8
Student Freedom and the Republic of Scholars:
Berlin and Berkeley

PAUL SEABURY

"East is East and West is West." But those who appreciate symmetry in politics and education will marvel at the newest refutation. In Berkeley and Berlin—i.e., at geographic poles of modern higher education—severe crises occurred during the past two academic years. Parallels between them are astonishing. The origins of these crises at the University of California and the Free University of Berlin are much the same; the respective patterns of escalation also surprisingly alike. Administrative prohibitions on political expression in each case were followed by student defiance and demands for virtually unlimited free speech and for unrestrained political engagement. Further restraints were followed by street demonstrations, teach-ins, and student protest strikes. Student groups finally in each case came to demand vastly increased rights for themselves in the self-government of the university. In each case also, inept or insensitive administrative reaction to successive stages of the crisis lent credibility to student agitators' charges that the structure of the university was authoritarian and reactionary. In neither instance was the faculty immune to the disturbances which followed. Professors in Berkeley and Berlin became sharply divided in diagnosing the causes and the real nature of the crisis, and in prescribing the means by which it should be overcome and the implications it should have for the future of the "republic of scholars." What ideal or practical balance should exist between research (Forschung) and teaching (Bildung) within the university? How great a policy role should students have in its government? Should the University be an unrestricted market place for ideas —especially political ones? Do constitutional guarantees of free speech and

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