China is the once great society to break with this general acceptance, and we don't know whether this is only the alteration of a few years. At that point, one may well see the university as only the soft underbelly of the society. He is in middle school and already is annoyed. If this was a failure, of course the chief blame must rest on the faculty. The fortunate middle-class youth, with strong emotional and ideological reasons to oppose violently our war in Vietnam, could escape as long as they stayed in college, just as prisoners could escape as long as they were in jail. Some members of the department preferred to move the course elsewhere, into social sciences. Many government schools remain vacant because of lack of maintenance and dearth of students.
I have often been surprised by the degree to which the work of the universities is common across radically different political frontiers. Lipset the liberal sociologist of pluralism, now at Harvard , and Philip Selznick the Berkeley sociologist who was to become one of the strong defenders of student protest at Berkeley were linked in defending dissident members of Harry Bridges' union in San Francisco and in attacking what they considered the Communist proclivities of various groups in the Bay Area. This period prepares one to face the challenges better and enables one to succeed in life. It is important that he must develop his own opinion based on the facts available. They should not be allowed to take active part in the politics of the country and play tools in the hands of senior politicians who serve their political ends by instigating them. Or we had forgotten the answers.
But these did not justify the faculty in its failure to analyze and argue with the radical demands, and in giving up positions it had just adopted. But then the question is how do we do it? It could be seen when, for example, Berkeley radicals sat down in front of trains bringing recruits to the Oakland induction station. The students should not be allowed to take active part in politics. Could one really believe that these attractive young people, many of whom had risked their lives in the South, who had taken up so many causes without concern for their own personal future, themselves carried any possible danger to free speech, free teaching, free research? Students have nothing to do with the politics of the country and they have to devote their full attention to their physical, mental, intellectual and spiritual growth. Sociology is almost as badly off.
In conclusion, it is true that politics has disadvantages to students. Students will be cleansed of what is perceived as a taboo. The students are also a part of our society that is our body. Students get biased and sidelined by politicians; they are also engaged in chaos and forced to identify themselves with certain political identities. Students are the backbone of the society and if they are not brought up properly, the future of the society will be darkened. There were some excuses even for the atom bombs of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
It wishes to alienate students from their society and government to the point that they do not consider how it can be reformed, how it can be changed, how it can be prevented from making mistakes and doing evil, but only how people can be made to hate it. Instead, they were given an open field and all possible facilities for spreading their view of the world, a view that to my mind is deficient in logic, based on ignorance and passion, contradictory, committed to unattainable aims, and one in which a free university could not possibly operate. While he is not expected to remain passive in the face of criminalization of politics, dismantling of democratic organizations, corruption, communalism and casteism, he should not indulge in factional or partisan politics, or give into the unjust directions of senior party leaders. The students played an important role in the life of country of that time. It is not surprising that these crooked politicians should target the innocent gullible students in schools and colleges to further their own selfish motives. But these academic institutions which accommodate the students do. Behind that there was a more basic disagreement.
Such political participation by the students would ensure more awareness and better governance. They think that students ought to be well versed in politics because they are the future leaders of the country. Finally, students work alongside a faculty mentor as part of their Senior Assignment project that completes their graduation requirements. They undoubtedly felt guilty because those with whom they wanted to be allied, whom they hoped to help, had to go and fight in Vietnam. There were of course administration failures, too, in not consulting sufficiently widely with students and faculty, and perhaps in calling the police. One's attitude toward it, the role of students within it, and the danger of its possible destruction, as a collection of physical facilities and as an institution, can scarcely be determined without attention to these larger questions.
Space is given or rented for all sorts of noneducational purposes on the campus—religious, athletic, social, and so on. At Berkeley, the liberal split on Vietnam replicated the liberal split on student rebellion in the university and was paralleled by splits on the question of the summer riots and the whole problem of black violence. Such people are also mistaken. Modern critics who are of opinion that students should be kept away from politics forget that our society within organic concepts can only advance. The power of radical thinking hen I say we were wrong, I mean that we never dreamed that a radical critique of American society and government could develop such enormous power, to the point where it becomes simply the new convention. Thus, it was suggested, other social relations courses would be disrupted in protest.
Behind that there was a more basic disagreement. Therefore the students' participation in politics should be limited only to the academic interest and acquisition of knowledge of working of various political systems. It is only when one approaches the social sciences that the cross-political scientific validity of research and teaching can successfully be challenged, for we do find enormous variations between social science under one political outlook and another. All these explained how the world operated, and we failed to answer effectively. Sociology is almost as badly off. Is it justified to eliminate politics to stop violence or should it be the other way round? Where we were overwhelmingly powerful—as against Spain in 1898—there was no occasion or opportunity or capacity to engage in such horrible destruction; where we were horribly destructive—as in Europe and Japan in 1944 and 1945—it was against powerful opponents who had, in the eyes of most Americans, well merited destruction. In these cases and especially in government colleges a prime reason for such violence was the manner in which the management responded to it.
There is a realm of scholarship beyond political stands and divisions. Universities are almost always to some extent independent one wonders, though, about Russia, China, and Cuba , but their insatiable demands for resources inevitably impose on them the need to relate themselves to the major concerns and interests of the society. The trustees of the University of California may deny credit to a course in which Eldridge Cleaver is the chief lecturer, but radical students in many places including campuses of the University of California have effectively intimidated professors so they cannot give courses they were prepared to give. Violence is extolled in the New York Review of Books, which began with only literary ambitions; Tom Hayden, who urges his audiences to kill policemen, is treated as a hero by Esquire; Eldridge Cleaver merits an adulatory Playboy interview; and so it goes, all the way, I imagine, down to Eye. The radicals are now joined by the liberals. . The government of our country must strive to ensure that all the children below 14 years of age are given basic elementary education.
Those of us who by December, 1964, had decided the free-speech issue was solved, and was then spurious, considered these two issues the dominant ones; those who opposed us thought we were ridiculously exaggerating the most distant possible dangers to free speech, free research, and free teaching. But the disruption and violence, even if they produce reforms, will in the end, I believe, produce a society that we would find less human than the unreformed society. Or maybe schools will even someday find it within themselves to clean house and rid themselves of departments that prove unable or unwilling to maintain some standards of scholarship. Let us see how far it is desirable or otherwise for the students to be in politics. The split between liberals and radicals e have to examine this moment in American history with the greatest care if we are ever to understand what happened afterward, why Berkeley 1964 did not remain an isolated incident, and why the nascent split that appeared there between liberals and radicals became a chasm which has divided American intellectuals more severely even than the issue of Stalinism and Communism in the thirties and forties.