jews in her home, for which she is honoured in Yad Vashem.

And of course, a few royals ended up in concentration camps -- dead.

They included, most notably, Princess Mafalda of Italy, the daughter of the then King of Italy, then living under the thumb of another Fascist.

I could go on, with name after name, but I hope I have made my point.

The thing with Princess Irene has nothing to do with her being royal.

It has to do with her, and her foibles as a human being.

P.S.: BTW, it's not Eaton, which is a shopping mall in Toronto. It's Eton.

Cheers,
Victoria

 
At 8:33 PM, October 10, 2005, Anonymous erasmus said...

Victoria:

Eton it is. My bad.

Oh golly, sure, once we take off our tiara or baseball cap, we're all just human beings.
Did you write that Hallmark card?

Been reading the UK papers of late on the Royal family? Harry was a gas, wasn't he?

Glad to hear you're not a monarchist.

Cheers.

 
At 8:59 PM, October 10, 2005, Anonymous erasmus said...

marya wanted facts, so I dug out for you and John:

Haravard's Institute oif Politics (IOP) conducted survey among college students in 2004:

Results: they are "highly independent and slightly leaning Republican."
Specifically:
31% called themselves Republicans
27% labeled themselves Democrat
38% said they were Independents

Not too many Fidels, Ches and Marxist in that woodpile.

Where is the brainwashing by those lefty Profs? David Horowitz will tell you: EVERYWHERE...in his mind.

 
At 11:06 PM, October 10, 2005, Anonymous erasmus said...

If you want to go to the General Social Survey and look mup, for the decades 1972-82, 1982-92, and 1992-02, you'll discover:

-recent college graduates have been at least as conservative as the general population
-as the general population drifted to conservatism, 18-30 year olds did too--and never slid back to the nasty old lefty Sixties.

loads of numbers

enough

 
At 8:20 AM, October 11, 2005, Blogger maryatexitzero said...

Thanks for finding that, erasmus. I guess the rotten role models from the Bushite right and the evils of the Uber-Market haven't crushed our youths' hopes and dreams after all...

 
At 8:53 AM, October 11, 2005, Anonymous erasmus said...

1. Marya
There is much more. Go to "The Chronicle of Higher Education," if this subject interests you. But I suspect you'll find that the Left-Right template will help only a little in explaining what our young people were thinking 40 years ago, and how they look at the same or new issues today. Pop music or movies may be as significant a factor, or the new campus diversity, or...

2. Victoria
From the German newsmagazine DER SPIEGEL, Jan. 13, 2005:
"But on the other hand, there was widespread sympathy and admiration among the English for Hitler."
Note: WIDESPREAD

DER SPIEGEL had done its homework. I suggest you do yours.
Cheers

 
At 8:56 AM, October 11, 2005, Anonymous erasmus said...

Uh--terrible typo

from DER SPIEGEL, above: "among the English royals for Hitler."

Must type more slowly.

 
At 12:42 PM, October 11, 2005, Blogger vbspurs said...

from DER SPIEGEL, above: "among the English royals for Hitler."

Let's see. The Royal Family at the time consisted of:

Queen Mary: Hated Germany (despite being almost entirely German herself). Hated Hitler, calling him a very vulgar man with a bad Austrian accent.

King George VI: Disliked his German royal relatives, having some of the distant ones interned during WWII (whilst helping Kings and Queen in exile from Nazi thugs in Britain -- notably Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands...Princess Irene's GRANDMOTHER. That's gratitude for ya).

Queen Elizabeth: Felt deep revulsion to Hitler -- calling him "insane" on one famous East End post-bombing walkabout.

Princess Mary, The Princess Royal: Her son, George, future Earl Harewood, was captured as a prisoner-of-war, not once but twice by Nazis, and held at the infamous Colditz (where he escaped twice, BTW). When asked if she could use her connexions in Germany to extradite her son (notably Prince Philipp of Hesse), she said, "I'd rather ask the devil himself."

Henry, Duke of Gloucester: Never had a public political viewpoint in his life. The sum of his enthusiasms were contained in a single-malt whisky bottle.

Alice, Duchess of Gloucester: Ignored, boring royal cypher. Died quite recently, aged over 100 like her sister-in-law, Queen Elizabeth.

