How our Marxist faculties got that way (corrected)

It's August 1968. Anti-Vietnam War demonstrators have just wrecked the Democratic national convention in Chicago and ruined Hubert Humphrey's chances to become President. So what did these Marxist demonstrators and their cohorts elsewhere do next?

They stayed in college. They sought out the easiest professors and the easiest courses. And they stayed in the top half of their class. This effectively deferred them from the military draft, a draft that discriminated against young men who didn't have the brains or the money to go to college. That draft also sparked the wave of grade inflation that still swamps our colleges. Vietnam-era faculty members lowered standards in order to help the "Hell No, We Won't Go" crowd.

In the 1970s, President Richard Nixon ended the war and Congress ended military conscription. So the Marxist anti-war activists -- activism is now a full-time profession -- had to do something else. Most of them went to work in the real world. But a meaningful number remained in school and opted for academia, especially the humanities and the social sciences. If they got a Ph.D., they might even become university teachers, and many of them did. They then climbed academia's ladder, rising from instructor to assistant professor, from assistant professor to associate professor, and from associate professor to full professor. These last two ranks usually carry tenure, which means a guaranteed job until one decides to retire or is fired for raping little children in the streets. 

Forty years have passed since the 1968 Democratic national convention. During that time, American academia has been transformed into the most postmodernist, know-nothing, anti-American, anti-military, anti-capitalist, Marxist institution in our society. It is now a bastion of situational ethics and moral relativity and teaches that there are no evil people, only misunderstood and oppressed people. American academia is now a very intolerant place, As Ann Coulter, who has been driven off more than one campus podium because of her conservative views, has put it, "There is free speech for thee, but not for me."

When the Soviet Union collapsed, Marxism collapsed in Russia and in Eastern Europe. But it survived in U.S. universities, where politically-correct feelings are now more important than knowledge, and where politically-correct emotions are now more important than logic and critical thinking. Our students and graduates are well trained, but badly educated. Outside of what they must learn to make a living, they don't know very much. But they have been taught to feel sad, angry or guilty about their country and its past. 

In the main, our students and graduates, no matter where they went to school, don't understand that China, in return for Sudanese oil, is supplying the weapons used to commit genocide in Darfur. But they feel bad about the Drfurians. They don't now that the Palestinians have rejected every opportunity to have a state of their own. But they feel sorry for them and they blame the Israelis for their plight. They aren't familiar with the Koranic verse "the Infidel is your inveterate enemy." But they keep searching for the "root causes" of Muslim hatred and many of them believe that terrorism is the result of what the United States and Israel, obviously the two worst countries on this planet, do or do not do. 

Deficient in history, geography, and economics, our college-trained citizens cannot fathom that the main reasons for high gasoline prices are the speculation in oil futures and the continuing industrialization of Japan, China, India, Brazil, South Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, and other countries. Instead, they blame the "greedy" U.S. oil companies, whose "obscene" profit margins are not as high as many other industries. Nor do they understand that their simultaneous and illogical opposition to nuclear power, coal, liquified petroleum gas, on-shore and off-shore oil drilling, and new refineries guarantees that we will have energy shortages and high energy prices.

Their professors don't make the big bucks in America. What their professors do earn, however, are huge psychological incomes in the form of power -- the power to shape the minds of their students and the power to influence their colleagues who want raises, sabbaticals. grants, promotions, and tenure. One of the best ways to influence students, colleagues, and the citizenry at large is to hire, promote, and tenure only those people who agree with you. 

Correction: an earlier version of this article erroneously identified the chairman of a department as stating that he wouldn't hire Republicans because they are stupid. The record shows that a Feb. 10, 2004 article in the student newspaper, the Duke Chronicle, in which a Duke philosophy professor is quoted as saying:

"We try to hire the best, smartest people available. If, as John Stuart Mill said, stupid people are generally conservative, then there are lots of conservatives we will never hire."
The professor is also quoted in the same Duke Chronicle story as saying, "I don't know the political affiliation of all of my colleagues in philosophy, nor do I care. Our last hire was in the history of modern philosophy. We hired an expert in Kant and Newton. Politics never came up in the interview."  

(We thank Keith Lawrence of Duke Media Relations for the corrected information, and apologize to all concerned parties and to readers for the error - editor)

Edward Bernard Glick is a professor emeritus of political science at Temple University and the author of "Soldiers, Scholars, and Society: The Social Impact of the American Military."
It's August 1968. Anti-Vietnam War demonstrators have just wrecked the Democratic national convention in Chicago and ruined Hubert Humphrey's chances to become President. So what did these Marxist demonstrators and their cohorts elsewhere do next?

