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What is conservative?

Reader comment on item: [The University of] California [Press] vs. Academic Freedom

Submitted by Jake Fisher (Republic Of Korea), Mar 31, 2004 at 08:50

I agree with parts of your article and mildly disagree with other parts.

First the disagreements.

I think you leave undefined what you mean by conservative. For instance, the libertarian wing of the republican party has certain similarities with some anarchist tedencies on the left.

However, I believe one can accept that there is a rough concept of what you mean by conservative, at least in the context of America. International readers of your website will be mistaken if they equate thier own left/right dichotomy with the American one.

I think if members of the academic community are meant to serve a critical function, then it is natural that their views are in opposition to those espoused in the major news media. Thus it is not unacceptable that they may hold radically divergent views from most people.

I believe however that you are right to point out the weakness of much of their work.

The way the university is structured today shares much of the blame. Although the arts are not sciences they behave like psuedo sciences.

In the field of middle east studies this means someone like Edward Said is thought of as a kind of Newton, or Einstein. Anyone with half a brain should see this a recipe for trouble.

So there are big problems in our universities.

Thanks, Daniel, for pointing out some of absurd work and lack of critical debate in our universities.

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