Skip to main content

tv   Campus Politics  CSPAN  January 2, 2017 6:30am-8:01am EST

6:30 am
stage, tennessee reed would like to take some photographs with you. at book tv. or at facebook
6:31 am
thank you for being here at this event. this is our grand opening week and we are thrilled you got to be part of this new site. we want to be a hub for activity, for the best thinking, ideas and consumer consumer information. we hope you come back more in the future. i work primarily on k-12 education and as i think about the foundational issues undergirding policy and decentralization and nonprofit groups and pluralism and so forth. that is why this conversation we are having is so important to me and i hope important to you as well because on one level, this conversation about campus politics is about institution of higher education spirit is about campuses and hundreds of billions of dollars flow through them and students and faculty
6:32 am
and the temperament and disposition that's created by that environment. that's all true, but, it also reflects and influences something much deeper which is, do we actually still believe in democratic pluralism. do we think that it's great that people have different cultures and histories and viewpoints and that they live them out and they can come into spaces like universities that are about the free exchange of idea and mix things up, and most importantly, never have to worry about bei viewed as a heretic, that is, not assigning yourself to a certain orthodox. it could be the case that are universities could be reflecting something that's going on, and that could be unhealthy if we have gotten to this point where we don't believe in difference of opinion where we think parochialism is always bad and so forth. there could be no better core
6:33 am
for this discussion than this brand-new book, and we are so fortunate, john zimmerman is the author of campus politics and he is going it signals and some of us noise and give us a sense of why that matters. after that he'll talk for 15 or 20 minutes and will give him a whole lot of leeway and then i will come back up here to have a conversation about this. we will bat around a handful of ideas. indsprobably know f issues for quite some time. he has been in the trenches. greg is the president ceo of fire which is probably the
6:34 am
leading organization for working on campuses and free-speech issues and i'm a fan of his because he cowrote what i think was the best article of 2015 in the atlantic, the coddling of the american mind. it's fascinating, one of the parts of john's book is that there's an increased emphasis among folks on campus thing the safe spaces, it's good for mental health. there is this alternative argument that could actually be the exact opposite, that what were doing may actually inhibit people's intellectual growth and may increase anxiety, depression and other things.
6:35 am
it's deftly worth diving into. after our moderated discussion, depending on how forward leaning you folks are, if i can tell you're eager to get into the conversation i will move to q&a pretty quickly. we just have a couple rules. please make sure you raise your hand and we get a microphone to you. we want to make sure everyone can hear you. make sure you introduce yourself, we would like to know who the conversation is happening between, and last but not least, please ask a question during the question-and-answer phase. we are trying to model good behavior here. this is a conversation about discussion and difference of opinion, it's about being on receive and not just transmit so we are going to try to do that. if you get the microphone and you get five or ten seconds into your statements and i just see! or semicolons on the horizon and no? , i may insert myself and pass the mic to someone else. now to those friends who we have who are watching live stream, this is being lifestream, you can use #, or anyone in the audience, if you want to use twitter or facebook or instagram
6:36 am
its campus politics. you can tweet at me or at aei or at aei education and we will try to keep up on all that stuff. we even have this feature, so those people watching at home or from their offices, you can submit a question and i even have a device in real-time to keep up with this. if you go to slide.doe and enter the code aei event, all you have to do is enter your name and the question and i will get a copy of it and sometimes during the discussion i will try to put those into the bloodstream so everyone can be heard. sorry for the long throat clearing, i'm almost done talking. order of operations, i hash up, dr. zimmerman comes up and talks about the book, q&a and then i promise to get you out of here by 1015. please join me in welcoming our
6:37 am
