As someone who who doesn’t believe the wrong of liberal bias in the classroom should be countered with the creation of conservative bias in others—the “what kind of sheep shall we raise” argument is not convincing to people such as myself who are not interested in herding any sheep—I was particularly interested in this bit from a fascinating Opinion Journal interview with Thomas Sowell.
Mr. Sowell may be an unabashed free-market adherent, but he’s proud to say that Professor Sowell left his personal views out of the classroom. In his 2000 memoir, “A Personal Odyssey,” he relates an episode in which some students approached him after taking his graduate seminar on Marxian theory. They expressed appreciation for the course but added, “We still don’t know what your opinion is on Marxism.” He took it as an unintended compliment.
“My job was to teach them economics, not teach them what I
happen to believe,” says Mr. Sowell, who adds that efforts by some
today to counterbalance the prevailing liberalism in academia with
more right-wing instructors is not only an exercise in futility but
a disservice to students. “Even if you succeed in propagandizing
the students while they’re students, it doesn’t tell you much
[about how they’ll turn out]. I suspect that over half [of the
conservatives at the Hoover Institution] were on the left in their
20s. More important, though, let’s assume for the sake of argument
that, whatever you’re propagandizing them with on the left or
right, every conclusion you teach them is correct. It’s only a
matter of time before all those conclusions are obsolete because
entirely different issues are going to arise over the lifetimes of
these students. And so, if you haven’t taught them how to weigh one
argument against another, you haven’t taught them
Hat tip: Paul Sands.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?