Friday, September 7, 2012

George Will and Political Philosophy

George Will and Political Philosophy
P. Schultz
September 7, 2012

Here is an exchange that I had with a former student and friend on Facebook, dealing with a column by George Will on Obama as a “radical.” Enjoy.

“Did you see the op-ed George Will wrote for the Washington Post today? It was that same bs casuistry that flowed freely in the political science department at our former institution....that Obama is a radical because he wants to change the founding fathers' (pause for respect) vision for how citizens relate to the government........when in actuality he's a moderate Republican who wants to raise taxes slightly on the rich and use government money to stimulate the middle class instead of just the can educated people buy into this??? Two facebook friends of mine--currently in political philosophy PhD programs-- posted the article in complete support of what he was saying! They can probably recite CIcero and Rosseau in their sleep, but post this crap by George Will as if it's all encapsulated within the "natural right" paradigm! It's enough to make a cat laugh! I need a drink!”

Yes, Chris, I saw the Will column but refused to read it because it was just asinine! And, yes, it's premise did remind me of the Political Science Department at Assumption Collge, where "political philosophy" is taught not as a way to get the young to think, and especially to think about "our way" and it deficiencies and defects. Rather, "pol. philosophy" is taught as a weapon, to arm the young to defend a particular and peculiar oligarchic and nationalistic agenda, to make the young warlike, not thoughtful nor questioning. And, of course, like any attempt to make the young warlike, this one requires blinding them. It is really sad that this is what Strauss' and others' legacy has come to: Sophistry of the worse kind. It is no wonder that Professor Dobski had no problem with going to Israel one summer on an all expenses paid junket to "learn" about "terrorism" and "terrorists" from the Israelis in Israel - not Israeli terrorists of course but only "the other" kind. And the "price" for this junket was that Dobski agreed to create and teach a course on terrorism - not Israeli terrorism of course - which he did. Ah yes, no danger of propaganda being taught in that course. I would bet he sent his course to Israel as confirmation of his loyalty. And think of it: This is the man who felt he could comment on your character in an inappropriate and inaccurate way! Talk about needing a drink! How about two or three??

Funny story: Once in class, I was expounding on the current prejudice against alcohol and crazy stuff like what passes for a definition of "binge drinking" these days and a young women said, shyly and sweetly: "But Professor Schultz, you don't need to drink." Well, I paused, looked kindly at her, looked at the class, and then back at her and said: "I don't know what world you live in. But in the world I live in, I need to drink!" I must say, it was one of my best moments!! And this confirms its accuracy!!

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