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 BlogviewPaul Gottfried Archive

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Recently, one of my neighbors saw students from Elizabethtown College, where I taught for many years, walking down the street wearing what looked like the puzzle pieces featured as symbols by Autistic Awareness. When he asked why they were wearing the all-white puzzle pieces, one of the coeds proudly explained that they were dramatizing the... Read More
Recent troubles at Yale, Missouri, and other campuses have made me think about how the academic culture has changed – much for the worse I believe. But a former colleague (who recently passed) used to tell me how much better the academic world seemed to him now than when he was a graduate student circa... Read More
The justly renowned social historian Eugene D. Genovese died yesterday at the age of 82 in Atlanta. His death followed several years of dealing with a worsening cardiac ailment and with a jolting loss in 2007 from which he never recovered. This was the death of his beloved wife Elizabeth (Betsey), who was his frequent... Read More
Recently I commented on a blunder by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett, who suddenly wimped out after having proposed cutting 20 to 30 percent out of the state’s allocation for “higher education.” Corbett had a chance to do good by making our state universities cough up more of their own funding. In constant dollars, our state... Read More
Students once led monk-like lives. Now they party at taxpayers' expense.
I belong to a generation that still values what is now indiscriminately referred to as "higher education." What that once meant was going to a four-year college, if one’s high-school grades showed promise, and in return for about $700 each semester spending the next four years immersed in books. Back then we studied traditional disciplines,... Read More
Even in this progressive age, religious uncertainties still abound as we approach Holy Season, which begins with St. Martin’s Day on January 16 and extends throughout Black History Month. This was made dramatically clear last week at a college near where I live, a place that has demoted the ancient Christian holiday that falls on... Read More
The PC police are at it again. According to a sympathetic Associated Press report on November 7 and a survey conducted by the American Association of University Women, “sexual harassment is pervasive in grades 7-12.” Such improprieties are taking place “in person or electronically via texting, email and social media,” and those issuing and summarizing... Read More
I’ve recently started recovering from forty years among pseudo-academic weirdos in the collegiate loony bin. One persistent aspect of modern college life is its obvious loathing for anything that smacks of Christianity. This includes whiting out Christian symbols and references to Christian holidays from the academic landscape. In the fall of 2006, a bronze cross... Read More
An article in the Yale Alumni Magazine by Nicole Allan, a recent alumna and an associate editor of Atlantic, explains that sixteen Yale students and graduates are bringing a suit against their educational institution for sexual discrimination. According to Allan, this suit runs parallel to other suits being brought by other prestigious universities under Title... Read More
In a well-argued commentary (June 23, 2011), Michael Barone calls attention to the “kangaroo courts” that are springing up on campuses across the country to discipline male students who have been accused of “sexual harassment.” Barone points out that in the world of higher education, faculties and administrators do not have to be pushed very... Read More
On June 3, the Sunday Harrisburg Patriot News ran a front page report by Jan Murphy noting Governor Corbett’s misplaced priorities. This was the gist of the criticism: “The governor has resisted taxing Marcellus Shale natural gas drillers and wants to slash business taxes by $300 million. At the same time, he proposed drastic cuts... Read More
Two friends of mine, one of whom was my colleague for several years, Matthew Woosner and April Kelly-Woosner, have published an exhaustively researched book, The Still Divided Academy: How Competing Visions of Power, Politics, and Diversity Complicate the Mission of Higher Education, and several thoughtful essays on higher education. Although it is impossible for me... Read More
Recently at a local college whose name I will not divulge, an act of “racial vandalism” occurred which the administration is naturally investigating. The college newspaper has devoted considerable front-page coverage to this “vandalism,” quoting certain students who demand that the school rectify it immediately. It seems that on February 11, some wiseacre posted a... Read More
A longtime friend of mine, the former chairman of the political science department at the University of Illinois, Robert Weissberg, has published a devastating book on the educational industry. In Bad Students, Not Bad Schools (Transaction Publishers, 2010), Weissberg takes apart so many misconceptions about mass education that the reader’s head may be spinning by... Read More
Keith Preston is correct that one could easily look to monarchists and authoritarian conservatives for critiques of “liberal democracy.” But for better or worse, such critics were not libertarians, and to the extent that Schmitt was unhappy with liberal democracy, it was because this hybrid regime resembled the political worldview of someone like Ludwig von... Read More
Having looked at the “essential reading matter” for the (real) American Right posted on this website (here, here, and here), it seems to me that all the lists have at least some value. The recommenders are to be praised for recognizing the utter irrelevance of what the neoconservative-controlled press raises to canonical status, in accordance... Read More
Let me begin by registering my agreement with Professor Charlton. It does not surprise me to learn that this gentleman teaches medicine, not social work, English composition or “women’s studies.” I expect serious thinking from someone who trains physicians — as opposed to embattled feminists or Black Power advocates. In my years in the academic... Read More
