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October 25, 2016 / 23 Tishri, 5777
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Sandra Korn’s Academic Totalitarianism

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Sandra Korn

Sandra Korn
Photo Credit: Harvard College

I’ve often said that the best thing about Hamas is that they say what they think. None of the two-faced English vs. Arabic stuff we get from the ‘moderate’ PLO. They say they want to kill us, because they mean it.

So for the same reason, I enjoyed the Harvard Crimson piece by Sandra Y. L. Korn, “The Doctrine of Academic Freedom.” Korn is not ashamed to put forth the idea that academic freedom should be limited when it conflicts with the political prejudices of the “university community”:

If our university community opposes racism, sexism, and heterosexism, why should we put up with research that counters our goals simply in the name of “academic freedom”?

Instead, I would like to propose a more rigorous standard: one of “academic justice.” When an academic community observes research promoting or justifying oppression, it should ensure that this research does not continue.

And how does it “ensure” this? She provides examples, such as disruption of classes “with a bullhorn and leaflets” and the academic boycott of Israeli institutions. The irony in advocating coercive action to oppose research or speech that she and her peers consider politically incorrect is palpable, especially since the bullhorns and boycotts are reminiscent of the SA tactics of the 1930s.

While she understands that the purpose of academic freedom is to see to it that research is not “restricted by the political whims of the moment,” she apparently fails to grasp that the reason for this is that political whims are just that — whims. During Mao’s Cultural Revolution, Chinese students took the lead in what Ms Korn must (at least, we hope she must) admit were terrible injustices. Their views were doubtless shared by most of the “university community,” but so what?

The principle of academic freedom does not require, as Ms Korn’s “academic justice” does, an omniscient and perfectly good community to decide which ideas may be discussed and which not. It says in effect “don’t suppress any ideas, let them compete on their merits,” because we are not smart enough to decide a priori (Korn thinks she and her friends are).

The fact that she chooses a boycott of Israeli universities as an example of a just limitation of academic freedom is a perfect example of the defect in her approach, because as a matter of fact, the ‘oppression’ of the ‘Palestinians’ is at bottom a whopper of a lie intended to cover up the desire of the Arabs to eliminate the state of Israel, and even in many cases to perpetrate a genocide of the Jewish population (viz., Hamas Covenant), something I am sure Korn would disapprove of.

Probably all of Ms Korn’s friends agree that only a right-wing Zionist nut would believe that. Maybe this is because the only voices that they hear are those of, er, left-wing anti-Zionist nuts. Academic freedom is intended to allow all (scholarly) points of view to be heard, in order to help us avoid precisely this situation.

Korn’s “academic justice” is more like academic totalitarianism!

This seems blindingly obvious to me, who did not go to Harvard (but like Ms Korn, did study the history of science, in which I learned about politically incorrect scholars like Galileo Galilei). So why doesn’t she get it?

Her bio indicates that she is “a joint history of science and studies of women, gender and sexuality concentrator.” And there could be the explanation: perhaps whatever she learned in her History of Science classes was overwhelmed by the main lesson taught in gender and ethnic studies, which is that there is no such thing as objective truth, there are only the political consequences of belief.

Vic Rosenthal

About the Author: Vic Rosenthal created FresnoZionism.org to provide a forum for publishing and discussing issues about Israel and the Mideast conflict, especially where there is a local connection. Rosenthal believes that America’s interests are best served by supporting the democratic state of Israel, the front line in the struggle between Western civilization and radical Islam. The viewpoint is not intended to be liberal or conservative — just pro-Israel.

The author's opinion does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Jewish Press.

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  1. Another stupid, "highly educated" self-hating Jewish woman. Like Dr.
    Michael Savage stated: "Liberalism is a mental disorder." Where is
    Sandra going to run when the Muslims take over the USA? Sandra, why not move to Ramallah now I am sure they will love her there.

  2. Jeff Rosner says:

    Right on target, she needs to learn about how the Nazis came to power. Please define for people what the SA (brown shirts) were about.

  3. Dan Michaelis says:

    Jeff — Korn also gets a mention in Jonah Goldberg's column today: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/371625/attacking-diversity-thought-jonah-goldberg

  4. Jeff Rosner says:

    Where is she getting these ideas from? Is this from the influence of Saul Alinski and his adherents?

  5. Dan Silagi says:

    "Heterosexism?" In other words, if you're straight, according to Ms. Korn, you're guilty of that "crime" against humanity. As this is a "religious Jewish website which exhorts me to avoid "inappropriate language at all cost," I won't write what I would like to about Ms. Korn.

