Friday, July 04, 2008

Is the American Mind Reopening?

Allen Bloom wrote his famous book The Closing of the American Mind to narrate the sad history of the takeover of "Academia" by narrow, Ideologues whose main project appeared to be to exercise a "revisionist" perspective that served as an ideological "corrective movement" about three notches leftward. Marxism was the driving social reform impulse of the sixties & seventies in the groves of Academe. Thus women, slaves, and the underclass became the proper subject of historical & social study. Forget about DWMs because they had little to do with real historical movements. The Lumpenproles were more important than The Founders. Society changed because of inevitable historical movements devoid of values & singular "great man" change-makers, occurring all by themselves through historical determinism. Yadda, yadda, yadda.....

And of course, dropping the bomb on Hiroshima & Nagasaki was a "war crime," even if it did save half-a-million American lives and who-knows-how-many Japanese lives. Und so weiter und so fort. America was to blame for World War II and the Cold War, because we forced Uncle Joe to become a cruel dictator, right?

The article notes that the Worst Generation is now dying off and the shiftless entitlement loo-zers called the Boomers have spent their own and their progenies' [those which they didn't abort] heritage through lavish social emoluments. Read the article for the NYT's characteristic softie take on this phenomenon of less ideological Marxist-lite professoriate.

Larry Summers is not mentioned.

I'm taking the liberty of quoting an "EconProf FL" on the anomalies that beset the professional professoriate, whose mediocrity is only exceeded by its arrogance:
This article missed a few crucial points:

1. Professors are among the only folks who hire and decide on the promotion of their own co-workers; could anyone possibly think of a worse system? It explains the medicrity of university faculty. I'm not going to vote for lifetime tenure to anyone who is a threat to me. Liberal or not, mediocrity is mediocrity.

2. There's no room for liberal faculty today. Men aren't going to college anymore, few major in traditional liberal arts subjects (universities are thinly-disguised vo-tecs for criminal justice and hospitality management), and nobody is going to grad school to do research or work for PhDs either. Instead, parents and employers insist on professional degrees (MBA, law, MPA, etc.).

3. With web courses and streaming video taking over, there is little opportunity for student-professor mentoring (or brainwashing, as the right calls it).

4. Armed with their yellowed notes, profs cannot be forced to retire, so we've already lost a generation or two of new physicists, philosophers, and writing profs. Most job applicants with no hope of ever finding a tenure-track position are consistently more qualified than anyone on the faculty denying them a job. Tenure was created to protect academic freedom, but most profs today share common traits: misanthropic curmudgeons who are arrogant wimps. They have as much use for academic freedom as a polar bear needs a bicycle. Aging boomer liberals may tell great war stories of storming the admin building, but contributing to Wikipedia is as radical as they get these days.

I was an adjunct prof in Int'l Business at the Ryder School of Business at Florida International University & can vouch for the ninnyhood of most profs---though the business school is much more real-world oriented than the social & humanities studies which are shot through with lazy Marxist drones & parasites masquerading as a "faculty."

Just like at Harvard, where it was the "Social Studies" & their allied social engineers in the "Humanities" that jettisoned Larry Summers for actually questioning their orthodoxy of lies.

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