George, Duke of Kent: Hated his brother Edward's politics, calling him "pro-German". Was killed in action in WWII. Considered his German relatives rather grim, and was apolitical in general -- as well as Noel Coward's boyfriend.

Marina, Duchess of Kent: Her entire family were refugees during WWII, and was said to have told Danny Kaye (the famous American actor who was her friend), "Hitler is a monster".

Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret Rose: Were 13 and 9 respectively at the start of the war. It's safe to say they had no political viewpoints, but actually Princess Margaret Rose, as she was then called, once said during WWII that Hitler must be "mad" and refused to learn his "stupid German language" during her studies.

The children of the Dukes of Gloucester and Kent were toddlers at the start of WWII.

I think it's safe to say they weren't Nazi-lovers either, don't you?

...now, Erasmus, I suggest you do a little more research on the topic, seeing as how you're gung-ho on it.

As for me, I think I've pretty much exhausted myself in showing up your pathetic hearsay and quasi-historical points.

P.s.: In case you are wondering, I'm not the Royal Correspondent for the Times. I'm just a girl with a double first in History from Oxford University.

Cheers,
Victoria

 
At 1:30 PM, October 11, 2005, Anonymous erasmus said...

Oh, for God's sake, Victoria:

-King Edward VIII in 1970: "I never thought Hitler was such a bad chap."
-Prince Christoph of Hesse--SS member; when he married Princess Elizabeth, guest list had to be screened
-Brother of Princess Alice, great aunt to the Queen, a Nazi who said Hitler had done a "wonderful job."
- Baron Gunther von Reibniz, father of Princess Michael of Kent, party member and member of the SS
-George VI sent birthday greetings to Hitler just before the invasion of Poland and after passage of the Nuernberg racial laws
-Lord Halifax called Hitler "the greatest of all Germans,"---in 1940!
There's more--royals and their kin, the atmosphere, the spirit...

Look, this isn't about being anti UK, just the opposite, but among the royals there were and still are some stupid and nasty types. When Harry took off that swastika armband recently, why he's just one of us folks.

Some among the royalty were and are decent. But boy, have they had and do they still have their share of Harrys.

Read Churchill's take on these royal twits. He was furious. I'm with Churchill and the vast majority of Brits, from Oxford dons to the working class stiffs in Newcastle.

Cheers. No name-calling from me.

 
At 1:48 PM, October 11, 2005, Blogger vbspurs said...

-King Edward VIII in 1970: "I never thought Hitler was such a bad chap."

This is it.

This is the sole argument people use to the entire British Royal Family being Nazis or sympathetic to Nazis.

It's like saying all American businessmen were pro-Nazis because old Joe Kennedy and Henry Ford were anti-Semites, and pro-Germany.

Or all American heroes -- based on Charles Lindbergh (hi Philip Roth!).

...pathetic.

I almost wet my pants when I saw von Reibnitz being included in this litany of "royal Nazis".

Knowledge doesn't cause any harm in this world. Having a little knowledge does.

And this entire argument about royals being pro-Nazi is the imprimatur of a "little knowledge".

Cheers,
Victoria

 
At 1:51 PM, October 11, 2005, Anonymous erasmus said...

Victoria:
just so you don't think DER SPIEGEL (German) and I (American) have twisted our readings of the atmosphere among (some) British royals in the 1930s, here's Patrick Sewer of the "Evening Standard:"

"The ex-King Edward VIII and his wife were known sympathisers of the Nazis and their policies, a feeling ahared by a large number of British aristocrats..."

Cheers again

 
At 2:06 PM, October 11, 2005, Anonymous erasmus said...

Victoria:
Cute little trick:

"entire British Royal Family"
"all American business men"
"All American heroes"

Who ever spoke of "all" or "entire?" Do you not read?
Or, more likely, you're being disingenuous. Someone says something about the behavior of some royals in the 1930s, and you turn into an attack on all.

Pathetic?

If you want to practice one-upmanship, try Stephen Potter's delightful book. Oxford chap, but honest and clever.

 
At 2:38 PM, October 11, 2005, Anonymous erasmus said...

