nightcrawler + liberalism   97

David Horowitz vs. Peter Steinberger Debate at Reed College [transcript]
So what about academic freedom? Again, a personal preface. For thirty years, I've tried hard, and I think pretty successfully, to maintain an utterly depoliticized classroom. And I do teach political philosophy. It's something I strongly believe in. My students do not know what my political views are. They may think they know, but they don't. I teach through a process of devil's advocacy and I want the atmosphere in my classroom to be as free as possible from any and all political preconceptions on my part. Preconceptions that might skew the conversation.


I'm also on record, by the way, as a strong and vocal supporter of Reed College's institutional neutrality with respect to political issues. Many years ago on the floor of the faculty, I strongly opposed a policy of divestment in South Africa and I currently oppose efforts to establish a policy of socially responsible investment, all in the interest of institutional neutrality.


In these respects, many of the words of the Academic bill of Rights are words that I not only endorse, but actually define an important part of who I am. There are, however, three problems.
But when you go on to say, as the document does, that a college or university should foster a wide plurality of views; when it says that a faculty should reflect more or less the full spectrum of political opinion, then this in fact contradicts the first principle, since it insists that at some point, there is and should be a political litmus test. In other words, it's not enough that we base decisions on intellectual quality, rather decisions should be deeply informed by political considerations so as to achieve intellectual diversity.

In some circumstances, then considerations of quality and competence should be trumped by considerations of intellectual plurality, that is, by political considerations. We should not hire the strongest candidate always, but rather the perhaps conservative candidate.
As I've indicated, I myself hate the idea of politicized classroom. I hate the idea of colleges taking controversial political stands. I hate the idea of one-sided, bias, ideologically based education. Just as many loyal Catholics are unhappy with certain features of Catholicism, so I'm unhappy with certain features of the academy. But academic freedom requires that those issues are to be decided internal to the academic institution. They are issues for academics to decide on academic terms. That's a crucial part of what academic freedom means. This is none of Congress' damn business and none of state legislatures' damn business and, with all due respect, it's none of David's Horowitz's business, either.
Since these are things over which we have no control, they're things for which we can't take credit and for which we can't be blamed. Included here would be hierarchies of class, race, and gender, in which we happen to find ourselves. Hierarchies that have enormous consequences for what happens to us in life. Mr. Horowitz denies the existence of such hierarchies but no observer could possibly deny them. Hayek, one of Horowitz's heroes, would never think of denying them. Even a casual reading of the Road to Serfdom shows that he's well aware of, as we all are, hierarchies of class, race, and gender. They are real, they are powerful and they make a huge difference in our lives. So the first liberal principle is that a lot of what happens to us, happens through luck.

