Exploring the Eclipse of Equality

Posts Tagged ‘professors and politics’

Take that Pinko! What you always wanted to say to your professor?

In Uncategorized on March 2, 2010 at 8:31 am

I couldn’t help but to write about this. I have never spent much time reading Reason magazine. Occasionally I will find an interesting and provocative piece in this über-libertarian organ that I just can’t skip, but it is not really my thing. Well, I wasn’t looking for them, but they came looking for me.  Given that I have done some research on professors and their politics, I was intrigued to find this sales pitch in the mail that must fit my demographic.

I am always curious how anti-academy politics is developing, and from the looks of the flyer above, it is alive and well. Reading this, you get a sense of the anger that people feel toward professors. In the depicted scene, the professor has an “over-inflated ego,” is “spouting off” absurdities and “won’t shut up” (although they aren’t supposed to shut up until class ends are they?).  The student bravely stands up an takes the breath out of the pompous wind bag with powerful, and presumably anti-institutionalist, arguments that reveal the telling virtue of a student grounded in the power of common sense. It’s a kind of comedia dell’arte where Il Dottore takes it on the chin.  It seems to me that the Reason advertisement is a fantasy on hire and the pitch is to make Reason the champion that you wish you were.

I became curious to discover how often this kind of thing really happens in the classroom and if Libertarian students suffer more than others. I can remember one occasion in which a friend of mine confronted a professor whose yellowing notes betrayed his lack of current engagement with the subject, but this had little to do with politics and more with irresponsibility. If anyone has other good stories about libertarian students doing this kind of thing (even if it is you) please get the anecdotes to me. In fact I would be curious to hear about any students who felt so silenced that they had to resort to a heroic moment like that described in the letter.

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