I received in the mail today a copy of Thought and Action, the NEA higher education journal.
I don’t know whether to laugh or to cry.
from an essay on academic freedom:
An investigation of academic freedom needs to include not only examples of individuals who faced sanction or dismissal because they had a particular view point and were penalized, but also a consideration of the larger social and cultural contextes in which academic instituations are embedded. The obligation of those who seek to protect and advance academic freedom is to focus not only on individual infringements but also on cultural and social contexts that lead to the weakening of the ability of individuals to search for this contested concept called “truth.”
Well, folks, sounds like you’ve already sold your freedom for a mess of pottage. Once you have conceded that truth is relative, you have lost any ability to find it. You are prisoners in the cave who scream to be let back into the darkness when you are shown the light of day. You will never find anything beyond your own image in a looking glass if this is your idea of academic freedom. You have reduced the age-old search for truth to mere naval gazing.
Meanwhile, of course, they continue to deny true freedom to those poor beleagured individuals who still believe in a real quest for truth without the quotation marks.
The author continues to argue that academic freedom is infringed when the state or federal government or private foundations choose to withhold funding unless the institution meets with certain criteria. And he cites incidents in which professors received spam after publicly being labelled “hostile” to America. Way to stand up for your beliefs, guys. As soon as the going gets tough and the funding dries up or you are criticized for your beliefs, you cry that they are taking away your freedom. Well, sorry it isn’t your right to get money and praise from me. I’ll only give you my money if I agree with what you are doing. I reserve the right to criticize you if I disagree with what you say and do. True freedom, surely, requires responsibility, accepting the consequences of one’s beliefs and actions.
This is why we won’t be sending our kids to public schools. This is the crap the NEA spends its time on.