valued guests doctor john zimmerman. [applause] >> thank you andy and kelsey and aei for welcoming me to this gorgeous new home. this is how god would've made the whole world if he had the money [laughter] it's just beautiful. thanks to andy for his lovely comments. he may be actually the first person who is not a blood relative to praise my book. i'm not sure of that. the very first book i wrote when i was in nice, someone gave me this 800 number that you could call and allegedly it was described how your book is doing. i actually called it and put in the 800 number and i got the ubiquitous robot voice that said good morning, you have sold zero
6:38 am
books today. that wasn't getting me any closer to god so i haven't done it since, but by a brief message here is, first of all, nobody is being silenced. we have to be really careful in the words we use to describe the free speech problem. we have a very good sense of what the problem is and it is real. but we have to be really careful about the terms we use to describe it. there are 4000 places and most of them trigger warnings, micro-aggression, safe spaces, say what? it's say what? it's not an issue at all, people haven't even heard those words at all. if you saw the times last week they will win great story about laguardia college in the wake of the elections and all of the
6:39 am
trauma in a safe space discussion that you see at campuses like mine, it was totally absent at laguardia. people were just trying to get through the day, pay their tuition, i have extraordinary freedom, nobody silenced me. as a historian, to call what's happening mccarthyism i find offensive and in insult to the very real suffering that happened under mccartney. however, there has been a narrowing of debate and discussion on our campuses, especially our elite ones. there's a fairly good survey in literature that documents this. so they do studies where they asked students, is it safe to hold unpopular opinions on this campus. at the elite school, a declining fraction of kids say yes. that can be good. so as you you go through
6:40 am
college, fewer and fewer students say yes it's safe to hold unpopular opinions. when i was researching this book, frankly, i was surprised at the wide range of opinions that people hold but don't express. for example, it turns out, this was astonishing to me, that 40% of full-time faculty in the united states oppose the use of race in college admission. 40%. i was hugely surprised to hear was that much. i can tell you for the sake of honesty that i am in the 60%, but, but i was ashamed to learn this because what it means is that the people who disagree with me aren't actually speaking up very much, and i don't think that can be good for affirmative action or for the university. think there is a problem with political correctness, but there again, we had to have to be very careful in the words that we use, and especially in the ways that they define, or we do find.
6:41 am
i have argued there actually two kinds of pc, 11 that i support and one that i despise. okay, the first kind of pc is one that creates very strong social, although not legal taboos on the use of highly offensive terms. i do not think it should be illegal for donald trump to call women pigs. i really don't. but, i think there should be strong social prohibitions and taboos on that. if that is pc, count me in. again, i don't want to ban it, but if we as a community want to be a community, we have to have certain community standards. i think not calling women pigs adds anything to our discussion. i think again there should be strong social, not legal taboo. the second is the other kind of
6:42 am
taboo which doesn't taboo words but taboos ideas. 40% of the faculty as opposed to race-based affirmative action, we are not hearing from them. that means there's a serious pc problem. not the pc problem that prevents you from calling women pigs, but the kind that prevents you from engaging in what's one of the most important critical and important debates in our society about the use of race in a admissions. that kind of pc we all have to oppose because that inhibits us as educators, as learners, as human beings how did all this develop? real problem is the rise of psychological language, idioms and metaphor from discussing politics.
6:43 am
to be very clear, i'm an advocate of psychology and i will be very honest with you, there are mental health problems in my family. we have been a beneficiary of mental health services. i'm not opposed to psychology, but i am opposed to the use of psychological idioms for dick discussing politics. one of the things i try to argue in my book is that psychology and politics don't play well together. if you say you are hurt or injured or traumatized by something i said, i think that's a conversation stopper. i don't have a lot to say to you in response. i wouldn't say to you that you weren't i can't look into years old. i don't know what you are feeling. i would never deny it.