VICTORIA

Great news for you. Sooner than anticipated, next month will see publication of

ROYALS AND THE REICH
The Princess von Hessen in Nazi Germany

by Professor Jonathan Petropulous.
Oxford University Press

It deals with the link between the Third Reich and European royalty, incl. British. (Not "all.")
I think you will find it most informative and enlightening. The author had access to papers etc. of many royals in several countries.
Good luck.

 
At 2:10 AM, October 12, 2005, Anonymous john moulder said...

To maryatexitzero: Please don’t be miffed at me because I choose a different method of rebuttal than you would. And you know, the world, metaphorically speaking, may be flatter than you realize. I would ask you to be willing to entertain the thought that you may be wrong about campus PC & its effect. I hope you know I respect & value your opinion & all opinions.

Erasmus, thanks for those corrections. It’s always good when learning is involved & the offending sentence was very sloppy(oops) sloppily written. However, I fear I have less to thank you for regarding the Harvard poll.

Erasmus said: Results: they are "highly independent and slightly leaning Republican."
Specifically:
31% called themselves Republicans
27% labeled themselves Democrat
38% said they were Independents

Not too many Fidels, Ches and Marxist in that woodpile.


Speaking of political correctness, the use of “woodpile” metaphorically as a place someone would be hiding might be considered inflammatory by some, since it is used in that same manner in a common vulgar derogatory indicating mixed race offspring due to surreptitious sexual activity between the races, as in “There’s a n … r hiding in the woodpile.” I’m very sure it was not meant to offend but on some PC-sensitive campuses castigation might result because of the use in publication of such a metaphor.

I would be interested if any readers could provide links to info about speakers banned from campuses. I think PC shenanigans may be slightly on the wane since I have not heard recently of conservatives being banned from speaking on campus by student bodies. But then that may just be due to the negative public relations such incidents provoked. Submerged PC-ness could be even more malignant than the open variety.

But getting back to the figures, erasmus, the percentages cited above by you are considerably different than those I found: Democrat 33%, Republican 28%, Independent /Unaffiliated 36% & Other/Refused 3%[p.3, Q.7, Spring 2005 Survey]. Not what I would call a conservative group or even “slightly leaning Republican.”

Confusion might result if one was not aware that the data on the site were collected from 2 distinct groups - college students & also young voters(age 18-24). The data for young voters, the majority of which are not college students, are different than the data for college students. One has to be careful to note to which group the authors are referring because the differences are significant. I don’t know where your data came from but I extracted my data from the Spring 2005 Survey at http://www.iop.harvard.edu/research_polling.html. Polls can be very tricky if one is not careful.

Furthermore, I don’t see how one could state categorically that there were no Marxists within the participants when no option was provided to label themselves as such. How many vegetarians were there? We’ll never know since a question designed to reveal that characteristic was not provided. A Marxist participating in that poll might be forced by the nature of the question to label themselves as Independent, or perhaps Democrat or Other/Refused. Since an overwhelming majority, 72%, did put themselves into those categories I would be willing to bet, if there were a way to find it out, that there were at least some Marxists hidden(because of the narrow scope of the question) within those groups. Indeed, I would be very surprised if at least a few Marxists & vegetarians were not on our campuses because I would think that it would be very normal that young people experiment with various political stances & lifestyles, wouldn’t you?

I took the time to read the survey. I didn’t see any questions designed to gauge the degree of political correctness on campus. A question so designed might read like this:

Have you ever felt that an instructor or administrator at your school was trying to convert you to their personal political views?

Or perhaps:

How would you characterize the political beliefs of most of your instructors?
1.Radical 2.Liberal 3.Moderate 4.Conservative

A professional pollster might come up with better questions but I think my point is made.

The survey revealed a distinct preference for Kerry, which common sense dictates would be the PC choice:

Do you remember who you voted for in the 2004 election for President? If yes, did you vote for:

John Kerry ............................................ 52%
George W. Bush..................................... 38%
Ralph Nader............................................ 2%
Someone else.......................................… 2%
DK/Refused ............................................ 5%
Don’t remember...................................... 1%
[p.15, Q.45, Spring 2005 Survey]

“Highly independent and slightly leaning Republican”? The actual data seem to indicate otherwise.

