From www.truth-out.org, there’s an interesting op-ed essay by Henry A. Giroux titled “The Disappearing Intellectual in the Age of Economic Darwinism.” He assesses the impact of this trend on public conversation and policy-making in our democratic republic. Giroux really smacks “academics,” whom he says are not as a group responding to the shouters on the political right. He’s calling for more “public intellectuals” to join the fray, especially from the progressive side. He wants to see more academics like Prof. Bob in Lowell. Here’s a sample of his views:
One measure of the degree to which higher education has lost its moral compass can be viewed in the ways in which it disavows any relationship between equity and excellence, eschews the discourse of democracy and reduces its commitment to learning to the stripped down goals of either preparing students for the workforce or teaching them the virtues of measurable utility. While such objectives are not without merit, they have little to say about the role that higher education might play in influencing the fate of future citizens and the state of democracy itself, nor do they say much about what it means for faculty to be more than technicians or hermetic scholars.