May 28, 2005

The Robinson-Zywicki Agenda

Cons, no need to read this one; most of you are already well aware of what, behind all the distorted rhetoric, you were fighting for in the last Dartmouth Trustee election. Whom I hope this post reaches are a few fairly moderate Dartmouth students and alumni out there who might not understand that there is indeed a battle being waged for American universities, that the only thing preventing it from being an all-out war is a strategic quietness by the aggressor in this war, the intellectual Right. For example, I once had a conversation with Colin Barry, president of The Dartmouth, about the petition candidates while the contest was still in its early stages. Though the D's editorials made it clear that Colin and the other editors at the D did not support Zywicki and Robinson, Colin was very skeptical when I explained how Dartmouth was target # 1 in the crosshairs of the cons' War on Liberal Thought. I could tell he thought I was being a little tooo conspiratorial.

What will it take for people to realize just how subtly ruthless the Right is in its quest for domination of this nation at all levels and in all forms, and how a movement like the Robinson-Zywicki petition campaign -- cloaked in empty language of "Intellectual Diversity," "Liberal Bias," and " of "Free Speech" -- is in reality the culminating action of a massive operation focused on gaining power and wiping out most of the progressive gains this country has made in the 20th century?

Don't believe me? Go read this NYT article about the Olin Foundation (Notice the eerily uninformative website), perhaps the driving force behind the intellectual operations branch of the neo-conservative army. They are the "philanthropists" behind the Hoover Institution, the Heritage Foundation, the New Criterion, the Federalist Society, the economics departments at Harvard, Yale, and Chicago, The Closing of the American Mind, The End of History, the Dartmouth Review, and, essentially, the Robinson-Zywicki Trustee victory:

As for ideas, Mr. Piereson has a new one. He is hoping to start an initiative to counter liberal influence in academia. Liberal academics "don't like American capitalism, American culture, and they don't like American history - they see it as a history of oppression," he said. "There are some people who are prepared to spend large sums of money to address this problem."

The Olin Foundation, about to close down and make way for newer foundations of its kind, has provided $380 million dollars to fund the grass-roots Con Revolution of our time. And now we at Dartmouth can say we're reaping the benefits.


  1. I can confirm that the connection is very much there. Mara Rudman, of the Center for American Progress (and Dartmouth grad) told me last weekend over dinner that she suspects a large-scale campaign to get "rogue" trustees on boards of reputable colleges across the country. She believes they see Dartmouth as a starting point, given its conservative history. In short, be very afraid.

  2. Anonymous12:18 AM

    uh... so what's the problem with conservative alumni voting in less liberal trustees again? Heaven forbid we let the alumni choose who they want running the college - heaven forbid we give people an actual choice! The crazy rabble might elect someone who doesn't fit in with our self-selected worldview!

    As a Dartmouth grad, I can't see the starting point - the target #1 - in a nationwide conspiracy. Why? Because no one outside of the NE gives a shit about a small college in New Hampshire. Try as the Buzzflood might want, the name will never have the national recognition of just about every other Ivy. So why start there? Maybe - just maybe - this election was about conservative and moderate alumni who don't like the current direction of the school, who don't like the current state of athletic affairs, and who don't like the possibility of a speech code - or even a whif of one - being in place who voted for a change. Isn't that a lot more likely?

  3. Anonymous2:31 AM


    I think it was hasty of you to put The Closing of the American mind in the same category as the other 'con' organizations. Allan Bloom was a Jewish, gay academic who died of AIDS. Not exactly your standard red state demographic. Plus, his book is concerned about saving intellectual liberalism not in getting Republicans into office, despite how many conservatives (many of whom obviously didn't read the book) revered it. If Pierson was trying to 'defend capitalism' he failed in funding a book that is unabashedly keen on academia as such-- not as a means to influence legislation or whatever.

    Nick Desai

  4. Anonymous11:02 AM

    "Allan Bloom was a Jewish, gay academic who died of AIDS."

    We didn't know that Bloom was gay until he died of AIDS. It kind of makes you wonder about what he actually *said* in his book. So don't give us that crap, Nick.

    It fits in fine. Perhaps it is a better quality product, but it fits in fine. -Tim

  5. Anonymous11:37 AM

    Ha - this is a laugh. In the same NYT article the amount of leftist dollars was far in excess of so called conservative dollars.

    Still, the question of Dartmouth is interesting. It has obviously been co-opted by the far left, and so the alumni are a natural counterweight. These elections would have been going on for 30 years had the right had any kind of organization, but in fact, unlike the paranoid author if this article, most people correctly observed that the moderate-right has been lazy and disorganized, allowing the left to shut them out of representation.

    R-Z - a breath of fresh air!

  6. Anonymous2:29 AM

    btw- If you're saying that PR and TZ were *elected* because of the VRWC, I'd like to see evidence of that. I'm less skeptical of the idea that the right-wing activists will try to coordinate efforts to duplicate and spread this result across the country, because that is what they said they'd like to do (see National Review, for example, I believe). -Tim

  7. Anonymous7:05 PM

    "It kind of makes you wonder about what he actually *said* in his book."

    Here's a neat way to discover what Prof. Blooom actually *said*: read the book.

    -Nick Desai

  8. Nick- I didn't say it makes you wonder WHAT he actually said. I said it makes you wonder ABOUT what he actually said.

  9. And since you're the expert Nick, what does said book by Bloom say about Homosexuality? (and if you like, tell me if you think there is an explicity message and an underlying obscure message.)

  10. First, Timothy, let me challenge you to rise to practice of actually typing what you mean, so you don't have to indignantly sputter that what you REALLY meant was...

    And anyway-- Bloom is pretty enamored with Plato and his style of teaching and thinking throughout "Closing." Socrates enjoyed pederasty with his students a lot, and apparently so did Bloom. Sex for knowledge and that sort of thing. References to Bloom's own life throughout the book are few and far between-- it's an essay about the Western intellect, not a tell-all. People-- acquaintances, colleagues-- knew Prof. Bloom said his homosexuality was well-known. So read the book.

  11. Gee, I haven't been part of a vast right wing conspiracy in decades, and I didn't even know it. Where is my cut of the lobbying pie?