- The Washington Times - Friday, May 9, 2003

Intellectual fraud“Noam Chomsky was the most conspicuous American intellectual to rationalize the al Qaeda terrorist attacks on New York and Washington. The death toll, he argued, was minor compared to the list of Third World victims of the ‘far more extreme terrorism’ of United States foreign policy. Despite its calculated affront to mainstream opinion, this sentiment went down very well with Chomsky’s own constituency. He has never been more popular among the academic and intellectual left than he is today. …”Chomsky has declared himself a libertarian and anarchist but has defended some of the most authoritarian and murderous regimes in human history. His political philosophy is purportedly based on empowering the oppressed and toiling masses but he has contempt for ordinary people who he regards as ignorant dupes of the privileged and the powerful. He has defined the responsibility of the intellectual as the pursuit of truth and the exposure of lies, but has supported the regimes he admires by suppressing the truth and perpetrating falsehoods. He has endorsed universal moral principles but has only applied them to Western liberal democracies, while continuing to rationalize the crimes of his own political favorites. …”Today, Chomsky’s hypocrisy stands as the most revealing measure of the sorry depths to which the left-wing political activism he has done so much to propagate has now sunk.”— Keith Windschuttle, writing on “The hypocrisy of Noam Chomsky,” in the May issue of the New CriterionMoral education“Education is a moral enterprise. Young people are put into moral situations constantly. … Schools can approach the moral lives of children and youth in three ways. They can try to ignore moral issues altogether. They can open up moral questions for students to explore in a non-judgmental and noncommittal environment. Or they can teach classical views of self-command using traditional teaching methods. …”The classical view of human nature holds that every young person has a conscience. … Like the capacities of the mind, the conscience must be educated or it will lapse into lethargy. To exercise the consciences of youth, schools must have very firm rules. … When students learn about virtue, they should not be presented with moral conundrums that seemingly have no right or wrong answers. Instead, they should confront the great stories of self-command and self-sacrifice found in literature and history. These narratives show that actions have consequences, and that there is a clear difference between right and wrong.”— Terrence Moore, principal of the Ridgeview Classical Schools in Fort Collins, Colo., writing on “The Consciences of Youth Also Require an Education,” for the Ashbrook CenterX-Mau-maus“ ‘X2: X-Men United’ is not just any action-packed summer blockbuster … far from it. It represents a cultural moment, a brief opportunity to address crucial questions of difference and democracy, questions that have been with us since the founding, with new eyes. In this case, red glowing eyes.”The X-Men comic book series, on which the films are based, has long served as a metaphor for the civil rights struggle and other efforts to win acceptance for dispossessed, marginalized, and persecuted minorities. This is true. But what has gone unnoticed, and what’s most distressing, is that while the X-Men movies embrace a fairly robust integrationist ideal, the comic book series on which they’re based has abandoned its early idealism in favor of crude racialist appeals. What we’ve seen in recent years is nothing less than the Sharptonization of the X-Men. …”Even our superheroes aren’t immune to the forces that pull us apart. Can’t we all just get along?”— Reihan Salam, writing on “X-propriated,” Wednesday in the New Republic Online at www.tnr.com


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