YOU LEFT THE FIELD OF IDEAS to people like me to be corrupted, while you went off to make money, " said Ellsworth Toohey to his former boss Gale Wynand in Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead. The Toohey character represents the liberal intelligentsia. Wynand represents the country club Republican.
This one statement by a fictional character articulates the present social, political, and cultural state of America, where the liberal intelligentsia has corrupted the field of ideas. They have accomplished this so thoroughly that they have nearly rewritten history and science to conform to their doctrine.
It was only last week that the media corrupted the history of Supreme Court opinion concerning the Second Amendment. The media, even putative conservative media such as Fox News and Alan Keyes distorted the judicial interpretation to be consistent with the propaganda of the guncontrol lobby. Propaganda was disseminated as the gospel truth.
However, this is just one example.
A few months ago, Michael Bellesiles published a book called Arming America, which received the prestigious Bancroft Award for history books. Bellesiles claimed that Americans did not own many guns in the early years of the republic and therefore the Second Amendment is bogus. Of course, this was well received by gun control zealots. Peer reviewers said that this book was the greatest thing since sliced bread. However, there was one problem. Bellesiles’ claimed his evidence came from probate records, records that did not exist. Was Bellesiles lying or ignorant?
A textbook used in my crime theory graduate course, written by PhDs (one of whom was the chair of the Sociology Department and the other the Dean of the University) contains erroneous political commentary presented as fact. The authors state that Reagan conducted," a war on the poor, " and that Reagan cut funding for Project Head Start. The fact is that Reagan’s Head Start budget increased every year except 1985 and the budget doubled it in 1986. Were the authors lying or ignorant?
While doing research for my thesis I accessed the website of a professor from a college in Texas. The professor posted notes from a lecture on whitecollar crime, part of which concerned environmental crime. This is a quote from the website:
Whitecollar crime can describe situations where companies or individuals knowingly … (and illegally) pollute the environment. Neglect of worker safety requirements may also be considered whitecollar crime. Chemical companies, coalmines, and asbestos operations …experience high rates of death while (they) make profit. Remember the Dioxin that was sprayed on streets of Times Beach, Missouri? Remember Love Canal? ….Dioxin is one of the most toxic substances known to human beings. Three ounces can kill one million people. Deaths that result from corporate neglect should be considered "murder by neglect."
The statement about three ounces of Dioxin being able to poison one million people sounded incredible to me. I emailed Nigel Walker Ph.D. of the Laboratory of Computational Biology and Risk Analysis Environmental Toxicology Program, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and asked if three ounces of Dioxin could poison three million people. Dr. Walker’s reply was:
It is a hypothetical question and indeed I find that hard to believe too. I’m not sure where this number comes from….Three ounces divided over a lifetime to a million people is somewhat higher than the acceptable intake. So some biological effects may occur but death is not likely one of them…. So the answer is that one may expect anywhere from none to maybe a thousand or so deaths (as an absolute worst case scenario) but the true answer is not known and may very well be zero.
Simply put, the Texas college professor did not tell the truth. All of his students now believe the myth that three ounces of Dioxin can poison a million peoplea myth he no doubt learned from an environmental advocacy group.
The History Channel normally shows a movie and then has various historians and other experts comment about the movie. Kenneth Jackson, the Chair of the History Department of Columbia University is one such commentator. He was analyzing a movie about a Hispanic Marine during WWII who spoke fluent Japanese and was instrumental during certain Pacific campaigns. Professor Jackson mentioned that the internment of Japanese was a racist policy. I emailed him and reminded him of several facts that would be contrary to that proposition. One was that the Japanese invaded American soil (Pearl Harbor). Jackson’s reply to me was that Pearl Harbor was not American soilit was a possession.
This would seem to be a distinction without a difference. Pearl Harbor was not American soil in 1941? Yet, Professor Jackson is a regarded historian and frequent commentator on TV. He is the Chairman of the History Department of an Ivy League University. What Professor Jackson says, many people believe.
What all these examples have in common is that each of the professors presented the liberal perspective about certain issues and only the liberal perspective. This perspective is often a mytha myth that has been debunkedby conservatives, by centrists or by honest liberals.
Indubitably, liberals have corrupted the "field of ideas" as Ellsworth Toohey said. They have controlled the opinion and ideamaking professions of the academy, the media, and the arts while conservatives were controlling the industries that supplied those professions. This not a recent phenomenon. I have read William Buckley carp that liberals controlled the media in the 1930s.
Unless more conservatives become members of what Robert Bork calls the "chattering classes" American society will become a totalitarian society. The "field of ideas" will eventually determine the culture of America.
There is a saying that nothing is as powerful as an idea whose time has comeand if conservatives don’t fight back, it could soon be the false, leftwing idea now taking root in our culture.