Sunday, April 17, 2005

From "Notes from the Lounge", an excerpt:

Even in econ departments, liberals outnumber conservatives, though not quite as overwhelmingly as elsewhere. And, if you'll forgive the cheap-shot, economics is "inherently conservative" in more or less the same way that biology is "inherently anticreationist" or physics is "inherently anti–perpetual motion machine." If there aren't many full-blown socialists in econ departments, I'm gonna go out on a limb and suggest that it's not because Karl Rove gets to vett the macro textbooks.

That seems pretty fair. ATSRTWT.

Sanchez is getting tired of the whining of conservatives about oppression, and I am, too. Neo-Maoist student groups are going into classes and confronting profs about their opinions. It's no better to do that just because you happen to be conservative Neo-Maoists, folks.

A few weeks ago, I mentioned a "developing situation." It didn't develop. But it involved a student demanding an apology from a prof who had criticized US foreign policy. This was a class where evaluating US foreign policy is directly relevant to the subject matter of the class, and the conduct of the war in Iraq was being compared to conduct of the first Gulf War, the Viet Nam war, and WWII. The prof gave his view that some members of the administration had made significant mistakes in the run-up to the war. I wasn't there, but I expect he may even had been rather caustic.

Look: the prof gets to be critical in that situation. You disagree, argue with the prof. If the prof then gives you a bad grade, or even just calls you names in class, because you disagreed, THEN we have a problem.

But there is no guarantee that smart people will always agree with you. I still say that conservative students should be thankful, 'cause they get to play against the first team. Liberal students get a smile and pat on their pointy little heads: "Good liberal! Here's a biscuit. Now, run along while I argue with this conservative."


Anonymous said...

I want a biscuit!


Josh H. said...


Jesse said...

So, via this blog, I learned about F.I.R.E. I have taken to spending a lot of time on F.I.R.E.'s website, reading up on hair curling cases about infractions of academic personal freedom. Why it's so entertaining, I have been remiss in my Mungowitz End reading (gasp). Neat stuff, and admirable too. I am impressed with their balance, they defend everyone's freedom, not liberals-only or conservatives-only.

Just today, out of curiosity, I took a look at the case submission guidelines. I don't have any grievance, this was merely casual interest. Imagine my surprise when I saw that they take cases from students and faculty but not staff. Well. My my. After an initial spike of ire, I calmed down and I can admit that universities are all about students and faculty. I am comfortable with that. As a technical matter, I am comfortable that the legal language of universities and freedom of speech codes is all about students and faculty. As a practical matter, I bet that most staff grievances would be a) silly in their number, and b) just plain silly (i.e. my boss didn't let me wear my Aerosmith T-shirt on the job). But what can I say, I feel like a second class citizen. Yassir, I done got the stables cleaned out right nice for all the grand race horses and jockeys and owners. You won't hear a peep out o me.

New! Protect-O-Freedom. It protects 50% more freedom than before! (legal disclaimer: this product does not apply to all humans, if you have certain kidney related problems, recurring asthma, or are MERELY staff at a university, fuggedaboudit).