We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Kimball's 2005 piece in the New Criterion has been previously posted here, but it deserves a second go-round, if not a third. The author of "Tenured Radicals" goes beyond the subject of academia in this essay which succinctly exposes the tactics and strategies of the now-greying but still revolutionary 60s radicals. Some sample paragraphs:
The old Marxist strategy of “increasing the contradictions”—a strategy according to which the worse things get, the better they really are—is a license for thuggery. It excuses all manner of bad behavior for the sake of a revolution that will (so it is said) finally transform society when all the old allegiances have finally collapsed. If one or two tottering institutions require a little push to finish them off, so be it. Shove hard: You cannot, as comrade Stalin remarked, make an omelette without breaking eggs.
Tenured Radicals is a frankly polemical book. In some ways, however, it underestimates if not the severity then at least the depth of the problem. What happened to the universities was part—a large part—of that “long march through the institutions” that the Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci recommended and whose American lineaments I chronicled in The Long March: How the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s Changed America (2000). “The Age of Aquarius,” I wrote in the Introduction to that book, “did not end when the last electric guitar was unplugged at Woodstock. It lives on in our values and habits, in our tastes, pleasures, and aspirations. It lives on especially in our educational and cultural institutions, and in the degraded pop culture that permeates our lives like a corrosive fog.”
Since the 1960s ...colleges and universities have more and more been home to what Lionel Trilling called the “adversary culture of the intellectuals.” The goal was less reflection than rejection. The English novelist Kingsley Amis once observed that much of what was wrong with the twentieth century could be summed up in the word “workshop.” Nowadays, “workshop” has been largely replaced by the word “studies.” Gender Studies, Ethnic Studies, Afro-American Studies, Women’s Studies, Gay, Lesbian, and Transgender Studies: these are not the names of academic disciplines but political grievances. They exist not to further liberal education but to nurture the feckless antinomianism that Jacques Barzun dubbed “directionless quibble.”