Tuesday, December 24, 2002 :::
THE ECONOMIST, in its latest issue, is really too kind about the most influential criminal prophet of the last centuries. Marx, that is; not Mohammed, in case you were mistaken. Here are two quotes from the ladies and gentlemen in London: "Class war is the sine qua non of Marx. But the class war, if it ever existed, is over. In western democracies today, who chooses who rules, and for how long? Who tells governments how companies will be regulated? Who in the end owns the companies? Workers for hire—the proletariat. And this is because of, not despite, the things Marx most deplored: private property, liberal political rights and the market. Where it mattered most, Marx could not have been more wrong." If this is not damning enough, Marx's acolytes have merely repeated the old man's mistakes in different ways: "What goes for ethics also goes for history, literature, the rest of the humanities and the social sciences. The “late Marxist” sees them all, as traditionally understood, not as subjects for disinterested intellectual inquiry but as forms of social control. Never ask what a painter, playwright, architect or philosopher thought he was doing. You know before you even glance at his work what he was really doing: shoring up the ruling class. This mindset has made deep inroads—most notoriously in literary studies, but not just there—in university departments and on campuses across Western Europe and especially in the United States. The result is a withering away not of the state but of opportunities for intelligent conversation and of confidence that young people might receive a decent liberal education." Indeed. And still the useful idiots on Western campuses who take Marx and His Works seriously are too numerous to count. To which we can only say: anti-Marxists of the world, unite...
Sunday, December 22, 2002 :::
THE TENURE SCANDAL at Brooklyn College surrounding KC Johnson, a Harvard PhD with a great reputation as a teacher and scholar, who was denied tenure because his colleagues disagreed with his outrageous views --such as that the department should hire people based on their merit, rather than the color of their skin-- is well documented in this article for OpinionJournal. One of the complaints raised against him by his colleagues was that Dr Johnson was "heavily involved in his work." Clearly, that is a sin at Brooklyn College's History Department. Under pressure, the administration has now given Dr Johnson a one-year renewal, and the Board of Trustees might overturn the department's decision and grant him tenure at their January 27 meeting. However that test for academic culture at Brooklyn will turn out, Dr Johnson might want to consider migrating to an academic institution with the ability to appreciate a man of his calibre.