The Duck of Minerva

A question from inside the bubble

19 February 2006

We haven’t had cable for over a year. I get my news almost exclusively from subscriptions to wire reports; most of these concern regions outside of the United States.

I notice, however, that Rodger posted earlier on Horowitz’s blacklist. I’ve read some of Michael Berubé’s ongoing mockery of Horowtiz. Of the man himself, I once wrote::

My take on David Horowitz has been pretty consistent throughout the years: he may have changed his ideology, but he hasn’t changed his basic way of understanding the world. For many radical leftists, the world is divided into good and evil. You can either stand in opposition to capitalism, or you can stand for the forces of domination and exploitation. To stand on the wrong side is to stand against the very logic of history, which is not a nice place to be when the revolution comes. Against the opponents of historical progress, the ends justify virtually any means. The only thing different about Horowitz’s public persona and professional activities these days is that he’s changed the fundamental contradiction that drives history. Now, leftists and liberals stand with evil, conservatives stand with all that is right and good.

But I realize, for the aforementioned reasons, that I have absolutely no idea how much play his inanity is getting. I know a few of those “academic bills of rights” (aka: “we embrace epistemological relativism and opposes critical thinking” laws) are making their way through state legislatures. I know Horowitz has been making the rounds of the right-wing talk shows and real news outlets have given his book some coverage. But is the play he’s getting real attention, or Ann-Coulter-style flavor of the week — plus generous bulk book purchases from conservative foundations — attention?

Which, I suppose, is another way of my asking: is the academy under some sort of serious assault from the right-wing political correctness squad or not?

Filed as: