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The Shame of Academe and Fascism, Then and Now - the USCHO debates

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  • The Shame of Academe and Fascism, Then and Now - the USCHO debates

    Found this as a reference in another article I was reading today @ lunch. http://chronicle.com/article/The-Sha...deme-and/47938

    Interesting read - any comments???
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  • #2
    Re: The Shame of Academe and Fascism, Then and Now - the USCHO debates

    So wait...the author is shocked that the presidents of universities and the schools themselves supported the Nazis? Really? Mother of God was this guy born last week? what was going on in Germany was well known yet most of the country didn't want America involved why would the colleges and their presidents be any different? It wasn't like the Jews were beloved here either mind you.

    As for Iran...I am sorry but are the universities stopping people from protesting and I am not seeing it? This guy seems to think that all of a sudden Academia will embrace what is going on in Iran which is ridiculous! This isnt the 1930s you cant get away with that kind of crap anymore.

    I guess I am not seeing the point of the whole thing except to remind everyone that the Nazi movement wasn't reviled in this country until after Pearl Harbor...well gee my grandpa told me that 20 years ago
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    • #3
      Re: The Shame of Academe and Fascism, Then and Now - the USCHO debates

      Originally posted by joecct View Post
      Found this as a reference in another article I was reading today @ lunch. http://chronicle.com/article/The-Sha...deme-and/47938

      Interesting read - any comments???
      Er, this article basically Godwins itself. Iran is a reprehensible regime, but comparisons to Nazi Germany are, as almost always, weak and unsubstantiated.

      As for academia, the Nazis weren't really reviled by anyone in the west before 1939. No one knew of the impending Holocaust, only that the Nazis didn't like Jews. When you look at our own civil rights record of that era (or the policies of empire pursued by are now "enlightened" European friends), I'm sure plenty sympathized with the need to control problematic minorities who might be a danger to the state and society.

      I also think most academics (and Americans of all political bents) opposed and criticized Iran's actions, now and for the past several years. People just disagree with how to transform Iranian society. I'm not sure what the author would have people push for? Our history in the region from Eisenhower through Carter makes it problematic for us to get involved without giving the Religious establishment a reason to paint dissidents as American/Western stooges.
      Last edited by BoomGoestheDynamite; 08-27-2009, 11:41 AM.

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      • #4
        Re: The Shame of Academe and Fascism, Then and Now - the USCHO debates

        One also has to note the role of eugenics in polite society... one could see some of the measures from the outside as a proper consequence of the science of eugenics.

        The Journal of Eugenics was a popular journal of its day and the members included some of the higher level statisticians and scientists of its day.

        The problem of academia is the problem of any men... a popular notion that fits preconceived ideology amongst people who believe themselves to be righteous and intelligent tends to get looked at in a different way. The position becomes entrenched and defended by the vanguards of knowledge.

        As a comparison to modern Iran... i think its foolish as the alliance with the Left and Iran has more to do with mutual ideological enemies such as the American conservative movement and the Zionist movement. Its more bedfellows than comrades in belief... whereas academia and Nazism was more an exposition of a shared core belief and means in the engineering of society and man.

        The hard-academic left has long abandoned democratic principles since they tend to avoid to bring what they believe is a proper humanistic social society. This is why they idealize strongmen who appear to bring good things to their people. Remember, the end goal is to bring equality and harmony to society... democracies and strongmen are just tools to that end. A benevolent strongman is often a faster tool than an inefficient and corrupt democracy. This is why people don't look closer at the laws and means wielded by such persons. They believe that its better to just go along with the dictates of a noble man to wield strong power... hence the apologia for Obama and his czar structure and his manipulations of the economy. The law acts as a barrier to carry out those things that (they believe) are good for society.

        Just look at today's remembrances of Kennedy. This memory and accolades is more due not to the democratic principles that allow for such law to be passed but rather the grandeur of his strength which forced those measures to be reached. Its a celebration of man and not the system... and then we're surprised when people act in an anti-democratic fashion?
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        • #5
          Re: The Shame of Academe and Fascism, Then and Now - the USCHO debates

          Originally posted by BoomGoestheDynamite View Post
          As for academia, the Nazis weren't really reviled by anyone in the west before 1939. No one knew of the impending Holocaust, only that the Nazis didn't like Jews.
          Pretty true. Frankly the issue was more of isolationism than of political ideology. But if academia seemed oblivious to the movement...the only subtle supporters of the concepts of Nazi Germany were on the hard right.

          Fast forward to today...a smaller world has changed the dynamics. Now days, many both here and in Iran have realized that sidelining combative extremists in both countries is the best way to proceed peacefully. Ie not blanketing an entire country (and implicitly, its people) as part of an axis of evil. We have quite a bit damage to undue...but every day that we seem like an international partner we do damage to extremist causes everywhere.
          Last edited by 5mn_Major; 08-28-2009, 12:10 AM.
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