“The Communists disdain to conceal their views and aims. They openly declare that their ends can be attained only by the forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions.” Karl Marx
If there is one subject that shows the bias of college campus liberals more than any other, it is the Vietnam War. Many university professors of today were radical anti-war students in the 1960’s, and the habit of condemning America’s role in Vietnam seems to only harden with age. It is perhaps not surprising that when a radical group of the sixties holds a reunion, they hold it on a college campus, and the attendees include lots of modern day university faculty members.
A modern-day student whose only knowledge of Vietnam comes from mainstream history books and classroom lectures will inevitably be led to share the perspective of the left wing radicals who write most of the books, and give most of the lectures. According to standard textbook portrayals, the people of North Vietnam were perfectly happy living under Communism in the fifties and sixties, and the folks trapped in anti-Communist South Vietnam envied their Northern neighbors. The Americans, according to this view, came in as aggressors, in violation of an international treaty, and killed and terrorized a lot of innocent people in an attempt to deny the Vietnamese people the form of government they craved.
The truth is very different.
“I am for socialism, disarmament and ultimately for abolishing the state itself as an instrument of violence and compulsion. I seek the social ownership of property, the abolition of the propertied class and sole control by those who produce wealth. Communism is, of course, the goal.” ACLU founder Roger Baldwin, 1935
The left wing bias prevalent on college history faculties colors just about everything that shows up in mainstream history books. Textbook portrayals of Joseph McCarthy, for example, are very negative because liberals, including the great majority of university history professors, view McCarthy with hostility. The beneficiaries of this bias are persons and groups whom liberals view with favor.
One such group is the American Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU’s leaders and admirers are always claiming that the group exists to protect the individual rights of all Americans, without any political bias; but the claim is disingenuous. In reality the agenda of the ACLU is very similar to that of any other left wing group.
“Freedom of thought and expression is the bedrock principle on which all university activity is based.” (From the rather disingenuous mission statement of the University of Oregon)
This is the third in a series of columns about the moral values of the political Left. Part I addressed the left wing idea that corporate profits are a sin. Part II is about the leftist belief that “the ends justify the means.” Today’s column will look at another central tenet of liberal ethics: that conservative ideas and arguments are so inherently evil that they should be silenced by force.
Conservatives and liberals believe in different moral codes, and one ethical area where the differences are especially striking is the ethics of free speech. According to the traditional Judeo-Christian ethics espoused by most conservatives, freedom of speech, for everyone, is a first principle. According to the ethical views of the left wing, on the other hand, only those who have the “right” views have a right to speak. Censoring conservative speech, according to this view, is the morally right thing to do.
“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive.” CS Lewis
In American politics, liberals often accuse conservatives of being not just wrong, but downright evil; and the accusation is true. It’s true, that is, if you accept the moral code that liberals use when they judge other people’s behavior.
There is no universally accepted code of Right and Wrong. An action can only be described as morally right or wrong when it is judged according to a set of moral standards, and we do not all use the same standards.
“Thou shalt not covet…anything that is thy neighbor’s.” God (As quoted in Exodus 20:17)
In American politics, conservatives often accuse liberals of taking positions that are morally wrong. Liberals throw the same accusation at conservatives. The argument is insoluble, because liberals and conservatives don’t believe in the same moral code.
“Right” and “wrong” are words that mean different things to different people. Muslims, for example, get their moral code from the Koran, which teaches that it is virtuous to kill or enslave all non-Muslim “infidels” anywhere they can be found. Politically conservative Americans (even those who are not Jews or Christians) tend to accept a Judeo-Christian moral code based more or less on Biblical principles.
For American liberals it is politics, rather than religion, that defines all the important moral issues.