Saturday, February 16, 2008

Fighting Back Against Stanford Closed-Mindedness

From an op-ed in The Stanford Daily:

I do very well realize where this reaction is coming from. Stanford is a liberal university, and I very much hope that the good word “liberalism” is not degraded in your institution as it has been degraded by the likes of Michael Moore, Rosie O’Donnell, Ward Churchill, Noam Chomsky and many others. I hope the word “liberal” in the mind of Stanford students still means “progressive” and “broad-minded.” The left symbolizes progress. At least, it has done so in the past. It has always stood for women’s rights, for gay rights, for the rights of African-Americans. The reaction which I see today at Stanford demonstrates to me that there are changes in the left and that these changes are for the worst. What I read today in The Stanford Daily is nothing more than intellectual terrorism. A dogmatism that I can only compare to one of religion. (If-you-don’t-think-what-I-think,-you-are-an-idiot-and-a-delinquent.) It’s difficult for me to understand how the progressive left can defend the most backwards and reactionary ideology on earth, the ideology of Islam. (boldface mine--Darren)

Well, Democrats haven't always stood for the rights of African-Americans, but I understand his point. There was a time when our two major political parties disagreed on policy; now we disagree on right and wrong, to the detriment of the nation.

Presidents Kennedy and Truman were before my time, but I cannot accept that they would be happy with their ideological successors on the left.

Oh, and the linked op-ed I quoted from above? It was written by a gay porn actor and owner of an adult film company--not exactly someone you'd be able to paint as "right wing". Here's the article which sparked his op-ed.

Sadly, a large number of the comments on his op-ed (80 as I type this) are of such low intellectual quality that I'd venture to guess that most of my high school students could demonstrate more coherent thought processes. This does not speak well of Stanford as a community or an institution.


Anonymous said...

It appears that the author of the op-ed piece is Jewish *and* at least moderately pro-Israel (ie, he would prefer that all the Jews in Israel not be killed). I have noticed a growing acceptance of anti-Semitism over the last 20 years as long as it is dressed up as an anti-Israel position.

I think this anti-Semitism/anti-Israel position trumps pro-gay and pro-porn.

*Why* anti-Semitism is on the rise I have no idea (but I don't know why it got more popular starting in about 1880, either ...)

-Mark Roulo

Ellen K said...

It's funny, but back about 25 years ago when I was in college, I had a very liberal philosophy professor. You know the type-middle aged, long hair, played songs on the guitar in class, made us read Kierkegaard-that guy. Anyway, for a couple of weeks we discussed utopias and how so many failed because they included fallable humans in the mix. He made a prediction that Europe would return to a type of fascism as a means to survival from the onslaught of emigrants from younger nations. He also predicted a lower birth rate for developed nations that would end up being the death knell since their populations would be highly taxed to support third world nations. I don't know if he's still alive, but when you look at rising anti-Semetism in Europe and the creation of the EU it does give one pause to wonder what the next step will be for Germany, France and others to maintain their identities.

Neko said...

Historically speaking, their next step would be to invade Poland.

(Sorry, I couldn't resist ^_^)

Anonymous said...

"Historically speaking, their next step would be to invade Poland."


The correct sequence is:
*) Annex Austria,
*) Annex the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

*THEN* invade Poland.

Man ...


-Mark Roulo

allen (from Michigan) said...

ellen k. wrote:

> Anyway, for a couple of weeks we discussed utopias and how so many failed because they included fallable humans in the mix.

Har! Yeah, it's really pretty astonishing how many knotty problems unknot themselves if there were a better class of human being. But I have to wonder at the validity of the assumption, being made as it is by those same, fallible human beings.

As for the rise of antisemitism, I don't find that puzzling at all. When you're always on the look out for an underdog to champion to display your sparkling egalitarianism and bountiful compassion, after a while you start to lower your standards.