THE GOP PLAYING THE KETTLE TO PAUL KRUGMAN'S POT
Since this post may irritate my more liberally inclined readers let me first state that Paul Krugman's point about the " Flat Earth " anti-Science faction in the Republican Party being exceptionally damaging to the image of the GOP and national policy is a valid one. Admittedly, there are some highly-placed people in my party who see public virtue or cynical advantage in promoting ignorance and authoritarian social policy. Unless these psuedo-religious wingnuts are reined in by the Karl Rove types or the libertarian wing of the Republican party regains enough of a voice to provide some balance in intraparty debates, I'm pretty sure these jackasses will manage to alienate enough voters within two election cycles to lose at least one house of Congress to the Left. Maybe even the presidency in 2008.
Where Krugman fails is where he usually does,in imagining negative characteristics to be a monopoly of the right side of the spectrum. In "An Aademic Question
" Krugman basically argues that conservatism is now intrinsically opposed to scientific thought and that the monolithic domination of American universities by the Left is simply a natural order of things. James Miller at TCS
and Lubos Motl
have issued rebuttals to Krugman's more ineptly reasoned points but I wanted to highlight the lacuna that is driving Paul Krugman's argument."Conservatives should be worried by the alienation of the universities; they should at least wonder if some of the fault lies not in the professors, but in themselves. Instead, they're seeking a Lysenkoist solution that would have politics determine courses' content. And it wouldn't just be a matter of demanding that historians play down the role of slavery in early America, or that economists give the macroeconomic theories of Friedrich Hayek as much respect as those of John Maynard Keynes"
The question is not whether or not Friedrich Hayek should be put on a pedastal on par with Lord Keynes but whether a freshman can graduate from a first rate university without ever hearing Hayek's name or that of equivalent figures whose ideas and actions have had a deep impact on the affairs of the 20th century. They can and that's the crux of the problem, an intellectual cleansing of university programs of ideas, thinkers and points of view that most irritate politically active leftists.
Politics have determined the course content at most major universities. Politics have driven out the required canon, instituted grade inflation, established fuzzy " studies" programs that are often sinecures for race and gender socialists, defunded traditional history fields, established speech codes and put white males at a disadvantage in the hiring process.
It has been politics from one direction up until now. No, students suing professors isn't the solution but leaving university policy in the hands of people like Paul Krugman isn't the answer either.