Why Harvey Mansfield Is Unique

This is an excerpt from an essay in The American Conservative by
Patrick Deneen on the Harvard Crimson column by Harvard senior S.V. Korn,”The Doctrine of Academic Freedom” which argued for dispensing with longstanding commitments to “academic freedom” in favor of what she calls “academic justice.”


What is particularly telling in Ms. Korn’s article is that
she identifies perhaps the one conspicuous conservative professor on the Harvard campus for censure, Harvey C. Mansfield (even as she quotes him quite severely out of context). When thinking of who should be silenced at Harvard, she can only think of one person, a single conservative octogenarian. Her call for
“censorship” of conservative views on campus is at this point almost wholly unnecessary, since there are nearly no conservatives to be found at Harvard, or on most college campuses today (the University of Colorado has gone so far to create a Chair in Conservative Studies, since there was no other way to locate
a conservative on that campus). Her call is actually much less controversial than it appears at first glance, since it effectively describes the de facto political and social condition on most college campuses today.


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