Furthermore, the poll questioned students in colleges & universities throughout the country. One might expect PC to be more prevalent in the renowned colleges & universities, many which are in the blue states around the Great Lakes & on the East & West coasts. I mean one would hardly expect the Ward Churchills of academia to be interested in teaching at the University of Central Arkansas at Conway, Arkansas, now would one. Not that there’s anything wrong with UCA, mind you, but I think it’s just not the sort of institution where one might expect to find PC-minded professors & administrators. I’ll bet the really PC-imbued folks gravitate toward the more prestigious institutions. The survey sampled only 1,206 college undergraduates. I wonder how many students were polled at Harvard? Or the University of Chicago? Berkley? 4 or 5 at each?

Finally, no part of the poll was directed at college professors or college administrators. I would consider those groups to be the primary inculcators & enforcers of PC-ness & any research that ignores them would be of scant value for purposes of our exchange.
I think there needs to be few actual Marxist student converts in order for PC to have a significant effect on the lives of the students. I’m thinking about something less blatant than outright declaration of affinity toward radical values because PC on campus may have less to do with readily displayed radical political beliefs, such as Marxism, & more about the entrenchment of PC-anointed groups & their attendant socio-political attitudes. I have in mind something more abstract & complex.

To illustrate let’s imagine one hypothetical college graduate. This person might characterize themselves as a Democrat or perhaps Liberal. After graduation this person goes to work & has jobs in, say, academia, then journalism & finally a defense business. The grad gets married & raises a family & goes through the usual stages of life. Later in life this person finds themselves in the heat of a debate talking about employer “oppressors,” which is definitely a Marxist concept. Yet this person probably does not think of themselves as a dyed-in-the-wool Marxist. But somehow, somewhere along the line, perhaps beginning as a student in college, this person became inculcated with a thoroughly Marxist value. The Marxist concept of employer “oppressors” has somehow, without perhaps this hypothetical person being fully conscious of it, become part of this person’s world-view. So the effects of PC on campus might be more subtle(yet far-reaching) than the average poll can plumb.

But let’s leave the hypothetical realm & peruse something I found at a blog hosted by a real college professor. This is part of a very interesting post about Jordan Eason & Ward Churchill & the author is expounding on the prevalence of “smack talk” on campus:

“My favorite example was when one of my colleagues, a nice person and a good teacher, went on an extended rant that the purposes of prisons was to provide a source of cheap labor for companies. I am almost certain that this colleague knew that this was not just untrue, but ridiculous (the cost of guards, buildings, etc., is so great that even the rock-bottom prices on license plates don't really make up for the overhead). Everyone else at the table knew this was nonsense also. But yet it went on, and became in fact a kind of theater, the same kind of theater I remember from my own college days when we sat around in my fraternity …

I think this kind of smack-talking is pretty normal when people are gathered around eating. We see it in the beot and the gilp in Anglo-Saxon, when the warriors gather in the mead-hall and talk about how great they are and what they're going to accomplish in battle
[You can tell here that this fellow is a professor of literature].

But the problem shown by Jordan and Churchill is that you can get so used to performing that theater that you forget that it is acceptable in one setting and not in another. And because people want to be collegial, and because academics as a class are deadly afraid of offending their minority colleagues (in the case of Churchill), and journalists are deadly afraid of offending someone as powerful in journalism as Jordan, the feedback loop gets lost and people start to believe their own extravagant nonsense and, worse for them, forget that others don't believe it either.”

http://wormtalk.blogspot.com/2005/02/talking-smackthe-eason-jordan-and-that.html

Erasmus, this is not something made up out of David Horowitz’s head. It’s a real experience of real academia & it looks like this fellow’s experiences in academia are radically(excuse the pun) different than your experiences. He uses the phrase “deadly afraid” in his anecdote about campus PC, whereas your sojourn in academia was apparently all sweetness & light. It makes one wonder, it really does.

 
At 8:22 AM, October 12, 2005, Anonymous erasmus said...

