Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Scholarship Causing Politics

Instead of Rightist notions about hippie crypto-communists flocking to the academy to subvert our youth, it may be that the act of scholarly inquiry encourages thinking liberally. For the historian Jeffrey L. Pasley, studying the origins and functions of Social Security has led him to more vigorously support it as an institution and a pillar of our society, largely because "Social Security was phenomenally successful in making the formerly chronic problem of widespread dependence and indigence among the elderly a distant memory for most Americans." It's an inspiring piece of writing, one which by rights should have a heavy impact on the current debates about academic freedom and the politics of scholarship.


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