'A Group of White Propertied Men Who Have Been Dead for Two Centuries?'

Michael L. Grable
If you haven't yet read Professor Louis Michael Seidman's recent opinion editorial ("Let's Give Up on the Constitution") in the New York Times, you should - and very carefully read it too, because it's virtually the academy's declaration of war against America.

Written by one of America's leading Constitutional academics and published, moreover, in America's mainline newspaper of record, you may never expect to read anywhere a more publicly seditious notice that a state of war exists between the academy and America.

The truly astonishing thing about Seidman's editorial is it signals we've already reached the academic nadir at which the cultural repository of America's custom and convention considers itself free to casually commence public hostilities against the very thing which constitutes America itself.

As if the Constitution's "archaic, idiosyncratic[,] and downright evil provisions" were now a mere commonplace of progressively received wisdom.

Such is the state of Constitutional erudition in the modern American academy.

All culture is learned.

And all politics are cultural.

This is, consequently, no longer a war which politics can win, because the Émile Durkheims, the Karl Marxes, and the Max Webbers of the world have captured the academy and the academy has commandeered the culture.

The politicians themselves are merely the camp followers and carpetbaggers of dirigisme's academic triumph.

Only a distant cultural crusade can ever hope to recapture the academy. And that will require the insurgent work of generations.

We need no longer wonder why our journalists, our teachers, our historians, our lawyers, our psychologists, our anthropologists, our humanists of every liberal art, and our social scientists of every scholarly stripe march virtually in lockstep toward one form or another of coercive state collectivism. Their progressive orthodoxy merely represents what the dirigiste occupation of our academy has taught them, and will continue to teach their successors.

It isn't, of course, a question of being "reduced to a Hobbseian state of nature if we asserted our freedom" from what Seidman calls "this ancient text." Instead, it's a question of being deprived of a Lockean state of nature if we assert our freedom from the Constitution.

Yes, Seidman; let us no longer "argue about what James Madison might have wanted." Instead, let us now knuckle our heads to whatever a culturally Marxist academy full of passionate intensity wishes to impose upon us from its ivory tower above, and go forward with the charismatic clown who now sits in Thomas Jefferson's seat.


If you haven't yet read Professor Louis Michael Seidman's recent opinion editorial ("Let's Give Up on the Constitution") in the New York Times, you should - and very carefully read it too, because it's virtually the academy's declaration of war against America.

Written by one of America's leading Constitutional academics and published, moreover, in America's mainline newspaper of record, you may never expect to read anywhere a more publicly seditious notice that a state of war exists between the academy and America.

The truly astonishing thing about Seidman's editorial is it signals we've already reached the academic nadir at which the cultural repository of America's custom and convention considers itself free to casually commence public hostilities against the very thing which constitutes America itself.

As if the Constitution's "archaic, idiosyncratic[,] and downright evil provisions" were now a mere commonplace of progressively received wisdom.

Such is the state of Constitutional erudition in the modern American academy.

All culture is learned.

And all politics are cultural.

This is, consequently, no longer a war which politics can win, because the Émile Durkheims, the Karl Marxes, and the Max Webbers of the world have captured the academy and the academy has commandeered the culture.

The politicians themselves are merely the camp followers and carpetbaggers of dirigisme's academic triumph.

Only a distant cultural crusade can ever hope to recapture the academy. And that will require the insurgent work of generations.

We need no longer wonder why our journalists, our teachers, our historians, our lawyers, our psychologists, our anthropologists, our humanists of every liberal art, and our social scientists of every scholarly stripe march virtually in lockstep toward one form or another of coercive state collectivism. Their progressive orthodoxy merely represents what the dirigiste occupation of our academy has taught them, and will continue to teach their successors.

It isn't, of course, a question of being "reduced to a Hobbseian state of nature if we asserted our freedom" from what Seidman calls "this ancient text." Instead, it's a question of being deprived of a Lockean state of nature if we assert our freedom from the Constitution.

Yes, Seidman; let us no longer "argue about what James Madison might have wanted." Instead, let us now knuckle our heads to whatever a culturally Marxist academy full of passionate intensity wishes to impose upon us from its ivory tower above, and go forward with the charismatic clown who now sits in Thomas Jefferson's seat.