Home
In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review March 15, 2006 / 15 Adar, 5766

From the academy, portraits in pathology

By Jonathan Kay

Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Four decades ago, conservative writer William F. Buckley Jr. famously declared that he would rather live in a country governed by the first 2,000 names in the Boston telephone directory than by the 2,000 members of the Harvard faculty.


Since Buckley's heyday, things have only gotten worse. Back then, academics had to maintain at least the pretense of ideological objectivity. But in recent years, we've seen the rise of Women's Studies, Peace Studies, Labour Studies, Queer Studies, Equity Studies, Critical Race Theory — academic disciplines that are essentially offshoots of left-wing activist movements.


Even in traditional fields such as English and History, the idea that professors should teach students how to think instead of what to think has become passť.



BUY THE BOOK

Click HERE to purchase it at a discount. (Sales help fund JWR.).


As David Horowitz writes in his new book The Professors: The 101 Most Dangerous Academics in America, the world view that radical academics are teaching students can be boiled down to a few simple rules of thumb. America: Racist and genocidal. Globalization: a plot to recolonize the Third World. The Iraq War: crime against humanity. Terrorism: The West had it coming. Israel: See "America."


But despite the uniformity of views on display in The Professors, a few specimens stand out. Brooklyn College sociology professor Timothy Shortell, for instance, has asserted that religious Americans are "moral retards." Columbia University Islamic Studies professor Hamid Dabashi argues that Israeli Jews are congenitally predisposed toward sadism, while his colleague Joseph Massad suggests Israel should be "destroyed." University of Texas at Arlington political science professor Jose Angel Gutierrez has written that "We have got to eliminate the gringo." Grover Furr of Montclair State University feels "kinship" with Joseph Stalin.


Topping them all is University of Colorado ethnic studies professor Ward Churchill, who described the 9/11 World Trade Center victims as "little Eichmanns" who'd been targeted as a "technocratic corps at the very heart of America's global financial empire."


Horowitz achieves his goal in The Professors: His parade of villains constitutes a suitably shocking indictment of U.S. academia. But his catalogue also raises an unanswered question about basic human psychology. Reading Churchill's comments, I wasn't merely disgusted. I was also curious: What sort of person thinks like this?


The question goes to the heart of Marxism's lingering hold on the academy. The reason generations of Western academics have embraced the doctrine and its many offshoots — anti-globalization, anti-Americanism, deconstructionism, etc. — is that it taps into the personally felt sense that life is inherently unfair. Even for those who've never read a word of Marx, the struggle between worker and capitalist presents a powerful metaphor for the more universal and romantic idea of a righteous underdog fighting back against life's inequities. Championing Palestinians over Israel, blacks over whites, Latinos over "gringos," the homeless over the homed, Osama over America — all of these seemingly disparate post-Marxist obsessions essentially boil down to the same emotional reflex.


What distinguishes the Ward Churchills and Noam Chomskys is that they give in to this reflex utterly. Something in their psyches makes them identify so desperately, so pathologically with the world's perceived victims that they become blind to plain moral truths such as, say, that flying airplanes into skyscrapers is an unqualified evil.


Horowitz does not psychoanalyze his subjects. But he does provide a few interesting biographical clues, as in his entry on Amiri Baraka, who was New Jersey's poet laureate until an anti-Semitic poem he wrote — Who told 4,000 Israeli workers at the Twin Towers to stay home that day?/Why did Ariel Sharon stay away? — got him fired. In the midst of cataloging Baraka's transition from aspiring Black poet to left-wing hatemonger and anti-Semite, Horowitz drops the astonishing detail that, at the very fulcrum of his career, Baraka abandoned his two young girls and Jewish wife, a woman he would later refer to in print as a "fat Jew girl."


I can only guess what went on in that bedroom. Whatever it was, the psychological stain never came out. One suspects that each of the subjects in The Professors — not to mention Canada's own cadre of "dangerous" academics — have their own similarly mind-warping personal experience to look back on.


Of course, we all have our irrational hang-ups. The problem here is that Churchill et al are thrashing out their demons at university lecterns. How much safer our students would be if these tenured radicals were on a therapist's couch instead.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributorJonathan Kay is Managing Editor of Toronto's National Post newspaper. Comment by clicking here.

© 2006, Jonathan Kay

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles