When Professors Attack

I found this to be telling, and typical:

Should an organization that is largely composed of UNC professors be involved with participants in such a vicious political smear campaign as the one suggested by Blueprint N.C.? Perhaps it is within their legal rights, but the title “scholar” implies a higher standard than the down-and-dirty program planned by Blueprint.

To be a “scholar” means to adhere to a high level of objectivity. It also suggests that one uses terms with precise meaning. But there was little objectivity or precision at the Duke event, and given the lack of professionalism exhibited by some of its leaders, Scholars for a Progressive North Carolina and Blueprint NC are a natural pairing.

In one instance, UNC-Greensboro history professor Lisa Levenstein described Republicans as “ideology-driven” whereas liberals are “not driven by ideology” but are instead motivated by “the common good.” This is intentionally misleading and false; the liberal concept of “common good” in itself implies an ideology of sorts. (Unless of course, she does not comprehend the meaning of “ideology,” which would be cause for great concern about her ability to teach history at the university level.)

My emphasis. This is the century-old Leftist trope/tripe that they are “pragmatic” while those who disagree with them are “ideological,” and of course, ideology is bad (except, apparently, when it masquerades as a religion that justifies suicide bombings). I’ve been meaning to write a piece about the irony that the people actually had a choice last fall between an ideologue who claimed to be a pragmatic empiricist, and someone who had no actual political principles, but just wanted to be president and try to make the country actually work better. They went for the ideologue.

4 thoughts on “When Professors Attack”

  1. On a related note, we have the EU poking at its next victim. The first two paragraphs of that caught my eye:

    Igor Luksic, leader of the Social Democrats in Slovenia’s ruling coalition, disagrees with the European leaders who say his country should privatise its three biggest lenders to avoid the misery of another bailout in the euro zone.

    The political science lecturer who has lined his office with portraits of Martin Luther King, John Kennedy, Mahatma Gandhi and Che Guevara said his party would fight the move.

    The pragmatism is strong in this one.

  2. As to Scholars for a Progressive North Carolina, I don’t see anything wrong with yet another highly partisan organization with “civility” issues even if it consists of professors who are in theory supposed to be above that sort of thing. In practice, they aren’t.

    What gets me is the blatant misuse of university resources and that assembly title, and the ruse that this was merely going to be about higher education policy (which was probably meant to hide the misuse from the university). I wouldn’t fire the emailer, professor Rigsby as a professor (you can get away with just about anything but not showing up for a class you teach), but there should still be disciplinary actions that one can take short of that. If I were a member of that faculty assembly, I would advocate her removal from office (assuming the faculty union has procedures for such) . It’s poor judgment for an elected official (but of course, most people don’t care very much about that sort of thing, whether they’re in academia or not).

  3. There’s a reason they call it “The People’s Republic of Chapel Hill”, folks.
    Note the standard Leftie BS, though: Republicans are ‘ideological’ ‘extremists’, full-bore Red Diaper Leftists are ‘practical’ ‘moderates’.
    When you have to lie to yourself about something as basic as who you are, you’re probably full of beans.

  4. Given that the North Carolina state government is controlled by Republicans (a situation that isn’t likely to change any time soon), their attacks are particularly stupid. What’s the old saying about biting the hand that feeds you? Duke is private but I’ll bet they still get some money from the state government while the UNC system gets a lot. Why should Republicans want to fund those who are so hostile to them?

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