Public uproars are a part of governing. America's Revolutionary and Civil Wars were public uproars. The Tea Party movement is a public uproar. Locally Kennesaw State University (KSU) caused a public uproar as they attempted to hire a provost whose positive views of Marxism and negative views of America did not blend well with fellow professors or the local community.
This KSU issue was brought to the attention of the surrounding community by a Marietta Daily Journal (MDJ) reporter who, when tipped off by an insider, dug deeper into the background of the candidate - causing the intended candidate to withdraw his name after the content of his 1998 writings on Marxism were made public by the MDJ.
Then once the community was made aware of this candidate's writings about Marxism and America, a public uproar followed. Editorials, op-eds, and letters to the editor followed. One letter called the MDJ coverage "disgraceful." Another letter called it a needed "public uproar." Likely this issue would have been short-lived were it not for the talk given by Dr. Hugh Hudson, chairman of the history department at Georgia State University, at KSU (again covered by MDJ reporter Jon Gillooly) where Hudson admitted to being a part of the '60s "radical Left" movement before declaring: "The challenges today (to academic freedom) are primary from the Right, they're primary efforts by conservatives to determine the limits of political discourse (in universities) and to set a particular agenda."
He continued: "The notion advanced is that an instructor should impartially engage all potentially relevant points of view. That is fantasy; universities do not profess to teach the whole truth. Instead they engage in the quest for truth. Consequently professors must be free to examine and test all facts and ideas including ones that students and other faculty and members of the community might find unpleasant, distasteful and even erroneous."
These words raised red flags and caused me to wonder if Hudson had gained a position of prominence where he could now advance the utopian ideals of the radical Left he had embraced in the '60s era of turmoil and public uproars.
Was Hudson advocating socialism, too? It sounds like it! And if he was what form of socialism was he advocating? Dr. Mark Skousen, author of "The Making of Modern-day Economics," names three forms of socialism: utopian, revolutionary and fascist. And history has shown that each form has been tried and has failed miserably: utopian socialism, due to laziness, debt or fraud; revolutionary socialism, (Russian Communism), because it destroyed private property and personal liberty; and fascist socialism, the form introduced by American progressives, because of "bureaucratic over-regulation and control of industry and the means of production, distribution and exchange": the form advocated by the Fabian Society and the British Labor Party - both radical Left organizations - a fact socialist advocates refuse to acknowledge or admit. How can anyone exclude the Bible if they are truly "questing for truth?"
Hudson also made it clear he doesn't want anyone challenging his tenured professorship. Someone needs to remind Hudson that tenure is an earned privilege, not a right. I know how tenure got started - but many in the community believe too many tenured professors are abusing this privilege - especially when they mock the very foundation of the community's faith - their Bible, and reject and mock it in their "quest for truth" as a legitimate document to challenge their students' intellectual development. Where else are they going to learn about "God's Economic Plan for Mankind's Peace and Prosperity?" - a plan the Apostle James called "the perfect law of liberty." (James 1:25) Now I challenge Hudson, and other professors of similar ideologies to include the Bible in their "quest of truth."
Yes, Dr. Hudson, the Right does have a problem with tenure - a practice assuring life time employment - with little or no oversight. Tenure is not a God-given right and can be, like all man created privileges, changed by elected officials. This is what Hudson was warning his fellow professors about. Yet not one word was said about academic responsibility.
And this is why there is growing opposition to academic freedom without academic responsibility, and why public uproars can be good for the community.
Donald Conkey is a retired agricultural economist living in Woodstock.