Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Glad to be of service! 

PZ was also at the Horowitz talk and wasn't happy with what Horowitz said. He also notes:
Students are required to read the Communist Manifesto several times during their undergraduate career, and there are no professors who give a different point of view. This was very surprising news to me. My son the economics major is always coming home with books by these guys named Smith and Hayek and Friedman and Galbraith and Krugman and Greenspan; I had no idea they were all lousy Marxists. Clearly the economics department at SCSU needs a severe dressing down, and maybe the commie who runs it needs to be fired�too left-wing.
My guess is PZ hasn't read Galbraith, because you wouldn't find a conservative thought anywhere in that book. And I do assign Krugman from his pre-NYT days when he was just writing good international economics. I appreciate PZ's affirmation of the intellectual diversity we provide his son (who is one of my students and whose intellectual curiousity and respectfulness shows evidence of good upbringing. Well done, sir!)

But to clarify: I don't think of Horowitz as much more than a bombthrower for the right. As he said last night, he doesn't want to install an Academic Bill of Rights by legislation; he believes it is something honest institutions of higher education would install on their own but might need a little prodding. For public universities like PZ's and mine, that prodding often has to come from legislatures because boards of trustees seldom have a Candace deRussy on them. The ABoR bill introduced today in Minnesota (link to follow when available), one can only hope, leads to university presidents hoping to improve their campuses in meaningful ways, by restoring intellectual diversity such as the book list PZ cites for us giving his son.

We're glad to do it. We only wish others would, too.