100 most dangerous….

by Harry on February 14, 2006

Via Brian Leiter I see that David Horowitz has produced a list of the 100 most dangerous professors in the US. As with any such list, everyone will quibble with the details, but I shan’t insult any of the winners by suggesting they should be demoted. Brian congratulates philosophers Alison Jaggar (Colorado) and Lewis Gordon (Temple), to which I add my own particularly to Anatole Anton (SFSU) and to my former colleague Bob McChesney (Communications, Illinois). But jolly good show, all of you; keep up the good work! (And don’t drink and drive or play with guns — those activities actually are dangerous).

(Update: I’ve changed the link to the list, because I couldn’t get the other one to work. The original link is semi-available through Leiter).



abb1 02.14.06 at 11:13 am

Is it “rich media poor democracy” McChesney?


Steve 02.14.06 at 11:33 am

Another post on CT that I agree with. Because its true: ideas are powerless and irrelevant. And the ideas of academics are the most powerless and irrelevant of all.



Kieran Healy 02.14.06 at 11:35 am

As for comments on the powerless and irrelevant ideas of academics, these are — what? — the neutrinos of ideas, maybe?


josh 02.14.06 at 11:37 am

This is suddenly reminding me of The Mikado …
But Horowitz is no McCarthyite, oh no.
(Does he happen to define what ‘dangerous’ means here? I take it as shorthand for ‘disagrees with me’, but don’t see this spelled out).


saurabh 02.14.06 at 11:44 am

What, no Harvard faculty? How disappointing.


Russell Arben Fox 02.14.06 at 11:48 am

I wish I were dangerous.


Chris Bertram 02.14.06 at 12:08 pm

Here’s “a link”:http://www.fountain76.freeserve.co.uk/ade/html/adepics_4.html to someone dangerous.


Barry Freed 02.14.06 at 12:09 pm

Dangerous how? Like, dangerous with their incisive critiques or like dangerous with a 28-gauge shotgun?


Barry Freed 02.14.06 at 12:11 pm

I wish I were dangerous.

I am dangerous. Mostly to myself, unfortunately.


soc anon 02.14.06 at 12:21 pm

My brief perusal of the list only turned up two sociologists (Feagin & Aronowitz). I would have expected a much better showing from a discipline that has a (well-deserved) reputation of being full of left-leaning critics of the status quo.

Of course, Feagin and Aronowitz would probably turn up on many sociologists’ lists of “100 most dangerous professors” as well, not for their politics but for the quality of their social “science.” But, that’s a different kettle o’ fish.


Commenterlein 02.14.06 at 12:23 pm

Dude, Columbia has beaten my team by like 9:1. I am so bummed out.


Brendan 02.14.06 at 12:38 pm

‘Because its true: ideas are powerless and irrelevant.’

Including yours, presumably, Steve?


The42ndGuy 02.14.06 at 12:39 pm

My alma mater didn’t even have anyone make the list. Shame, that. Betcha it wouldn’t have been true in the mid-nineties.


Bill Gardner 02.14.06 at 1:00 pm

I must write President Summers to deplore how Harvard has fallen in the rankings. In my day…


Steve 02.14.06 at 1:10 pm

“‘Because its true: ideas are powerless and irrelevant.’

Including yours, presumably, Steve?”

Of course. Only my shotgun, my pickup, and my malt liquor are either powerful or relevant.



Barry Freed 02.14.06 at 1:26 pm

Of course. Only my shotgun, my pickup, and my malt liquor are either powerful or relevant.

And your dog! How could you forget your dog!?!? You are a sorry excuse…Sheesh!


eweininger 02.14.06 at 1:41 pm

My brief perusal of the list only turned up two sociologists….

At least we have new grounds for self-flagellation.


Robin 02.14.06 at 1:48 pm

That’s a weird list. Lisa Anderson, who is a great person, is chosen over Rashid Khalidi . . . hmmmmm. I can’t discern any pattern in whom Horowitz dislikes besides the fact that they’re lefties and/or work on Middle East stuff.


harry b 02.14.06 at 2:04 pm

abb1 — yes, its that McChesney.

steve — ideas do have power. Professors don’t, except in so far as they are powerful as citizens. One of the numerous reasons to make fun of Horowitz is to remind lefty professors that their teaching and research are much less threatening to the social order than they would like to think and he, apparently and bizarrely does think. Corporations, police chiefs, high-level government officials and politicians, the FBI etc, they do have power, and they are, indeed, dangerous. Thus McChesney, though not powerful or dangerous, is probably on the high end of the list because he has good idea and is a reasonably effective communicator with the kind of people who can, ultimately, challenge the power of Horowitz’s friends who actually have it. But his being a professor has nothing to do with that — he was like that when he was a journalist, and would be as effective as he is if he’d remained a journalist.


John 02.14.06 at 2:41 pm

Well I would imagine that even a well read and well educated citizen might have heard of three or four of these folks. Their influence on public opinion and policy must be approximately 5/8 of diddly squat. So just who are they supposed to pose a threat to?


me2i81 02.14.06 at 2:50 pm

So just who are they supposed to pose a threat to?

Young, impressionable minds? When I learned about the Chomksy Hierarchy of formal grammars, I joined my local Spartacus Youth League.


jet 02.14.06 at 2:59 pm

Does anyone have access to some context analysis tools that you could point to google harvests of those names? I’d be interested in the major themes that tie them together.


albert 02.14.06 at 3:13 pm

J.B. Foster @ U. of Oregon is a sociologist. (Former?) Editor of Monthly Review…


John Quiggin 02.14.06 at 3:17 pm

Doesn’t this guy know anything about list-making? The top 100 has to be *in order*. For all we know, Chomsky might be the 73rd most dangerous professor in the US, which would make the buckets of bile tipped over him look rather misdirected.

And while US professors can bitch about not being included, there would be much more fun for the rest of us in complaining about the relative rankings of our favourite subversive scientists.


jet 02.14.06 at 3:26 pm

John Quiggin,
Wouldn’t that just be a list of the 100 most prominent middle-eastern scientists?


Oskar Shapley 02.14.06 at 4:31 pm

Berube, Cole, Chomsky, I understand, but where’s my PAUL KRUGMAN? Isn’t he, like, the Mother Of All Dangerous Professors (M.O.A.D.P.)?


Elf Sternberg 02.14.06 at 4:47 pm

I’m disappointed. No PZ Meyers or Michael Behe. One or other must be taken to task for dragging down the discourse of American science!

I vote for Behe, myself.


nick s 02.14.06 at 4:56 pm

I’d be interested in the major themes that tie them together.

Duh, there’s one theme: “Noting that David Horowitz is more than somewhat unhinged.”


snuh 02.14.06 at 7:23 pm

does holocaust denier arthur butz get a nod? how about that noted torture apologist, alan dershowitz? john “the president can crush your child’s testicles, should he think it’s a good idea” yoo?

why do i get the feeling the list was not made in good faith?


Harald Korneliussen 02.15.06 at 3:19 am

It’s a bit odd that a conservative wouldn’t include Peter Singer of Princeton in such a list. A man who seriously proposes that parents should be allowed to euthanasise their babies the first month after birth is much more scary than Noam Chomsky IMHO.

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