January 19, 2005

Moonbattery, Higher Education Style

As most of my old readers know, I became a citizen of this country in 1972. It was not an easy process. There was an extensive testing of my knowledge of American history and the American form of government. I truly believe that most immigrants do know more about their adopted country and the truly unique form of government it posseses than the majority of it's native residents.

It seems that some so-called professors in higher education contribute to this dearth of knowledge with their hate filled personal idiologies.

Yes, many of the fast held beliefs about our founding fathers are myths. These were normal men,with all the flaws and foibles of normal men; with one great exception: they were willing to risk everything on a dream, a dream that every man has the God given right to try to be the best that he could be, free of onerous governmental interference.

Was the original concepts of government envisioned by the founding fathers perfect? NO. have there been some improvements over time? Undoubtedly. I would contend that, in fact, that we are in a period of regression at the moment. And its people like the good professor responsible for this regression. In their zeal to point out the flaws in the early days of the Republic, they ignore the truly great concept that was put forward in 1776: that the individual man had rights that devolved just from being a man, that these rights were granted by God, and the state had no power to abridge these rights except insofar as the individual would allow, in order to form a workable society.

Individuals empowered the State, not the other way around; the rule of law ensured that all men and government was judged by the same standards, with no one held above the law. This was a truly revolutionary concept.

We haven't always lived up to the ideal, but we have come closer than any other society, and we still strive to meet the ideal. For a person charged with educating the next generation to tell a student that he is, in essence, mentally disturbed if he holds to the ideal, demonstrates the decline in the general state of education.

A free society requires an educated populace to survive, and if the perveyors(sic) of knowledge start considering the espousal of individual rights and freedoms as a mental illness, we will not survive for long.

Posted by Delftsman3 at January 19, 2005 01:37 AM

Eliminate tenure. There should be a generational break in the educational system, which specifies no immediate offspring of any teacher or professor shall become a teacher or professor, make that two generations.

Posted by: Jack at January 19, 2005 04:12 AM

I would agree that the idea that we have rights that are not derived from a state is a very important idea. Of course if we spend too much time praising the state for giving us those rights, we seem to fall back into the old monarchical patterns of thinking. The way I look at it, it isn't the U.S. constitution or any other entity that "gives" me my right to free speech, freedom to go where I want, etc. I simply assume these rights. If a government or other forces want to take such rights away, I'll be hostile to those forces and attempt to undermine them. If we get too teary-eyed each time we look at the U.S. flag, we end up losing the essential point--the state doesn't "give" us anything, we take it.

Posted by: Karlo at January 19, 2005 08:14 PM

As for the article, I wasn't there so I don't know, but it's perfectly possible that the student simply had an axe to grind. And as for the comments (put into the prof's mouth) about the early U.S. being an unfair place, it was. That's a fact not an opinion. It was a great place if you were white and a damn scary place if you weren't. We can ignore this and make fun of people when they point it out, but it's not going to change things. Instead of getting teary-eyed and solemn when we think back on the "founding-fathers," we should recognize early U.S. history for what it was--history like any other history, full of the same forces that shaped history around the world. It's great that some people wanted to get rid of kings and aristocracy. It's too bad that they didn't get rid of slavery or the wanton mass-murder of native-Americans while they were at it. I hardly see how the early republic stood solidly up for the rights of all individuals. The historically facts are clear: they didn't.

Posted by: Karlo at January 19, 2005 08:22 PM

The professor in essence, told this young man that "if he believed that America was best; he must be mentally ill". I read the paper the young man wrote, and I think that, from a writing standpoint, it was poorly written, but I agree with his essential point.

Tell you what Karlo, I want you to write a college level paper in Dutch. the topic: "The American Left, vanguard of a new, just, America".
This young man should have been given a poor grade on the grammer and syntax, but this was an attack on his belief in the American ideal.
Let's see how YOU do in a foreign language on a subject you believe in.

Karlo, the very fact that you take it as a natural fact that you are imbued with those rights is a testimony to the vision of the founding fathers.

In NO other time or place was this attitude considered a "natural fact".

Did the FF do everything right? Of course not. Were there and are there inequities? That is undeniable. Is there any better system than ours on Earth? NO We have the best foundation to build on that any people have ever had.

To just decry the feet of clay that all men possess is self-defeating. "They didn't do A or B, so they were bad men" discounts the fact that they did the best they could with a revolutionary concept under the conditions and attitudes of the time, and we HAVE improved with time.

LEARN from the past, don't decry the present for it.

Posted by: delftsman3 at January 19, 2005 09:57 PM

Delfts ,
We are glad you are here, many of our country men are lax in civic knowledge and action,Look at the low turnout in most elections. While we are not perfect this country, It is still the best hope system while .

Posted by: NeilV at January 21, 2005 12:02 AM

"Tell you what Karlo, I want you to write a college level paper in Dutch." I might not be able to do it in Dutch but I have had to write papers in other languages (Japanese and Korean) and can sympathize with the difficulty. Whenever I hear statements like the one in the article saying that some professor somewhere told a student that he was "mentally ill," I have to wonder if there's some parallel universe somewhere that I've never been to. In every American college I've been in, a professor would get booted for making much more benign statements. Professors I know are extremely careful about every word they email or say lest they be brought up before some committee by some pissed off student. On the other hand, I know there are many students who don't do the work and so get upset when they see their scores. Judging from this, my assumption offhand would be that the student wasn't doing the work and that the statements about the student "being crazy" were lies told to incriminate the professor. Most profs aren't willing to jeopardize their entire career just because they disagree with a student's political orientation.

Posted by: Karlo at January 21, 2005 09:07 PM
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