Monday, April 29, 2013

Professors are not disengaged observers, they take an active role

In the book "The Godless Constitution", written by Isaac Kramnick and J. Laurence Moore, the following is written about footnotes:
Because we have intended the book to reach a general audience, and because the material we have cited is for the most part familiar to historians and political scientists, we have dispensed with the usual scholarly apparatus of footnotes.

There's just one problem. It's up to us to prove that this is what the book actually states. Google Books has two entries, (1) (2) neither of which allow you see page 179, which is the page that this is on. You might get lucky and reference some other book on Google Books, if you're lucky enough to find the appropriate footnote. David Barton has shown this book and it's page in one of his numerous TV appearances, but unless you know specifically off hand which You Tube video to reference, you're stuck. (If it's even on You Tube to begin with)

So here it is, page 179: (click for larger)

Kramnick and Moore are outright arrogant. Their position is that "we know better than you, we don't need to prove anything to a peon like you, so you should just trust us because we have the credentials to prove our greatness and intellectual prowess".

No, I would rather not. You people in academia have proven without a shadow of a doubt that you cannot be trusted. But this does present us with what on the surface appears to be a tricky scenario. If the general reporting is to believed, educators are not paid nearly enough and we need to put more money into education. Without getting stuck on examples to the contrary, because there indeed are plenty of well paid educators out there, what is the interest of professors if it's not money? Benjamin Franklin explained this very clearly, at the Constitutional Convention:

There are two passions which have a powerful influence on the affairs of men. These are ambition and avarice; the love of power, and the love of money.

This is interesting, because we all have heard of the phrase "Follow the money". But how do we "Follow the power", to coin a phrase that's simple and straightforward comparative to it's cousin. I might have an idea:

The purpose of a university should be to make a son as unlike his father as possible.

That was stated by Woodrow Wilson, America's second no-holds-barred,(TR was first) pedal to the metal statist. Now on the surface, this quote could be taken innocently. "But what if the father is uneducated, or maybe stuck in a low level job?" Fortunately, I have the full transcript of that portion of Wilson's speech, and it's hardly innocent:

"The purpose of a university should be to make a son as unlike his father as possible," He said. "By the time a man has grown old enough to have a son in college he has specialized. The university should generalize the treatment of its undergraduates, should struggle to put them in touch with every force of life. Every man of established success is dangerous to society. His tendency is to keep society as it is. His success has been founded upon it. You will not find many reformers among the successful men.

So now perhaps we can achieve what we set out to do. In order to follow power, we have to ask "What is power?" and in doing so once we discover what a given goal is, we can follow it. The power to completely change society? That's power, and that's the interest that way too many professors have, regardless of the amount of money they can make. Could they make money off of their endeavors? Perhaps. But that's not guaranteed. What is guaranteed is the flexing of muscle and increase of power. Just as Benjamin Franklin stated. They are aspiring to their own ambitions.

It's important to understand what a college really is, not what they used to be. They used to be places where people went to learn a skill for their own betterment.(or for that matter, the people around them given the benefits of that the skill would create) Colleges is where our rulers are being groomed. It's where revolutionaries are being grown, by design. In this instance, Woodrow Wilson is not wrong. Kramnick and Moore's book is the fulfillment of Wilson's dreams.

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