Thomas Sowell

As for "patriotic correctness," this is one of those little clevernesses in which academics indulge themselves, juxtaposing "political correctness" to "patriotic correctness," in order to create the moral equivalence that is so fashionable in some quarters. But there is no real parallel, since none of the enforcement mechanisms of academia -- ranging from grades to speech codes to ideological hiring and firing -- is either possessed or sought by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni.

The supreme irony in all of this is that the very academics who are crying out against "McCarthyism" and other forms of suppression of free speech are themselves the biggest suppressors of opinions that disagree with their own. They ask ideological questions at job interviews, and those scholars whose answers are not politically correct are unlikely to be hired as professors.

The anti-American statements which received such media attention should not have been a surprise. Long before the September 11th attacks, a substantial part of the academic world was not only opposed to the values of American society and Western civilization, but was also unabashed in using their classrooms to propagandize their ideology. Indeed, they have in many cases made it virtually impossible for people who do not share the liberal-left vision to even give a public lecture on campus.

After having imposed an ideological straitjacket on academia, these professors have now wrapped themselves in the mantle of victimhood because they cannot also silence their critics off campus. In going along with this false picture of victimhood, John Bunzel has gotten virtually every fact wrong. Perhaps he should have read the ACTA report before denouncing it. If he in fact read it and then said what he did, that would be even worse.

Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and author of The Housing Boom and Bust.

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