There’s a big kerfluffle between David Horowit Robert Shaffer over Shaffer’s criticism of Horowitz’s latest “ain’t it awful” book on liberal college professors.

Horowitz profiles 101 professors, and accuses them of mistaking political advocacy with teaching.

Well, duh.

In some ways, I agree with Horowitz: One only has to read the forum on George Mason University’s History blog to see he superficial analysis by those in academia. Once in awhile, I will post a comment there pointing out a fact or two: unlike bloggers (or this noble forum) one does, after all, expect professors to be aware of little things like facts.

I mean, if a lowly blogger rants “no blood for oil”, then fine. Get thee to the Daily Kos.

But a history professor writing for a history blog does this, then one wonders if he is aware of the importance of oil to the economy (without oil, the world economy would collapse, causing famine, joblessness, and the lack of basic commodities made of oil, such as plastic).

Well, maybe History professors don’t understand basic economics, but shouldn’t they be aware that the need for oil was behind both the invasion of Eastern Europe and North Africa by the Germans, and the invasion of South East Asia by Japan. Does that make World War II a “war for oil”?

Write an essay in 3000 words or less and discuss.

Professors are supposed to be able to encourage thinking. This may mean asking politicized questions. But if they fail to teach the complexities of what is being discussed, it might be better to let the students read books on their own as was long done in the British university systems. Indeed, even if a professor rants his entire lecture period from his political point of view, remember, students usually have to supplement their lectures with reading books, and so they are supposed to be adult enough to learn things on their own.

I personally only see three problems with this political bias:

One, if the professors spend undue time promoting politics unrelated to their subject.

Two: That they fail students who disagree with them, and

Three: that they are unaware that there are other points of view, and cannot articulate what those points of view are and why they don’t agree with them, using the basic rules of logic, of course.
As for Horowitz, in these days of dualing ideas and arguments on Television, he’ll probably make a bundle of bucks for his book by those who agree with him.

Heck, why not. It works for Ann Coulter and Al Franken.


Nancy Reyes is a retired physician living in the Philippines. Her website is Finest Kind Clinic and Fishmarket.

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