Phi Beta Cons

Neocons in Academe

In Neoconservatism: An Obituary for an Idea, C. Bradley Thompson credits neocons for fighting

a matchless intellectual war against the practices of America’s tenured radicals. They have been trenchant critics of the major ideas that have dominated America’s universities since the 1960s, such as nihilism, relativism, historicism, and egalitarianism; they have been on the front lines of the culture war, opposing intellectual trends such as feminism, multiculturalism, environmentalism, postmodernism, deconstructionism and political correctness; and they have challenged the intellectual integrity of politically correct academic programs such as women’s, black, Latino, and queer studies … .

Agreeing with this assessment, Mal Kline nonetheless takes issue with neocons for being all too receptive to the collectivistic, paternalistic welfare state. He laments, justifiably, that students are not being given a true picture of classic conservatism, because the conservatives most likely to be employed on campuses are of neocon persuasion.

Candace de Russy — Candace de Russy is a nationally recognized expert on education and cultural issues.

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