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Nichole Hungerford

From the Writings of David Horowitz: June 25, 2010

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Posted on June 25 2010 6:45 am
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At Bates, the topic of my lecture was “The intellectual tradition of the left is bankrupt and its hegemony at Bates is an abuse of academic freedom.” In a rare departure from the norm, I had been invited to Bates by the dean of the college, even though, as he informed me shortly after we were introduced, he was a “leftist.”

Out of 100 or so colleges I have spoken at in the past several years, I have been invited officially only to four, including Bates. Unlike the greetings they give my former political comrades, college administrations roll out no red carpets for my visits, provide no honorariums or air fares, nor do faculty members normally offer credit to students for attending my lectures (a common practice for many speakers). Even on this occasion, with the Bates dean’s official invitation in hand, my reception was a little, shall we say, underwhelming.

I arrived at the airport in Portland the night before my scheduled evening lecture and was met by a driver, who drove me to an apartment provided by the university. Until my evening lecture the next day, my schedule was open. So, I decided to drop in on the dean to thank him for my invitation and inquire if he would like to have lunch. At his office, I was informed he was unavailable.

Instead, I was provided with a student escort, who took me to the school cafeteria, where I ate by myself. The cafeteria meal was complimentary, and the dean eventually showed up to invite me back to his office. His manner was entirely cordial, though he explained that he had taken some criticism from members of his faculty for even inviting me to visit Bates.

Later, after I returned to California, I received a somewhat testy letter from him because of a full-page ad I had run in the school paper on the day of my lecture, which he had not seen at the time. The ad announced that the dean was inviting students to attend my evening talk. It then continued with the following headline: “Marxism is a resurgent doctrine in the former Soviet empire and apparently on American campuses too.”

Below this headline was a reminder to students that the false doctrines of Marxism had led to the deaths of 100 million people. Below that was a selection of book titles by authors like Thomas Sowell, David Gress and me offered as “antidotes” to what students were being taught by their professors at Bates.

In all fairness, the dean had a point. I had undoubtedly made his life more difficult. Still, his anguish was just another indication of the pressure he was under from his left-wing faculty because of my visit.

How leftist is his faculty? In the Bates catalog is a course listed as “the Cuban revolution: problems and prospects,” which includes a two-week visit to Cuba. The course had been taught by Aviva Chomsky, daughter of the MIT Thersites, until she left Bates, as the dean explained to me, for a more “working-class” school. At my talk that evening, I couldn’t resist making the point that the Cuban revolution had no prospects.

Enemy of the People 
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