John Moulder:
You deserve a long reply from to your thorough and thoughtful reading of polls on students' politics, But today I.m pressured on deadlines, so I can, sorry, only reply briefly:
1. I agree with your reading of the Harvard poll, and with your very sage suggestion that all polls should be read carefully and with many grains of salt. (What were the questions? Do people tell the truth to pollsters, or do they turn goody-two-shoes? etc)
2. If you have access to "The Chronicle of Higher education," it features annual polls on the political attitudes of collegians. Looked at over a period of years, these can be instructive and useful.
3. Now, I pretty much agree with you about the professoriate. And it was not, in my time, as ":sweet" as you think I made it out to be. There was always fear, but less because of politics. Rather, your thesis adviser or grad prof hel your future in his hands--recommendations, connections. In my graduste school seminars, very, very few ever spoke up to contradict the prof.
Now, politics may play a much greater role than during Ike's days.Example: my thesis adviser asked his seminar to help him, in 1956, to take people to voting places to cast their votes for Adlai. How many do you think (out of 12) said they might go for Ike? 0, yes.That's the way is is in organizations, from GE to Penn State or Stanford.
4. My only "battle" with you is about the after-effect on students today after exposure to liberal or left-wing profs. My sense is that today's students are bloody career-and-profession minded, and once they hit the "real world," money, marriage, and career leave relatively little space for political thought or activities. And, as they grow older, they become more conservative. There are, now, more things to conserve.
5. As far as that "woodpile" is concerned, you're right, but I don't give a hoot about PC. Too old. (Came to the USA in 1948, studies, the Army, then work in three fields. PC struck me as a child of fascism from the start. And now both the far right and far left hurl accusations of "thought crimes" at each other. Goes against everything enlightened and humane in our fading Western Civilizzation.)
I'll try to get to specifics when I come up for air. For an old guy, it's important.
Stay well and alert.

 
At 8:59 AM, October 12, 2005, Anonymous erasmus said...

John Moulder:

Quick addendum

You make an excellent point about some pieces or nuggets of left-wing thought remaining stuck in the brains of graduates. Yes.
1. But so what, really. First, some of these nuggests may not be "wrong" or "bad." Not EVERYTHING that comes from liberal or left thinking is stupid or vicious or wrong. Liberalism has a proud tradition in this country. It may no longer be true to the best classical liberal ideas, but on some issues, esp. domestic ones...
2. These left-overs from college, I suggest, fade away, worn down by both the busy-ness of daily life AND the lessons learned in the real world. Some remain, in the original or in revised forms. I think our society can live with that.
3. Neither universities nor corporations are democratic institutions. Employers CAN be oppressive--but, they don't have to be. I remember that the word of the Chairman/CEO in one I was in was the word of god. Colleges have faculties, which can vote. Sometimes, in some, the word of the faculty becomes the word of god (Summers at Harvard?) None of this is wonderful. It balances out. The pendulum swings.

 
At 10:59 AM, October 12, 2005, Anonymous john moulder said...

Erasmus, thanks for your thoughtful reply. We’ve jousted a bit, you & I, but I do respect your opinion & yes, even your anecdotes. If I’m reading you accurately one of your main points is that there are various types of correctness other than political correctness & I would certainly agree with that. There is perhaps social correctness, class correctness, corporate correctness & many other types of pressures to conform to an assortment of expectations from other people or groups. It’s just that PC seems to me to be, by virtue of its greater tendency to dictate our actions & even direct our very thoughts, more significant than other coercion.

I also believe that some employers might very well be somewhat oppressive. For example, I feel sorry for the people that suffered the loss of their pensions when Enron went belly-up. You had a good point about business sections reading like police blotters. Like most, mine is a patchwork of sometimes conflicting beliefs, likes & dislikes. I detest Rush Limbaugh & his ilk & also his liberal counterparts, such as Michael Moore. Ms. Sheehan struck me as mawkishly artificial. Being mainly a moderate liberal at heart with a few conservative beliefs, many of Bush’s policies leave me cold. So you see, I’m a tad bit Marxist myself.

 
At 11:34 AM, October 12, 2005, Anonymous erasmus said...

John Moulder:

Break time. Like you, I can't stand the screamers on the Left and Right. They kill curiosity and thoughtfulness. They pretend to have all the answers, but only have slogans. Maybe that's why we find ourselves on this blog.
An intelligent patchwork is good. I'm liberal/left of center on most domestic issues, conservative on cultural ones and --at times-- on foreign policy. Seems I got no political home these days.
Let's engage on the next issue that captures both of us. Back to grinding out paragraphs.

 
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