Sunday, February 06, 2005

Ward Churchill 2

But, for the record, yes, the knee-jerk radicalism of many in my profession does indeed get tiresome. It's like being in a time-warp much of the time. The rest of us, out here in the real world, have a variety of opinions about political matters. Some things make us happy, such as seeing Iraqis getting the chance to vote, and some things are depressing, such as seeing so many people vote to make the Constitution more... anti-gay. But, more than anything, we still believe in the possibility that things will get better and that we will work towards that.
For some reason, though, academics tend towards these ridiculously outdated defeatist political stances. Like who in the world would actually think that there's any hope left in Marxism? Oh, about half the professors you meet! Or, what would be more productive:
a) Engaging in an open and public debate with a conservative about the goals for the current war effort, or
b) Putting up juvenile "No blood for oil!" posters on your office door while refusing to speak with anyone who is to the right of the Bader Meinhoff gang? Or how about defending the free-speech rights of someone as repellent as Ward Churchill while denying tenure to anyone who thinks differently from you and your department? I mean, what really bothers me isn't these people's politics; it's how unquestioned they are.
And that does get tiresome. Because the academy is made up of leftists and far-leftists, there is nothing approaching productive discussion going on. Just sniping and griping. So, of course, Ward Churchill is a creep; but, more annoyingly to me- he's totally status quo.


Becky said...

I see your point, but have you tried speaking to a conservative lately? It's all fingers in ears, eyes shut, moralsMoralsMORALS-lalalala.

It makes for some very awkward family dinners.

Rufus said...

I have had a few successes with talking to conservatives; even getting one to admit that he's not fond of W either. But, it's hard to say how normal that is. I mean, they were both conservatives in grad school, and hence very lonely and vulnerable. Luckily enough, my family pretty much hates politics. Maybe there should be some sort of outreach program to abduct conservatives who are having reservations about Bush and force them to talk to a Seattle hippie for several hours.