6:44 am
what i do question is the use of feeling as a barometer or playing field for discussion because i think it inhibits it. i do think it's very much a function of our own time. if you look for example of the term micro- aggression, it's fascinating. nobody knew anything about him or it until the 2000's when it was revived this term. i haven't really read his work before i got into his project. it's been hugely influential. what he has done is he's written these books on micro- aggression and they take various kinds, one of them is the kind that highlights your difference in an allegedly different way, where
6:45 am
you from, if you grew up in oregon and your parents are asian americans, you might be offended by that. it's like dude, i'm from i'm from oregon. yes i'm asian, but i'm american so that's one kind of micro- aggression, the one that highlights your difference, but there there is another time that erases it. when i look at you i don't see race. that can be a micro- aggression too. allegedly it denies your difference rather than highlighting it, or the one that spend most controversial, anyone who works hard enough in america can make it. this to is offensive. i can frankly imagine context in
6:46 am
which all these statements could be offensive, definitely. in fact, given the right context or the wrong one, i might be offended too. what i question, as a university and especially university administrator, in a way, declaring that these statements are somehow taboo. that's evil. for university administrator to make a statement about social mobility which is really what were talking about with respect to the last micro- aggression, anyone who works hard enough to make it, that's one of the most controversial questions. a university administrator should not be lying laying down a rule about that, but that's the other crucial context for understanding this. the rise of psychological idioms is one of them and the other is the rise of the administrative university. friends, here's an ax. for talking about race and race controversy and race culture
6:47 am
that has a certain kind of meaning like malcolm x. but i want you to think about another time. this is the full-time faculty, this is a full-time administration, and starting in the 90s, they cross. when when i was a kid, there were more faculty members and now there are more administrators than faculty. that is a hugely important context for understanding all of this. just be clear, i'm not against university administrators. in fact, i was one. we need them. secondly, there there are often some very good reasons for the rise of administrators, and going back to mental health, the whole mental health apparatus, when i was a kid in the 70s, it's now huge. you don't get that by snapping your fingers. you have to hire counselors and staffers and psychiatrists and all that. i'm not against that.
6:48 am
but, what i am against is trying to create administrative solutions is directive surrounding highly controversial questions. that can't be good. can't be good for any of us. thanks to greg and others, one of the things we discovered, even in the face of court decisions, rendering them unconstitutional, so do diversity trainings, if you look at the demands of students in the last round of protests, you see that two thirds of them focus on this thing called diversity training. you've seen the rise of these things called bias response incident teams, these are all
6:49 am
managerial solutions and they also have an incredibly weak academic base so take diversity, i'm not opposed to the idea about helping people address their differences, but when we look at and we tried to study the managerial efforts to improve or change people's attitudes on the question of race, the academic research timing is important. he would take thousands of freshmen and follow them through college, interviewing them and testing them and what he found was the intervention on the part of the university, these universities, he couldn't show they had any effect.
6:50 am
it's expensive, as parents of two young adults of i'm rather sensitive to that question. what's does seem to improve people's racial attitudes and their likelihood to have friends and lovers across races, having a roommate of a different race. to my mind, western civilization began to decline when freshmen were allowed to choose their roommate. i think that's the worst thing that happened in western civilization below and the behold, doug, if you're going to facebook and you can choose your roommate you will choose someone who looks just like you. we went to summer camp together or we had friends in common so you're not leveraging the
6:51 am
benefits of diversity. i believe in diversity. if we allow kids to choose their freshman roommates we are not
6:52 am
6:53 am
6:54 am
6:55 am
6:56 am
6:57 am
6:58 am
6:59 am
>> seriously, we're not the angry, like, biblical parent of the in loco parentis days, you know? we're like the helicopter mom or dad, okay? we, we run the place, okay? the students are constantly asking for more administration, and we give it to them. and that, i think, is what really differentiates this generation of protests from earlier ones, you know? tom hayden died recently, and i wrote a column about him.
