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Imperialism for the Anti-Imperialist

We, the crack young staff of "The Hatemonger's Quarterly," have long argued that the stifling political conformity detectable on countless college campuses has a malign effect on education in this country. This is not, however, because left-wing professors succeed in indoctrinating countless college students. In reality, in order to be swayed, such students would need to show up to class, pay attention, and do their homework, and, quite frankly, that's too tough a task for most undergrads.

Yet surely the academic echo-chamber leads to demonstrable intellectual impoverishment. A perfect case in point is "How to Be a Good Neighbor," an op-ed in the July 8 number of The New York Times. Penned by one Greg Grandin, a history professor at New York University, this piece demonstrates striking obtuseness. In fact, if its author had ever shown the article to an academic who doesn't think exactly as he does, he would never have submitted it to the Gray Lady in the first place.

In short, Mr. Grandin hopes that the United States of America will meddle in the recent Mexican presidential election. You see, his clear candidate of choice, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, has lost in a squeaker to Felipe Calderon. And Mr. Grandin thinks that the "best thing the United States can do now is to support the push for a recount and to refrain from calling on Mr. Lopez Obrador to concede."

Quizzically, Mr. Grandin believes that this will earn the love of Mexico. Perhaps he thinks that, say, France sticking its nose into an American presidential election would yield great esteem for the French. Why do we doubt that?

So why would Mr. Grandin, the author of the tome Empire's Workshop: Latin America, the United States and the Rise of the New Imperialism, support such meddling? Don't academics braying about the US' role in Latin America typically excoriate American presidents for such hands-on treatment?

One shouldn't be terribly surprised to find out the answer. As Mr. Grandin sees it, Felipe Calderon is--horror of horrors!--a fan of the free market, and hence his term in office will deliver an increase in Mexican anti-Americanism. Because, as all academics outside of economics departments know, the free market can't work.

As a result, Mr. Grandin hopes that the US will support his beloved Mr. Lopez Obrador, whom he characterizes as "the center-left presidential candidate." "Center-left"? What the heck is this guy talking about?

According to an article by Enrique Krauze in The New Republic (which really is a center-left publication), Lopez Obrador is a dangerous radical whose anti-democratic messianism spooks many on the Mexican Left. Mr. Krauze writes:

...the most likely outcome of the [Mexican presidential] elections is still the triumph of Lopez Obrador. In that case, Mexican democracy will face a new and momentous challenge. "Anointed" by the people, as he will no doubt experience his election, Lopez Obrador could be tempted to dissolve democratic institutions, including the ban on reelection--in a single blow or little by little. This certainly seems to be the worry of Cuauhtemoc Cardenas, the historic leader of the Mexican Left. Recently, Cardenas made clear to me in a conversation that he does not dismiss the possibility of his old disciple's perpetuation in power.

Ah, so this makes Mr. Grandin's argument clear: He favors America butting into the Mexican election (a little bit of beneficial imperialism, that) in order to elect a new Hugo Chavez. This, we are told, will stave off anti-Americanism in Mexico, rather than the election of a less anti-American candidate, whom, it seems, the majority of voting Mexicans actually favor.

As George Orwell once quipped, some ideas are so stupid you have to be an intellectual to believe them.

(Note: The crack young staff normally "weblog" over at "The Hatemonger's Quarterly," where they are currently urging Mrs. Greg Grandin to divorce her husband, in hopes that it will earn Mr. Grandin's eternal devotion.)


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Imperialism for the Anti-Imperialist:

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Comments (11)

It's a shame how damned dum... (Below threshold)

It's a shame how damned dumb you can be and still be a college professor in today's America. Guess if you hold the "proper" leftist views, the rest of the faculty leftists always vote for tenure. Why would they suddenly start scrutinizing actual credentials? That could start a trend that might come home to roost.

Besides, it would clearly discriminate against the likes of Ward Churchill - no doubt one of Grandin's role models.

Obrador would be an unmitigated catastrophe for Mexico AND the USA. As their economy continued to underperform, his socialist policies would drive it to the brink of collapse - and drive many millions MORE Mexicans to seek better opportunity elsewhere.

And just WHERE would they look for that chance? Hmmm . . . the Gulf, the Pacific, Guatemala, or the USA . . . tough choice for them, doncha think?


Typical Whizpee, attends a ... (Below threshold)

Typical Whizpee, attends a leftist college and then denegrades it.

Just like bush and harvard...

Ooo man that wasn't a liberal ivey league college was it?

"Penned by one Greg Gran... (Below threshold)

"Penned by one Greg Grandin, a history professor at New York University, this piece demonstrates striking obtuseness."

What a clever way of saying that you you are too dull to understand what he's saying.

The point is Moot. Bush already recognized Calderon.

Sure, it was the wrong thing to do, but you gotta love Georgie - he's the anti-intellectual's best friend:

U.S. President George Bush, speaking on the SCOTUS decision re: Guantanamo:

Press Conference by the President
Museum of Science and Industry
Chicago, Illinois
10:00AM CST Friday July 7, 2006 - Transcript (html)

"I am willing to abide by the ruling of the Supreme Court. And the Supreme Court said that in this particular case when it comes to dealing with illegal combatants, who were picked up off a battlefield and put in Guantanamo for the sake of our security, that we should work with the United States Congress to develop a way forward. They didn't [say] we couldn't have done -- made that decision, see. They were silent on whether or not Guantanamo -- whether or not we should have used Guantanamo. In other words, they accepted the use of Guantanamo, the decision I made. What they did say was, in terms of going forward, what should the court system look like? How can we use a military commission or tribunal?... "

"And we'll work with the United States Congress....I have been waiting for this decision in order to figure out how to go forward....I stand by the decision I made in removing these people from the battlefield....Some need to be tried, and the fundamental question is, how do we try them? And so, in working with the Supreme -- in listening to the Supreme Court, we'll work with Congress to achieve that objective..."