The second principle is that we should collectively do something to mitigate or soften the undeserved inequalities created by all of this luck.
speakers  academia  liberalism  DavidHorowitz  PeterSteinberger 
february 2018 by nightcrawler
Uncivil Discourse (2/7)
Sammy Hidalgo '05, a political science and philosophy major, says there is no question liberals dominate the campus. "I've only known two Republicans at Reed," he says. "Neither talked about politics. One was a social conservative and would never ever say anything."
Seyram Butame '08, a first-year student from Ghana, used to consider himself a liberal. "The way I understood the word ‘liberal' was ‘being able to tolerate differences' whilst ‘conservatives' were intolerant," he says. "Perhaps it is because of the period that I've been here, but I would define Reed as being almost intolerant—so much so that people who consider themselves moderate are intimidated to speak their minds."
One way Reedies express their intolerance, according to Casana, is mockery. "It's not a dialogue or a debate, it's not even shouting. It's making fun, undermining any legitimacy of the other viewpoint." In that sense, he says, "The dogmatic liberal is similar to the dogmatic Christian—intolerant, severely critical and hostile—out of a conviction that it's the right thing to do."
ReedMag  internationalstudents  liberalism 
february 2018 by nightcrawler
Uncivil Discourse (1/7)
Yet can Reed's hunger for the truth be a truth defined by narrow political or philosophical boundaries? Is one of the most liberal campuses in the country, in fact, illiberal? Can one be small "l" "liberal" whether one is liberal or conservative?
As anyone associated with the college will attest, there are some trappings of a "typical" Reedie. First and foremost, Reed students are very, very smart. They tend to be creative and they tend to question authority. Surveys of Reed student preferences also tell us they generally have non-religious and left leaning, democratic tendencies. In a recent survey of first-year Reed students, 84% self-identified as having far left or liberal political views. In that same survey, 64% of students said they had no religious affiliation.
ReedMag  liberalism  partisanship 
february 2018 by nightcrawler
Obama on P.C.: ‘A Recipe for Dogmatism’
The left may be correct about the general existence of widespread problems like sexual assault on campus and racist policing, but clung to false accounts of a horrific rape at the University of Virginia and the cold-blooded murder of a surrendering Michael Brown. Many of us mocked anybody who raised what turned out to be legitimate questions about those incidents as “rape deniers” or racists. The spread of that misinformation discredited the causes liberals care about.
JonathanChait  obama  PC  liberalism  BEST  freespeech 
november 2015 by nightcrawler
Meet the Cry-Bully: a hideous hybrid of victim and victor
The transexual and pimp-lobbies bring classic Cry-Bully tactics into play whenever they come across someone who doesn’t – shock, horror! – think the same as them, as unashamed feminists from the activist Julie Bindel to the comedian Kate Smurthwaite have discovered. In these cases, the claim that ‘safe spaces’ might be violated by the presence of someone who thinks differently to them; but born women, mysteriously, are expected to surrender the ultimate Safe Space – the female toilets – to pre-op chicks with dicks if they are not to be accused of violent bigotry. I don’t like much about monarchy, but the old saw they are said to live by – ‘Never complain, never explain’ (if only Prince Charles could do this!) – is a good one. The Cry-Bully always explains to the point of demanding that one agrees with them and always complains to the point of insisting that one is persecuting them. They really are the very worst sort of modern moaner.
Spectator  PC  liberalism 
november 2015 by nightcrawler
getting past the coalition of the cool
As usual, I blame the internet, which I’m more and more convinced is one of the worst things to ever happen to the left. It encourages people to collapse any distinction between their work life, their social life, and their political life. “Hey, that person who tweets about the TV shows I like also dislikes injustice,” which over time becomes “I can identify an ally by the TV shows they like.” The fact that you can mine a Rihanna video for political content becomes, in that vague internety way, the sense that people who don’t see political content in Rihanna’s music aren’t on your side.
FreddieDeBoer  media  internet  liberalism 
november 2015 by nightcrawler
The Halloween Costume Controversy at Yale's Silliman College
According to the Washington Post, “several students in Silliman said they cannot bear to live in the college anymore.” These are young people who live in safe, heated buildings with two Steinway grand pianos, an indoor basketball court, a courtyard with hammocks and picnic tables, a computer lab, a dance studio, a gym, a movie theater, a film editing lab, billiard tables, an art gallery, and four music practice rooms. But they can’t bear this setting that millions of people would risk their lives to inhabit because one woman wrote an email that hurt their feelings?
ConorFriedersdorf  PC  academia  liberalism  hypocrisy 
november 2015 by nightcrawler
Lib and Let Die
Black conservative, then, means not a black person with the politics of Edmund Burke or William F. Buckley Jr., but something more specific: a black person who does not see white racism as a key problem for black people.
race  TNR  BEST  democrats  liberalism  conservatism  linguistics  JohnMcWhorter 
february 2009 by nightcrawler
believing in American exceptionalism to the extent that it exempts America from the moral norms of the rest of the world
AndrewSullivan  liberalism  conservatism  philosophy  DaliyDish 
january 2009 by nightcrawler
Outside Agitator: Naomi Klein and the new new left.
The other thing that’s important to remember, she said, is that the organizers were a threat—of socialist revolution—and it was that which allowed F.D.R. to say to Wall Street, “We have to compromise, or else we’ve got a revolution on our hands.” Now, these market shocks are opportunities for the same reason that the crash was in the thirties, because we are seeing the failures of laissez-faire before our eyes. “It’s time to say, ‘Your model failed,’ ” she said. “This is a progressive moment: it’s ours to lose.”
NewYorker  class  wallstreet  liberalism 
december 2008 by nightcrawler
The State of Patriotism
For liberals, America is less a common culture than a set of ideals about democracy, equality and the rule of law. ... Thus, patriotism isn't about honoring and replicating the past; it's about surpassing it. ... patriotism as lonely dissent
PeterBeinart  Time  patriotism  obama  liberalism  mccain  conservatism  BEST 
june 2008 by nightcrawler
Defending Bill Clinton
And yet Clinton in the exact same situation carries on, with a minimal chance of victory,and actually had the gall to offer Obama a veep slot. Who on earth does she think she is? At best it's pure Clinton entitlement. At worst it's white entitlement.
DailyDish  AndrewSullivan  clinton  hillaryclinton  obama  08election  race  liberalism  hypocrisy  BEST 
march 2008 by nightcrawler
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