OMT One Man's Trash...from Norman Leahy

Tuesday, May 02, 2006 :::

Fee, Fie, Foe, Fum

"I smell boomer blood." That's one of the quotes Todd Gitlin pulls out of UVA professor Eric Lott's book, "The Disappearing Liberal Intellectual." But this isn't a book review. Instead, it's a full-throated scream at liberal academics and the webs they spin, instead of fomenting revolution:

Professor Brennan is right that the academic left is nowhere today. It matters more to David Horowitz than to anyone else. The reason is that its faith-based politics has crashed and burned. It specializes in detraction. It offers no plausible picture of the world. Such spontaneous movements as do crop up in America -- like the current immigrant demonstrations -- do not emerge from the campus left. Neither do reformers' intermittent attempts to eject the party of plutocracy and fundamentalism from power, to win universal health care, to protect the planet from further convulsions, to enlarge the rights of the least privileged. If more academics deigned to work toward reforms, they might contribute ideas about taxes, education, trade, employment, investment, foreign policy, and security from jihadists. But the academic left is too busy guarding the flame of nullification. They think they can fortify themselves with vigilance. In truth, their curses are gestures of helplessness.

It's an interesting read, if for no other reason than the prose is electric -- it crackles with the viperous condescension and wit that's usually reserved for the faculty lounge. Mercifully, while Gitlin's vision of a leftist utopia will never come to pass, it is deeply interesting to see that there are still those who cling to the revolutionary nostrums of their youth.

And it's also worth reading as a reminder of how supremely vicious academic politics can be. It makes Virginia politics look positively funereal.

::: posted by Norman Leahy at 5/02/2006 0 comments


"You know what the fellow said: In Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed, but they also produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love -- they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock." -- Orson Welles, The Third Man

"The graveyards are full of indespensable men" -- Charles de Gaulle

"Oh, so Mother Nature needs a favor? Well maybe she should have thought of that when she was besetting us with droughts and floods and poison monkeys. Nature started the fight for survival and now she wants to quit because she's losing. Well I say, hard cheese!" -- Montgomery Burns

"Don't pretend that you know me...cause I don't even know myself" -- The Who

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