  6. the brain of a cockroach and no surprise. a lot of infectious dumb slop oozes into our iconic institutions these days. do not imagine harvard is what it once was. nor are any of our Ivy Leagues. it's gone. just like bookstores.

  7. Moishe Beadle says:

    All is not lost at Harvard. Follow the link in the article to Korn's piece at The Crimson.web site and read the comments.

  8. Certainly Eva, because any Jew that disagrees with you must be a "self-hating Jew?" Right? Or, in case of Michael Savage, far, far far right.

  9. The important question to ask: is this policy good for the Jews?

  10. "If our university community opposes racism, sexism, and heterosexism, why should we put up with research that counters our goals simply in the name of academic freedom."

    It appears that neither fascism nor stupidity are on list of things opposed by the "university community."

  11. Apparently Korn only wants to hear only one side of an issue. What if she learns that the one side she decided to listen to had lied to her. For example the uN in claiming that under International law, settlers were engaging in an illegal occupation. Does she know that the UN's views were dominated by WT Mallison and his friend Henry Cattan, a former member of the Arab Higher Committee led by the Nazi war criminal Haj Amin al Hussein who told the Germans that the only thing he wanted to get in return for his work of recruiting Bosnians for the SS was to have all the Jews in Palestine liquidated. He became a war criminal on the run after the war. Cattan had represented the Arab Higher Committee in the UNSCOP hearing in 1947 when they said if the Jews were to get any part of Palestine, the Arabs would start a massacre that would rival that of the Mongols. Why not hear from both side of the issue? But the pro-zionist side should not be represented by leftist Israelis, history revisionists or Arab intellectuals as it was in the Harvard Debate on March 3, 2012 or the UCLA "debate" between two radical lMuslims, on May 15, 2012, Reza Aslan and Hussein Ibish

  12. Doug Browne says:

    What is it with the Jewish intellectuals?They produced some of the greatest minds in History and this is what we're getting now?

  13. Michael Tims says:

    The left used to at least pretend to value academic freedom – after all, it got them more attention than their addle-pated notions could have ever earned them otherwise. Now they find it's just too inconvenient to be confronted with anything they just plain don't like and they're going to make academia, like always, the first victim of their new-old totaliatarianism.

  14. Jim Lawrence says:

    So black lesbians are the only people Harvard should admit?

  15. I wonder what universities in late 1930's Germany considered "academically just".

  16. She and Dennis Prager are light years apart.

  17. "If our university opposes Zionism, feminism, homosexualism, atheism, and infidelism, why should we put up with research that counters our goals simply in the name of academic freedom."- Miss Korn's counterparts in Saudi Arabia and Iran, translated into English from Arabic and Farsi

  18. Bruce Oja says:

    Korn flakes anybody?

  19. The 'poison ivy league' in full bloom! I thank her for admitting liberalism is countered by the truth.

  20. Robert Kruck says:

    My takeaways from the Sandra Korn story are that Liberals are Stalinist thugs, and that the only Constitution Liberals believe in is the Soviet Constitution circa 1935.

  21. Judy Savage Hart says:

    i always thought you went to college to expand your mind, and learn something to enable you to get a job. guess she missed on each of these (autocorreted to leaching, how apt).

  22. Another Nazi Leftist from a college! That's it America keep voting for leftist

  23. Keep voting for Democrats like Schumer and Pelosi who think like this idiot

  24. Gal Murphy says:

    This gal is channeling Hitler, his philosophy and propaganda machine.

  25. Reed Smith says:

    Yet another useful idiot for the left and Islamists….the poster child for the nouveau leftist-facists on college campuses; so much for the havaaad education.

  26. John Harvey says:

    I kept trying to read Korn's piece as satirical, but it seems to be sincere. It is vile.

  27. Seth Balaban says:

    Her arrogance is truly chilling…

  28. John Bball says:

    Why is it that ugly women take gender studies classes? Are attractive women born with the necessary knowledge that the unattractive lack? Maybe a social justice study could be done, by a university??

  29. David Eaton says:

    Paraphrasing Stravinsky, she's lost in abyss of progressive perfidy. The frightening thing is that she sounds a bit like those in power who want news organizations vetted for what they choose to report, or who suggest that state AGs pick and choose what laws they want to enforce.

  30. Doug Browne says:

    I fear for good,honest dialogue and debate;not cant that is being espoused in our citadels of higher learning.The Progressive ideals,as always look good on paper and make us feel good but the ramifications of these policies are never really thought through.Satayana told us about the lessons of History and we're not listening.

  31. Doug Browne says:

    Michael D Blum Well how about Michael putting words in your mouth.I agree Savage is not representative of true Conservatism so don't paint with such a broad brush,pal!

  32. I would pity her, but her views are so sardonic that I can't do that.

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