Is America Necessary? Conservative, Liberal, & Socialist Perspectives of United States Political Institutions

By Henry Etzkowitz; Peter Schwab | Go to book overview

12 Academia
The basic questions this chapter will address are:
1. What is academia?
2. What is the role of faculty and students in the university?
3. Are universities run according to democratic principles or are they autocratic institutions?
4. Can the university be transformed so that it serves the community in which it exists?

Conservatives believe that universities do not exist in a vacuum. They are part of American life. Professors have a predilection to see themselves as intellectual elites while both college faculty and students tend to look down on other less educated people. Conservatives maintain that this elite stance of the university population is not right, but at the same time education does make some people more knowledgeable than others.

Conservatives see the university and industry working together to better American life. The underlying assumption is that academic experts must aid industry in developing new techniques and products. According to this analysis, there is or ought to be a close relationship between the university and the world outside the university. For example, science faculties should work together with government to develop space technology or new weapons systems. Political scientists, anthropologists, sociologists, and economists should work together with the military in developing counter-insurgency techniques for the conduct of any future wars. Psychologists should work with prison authorities in helping the latter rehabilitate and control inmates. If academics do not work with and support the government, then it is questionable whether universities should be supported by government funds. For conservatives, the university should accept its role as maintainer of the status quo and be proud of it. They do not understand why some professors and students are unwilling to accept their defined place in American society as they see it.1

Some liberals think that academics must engage in "objective" research in their laboratories and libraries and that the university campus should be an independent center of thought, beholden to no outsiders. While research should be engaged in for its own sake, researchers should not be held responsible for the uses others may make of their findings. Publication of scientific results must be freely and openly available to all. Academicians have the responsibility to publish whatever they have learned.

Other liberals believe that faculty should be socially and politically aware and should translate that awareness to their students. Teachers have great power over shaping the minds of their students; therefore it is their responsibility to make students conscious of issues such as racism, sexism, and discrimination against the aged. Professors should not confine their lectures to facts and theories from a textbook; they should encourage their students to participate in the real world. For instance, to

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Is America Necessary? Conservative, Liberal, & Socialist Perspectives of United States Political Institutions
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Preface ix
  • Contents xi
  • Introduction 1
  • Part One 15
  • 1 - Where Do I Stand? 17
  • Conservative 21
  • Conclusion 28
  • Socialist 44
  • Notes 46
  • Part Two 57
  • 2 - The Presidency 61
  • Conservative 67
  • Socialist 79
  • Notes 85
  • 3 - The Pentagon 101
  • Conservative 107
  • Socialist 117
  • 4 - The Secret Police 133
  • Conservative 139
  • Socialist 152
  • Notes 160
  • Part Three 167
  • 5 - Elite Clubs and Associations 169
  • Conservative 173
  • Notes 184
  • Notes 192
  • 6 - Multinational Corporations 209
  • Conservative 213
  • Socialist 221
  • Notes 244
  • 7 - Organized Crime 257
  • Conservative 259
  • Socialist 264
  • Part Four 283
  • 8 - Congress 285
  • Conservative 289
  • Socialist 296
  • Notes 303
  • 9 - The Courts 315
  • Conservative 319
  • Socialist 330
  • Notes 337
  • 10 - Regulatory Agencies 347
  • Conservative 349
  • Socialist 361
  • Notes 369
  • Political Parties 385
  • Conservative 387
  • Liberal 396
  • Conclusion 410
  • 12 - Academia 413
  • Conservative 416
  • References 427
  • Notes 434
  • Part Five 449
  • 13 - The Media 451
  • Conservative 453
  • Liberal 467
  • Notes 474
  • 14 - Banks 483
  • Conservative The Great Banking Retreat. 485
  • Socialist 489
  • Notes 497
  • 15 - Unions 511
  • Conservative 513
  • Notes 519
  • A Critical Issue 537
  • 16 - The Economic Crisis 539
  • Conservative 542
  • Socialist 544
  • Notes 550
  • Part Seven 557
  • 17 - Political Programs 567
  • Louis Banks. the Mission Of Our Business Society. 568
  • Ralph Nader and Donald Ross. Toward an Initiatory Democracy. 576
  • Stanley Aronowitz. On Organization: A Good Party Is Hard to Find. 581
  • Mass Parties and Reformism 587
  • Notes 596
  • Fred R. Harris. Up With Those Who'Re Down. 602
  • Part Eight 613
  • Appendix 621
  • Note 644
  • Index 649
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