In America, where you'd have thought the country's so huge it couldn't happen quite so cosily, everyone's giving his imprimatur to everyone else. You line up three or four well-known poets and a couple of eminent academics on the dustjacket, and the rest of academe follow like sheep. That's death really, if you take pleasure in it. Mind you, the occasional puff's hard to resist, but you shouldn't inhale.
The Idea of Anti-imperialism is... to be considered on several grounds. First, it is traditionally pervasive in the United States, though given its most extreme form in anti-Western academe. Second, it is used as a negative label for any effort by the United States, or the West, to encourage liberties, to block fanaticisms, and to make aid dependent on positive economic policies. Those concerned with the future development of their countries, and of the world, cannot afford to let obsolete resentments distort their aims.
For many decades now - and certainly during my adult life in academe - the Western intellectual world has not been convinced that theology is a pursuit that can be engaged in with intellectual honesty and integrity.
We do not need French post-structuralism, whose pedantic jargon, clumsy convolutions, and prissy abstractions have spread throughout academe and the arts and are now blighting the most promising minds of the next generation. This is a major crisis if there ever was one, and every sensible person must help bring it to an end.
The scientific community having made a rapid ascent from deep poverty to great affluence, from academe's cloisters to Washington's high councils, still tends to be a bit excitable - not unlike a nouveau riche in a fluctuating market.
That tertiary education is under a sustained assault by a political and - it often seems - social consensus that equates all education with training for increased productivity, only makes academe a still more promising environment for a contrarian.
Economic analysis is the first principle of Marxism. Professors who were genuine leftists would have challenged the entire economics-driven machinery of American academe the wasteful multidepartmental structure, the divisive pedantry of overspecialization, the cronyism and sycophancy in recruitment and promotion, the boondoggling ostentation of pointless conferences, the exploitation of graduate students and part-time teachers, the subservience of faculty to overpaid administrators, the mediocrity and folly of the ruling cliques of the Modern Language Association.
[Pascal] was the first and perhaps is still the most effective voice to be raised in warning of the consequences of the enthronement of the human ego in contradistinction to the cross, symbolizing the ego's immolation. How beautiful it all seemed at the time of the Enlightenment, that man triumphant would bring to pass that earthly paradise whose groves of academe would ensure the realization forever of peace, plenty, and beatitude in practice. But what a nightmare of wars, famines, and folly was to result therefrom.
We still find, especially in parts of academe, the damaging notion that everything is a struggle for power, or being empowered, or hegemony, or oppression: and that all competition is a zero-sum game. This is not more than repetition of Lenin's destructive doctrine. Intellectually, it is reductionism; politically, it is fanaticism.