Thursday, June 10, 2010

Whose History?

"The State Board of Education's proposed revisions for K-12 social studies curricula have come under fire from the radical left. ... Studies have revealed how unbalanced America's humanities departments are. Democrats outnumber Republicans by a large margin. In the history department at the University of Texas at Austin, out of 50 registered voters, only one is a Republican. Moderate and conservative Democrats are also rare. This political slant is reinforced by the economics of scholarship: Academic historians have been trained and have invested their careers in a profession that counts as legitimate only those subfields that support the leftist orthodoxy. Military history, for example, has almost entirely died off; not a single professor of history at UT-Austin lists military history as a primary speciality, while dozens list sexuality, ethnicity and anti-colonialism. ... Thus, robber barrons, the New Deal and the civil rights movement are in, but the contributuions of inventors and entrepreneurism, the decline of the family and the failures of welfare programs and public education are out. The new standards represent real progress. They don't go far enough in challenging orthodoxy, but they are a step in the right direction. ... This artificallly inflated controversy points to a larger issue: The people must not develp the habit of blind deference to so-called academic experts. ... The fundamental question is this: Shall we continue to have a government ruled by the people, or shall we instead, yield to a self-perpetuating caste of quasi-official experts", Robert Koons (RK) at the Houston Chronicle, 14 May 2010, link:

Henry Ford said "History is bunk". Amen. RK is a UT philosphy professor.