Friday, February 24, 2006

Horowitz's List

All I can say is I'm disappointed I'm not on it! and neither are Robin DG Kelley, Dave Roediger, Henry Abelove and Paula Rabinowitz. Those dangerous folks wera such an inspriation. Horowitz's memory is short, or he's changed his mind on Roediger. Didn't he dedicate an entire book to trashing him and other people in critical race theory? As it is, Horowitz includes people I wouldn't consider that dangerous at all. Michael Berube is a witty and articulate supporter of the Democratic Party, and one of the few famous full-timers who are willing to hang out with adjunct professors, but he's no revolutionary. Todd Gitlin, who supported the US in Afghanistan, is more dangerous to the left than he is to the right. Frederic Jameson is a Marxist, but his work is probably unintelligible to the uninitiated. I really liked his book, The Political Unconscious,a brilliant Marxist history of the novel, but unless there's something I don't know about his teaching, he's not inspiring any of the kids to join the revolution - is he?
I guess Horowitz and I just see "danger to the Republic" in different ways. I had thought that my Marxist shenannigans (one of my students complimented me on my "Baby Marxism" lecture the other day) while teaching the working classes of NYC would be more dangerous than the teaching of exactly the same thing to the ruling classes at any Ivy League university. Perhaps Horowitz isn't talking about real danger to the republic, but listing those who are most threatening to him personally. Oh, I smell so much ressentiment in the air. It seems to drive Horowitz just MAD when his political enemies get more kudos in the academy than he. Horowitz seems to have missed the point that even the "most dangerous" professors often lament; that the academy has been a wonderful outlet for defusing political activism on the left. He also doesn't really understand who has the most power in the academy: the well-funded "hard" sciences and the economics departments. Now those people are dangerous.


Anonymous said...

Berube has now been honored as America’s Worst Professor, D-Ho's list notwithstanding!

reb said...

He worked for that one! (did you see his blog?)

Anonymous said...

Of course - but I really posted that comment because I liked the nickname "D-Ho" that Berube hinted at in his post.

On a related note, from Tristero at Digby's Hullabaloo:

"Dear God,
Please deliver us from the hideous locust plague of conservative pseudo-intellectuals. Sinners we may be in Thine eyes, and unworthy of thy Divine Love, but Jesus Kee-rist! Cut us some friggin' slack, already! Fire and brimstone, eternal damnation, I ain't gonna argue with you. But, seriously, God, we really don't deserve any more Fukuyamas..."