09 February 2010

I'm Not The Only One


I often comment here about the arrogant, condescending attitude of the left and many of those in academia - yes, I know, somewhat redundant. What's so amazing is their apparent inability - or unwillingness - to recognize their glaring flaw in this area. As I also often point out - arrogance is a blinding vice. Or, perhaps they do recognize it but believe it's actually justified. A number of CW bloggers, academics, and others who approach history from the left constantly lament that much historical analysis just isn't "sophisticated" enough - Read: "They don't agree with me and my leftist worldview and the analysis that follows it. Therefore they aren't as smart as I am."

Many of them want to go so far as to silence those who would disagree with them - even put them in jail. Their own feelings of superiority just won't allow opposition to their views and historical analysis, which is also why they are quick to ban those who disagree with their perspective from commenting on their blogs or turn disagreements into personal, ad hominen attacks - the last refuge of those who have nothing of substance left to say. As a recent piece appearing in the Washington Post (of all places) by associate professor Gerald Alexander at the University of Virginia points out:

"American liberals, to a degree far surpassing conservatives, appear committed to the proposition that their views are correct, self-evident, and based on fact and reason, while conservative positions are not just wrong but illegitimate, ideological and unworthy of serious consideration . . . leading liberal voices have joined in a chorus of intellectual condescension." (Emphasis mine).

As the writer of that piece further notes:

". . . there is no need to take seriously the arguments of 'these people' -- only to plumb the depths of their errors and imagine hidden motives."  (Emphasis mine.)

At least more and more folks are noticing.

9 comments:

BorderRuffian said...

"Analysis?"

Spin is more like it...

MSimons said...

I agree Mr. Williams your proof is never good enough, God forbid your a UDC or SCV member and comment on the CW regardless of your educational attainment. I have been most upset by the slanderous words they say. Or in my own recent activities to be challenged on a Blog then to be in less than 24 hours banned from posting in my defense.

Brooks Simpson said...

Richard --

You say:

"A number of CW bloggers, academics, and others who approach history from the left constantly lament that much historical analysis just isn't 'sophisticated' enough - Read: 'They don't agree with me and my leftist worldview and the analysis that follows it. Therefore they aren't as smart as I am.'"

"Many of them want to go so far as to silence those who would disagree with them - even put them in jail."

Who are the "them" in the first sentence of your second paragraph? After all, given how you've put this, it's a reasonable reading to assume that you are suggesting that at least some CW bloggers with whom you disagree have advocated jailing those with whom they disagree. I don't believe you believe that.

You might look at the academic advisory board for the Intercollegiate Studies Institute's civic literacy board ...

http://www.americancivicliteracy.org/resources/about_staff.html

Tell me how ISI is a leftist organization, please. Thanks.

Imagine[d] hidden motives, indeed. :)

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Professor Simpson:

If you visit here with any regularity, you know who the "them" are. I've blogged on one specific case here:

http://oldvirginiablog.blogspot.com/search?q=tim+lacy

This academic suggested criminalizing certain historical analysis and opinion (of course, more would naturally follow) with which he disagrees should be criminalized.

I was also speaking of other areas of opinion in academia, not just CW bloggers. Case in point, the Georgetown law professor who would criminalize homeschooling:

http://oldvirginiablog.blogspot.com/2010/01/georgetown-academic-would-criminalize.html

"I don't believe you believe that."

Why wouldn't I? They wrote it. What I actually had trouble believing was the very tepid disagreement from other academics.

"Tell me how ISI is a leftist organization, please. Thanks."

That's a straw man Brooks - I've never mentioned ISI. Please stick to the post comments and examples.

By the way, one of the persons commenting on your post on this subject at Civil Warriors had this to say about the American Historical Association:

"Other incidences of liberal bias abound. For instance, I voted for officers for the AHA as a member and noted that many officers researched or held professorships in “victim studies” areas . . . These areas are noted for housing radical professors who tend to negatively view America and Americans, particularly Christians and conservatives. With all these reasons, I must state that it would not be worth the money for conservative or Christian historians to belong to the AHA."

You can read his complete post here:

http://conservativehistorians.blogspot.com/2007/05/why-not-to-join-american-historical.html

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Professor Simpson:

No response? You questioned whether I believed something that I posted which, I assume from your comments you thought was false. I responded by referring you to the quotes in question.