"But the idea of making the decision about creating Guantanamo in the first place was upheld by the courts. Or let's say, the courts were silent on it."

Now that's obtuse.

On the contrary, Grandin's ... (Below threshold)

On the contrary, Grandin's piece is quite 'obtuse' and unreasoned. Having read it, I assure you this is so.

On the other hand, Bush is saying that he disapproves of the SCOTUS decision, but he will abide by it, and work with Congress to formulate a constitutional form for military commissions.

Perhaps, Lee, you are the one who is too dull to understand what he is saying.

"....As Mr. Grandin sees it... (Below threshold)

"....As Mr. Grandin sees it, Felipe Calderon is--horror of horrors!--a fan of the free market, and hence his term in office will deliver an increase in Mexican anti-Americanism....."

Shouldn't this read "...a DEcrease in Mexican anti-Americanism..."?

"....As Mr. Grandi... (Below threshold)
"....As Mr. Grandin sees it, Felipe Calderon is--horror of horrors!--a fan of the free market, and hence his term in office will deliver an increase in Mexican anti-Americanism....."

Shouldn't this read "...a DEcrease in Mexican anti-Americanism..."?

Not thinking right, trapped. You see, implimenting free-market reforms on the fairly statist Mexican economy,will cause systemic poverty. And we all know that systemic poverty caused by failures of the free market, is the principal cause* of anti-Americanism-- especially among tenured professors.


*Aside from Dear Leader Bush, of course.

Lee's not to dull he's to "... (Below threshold)

Lee's not to dull he's to "dumb".

Let the record show that so... (Below threshold)
Totally Matt:

Let the record show that some conservative idiot brought up Ward Churchill again, and that he continues to be of great importance for a significant number of straw-men-punchin' cons while never having made an impact on the lives of any liberal that any liberal I know has ever met.

Multiply the number of professors in the U.S. by about 1 or 2 and you get the number of academic publications per year. If you find less than five thousand laughably stupid essays or books, I'd be amazed. But if you find less than fifty thousand very well-reasoned and researched papers/studies/books, you aren't looking hard enough.

The conservative crusade against the intelligentsia is quixotic and hilarious.

jhow66, you're calling some... (Below threshold)
Totally Matt:

jhow66, you're calling someone "dumb" but you can't spell "too". Infer the intent of this post as you will.

"Felipe Calderon is--horror... (Below threshold)

"Felipe Calderon is--horror of horrors!--a fan of the free market..."

Is he now? By this I take it you mean that marvelous vehicle of free trade, NAFTA? How easily you are swayed by happy phrases like "free trade," when in reality, the agreement is a subsidies and protectionist racket.

There is a very good reason why Obrador is as popular in Mexico as he is. NAFTA has decimated Mexican farmers with heavily subsidized corn from the US. Federal subsidies of US farmers and one-way tariffs on Mexican corn hardly sounds like free trade to me. And I suspect you wouldn't know an actual free market if it smacked you on the side of the head.

Clue in.

Hmmm.1. <blockquot... (Below threshold)



jhow66, you're calling someone "dumb" but you can't spell "too". Infer the intent of this post as you will.

Frankly every twit that uses spelling as means of attacking is very often hoisted themselves for their own spelling mistakes. Which they then whine often and loudly that people shouldn't judge them by their own occasional mistakes.

Unless you're prepared to never make a spelling mistake ever, then I'd suggest you avoid things like this.


The conservative crusade against the intelligentsia is quixotic and hilarious.

"Intelligensia" eh? This is the same "intelligensia" that occasioned a University of Arizona professor to threaten Jeff Goldstein's child? This is the same "intelligensia" that had to have their noses rubbed heavily into the dog poo that was Ward Churchill's supposed scholarship? The same "intelligensia" that bought into the utter fiction that Ward Churchill was a native american when actual native americans spent the past twenty years yelling that he wasn't a native american at all? The same "intelligensia" that cannot comprehend that cutting taxes can invigorate an economy and result in higher taxable receipts?

The same "intelligensia" that is so completely incapable of defending it's own corrupted and diseased principles that it has to rely upon authoritarian machinations in order to preserve itself?


BTW most conservatives have little issue with the academia associated with the "hard" sciences and those disciplines that must produce students grounded in reality and not idiot theory. It's the other kind that most conservatives have problems with.

You know. The political science twits. Or the whack-nuts in sociology and other such ilk.

3. Frankly ALMO sounds like a complete nutcase. Mexico is a big enough problem with the current leadership. Having a socialist with an established history of cherry picking what laws he will or will not obey is not something that evinces a lot of confidence.

IMHO if ALMO gets into office we can probably expect nationalisation of American assets in Mexico. Nonsensical demands on America to provide money, without either limitations or requirement to repay, for whatever perceived slights that ALMO believes America to be guilty of.

And if anyone in Mexico thinks that the average American is going to put up with that, then they're smoking crack.


Ooo man that wasn't a liberal ivey league college was it?

Yet another liberal commentator that requires both a translation and a narrator to interpret.






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