|After the Left University, What Then?||Ballroom Dancing? At College?|
by Christopher Chantrill
September 28, 2005 at 11:44 am
ITS UNIVERSITY week as various opinion media trot out their annual state of the academy pieces. In James Pieresons The Left University we saw a picture of the university drawn using the German historical method, penciling out the progress of the academy from teacher of absolutes to liberal research institution to the current left university that amounts to an establishment of secular religion.
On the other hand, Victor Davis Hanson shows the university as a corrupt institution approaching terminal sickness, or as we Kierkegaardians say, sickness unto death. You can tell there is something wrong by comparing the antics of todays college presidents with the giants of the universitys golden age: men like Woodrow Wilson (at Princeton), Robert Hutchens (at Chicago) or James Bryant Conant (at Harvard). Todays presidents are pigmies by comparison.
Theres the infamous trashing of Harvard President Summers by the Harvard faculty for daring to suggest informally that there might be innate differences between men and women.
Theres Denice Denton, the newly appointed chancellor of the University of California, Santa Cruz, heralded Mr. Summerss public humiliation as a `teachable moment. Maybe there is a teachable moment also in discussing the shenanigans surrounding her appointment. Her partner got herself a six-figure job at the university and a move-in allowance in the deal. Whats all that about?
And what about University of Colorado President Elizabeth Hoffman?
She recently resigned, ostensibly following athletic scandals, but more likely as a result of the uproar over Ward Churchill. We remember him now as the strange professor who compared the 3,000 murdered in the Twin Towers and Pentagon to "Little Eichmanns," supposed cogs in the military-industrial wheel who deserved their fate.
It turned out that everything about Churchill was a lie: his Native American ancestry and his academic achievements.
But none of these worthies hold a candle to new Chancellor Robert J. Birgeneau of the University of California at Berkeley. On taking up his office
the chancellor complained that Berkeley has fewer Native American, Hispanic, and African-American students enrolled than it should--the campus was only 3% black, 9.5% Hispanic, and 0.4% Native American, in contrast with about 45% Asian-American and about 33% white.
The chancellor blames the underrepresentation of traditionally marginalized minorities on Proposition 209 that banned racial quotas in state government.
"I personally dont believe that most of the people who voted for 209 intended this consequence."
Oh really. But it really doesnt matter what the people intended, chancellor. As a famous United States Attorney General often used to say: Its the law. Your job, as a government functionary, is to obey the law. For changing the law we have legislatures and elections, initiatives from the people, and all that stuff.
You wanna change the law? Run for election.|
[W]hen I asked a liberal longtime editor I know with a mainstream [publishing] house for a candid, shorthand version of the assumptions she and her colleagues make about conservatives, she didn't hesitate. Racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-choice fascists, she offered, smiling but meaning it.
Harry Stein, I Can't Believe I'm Sitting Next to a Republican
[T]he way to achieve a system of determining admission to the public schools on a nonracial basis,
Brown II, 349 U. S., at 300–301, is to stop assigning students on a racial basis. The way to stop
discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.
Roberts, C.J., Parents Involved in Community Schools vs. Seattle School District
[T]he Liberal, and still more the subspecies Radical... more than any other in these latter days seems under the impression that so long as he has a good end in view he is warranted in exercising over men all the coercion he is able[.]
Herbert Spencer, The Man Versus the State
[To make] of each individual member of the army a soldier who, in character, capability, and knowledge, is self-reliant, self-confident, dedicated, and joyful in taking responsibility [verantwortungsfreudig] as a man and a soldier. — Gen. Hans von Seeckt
MacGregor Knox, Williamson Murray, ed., The dynamics of military revolution, 1300-2050
[The Axial Age] highlights the conception of a responsible self... [that] promise[s] man for the first time that he can understand the fundamental structure of reality and through salvation participate actively in it.
Robert N Bellah, "Religious Evolution", American Sociological Review, Vol. 29, No. 3.
[In the] higher Christian churches... they saunter through the liturgy like Mohawks along a string of scaffolding who have long since forgotten their danger. If God were to blast such a service to bits, the congregation would be, I believe, genuinely shocked. But in the low churches you expect it every minute.
Annie Dillard, Holy the Firm
[Every] sacrifice is an act of impurity that pays for a prior act of greater impurity... without its participants having to suffer the full consequences incurred by its predecessor. The punishment is commuted in a process that strangely combines and finesses the deep contradiction between justice and mercy.
Frederick Turner, Beauty: The Value of Values
Within Pentecostalism the injurious hierarchies of the wider world are abrogated and replaced by a single hierarchy of faith, grace, and the empowerments of the spirit... where groups gather on rafts to take them through the turbulence of the great journey from extensive rural networks to the mega-city and the nuclear family...
David Martin, On Secularization
What distinguishes true Conservatism from the rest, and from the Blair project, is the belief in more personal freedom and more market freedom, along with less state intervention... The true Third Way is the Holy Grail of Tory politics today - compassion and community without compulsion.
Minette Marrin, The Daily Telegraph
These emerge out of long-standing moral notions of freedom, benevolence, and the affirmation of ordinary life... I have been sketching a schematic map... [of] the moral sources [of these notions]... the original theistic grounding for these standards... a naturalism of disengaged reason, which in our day takes scientistic forms, and a third family of views which finds its sources in Romantic expressivism, or in one of the modernist successor visions.
Charles Taylor, Sources of the Self
There was nothing new about the Frankish drive to the east... [let] us recall that the continuance of their rule depended upon regular, successful, predatory warfare.
Richard Fletcher, The Barbarian Conversion
The Union publishes an exact return of the amount of its taxes; I can get copies of the budgets of the four and twenty component states; but who can tell me what the citizens spend in the administration of county and township?
Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America