The Dartmouth Observer
Friday, August 30, 2002
Tim, you're working for The Nation right? What do you have to say about this article then? Comments appreciated all round.
Now for the rest of the posts:
1) On faculty "diversity:" more professors today are to the left because most of them today grew up in the 60s or in the wake of the 60s. Still, that does not detract from what AEI had to say. Can anyone name me a Dartmouth professor who voted for Bush in the last election (emeriti, i.e. Jeffrey Hart, do not count)? More worryingly is the effect of such ideological same-ness, masquerading as genuine diversity, on the intellectual climate at Dartmouth. Ideologically-twisted classes aside, consider the faculty's attitude to the Greek system. The last I heard, they voted 92-0 to ban it. I would like to know what the other 300-odd professors think. Why are none of them speaking out in defense of the system? (Despite what the latest Free Press might have to say, there are legitimate reasons for preserving it.) Now it could be that they simply don't care about how students lead their social lives. Another reason is that they might be too afraid to speak up for fear of being labelled, well, you know what.
Perhaps it's time for Affirmative Action to be extended to conservatives, for whom despite the "Vast Right Wing Conspiracy" do not appear to be faring too well in academic circles nowadays. I would make the reverse argument were leftists in the overwhelming minority, but as things stand...
2) I share the outrage of Jon and Vijay towards "Abolish the White Race." You can read more over here. I notice the latest issue contains a review of Fight Club by Dartmouth's very own Amiri Barksdale '96! What would MLK Jr. have thought of these people who claim "Treason to whiteness is loyalty to humanity"?
3) Laura's article in the latest Free Press has single-handedly convinced me to be more careful about how I use the word "liberal" to refer to people I know and the beliefs they espouse. I can no longer in good conscience call many left-leaning people today "liberals." "Neo-Marxist" or "Foucauldian" better represent these sorts who imagine the world in terms of race, class, gender, and other structures of power, denying the significance of the individual. Worse still, without even the slightest irony, leftists today have no qualms about imposing their particular view of the world on the rest of us who purportedly suffer from false consciousness. Here it seems appropriate to quote John Locke, widely considered the father of modern liberalism: "Where is the man that has incontestable evidence of the truth of all that he holds, or or the falsehood of all he condemns, or can say that he has examined to the bottom all his own, or other men's, opinions? The necessity of believing without knowledge, nay often upon very slight grounds, in this fleeting state of action and blindness we are in, should make us more busy and careful to inform ourselves than constrain others."
By the way, this is not to deny that genuine liberals still exist. They do; I just wish they would be more vocal in curbing the excesses of their so-called compatriots, who give liberalism a bad name that it certainly does not deserve. The Free Press, for starters, could try running an issue on the history of liberal thought, beginning with Mill and Locke, with critical coverage of Marx. This would certainly increase its intellectual standing in the world of Dartmouth publications.