Ceci n’est pas Daniel Pipes

by Chris Bertram on November 11, 2003

The Guardian “reports”:http://education.guardian.co.uk/students/news/story/0,12891,1082720,00.html that US-style paranoia about biased professors has crossed the Atlantic with something called the Young Britons Foundation compiling dossiers about leftie academics. A Manchester student newspaper contacted them with made-up examples

bq. of so called left-wing bias at the University of Manchester – such as a professor who “forced” students to chant Karl Marx during lectures…..

The YBF swallowed the bait and

bq. said the incidents would be added to a database of complaints being made across the country that would go into a report to be presented to the government next year.

Expect to see that chanting professor denounced on a blog somewhere soon!



Kieran Healy 11.11.03 at 9:29 pm

I have in the past been tempted to make my students chant “Karl Marx,” but only because a small but significant chunk of them insist on calling him “Carl” when they write their papers.


Ophelia Benson 11.11.03 at 10:09 pm

Yeah well so chanting would take care of that, all right!

[collapses in fit of laughter]


Kieran Healy 11.11.03 at 10:26 pm

Damn, you have exposed my paper-thin rationalization for program of mindless socialist indoctrination.

Coming soon: “Hooked on Dialectics,” the revolutionary spelling system that makes reading Capital a breeze.


Anthony C 11.11.03 at 10:55 pm

Yes… not a terribly good idea in my view. Don’t get me wrong, exposing nutcase leftyism in universities is not in and of itself a good thing – but if you want to do it, you have to do it properly. Trying to do it through people just getting in touch and informing without any system of verification is not a terribly good idea. I believe somebody over at Volokh cobbled together a fairly compelling critique of CampusWatch in the US a couple of months ago. It’s just not a terribly good way of going about things.


Anthony C 11.11.03 at 10:56 pm

Eeek! Freudian slip! I meant, of course that exposing nutcase leftyism in universities is not in and of itself a BAD thing…


derrida derider 11.12.03 at 1:59 am

“exposing nutcase leftyism in universities is not in and of itself a BAD thing”

Yes, just like exposing witchcraft in Salem wasn’t in and of itself a bad thing. The point is that the cure is usually much worse than the disease – especially as the disease is pretty rare.


Brian Ulrich 11.12.03 at 4:26 am

I’ve had to fisk Campus Watch a couple of times. It’s kind of funny when they insist something like no Middle East Studies professor today would train someone for a military career, when I can look around and see friends of mine in the program training for military careers. As icing on the cake, our Arabic prof (who was against the attack on Afghanistan, much less Iraq) had as a guest in class a military interpreter just Monday, with whom we all chatted amicably.


VJ 11.12.03 at 8:14 am

Leave it to the Brits to make fun of this deadly serious piece of delicate propaganda making…


Kristjan Wager 11.12.03 at 8:52 am

but only because a small but significant chunk of them insist on calling him “Carl” when they write their papers.

I guess it’s the same chunk that insists on spelling Adolf Hitler Adolph.


A Crawford 11.12.03 at 1:56 pm

CampusWatch and Horowitz’s crew have a tendency to descend into polemics over some issues, true. But I don’t think this detracts from the strength of their basic position, which is that ‘equal protection’ includes political affiliation and creed, and that the standard to measure institutional discrimination should be applied evenly. Hardly right-wing Red baiting to restate the courts existing position on religious or political protections and ask that it be upheld. (gasp!)

Sometimes it seems as if the Courts ruling on the specifics of the UofMichigan case has been overlooked, as the Michigan ‘point’ system and questionable classification of “under-represented minorities” versus “over-represented minorities” doesn’t look very color blind… at least when the colors in question fail to meet dubious institutional benchmarks. There’s a reasonable cause to suspect that qualified South and East Asian applicants were refused admission once a predetermined statistical figure was satisfied, yet this doesn’t seem to be a concern. Why?


David W. 11.12.03 at 3:58 pm

I’d like to nominate a crawford for the “non-sequitor of the month” award.


Daniel 11.13.03 at 12:21 am

So when the post read: “The YBF swallowed the bait…” that means that they believed a deliberate lie? When an organization whose goals we may or may not agree with starts to collect information on what they perceive as abuses of collegiate power, it seems odd that the method of disagreement is an attempt to poison their data. Isn’t this the kind of lying and un-truths of which the Bush Administration is constantly accused?
The idea that the YBF may not be validating incoming information is indication enough of how serious its report will later be taken, but isn’t an intentional effort to destroy the truthfulness of the report a little dishonest? A little contemptuous?

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