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The Forum > Article Comments > Universities strongholds of minority sectarian views > Comments

Universities strongholds of minority sectarian views : Comments

By Gregory Melleuish, published 16/1/2006

Greg Melleuish argues universities' opposition is making them irrelevant as national institutions.

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Are you saying anything or just the mouthing off at the evil none right wing Christians and heaven forbid none Christians. Right wing Christians groups stopped being involved in Unis when faith based positions became less and less main stream. Now it may be that your church has got alot of Christians in it on a Sunday morning but most of us arenít anymore let alone right wings. The fact is right wing nutters don't do well at reality based places like secular Uni's. Unions by their very nature are left wing.
Posted by Kenny, Monday, 16 January 2006 10:54:38 AM
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"It has to include within itself as broad a range of intellectual positions as is feasible. Unfortunately in the recent past this often meant a full range of Marxist ideologies from Stalinism to Trotskyism to Maoism. More recently feminism and postmodernism have been added to this list."

Okay, first of all, is it not a contradiction in terms to firstly say that Unis 'must' include a 'broad range' of positions, and then proceed to critise Unis for having people who look at less mainstream ideas? Isn't the POINT of Unis that they are able to look at ideas that are less than popular? Thus providing a measure of intellectual critque to public life? And sure, many of my professors at uni (only two years ago) were hyper-critical of our society and the government of the day, but some of them were very pro the current arrangements. My partner, who was studying economics, certainly never found much criticism of the current arrangements. There are as many right-wing people in Unis as there are left-wing, I believe that the 'lefties' just get more press as their views are more unusual, therefore more news-worthy than those people who are singing the same song as everyone else.

Further, I fail to see how universities trying to attract as many women as men is 'pandering'. Hello? Women make up 50% of our world. Should we not be hearing from them as well as men? So what if they are 'as lefty' as men. They are also 'as righty' in many cases.

Also, the article lumps 'feminism' is with 'marxism' (and therefore implicitly derides it as a 'failed theory')- well, feminism is the REASON why women are even able to attend universities. It is not a failed ideology, it has been highly successful in Australian society. It is the reason that women are able to study, work, independantly purchase property, and have an indpendent legal status separate to that of their husbands, brothers or fathers. Hardly a crazy non-mainstream idea.

That said, postmodernism was the bane of my university life!
Posted by Laurie, Monday, 16 January 2006 11:15:27 AM
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Is it just me or are others tiring of these pieces that argue for liberalisation but fail to comprehend how liberal our universities actually are. Is this another case of individuals projecting their own inabilty to engage with the diversity and liberal culture that surrounds them? And who would define when liberalism is achieved and what would it look like in our universities? Would it be Greg Melleuish and Imre Salusinszky and their mutal birch whipping lonely guy club? Yes to all the above. And how boring is this.
Posted by LEO, Monday, 16 January 2006 12:21:49 PM
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Excellent article. Once, academics were respected and listened to.

Not any more!
Posted by Leigh, Monday, 16 January 2006 12:28:52 PM
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Laurie

Your experiences at uni correspond with mine. There were just as many pro-right as left.

And it was an absolute joy to interact with such a diversity of opinions in such an open and supportive environment.

We were encouraged to think. I believe that this is the great fear of those who prefer people not to question - the ability to think for ourselves.

As a woman I also have benefited and continue to do so from feminism.

I don't see why Greg is so concerned now that uni is no longer available to all - a predominately right-wing bias will be fostered.
Posted by Scout, Monday, 16 January 2006 12:32:20 PM
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Greg Melleuish asserts that "...many academics, especially in the humanities and social sciences, came to understand their role [in universities] as being in perpetual opposition to the mainstream of national life".

Over time, he states, this group [sic] somehow came to dominate Australian universities with "dire consequences" for our universities as a whole. Melleuish does not explain how these academics became a group (but it sounds suitably sinister) and how they managed to weave such a spell over these institutions and how they operated to exclude "those who have a more positive outlook" (I wonder how the two 'groups' are defined - and is there a list we can all peruse?).

Nor does he explain how such "dire consequences" for Australian universities at large could have come about when he asserts that the "stranglehold of the disaffected and dyspeptic" exists specifically in "many key areas of the humanities and social sciences". He makes no claims for other fields of study.

Apart from the breathtaking flaws in the argument (you'd need to take breaths when you're in a stranglehold) Melleuish offers no research evidence - no evidence of any kind - to support his wild assertions.

Looks to me like just another of those tiresome tracts bloggers trot out over a quiet weekend? Get a life man!
Posted by FrankGol, Monday, 16 January 2006 12:37:21 PM
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