They stayed in college. They sought out the easiest professors and the easiest courses. And they stayed in the top half of their class. This effectively deferred them from the military draft, a draft that discriminated against young men who didn't have the brains or the money to go to college. That draft also sparked the wave of grade inflation that still swamps our colleges. Vietnam-era faculty members lowered standards in order to help the "Hell No, We Won't Go" crowd.

In the 1970s, President Richard Nixon ended the war and Congress ended military conscription. So the Marxist anti-war activists -- activism is now a full-time profession -- had to do something else. Most of them went to work in the real world. But a meaningful number remained in school and opted for academia, especially the humanities and the social sciences. If they got a Ph.D., they might even become university teachers, and many of them did. They then climbed academia's ladder, rising from instructor to assistant professor, from assistant professor to associate professor, and from associate professor to full professor. These last two ranks usually carry tenure, which means a guaranteed job until one decides to retire or is fired for raping little children in the streets. 

Forty years have passed since the 1968 Democratic national convention. During that time, American academia has been transformed into the most postmodernist, know-nothing, anti-American, anti-military, anti-capitalist, Marxist institution in our society. It is now a bastion of situational ethics and moral relativity and teaches that there are no evil people, only misunderstood and oppressed people. American academia is now a very intolerant place, As Ann Coulter, who has been driven off more than one campus podium because of her conservative views, has put it, "There is free speech for thee, but not for me."

When the Soviet Union collapsed, Marxism collapsed in Russia and in Eastern Europe. But it survived in U.S. universities, where politically-correct feelings are now more important than knowledge, and where politically-correct emotions are now more important than logic and critical thinking. Our students and graduates are well trained, but badly educated. Outside of what they must learn to make a living, they don't know very much. But they have been taught to feel sad, angry or guilty about their country and its past. 

In the main, our students and graduates, no matter where they went to school, don't understand that China, in return for Sudanese oil, is supplying the weapons used to commit genocide in Darfur. But they feel bad about the Drfurians. They don't now that the Palestinians have rejected every opportunity to have a state of their own. But they feel sorry for them and they blame the Israelis for their plight. They aren't familiar with the Koranic verse "the Infidel is your inveterate enemy." But they keep searching for the "root causes" of Muslim hatred and many of them believe that terrorism is the result of what the United States and Israel, obviously the two worst countries on this planet, do or do not do. 

Deficient in history, geography, and economics, our college-trained citizens cannot fathom that the main reasons for high gasoline prices are the speculation in oil futures and the continuing industrialization of Japan, China, India, Brazil, South Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, and other countries. Instead, they blame the "greedy" U.S. oil companies, whose "obscene" profit margins are not as high as many other industries. Nor do they understand that their simultaneous and illogical opposition to nuclear power, coal, liquified petroleum gas, on-shore and off-shore oil drilling, and new refineries guarantees that we will have energy shortages and high energy prices.

Their professors don't make the big bucks in America. What their professors do earn, however, are huge psychological incomes in the form of power -- the power to shape the minds of their students and the power to influence their colleagues who want raises, sabbaticals. grants, promotions, and tenure. One of the best ways to influence students, colleagues, and the citizenry at large is to hire, promote, and tenure only those people who agree with you. 

Correction: an earlier version of this article erroneously identified the chairman of a department as stating that he wouldn't hire Republicans because they are stupid. The record shows that a Feb. 10, 2004 article in the student newspaper, the Duke Chronicle, in which a Duke philosophy professor is quoted as saying:

"We try to hire the best, smartest people available. If, as John Stuart Mill said, stupid people are generally conservative, then there are lots of conservatives we will never hire."
The professor is also quoted in the same Duke Chronicle story as saying, "I don't know the political affiliation of all of my colleagues in philosophy, nor do I care. Our last hire was in the history of modern philosophy. We hired an expert in Kant and Newton. Politics never came up in the interview."  

(We thank Keith Lawrence of Duke Media Relations for the corrected information, and apologize to all concerned parties and to readers for the error - editor)

Edward Bernard Glick is a professor emeritus of political science at Temple University and the author of "Soldiers, Scholars, and Society: The Social Impact of the American Military."