Thursday, March 09, 2006

Mode of reasoning

I try to restrain my political outbursts on this site (i think this will be my 3rd), as its not a political blog, but sometimes i read something that just pisses me off. For better or for worse, im a political animal...

The 101 most dangerous professors bit by David Horowitz is just a continuation of the conservative dogma. The assumption of the text, and the argument frequently put forth by republicans, is that its the institution of the university that is the problem, it’s the problem with our system, its infested with liberals who are corrupting the youth, thats why these universities are so liberal. Does this kind of argument sound familiar? it should.

This is the same kind of logic that is used for the marxist-lenninist-soviet philosophy * - there is nothing wrong with the people, its society that makes people bad and corrupts them, it’s the capitalist system, its the institution, not the people. This kind of argumentation is actually the root of all Marxist-communist thought. Not surprisingly, the soviets also ceaselessly criticized (and purged) those in high ranks at the universities, bourgeois, they said of them then. Well, Liberal they say now.

So it is then a massive orgasmic irony that the republican pundits use this (ill)logic, since they will explode at the very mention of communism, and they never hesitate to criticize communism for being founded on a misunderstand of social behavior - fails because of human nature. Well, thats funny, their argument fails because it uses the same reasoning. Why are professors usually liberal? Could it be because they’ve seen errors and endless contradictions in the logic of conservatives? No no… it’s the system, remember? The system!

* well, it started with Rousseau, but unlike Marx, Rousseau was a nice man.


Trevor Murphy said...

See, I don't think this fear of academics is Marxist, Leninist, Maoist, or 'soviet': it's the stance of any totalitarian government. The art and sciences, when healthy, are in a constant state of revolution as theories or styles are either elaborated or overturned by the new generation. Universities encourage this process by inculcating in students a suspicion of the current state of their discipline- and that's naturally antithetical to the ideals of a totalitarian government. The actual socialist/fascist/capitalist flavor isn't important.

M. Keiser said...

i think you misunderstood my argument. its not the fear of academics thats marxist-lenninist, its the mode of reasoning "society and the institution of capitalism make people bad" is the same as the mode of reasoning the republicans use to say why the universities are wrong. The soviets did purge the academics because they were totalitarian, and so i agree with you on the totalitarian bit, and i think you're very right about universities and the introduction of doubt

Trevor Murphy said...

That's true, I didn't get that you were approaching it from the point of view that Americans are naturally virtuous and conservative, only to be poisoned by academia. I'm not sure how that lines up with fascist governmental myths of a pure nationalistic 'race' that gets enslaved by outsiders (e.g. Jews).