Tuesday, May 03, 2005

LICENSE TO SHILL. Just in case you were wondering how the Culture War's higher-ed front was going, Roger Kimball provides an update:
The old Marxist strategy of “increasing the contradictions”—a strategy according to which the worse things get, the better they really are—is a license for thuggery. It excuses all manner of bad behavior for the sake of a revolution that will (so it is said) finally transform society when all the old allegiances have finally collapsed. If one or two tottering institutions require a little push to finish them off, so be it. Shove hard: You cannot, as comrade Stalin remarked, make an omelette without breaking eggs.

As with anything to which the word “Marxist” applies, there are at least eighty-seven things wrong with this strategy. Morally, it is completely irresponsible. Intellectually, it depends upon a fabricated “contradiction” to confer the illusion of inevitability. In real life, the only thing inevitable is the certainty of surprise.

Nevertheless, as one looks around at academic life these days, it is easy to conclude that corruption yields not only decay but also opportunities. Think of the public convulsion that surrounded the episode of Ward Churchill blah blah blah blah...
Then he goes on for hundreds of incendiary words about how bad liberal professors are, and ends by threatening their tenure ("An arrangement that was intended to protect academic freedom and intellectual diversity has mutated into a means of enforcing conformity and excluding the heterodox").

In other words, after a long explanation of the bad Marxist way of getting things done, Kimball pretty much tries the same thing himself. Evidently he means what he says about a "license for thuggery," but also believes that he possesses such a license. I wonder where he imagines he got it from?

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