Ivy League institutions as well as most colleges and universities in America today
lean categorically to the left. Why? If academia cares so much about ethnic and gender diversity, why does it overlook intellectual diversity? Harvey Mansfield responds.
He also defends his position that conservatism is closer to the mission of the university than liberalism and asserts that conservatives are more tolerant than liberals. Finally, he describes why "sensitivity" on campus and in American culture is a type of soft despotism.
Harvey C. Mansfield
Harvey C. Mansfield, Jr. is the William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Government at Harvard.
He is the author of translations and studies of political philosophers from Aristotle to Burke to Machiavelli to Tocqueville and more than a dozen books, including America's Constitutional Soul and the controversial Manliness.
Peter M. Robinson is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution, where he writes about business and politics, edits the Hoover Institution's quarterly journal, the Hoover Digest, and hosts Hoover's television program, "Uncommon Knowledge."
Robinson is also the author of three books: How Ronald Reagan Changed My Life; It's My Party: A Republican's Messy Love Affair with the GOP; and the best-selling business book Snapshots from Hell: The Making of an MBA.
Is conservatism closer to the mission of the university than liberalism? Are conservatives more tolerant than liberals?
Harvard government professor Harvey Mansfield defends his two assertions, arguing that while liberals expect conservatism to disappear, conservatives are "much more tolerant of people who disagree with them."
Political and economic doctrine that emphasizes the rights and freedoms of the individual and the need to limit the powers of government. Liberalism originated as a defensive reaction to the horrors of the European wars of religion of the 16th century (seeThirty Years' War). Its basic ideas were given formal expression in works by Thomas Hobbes and John Locke, both of whom argued that the power of the sovereign is ultimately justified by the consent of the governed, given in a hypothetical social contract rather than by divine right (seedivine kingship). In the economic realm, liberals in the 19th century urged the end of state interference in the economic life of society. Following Adam Smith, they argued that economic systems based on free markets are more efficient and generate more prosperity than those that are partly state-controlled. In response to the great inequalities of wealth and other social problems created by the Industrial Revolution in Europe and North America, liberals in the late 19th and early 20th centuries advocated limited state intervention in the market and the creation of state-funded social services, such as free public education and health insurance. In the U.S. the New Deal program undertaken by Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt typified modern liberalism in its vast expansion of the scope of governmental activities and its increased regulation of business. After World War II a further expansion of social welfare programs occurred in Britain, Scandinavia, and the U.S. Economic stagnation beginning in the late 1970s led to a revival of classical liberal positions favouring free markets, especially among political conservatives in Britain and the U.S. Contemporary liberalism remains committed to social reform, including reducing inequality and expanding individual rights. See alsoconservatism; individualism.
The interesting (not funny or ironic, as those would be personal and potentially prejudicial opinions) is that when ever a conservative makes a statement of either opinion or fact he/she/they are immediately "attacked" verbal violence and sometimes physical violence and "told" they have on basis or defense of their statements or ideas... ONLY "WE" the LEFT has the RIGHT to be correct!!! All other ideas are "FALSE" and irrelevant... ONLY "WE" the LEFT are "tolerant" therefore, if you, the right, do not agree then "WE" will not tolerate you...
How ironic and sad... but true... as a moderate, I have no answers to many of our issues but will converse or debate and try to hash out a reasonable compromise with anyone who is really trying to solve or resolve issues of nation and global concerns... which is not what "liberalism" is about... realistic rational compromise is not up for discussion...
Remember... Millions of people died, not from "natural" causes but for not thinking the same as those in power, in Russia under Liberal Tyranny... if you denounce any point of view then you no longer have a Democracy...
Another interesting thought is that the Pledge of Allegiance is not longer tolerated... Why? because "THEY" don't want "US" to be proud of "OUR" country... they think the pledge is to the "Government and God" and it's not about either... it's about "OUR COUNTRY" and us being willing to defend IT even against our own Government if they get out of control... it's a pledge to "US" to maintain "OUR" freedom and not cower to either a disintegrating government or a liberal agenda that really says, "To hell with everyone as long as we gain full power over all, for the benefit of us"
Mansfield is right on all counts, you can't argue against fact... all you can do is argue like that WrongHeaded "Angry MORON" (the worst kind of Moron) who thinks he's educated and enlightened and is really blowing farts in the dark... stinky farts... We should lock him in a closet and let him suffocate himself... but that's not realistic, kind, or enlightened... just an interesting thought...
bmacrae, please. First off, you know nothing of my academic bona fides. But if you wish to make yourself appear foolish with baseless accusations you go right ahead. Nor would it be relevant even if I had no higher education. Criticizing a speaker for making a falsifiable claim without evidence is not a privilege of the educated, but rather the duty of every person who believes we are better served by truths than comfortable lies.
