November 10, 2003
Bernstein Whining About Campus Oppression
The whining is coming of course from a tenured teaching position where his conservative views are completely defended by that academic "totalitarianism."
This kind of whining is delusional (folks like Matt Yglesias and Kevin Drum are too kind). Look at this rant about conflict over an ad in a school paper (this as conservatives forced the yanking by CBS of a whole TV mini-series):
But my ultimate concern is that the radical Left would like to bring to society as a whole the kind of authoritarianism they are constantly trying to, and sometimes succeeding in, bringing to universities. Universities are their friendliest turf, but the ultimate goal, to be achieved through "harassment" law, hate speech rules, and changes in First Amendment jurisprudence, is to have the government enforce PCism throughout society.But I don't even want to talk about respective media or academic conflict, where, frankly, I think rightwingers and liberals whine too much about bias. Last I checked, I could take courses from right and leftwingers on most campuses or read left and right publications (and who cares about the relative number at some point as long as there is a choice).
But let's talk about where economic conservatives have almost monopoly control and exercise fascist-like control on a daily basis-- namely the workplace.
Too strong a word? Tens of thousands of workers are fired EVERY YEAR for exercising free speech, namely advocating forming a union at work. That suppression of free speech is chronic in workplaces everywhere. Back in 2000, Human Rights Watch examined US workplaces and found it a hotbed of violations of international human rights in a report called, "Unfair Advantage: Workers' Freedom of Association in the United States under International Human Rights Standards. And the findings of that study:
[W]orkers' freedom of association is under sustained attack in the United States, and the government is often failing its responsibility under international human rights standards to deter such attacks and protect workers' rights. The cases studied in this report are not isolated exceptions in an otherwise benign environment for workers' freedom of association. They reflect a broader pattern confirmed by other researchers and borne out in nationwide information and statistics...By the 1990s more than 20,000 workers each year were victims of discrimination leading to a back-pay order by the NLRB-23,580 in 1998. The frequency andgrowing incidence of workers' rights violations should cause grave concern among Americans who care about human rights and social justice.Step away from the laughable discussion on campus "political correctness" and you have to admit, any real human rights group would laugh in your face if you seriously alleged that there were any real human rights violations on campuses -- aside from the treatment of university workers seeking to unionize.
Conservatives like Bernstein disgrace and cheapen the discussion of human rights and "authoritarianism" when they make these silly arguments over campus debate and conflict. If they would even nod towards condemning their business allies silencing workers in workplaces across the country, I might take them a little bit seriously.
Posted by Nathan at November 10, 2003 07:28 PM