A wealth of ideas rushed through my mind the other day as I was watching the production of Nineteen Eighty Four starring Richard Burton and John Hurt, which was released, by no coincidence, in 1984. Like Orwell’s novel, the film emphasizes the use of factual distortions to strengthen political domination, in this case that of... Read More
The Elizabethtown College faculty has just received the following charge from the provost, who is an engaged feminist and diversitarian. Enthusiastic support from most of the faculty is expected. TO: Faculty and Professional Staff FROM: Susan Traverso DATE: September 11, 2009 RE: Diversity Plan I am happy to distribute for your review the Diversity Task... Read More
Recently while talking to a “moderate” conservative and faithful NR reader, I was struck by this person’s profoundly negative view of the past, including the recent past. When I mentioned research by Thomas Sowell in the late 1970s proving that American blacks had made greater economic strides in the 1930s and 1940s than in the... Read More
According to a recent Gallup Poll taken on the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin, only 32% of those questioned believe in the theory of evolution. 36% of the interviewees still entertain doubts about Darwin's theory; and the rest of the population has no opinion at all about who evolved from what. The... Read More
On July 3 the New York Times published a feature article by Patricia Cohen bearing the provocative title “The’60s Begin to Fade as Liberal Professors Retire.” It seems, according to this report that professors are beginning to view themselves as “moderates.” This underscores their distance from their predecessors of the late 1960s, when my own... Read More
Last week I spent five frenetic days at a conference on politics and religion held at Trinity Western University, outside of Vancouver, British Columbia. A faculty member, Grant Havers, who arranged to have me invited, and his gracious fiancée, Theresa, were my kind hosts; and they took me on the last day of my visit... Read More
A feature article in the Sunday Washington Post (December 9, 2007) by Villanova Associate Professor of History, Robert Maranto, reached me through the kindness of a young colleague, April Kelly-Woessner. April, a diligent researcher, working with her husband Matthew Woessner, provided some of the relevant data for Maranto’s polemic. Supposedly Republicans are justified when they... Read More
Last month I noticed the furor that the neoconservative establishment was whipping up in support of Lawrence M. Summers, who was about to step down as Harvard University President. Throughout February my email was full of portentous warnings from movement conservative friends and neoconservative foundations about the likely fate of Harvard after Summers's departure. The... Read More
John Miller of NR fame has been asking around in my neck of the woods for examples of "academic horrors" that he and his friends can report on. I am delighted to see that John has changed his vocation from derailing the careers of conservatives, by smearing them with fictitious evidence about their politically incorrect... Read More
Whatever defenses of Hans Hermann Hoppe against the forces of PC I have thus far seen all make valid points but also give a slightly misleading impression, that universities have raised "nondiscrimination" to their highest value, which is where the chief problem in this situation lies. If universities had been less interested in what Hoppe's... Read More
A few kind readers sent notes to me about their experiences in teaching high school and college courses in US Government; and it may be useful to offer the following collective response. I was not suggesting that my students could not recognize "American democracy" in the way their textbooks depicted it. To whatever extent they... Read More
Having taught for many years a course in US government, I was always struck by the kind of triumphalist textbooks used to teach the material. The standard text when I began teaching the course, by Theodor Lowi and Benjamin Ginsburg, one that is still being periodically updated by their graduate assistants, celebrates in more than... Read More
A response by David Horowitz to David B. Mazel of North Adams State College in Colorado, who has investigated "conservative academic intolerance," may raise even more questions than Mazel's research. Bothered by Horowitz's recent demonstration that major universities are so politically correct that they would not put into student newspapers a paid advertisement for an... Read More
A key point that my polemic on the neocons and free speech failed to make is that the issues being discussed go back a long way. Already in the seventies the Straussian wing of the neocon persuasion was expressing the judgment that the First Amendment only serves to protect "good" speech. Walter Berns, of Georgetown... Read More
Tom Woods has provided a vivid picture of the ideological hysteria that has gripped Harvard University. In "Memories of Harvard" he elaborates on how that institution celebrates Angela Davis and other Stalinists while treating self-identified conservatives (even low-octane ones like Scoop Jackson-Democrat Harvey Mansfield) as outcasts. Allow me though to make one critical observation regarding... Read More
Paul Gottfried
About Paul Gottfried

Paul Edward Gottfried (b. 1941) has been one of America's leading intellectual historians and paleoconservative thinkers for over 40 years, and is the author of many books, including Conservatism in America (2007), The Strange Death of Marxism (2005), After Liberalism (1999), Multiculturalism and the Politics of Guilt (2002), and Leo Strauss and the Conservative Movement in America (2012) . A critic of the neoconservative movement, he has warned against the growing lack of distinctions between the Democratic and Republican parties and the rise of the managerial state. He has been acquainted with many of the leading American political figures of recent decades, including Richard Nixon and Patrick Buchanan. He is Professor Emeritus of Humanities at Elizabethtown College and a Guggenheim recipient.