Second, your inability to grasp my argument is clearly not an accurate gauge of my rhetoric. And this "balance" you esteem so highly is altogether lacking in your own posts; I for one care not a whit about it, but if you prize it so highly, perhaps you would do well to lead by example?
Third, any disparaging comments you can make about my "hostility" can be equally applied to your behavior, so do be careful of that in the future. Again, you're fully withing your rights to make yourself look bad, in this case by throwing a tantrum about a standard of decorum you yourself come nowhere near reaching. But I'd advise against it.
The false dichotomy of liberalism vs. conservatism is bad enough, but fools like Mansfield (and some of the posters here unfortunately) making sweeping statements based on speculation only deepens the hole this country is in politically. His willingness to declare his idle noodlings as Truth - instead of verifying them - deserves to be attacked for the self-serving bit of fluff it is. There's been enough back-patting in both camps as is, especially when it's the conflict between these two factions that caused this mess in the first place.
Mansfield has some good points, especially where education is concerned. We should learn more about religion, civics, and the military because they are part and parcel of our lives, whether or not one actively engages in any of the three. I don't think that his views on liberalism are accurate. I know many principled, good people on many sides of the political fence, but in my opinion neither side has lately proven itself to be a worse arbiter of goodwill, tolerance, or peace than conservatism in its current form, particularly as exemplified by the Right Wing of the Republican Party. These parties have pushed for the second-class citizenship of GLBTQs, have struck down legislation protecting them, and continue to push for measures keeping them there. You can't speak out both sides of your mouth as saying that "conservatives are more tolerant than liberals" when liberals have opened up their arms to the entire contingent of LGBTQs and will fight for their rights, while conservatives slam doors in their faces and seek to keep from equal treatment under the law with heterosexuals.
Mansfield's contention about conservatives (that he does not define) is not supported. If he is talking about traditional Burkean conservativism, then he may have a point. But if his conservatism is the Fox type, the neo-conservatism then his arguement is prima faciae ludicrous. He would have supported his case if he would at lease provide some evidence.
It's amazing to me that now we are attracted to absurdity like this.
So conservatives are tolerant because they understand that the ideas of liberals will always have to be suppressed? Nonsense.
If you take the definition of conservative in it's purest form then I think you would see that practically no conservatives exist today. They are all in favor of ideas that are very new to our country. Regan, Bush Sr., and Bush Jr. all desire what they themselves refer to as a New World Order. Anyone who thinks of the gentrification of the world through military threat as conservatism needs to get checked in to a mental health facility.
"This is exactly what I meant by what I wrote in my previous comment, thanks for providing an example for me."
Yes. I prove your point by proving Mansfield point.
You agree with Mansfield, except you think it is actually a good thing to be so closed minded. That's the sad part of it all. You cannot live and let live. You cannot allow the existence of other ideas. They must all be eradicated by government mandate and government indoctrination.
But such are those who do not heed the lesson of the enlightenment... the lesson of individual liberties. They wish to take us back to the dark ages where humanity is ruled by a priesthood or self proclaimed experts.
While I myself lean libertarian and could care less about homosexuality or the war on drugs... I do toss myself politically with conservatives. The left is just too ingrained to rid the world of all opposing views and that is the ideologies that get you to communism, nazism...
Even social conservatives are willing to let Las Vegas be Las Vegas. But liberals want to impose their will on everyone (national health policies, one education policy...)
It's like they have a disease, but they're proud to have it.
Originally Posted by teachette
Well, that may be his experience or his theories, but it isn't mine. And anyone who watches Fox TV will be astounded by this guy's conclusions. What space vehicle does he inhabit?
I find it funny that every time you liberals speak, it proves his point. According to you he isn't all there, he is out to space. If only, you think, he would see the world from *your* point of view, he would become a liberal. All progressives think this way. Its why we have suffered in the past from Socialism, Communism, and Nazism. The world will not be truly better off until people get off their high horse and realize they are not superior to others.
Originally Posted by scamper
A common example. It is not enough for a person to just let a Homosexual person be (you don't discriminate...). For the left, they must mandate that being homosexual is just as right as being heterosexual.
But of course... this kind of analysis would actually require listening to the speaker. Which is not in the left agenda which again goes to Mans field's point that the left believes any other view point, but their own is something that just needs to be corrected by proper education... so why listen to them. Why consider other points of view?
This is exactly what I meant by what I wrote in my previous comment, thanks for providing an example for me.