Thomas Jefferson and academic freedom

Thomas Jefferson’s Conception of ‘Academic Freedom’ and Its Current Condition in American Higher Education

Garrett Ward Sheldon
The John Morton Beaty Professor of Political and Social Sciences, The University of Virginia’s College at Wise.

‘Here we are not afraid to follow the truth wherever it may lead, nor to tolerate any error, so long as reason is left free to combat it.’ -Thomas Jefferson

THOMAS JEFFERSON’S CONCEPTION OF ‘Academic Freedom’ became the standard of modern intellectual progress in America and the world. Its components of both individual freedom of inquiry in expression and debate along with lively, free and tolerant academic community were seen as essential to all other forms of progress: political, economic, social and ethical. This Jeffersonian ideal of Academic Freedom in the university and all its positive effects on the rest of American Society has come under assault throughout history from religious bigotry, social intolerance, and political ideology, most recently from the federal government’s expansion of the Title IX law during the past six years. It almost destroyed university knowledge and learning, the lively academic community as well as their attendant social and personal benefits. Continue reading “Thomas Jefferson and academic freedom”

Vatican II’s (lost) condemnations of communism

 

LifeSite Editor’s note: The lost condemnations of communism prepared for the Second Vatican Council but later discarded and forgotten are now being made available to the public in an English translation for the first time by LifeSiteNews.

The translations, by LifeSite’s Matthew Cullinan Hoffman, are based on the drafts of documents contained in the official acts of the council’s preparatory commissions.

The documents contain an extensive plan for a coordinated and global effort to counteract the influence of Marxism and communism worldwide and “shatter its audacity.” However, following the takeover of the council’s commissions by the ultra-liberal “Rhine group” bishops, the condemnations were discarded and all attempts to explicitly condemn communism and Marxism were rejected. Continue reading “Vatican II’s (lost) condemnations of communism”

The relevance today of the Spanish Civil War

Why should you care about the Spanish Civil War?

Short answer? Because somewhere out there, there’s a little rich kid arts student with a black mask in his wardrobe who wants to smash your head in with an iron bar, and he still thinks he’s fighting it.

If you’ve been paying attention to the extreme left, you may have noticed their preoccupation with the events of 1930s Spain. Especially amongst the black-clad Anarchist thugs both here in Australia and around the world, the symbols and slogans of the conflict are still regularly used in the weirdest of contexts. Read on (link below)

How the Spanish Civil War Began (and Why it Matters Today)

Mark Latham on Tony Abbott

The following article appeared in the Daily Telegraph 26 November 2017.  It is also on Mark Latham’s Outsiders website. It is sound advice for Turnbull whose vanity will be an immovable obstacle to following it. Latham could have added that the Liberal Party is in an existential crisis, and the only way it will survive will be to return to its Menzian origins. There is no one who embodies the spirit of Menzies’ original foundation than Tony Abbott. There is no one in the Liberal Party who possesses the same practical and theoretical knowledge of conservatism as Abbott. The conversation in the Liberal Party should not be how it can win the next election, but about how it will survive.

Turnbull’s Survival Depends Upon Abbott

After 40 years of being involved in politics, it’s still possible to witness amazing events.

On Saturday I was at the Australian Christian Nation Association conference in Burwood, in Sydney’s inner-west.

The keynote speaker was Tony Abbott, for whom the crowd went crazy, treating him like a political rock-star.

I’ve never seen anything like it.

With hundreds packed into the room, he received three standing ovations and a wild outpouring of love.

Continue reading “Mark Latham on Tony Abbott”

Facebook – policing our thoughts

It is another frightening  indication of how deeply Marxism or a Marxist mentality has penetrated Western Society.

Who would have dreamt in the 1960s during all that agitation about censorship that a social media company in the 21st century could take the role of the thought police. More Orwellian and nineteen-eighty-fourish would be hard to get.

There is no better example of the power some massive media organisations exert than the experiences of Cultural Watch’s Bill Muehlenberg on his FB page. He wrote about his recent go-to-jail incident on his website under ‘Come Visit Me in Prison’. Such cases are chilling in their reach and ease of action.

That Knighthood and Tony Abbott’s ideas on cultural links

Media commentators in Australia who describe themselves as conservative or are described by others as conservative joined the media frenzy in response to Tony Abbott’s awarding a knighthood to Prince Philip. In the main, the reasons for their outrage and ferocious criticism of Abbott were the same as those of the leftist media whom they generally execrate. How could this be?

Their reasons were a sufficient explanation, they appeared to imply. Abbott was returning to the colonial past; the awards were anachronistic; Abbot was fatally enamoured of the Royal Family and the monarchy; the award was totally inappropriate on Australia Day; it was an insult to Australia and Australians; and so it went on in that vein. Continue reading “That Knighthood and Tony Abbott’s ideas on cultural links”

‘Core’ vs. ‘non-core promise’ is a legitimate distinction

During his long term as Australia’s prime minister (1996-2007), John Howard made a distinction between promises or undertakings that were ‘core’ and those that were ‘non-core’. He made the distinction in response to an accusation that he had gone back on an undertaking.  Some undertakings, he said, have to be reversed because of changed circumstances. It seemed an unexceptionable explanation, but the words had hardly passed his lips when a howling of abuse, ridicule and scorn arose from the Left like a cloud of red dust blowing in from the outback. The ABC/Fairfax coalition went to town, confident that such an absurd declaration by a conservative they hated just a touch less than Tony Abbott would give them years of fun. Indeed, their confidence was not misplaced. Continue reading “‘Core’ vs. ‘non-core promise’ is a legitimate distinction”

Tony Abbott and the Left’s postmodernist fog

Questions continue to be raised about Tony Abbott’s political position. One leftist critic from his student days said no one knew what Abbott ‘stood for’. Others, including a well-known political commentator, have questioned his conservative credentials. In 2013, I took up the question of Abbott’s political philosophy in a commentary on David Marr’s 2012 fictive piece on Abbott in The Quarterly Essay, for which he won a literary award. I reproduce it here, revised and updated.

The first two sentences in David Marr’s 2012 postmodernist essay on Tony Abbott (Tony Abbott: The Making of a Political Animal) read: ‘Australia doesn’t want Tony Abbott. We never have.’

Postmodernism is all about free-flowing fantasy where the rules of reason (normally understood) are thrown out the window as remnants of rigid oppressive patriarchy. In these two sentences we have a wonderful example. Australia for David Marr is identified with Marr’s class – that superior class made up of fervid homosexual and feminist activists gallantly in the vanguard of the Left’s long march through our institutions. The rest of us are homophobic non-persons who, if justice prevailed, would be put outside the walls. Continue reading “Tony Abbott and the Left’s postmodernist fog”