So were these academics being honest in what they wrote? I can't wait to hear what you have to say.

Brooks Simpson said...

"After all, given how you've put this, it's a reasonable reading to assume that you are suggesting that at least some CW bloggers with whom you disagree have advocated jailing those with whom they disagree. I don't believe you believe that."

Please don't try to parse my comments to make another point. Either you believe some CW bloggers believe in imprisoning those who disagree with them or you don't.

But thanks for again offering an example of how you handle evidence, Richard. By parsing my comments and distorting them, you raise even more interesting questions.

Brooks Simpson said...

"With all these reasons, I must state that it would not be worth the money for conservative or Christian historians to belong to the AHA."

You ask:

"So were these academics being honest in what they wrote? I can't wait to hear what you have to say."

I do not comment on matters of private religious faith.

See, Richard, if you're going to parse as you do, well, it goes both ways. :)

BTW, you should understand that if someone does not immediately post a response to your query, that doesn't mean we don't want to respond. Some of us have other things to do. Besides, as you've parsed what I've said before beyond recognition, I'm not sure why I should respond further and subject myself to the same treatment.

I don't believe you should be jailed, Richard. I believe in free speech. And I don't advise people on their private religious beliefs. I also believe in freedom of worship.

You may have the last word. It's your blog.

Brooks Simpson said...

BTW, Daniel's post appeared on May 10, 2007. That's some time before I posted on this subject in Civil Warriors. Your readers should understand that his post preceded mine (by years), and was not a response to it.

Daniel's entitled to his perspective. But I remind you what he said about my November 20, 2009 post:

"This is an awesome post that really captures my feelings on the issue. I try to keep my political views quiet on campus, both because it’s the right thing to do, and I am a bit concerned that some may look at me not for my historical abilities, but at my politics alone. What I do wonder is how can historians deal with some of the political decisions and nature of some of the major historical societies, especially if those items conflict with our principles? I mainly think about a resolution adopted by the AHA a couple years back, which was put forth by Historians Against the War, calling for an end to the war. This is a very political position and could have alienated some members, which can only hurt the organization. Overall, a great post."

So it would seem he was in agreement with my sentiments.

You should have mentioned that, Richard, especially as you have promised months ago to reply to the post and to challenge it. Do you disagree with Daniel's characterization of the post? Or will you choose again to fail to respond, even after promising to do so?

Tell us why Daniel's wrong.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

"Either you believe some CW bloggers believe in imprisoning those who disagree with them or you don't."

No need to parse anything - read Lacy's comment and the very tepid responses. One may draw his own conclusions. Moreover, clarifying your parsing of my words is not parsing on my part.

You wrote:
*********************************************************
"With all these reasons, I must state that it would not be worth the money for conservative or Christian historians to belong to the AHA."

You ask:

"So were these academics being honest in what they wrote? I can't wait to hear what you have to say."

I do not comment on matters of private religious faith.
*********************************************************

The 2 comments of mine you quoted were unrelated. The question I asked referred back to Lacy's comment and the comment by the Georgetown professor, not Daniel's comments.

"BTW, you should understand that if someone does not immediately post a response to your query, that doesn't mean we don't want to respond. Some of us have other things to do."

Of course, my apologies for impatience Professor. I ask for the same patience on your part in my promised response to your post on CW. I've drafted some comments in response to your post - be patient, I'll post them sooner or later.

"So it would seem he was in agreement with my sentiments."

On this post, yes, I would agree. And so would I on some of your points.

"I don't believe you should be jailed, Richard. I believe in free speech. And I don't advise people on their private religious beliefs. I also believe in freedom of worship."

And that would have been my assumption. My shock and criticism regarding that post (On Levin's site) was the fact that the response on CWM was so weak as to be embarrassing. One would think such a suggestion (jailing those for their views) would have been met with the same loud condemnation that those who post there go after false history. I thought the lack of condemnation spoke volumes.

Regarding Daniel's "perspective" it is one shared by many others who have been on the receiving end of academia's obsession with political correctness. It's a fact, not a perspective. Regarding the time line, I shared the link to Daniel's post - nothing hidden. I was simply showing that while Daniel agreed with your comments, he also has pointed out that bias does exist in academia and that it's a major problem, which would mean he also shares my criticism over PC in academia.

My response to your post will be forthcoming.