January 16, 2006

Historical Nonsense

From History News Network:
In a pointed response to the growing campaign to pressure universities to hire more conservative professors in the humanities, historians meeting in Philadelphia today said the effort smacks of McCarthyism and vowed to oppose it. They passed a resolution to put the American Historical Association—the nation’s oldest and most revered historical society—on record against the effort.

Conservatives, led by David Horowitz, have long claimed that universities are dominated by left-wingers. To correct this perceived political imbalance they have proposed to reform the system by persuading state legislatures to pass an “Academic Bill of Rights” to help conservatives win positions in the academy. The historians, at their annual Business Meeting, admitted that most humanities professors are liberal but insisted that is not because conservatives are discriminated against. Rather, liberals simply are more drawn to the humanities than conservatives, who often dominate faculties at business schools.
Nothing quashes the conservative position faster than the "McCarthyism" canard. Or so they think.
Full text of the Academic Bill of Rights here:
1. All faculty shall be hired, fired, promoted and granted tenure on the basis of their competence and appropriate knowledge in the field of their expertise and, in the humanities, the social sciences, and the arts, with a view toward fostering a plurality of methodologies and perspectives. No faculty shall be hired or fired or denied promotion or tenure on the basis of his or her political or religious beliefs.
2. No faculty member will be excluded from tenure, search and hiring committees on the basis of their political or religious beliefs.
3. Students will be graded solely on the basis of their reasoned answers and appropriate knowledge of the subjects and disciplines they study, not on the basis of their political or religious beliefs.
4. Curricula and reading lists in the humanities and social sciences should reflect the uncertainty and unsettled character of all human knowledge in these areas by providing students with dissenting sources and viewpoints where appropriate. While teachers are and should be free to pursue their own findings and perspectives in presenting their views, they should consider and make their students aware of other viewpoints. Academic disciplines should welcome a diversity of approaches to unsettled questions.
5. Exposing students to the spectrum of significant scholarly viewpoints on the subjects examined in their courses is a major responsibility of faculty. Faculty will not use their courses for the purpose of political, ideological, religious or anti-religious indoctrination.
6. Selection of speakers, allocation of funds for speakers programs and other student activities will observe the principles of academic freedom and promote intellectual pluralism.
7. An environment conducive to the civil exchange of ideas being an essential component of a free university, the obstruction of invited campus speakers, destruction of campus literature or other effort to obstruct this exchange will not be tolerated.
8. Knowledge advances when individual scholars are left free to reach their own conclusions about which methods, facts, and theories have been validated by research. Academic institutions and professional societies formed to advance knowledge within an area of research, maintain the integrity of the research process, and organize the professional lives of related researchers serve as indispensable venues within which scholars circulate research findings and debate their interpretation. To perform these functions adequately, academic institutions and professional societies should maintain a posture of organizational neutrality with respect to the substantive disagreements that divide researchers on questions within, or outside, their fields of inquiry.
Yep, sounds McCarthyesque (highlights mine). Funny how the demand to respect all points of view, even those that the conservatives would ostensibly oppose, results only in the defamatory statements of the American Historical Association, and the resolution proposed by the prominent American historian, Joyce Appleby.
Usually liberals in the "liberal" arts claim that in addition to conservatives being drawn to business and not the humanities(as seen above), the conservative students are at worst, simply not intellectually up to the task. In other words, conservatives are dumb. At best, they are anti-intellectual, which is more insulting, since the first attack is simply name-calling. Conservatives are not anti-intellectual, as much as they are anti-Intellectuals, such as Zinn, Chomsky, Singer, etc. Conservatives do not agree with their conclusions and are, therefore, fostering a McCarthyesque "chilling" effect on academic pursuits.
If this is true, why do they continue to enjoy the attention of the MSM? Wouldn't the Bush-controlled, "corporate" media shut them down? On the contrary, any time the likes of Ward "Shitting Bull" Churchill opens his "conservatives are Nazis, little Eichmanns, fragging is good" mouth, the media is there to soothe the Moonbat heart. Reality, it seems, once again escapes the liberal mind.


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