Monday, September 22, 2008

Nonideological, my ass

Leave it to small minds in big think tanks to come up with yet another plan to save perfectly intelligent adults from the "liberal menace." This passage in particular made me chuckle:
These initiatives, like the Program in Western Civilization and American Institutions at the University of Texas, Austin, or a project at the University of Colorado here in Colorado Springs, to publish a book of classic texts, are mostly financed by conservative organizations and donors, run by conservative professors. But they have a decidedly nonpartisan and nonideological face.

Their goal is to restore what conservative and other critics see as leading casualties of the campus culture wars of the 1980s and ’90s: the teaching of Western culture and a triumphal interpretation of American history.

“These are not ideological courses,” said James Piereson, a senior fellow at the conservative Manhattan Institute, which created the Veritas Fund for Higher Education to funnel donations to these sorts of projects. The initiatives are only political insofar as they “work against the thrust of programs and courses in gender, race and class studies, and postmodernism in general,” he said.
Needless to say, the scribes at New Pravda obediently do their duty. I suppose there's ideology, and then there's ideology. Here's a definition of ideology that may help:
the body of doctrine, myth, belief, etc., that guides an individual, social movement, institution, class, or large group.
So, if you're involved in a curriculum that is devoted to, say, gender studies or ethnic studies, you're ideological. If, on the other hand, you promote a curriculum that is based on a guiding myth or doctrine of Euro-American superiority, you're being nonideological. Quite funny, in a sense.

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