7:00 am
very complicated figure. and if you look at the port huron statement which is kind of the classic early statement of student protest which, of course, hayden drafted, it has a really interesting language. it says we need to wrest control from the administrative bureaucracy. and that seems like it's from another era because it is. okay? now it's can we have more administration, please? can we have another statement from you? there was an awful racist incident that happened on my campus recently involving terrible e-mails sent to african-american students, right? and everyone is asking the president to say the right words. oh, president guttman, please, say these mystical words, say the right incantation. and in closing, if you really want to see how different things are, go ahead and google the wellesley college graduation of
7:01 am
1969. because at that graduation, that was a first one that a student spoke, which is kind of interesting, okay? and you already know her name, it was hillary diane rodham, later to be hillary rodham clinton. and if you look at the speech, it's really interesting because she says we need fewer curricular requirements, we need a pass/fail system, and most of all we need students to direct their own education. and she, she writes, hillary: we're searching for more immediate, ecstatic and penetrating moods of living. we're all exploring a world that none of us understands. it's such a great adventure. i think it is, actually, i think it is still a great adventure. none of us know where it's going. but at our universities, we will narrow that adventure if we continue to think of to it in narrow psychological terms that restrict what we say and what we think. most of all, we'll narrow the
7:02 am
adventure if our students and our faculty invest ever more power in the people that run these institutions instead of in themselves. thanks a lot. [applause] >> all right. we're about to all take our seats up here. >> i'm going to walk very carefully up here, so i don't slip. [laughter] >> so i have lots of questions. and i want to get david and greg to be able to weigh in with their thoughts initially. but i just have to ask all of you, if you don't mind just responding to, the administrative question is the thing that stood out to me in your book. it wasn't always this way, that administrators seemed -- there's even a quote in your book along the lines of in every single instance it seems like the administrators bend over backwards to say, yes, yes, you were right, we were wrong. how did that happen? is it a different type of
7:03 am
administrator who now is going into the office? is it a difference with fundraising? this seems to be a change in type. >> definitely. and i want to hear the other two gentlemen talk about this, but i think one thing you have to think about is you have to think about the expanding role of the federal government in education, right? and what that does to the university is it just requires it to hire more administrators. i mean, think about the whole title ix revolution. again, none of this is necessarily bad. sometimes it's very good, right? but if the federal government is more deeply involved in the university, by definition you're going to need more administrators to figure out how to comply with the federal government, right? i think, i think though more broadly there's also been a huge change in the sensibility of the students who see themselves as consumers very often rather than necessarily as learners. so one of the things that i've been struck by in debates i've
7:04 am
had with students on my own campus about my book is, look, a lot of them say we're paying the bills, if we want trigger warns, why shouldn't -- warnings, why shouldn't we have themsome and the bills have gone crazy. and that's a really important thing. i'm not justifying what they say, i'm trying to explain it. given how much you pay for this product, i understand this consumer sensibility. i do not like it or approve it, but it does make a certain kind of awful sense. >> very interesting. dave? >> well, first, i really enjoyed reading your book, it was very reasonably written, and i couldn't help thinking am i reading this in 2016? because i haven't read anything reasonable -- [laughter] >> that's a ridiculous remark. >> i think on the question you asked about the rise of a administrative bureaucracy,
7:05 am
look, i was in law school from '91-'94, and all of the pressure was from the students to the faculty saying gimme, gimme, gimme, gimme. there's this constant push towards the administrators. what i would say to be very clear about is when we're talking about in in loco parents or helicoptering, the helicopter administration is not, therefore, students. -- is not there for all students. it's not. if you are a conservative christian member of a pro-life club, christian organization, you have views that are outside the mainstream on same-sex marriage, for example, you tell me how friendly that administration is to you. how much are they really going out of their way to try to make sure that your psychological wellbeing is taken care of.
7:06 am
what you will find is that the administration is going to go out of its way to make sure that all your other classmates' psychological wellbeing is taken care of as a result of the trauma you inflict upon them. and you'll see this, and it's not necessarily censorship, although that does occur, and i've sued quite a few universities who have censored religious student organizations. censorship, out and out censorship is less common than sort of just two sets of reality. and one of the things that i would say if you're talking about free speech on college campuses, here is the question that you would need to ask yourself. before i speak or say something, how much interestal fortitude do -- intestinal fortitude do i need to say the words that are going to come out of my mouth. and we have set up particularly in elite universities where an awful lot of the speech on one side of the spectrum has a glide
7:07 am
path. you're going to be encouraged by your professor, by your administration. if your chosen political candidate loses, you're going to get an opportunity to go to a play-doh room. you're going to have the opportunity to vent your spleen. if you're on the other side, the administration's going to write a statement about how trauma traumatizing you are. the administration's going to talk about how deeply troubling your speech is. and we're not talking about just radical fringe communication here, we're talking about extremely mainstream points of view expressed by millions of americans. now, that's not an excuse, and i say this all the time to, when i speak to conservative students. the opposite of political correctness is not, and pardon my language, assholery. [laughter] there's an awful lot of people say i'm going to strike a blow of political correctness by being the extreme worst person i can think of.
7:08 am
you said there's a benign form of political correctness and one that isn't. and i would say there's manners -- >> yeah. >> as a son of the south, there's manners and then there's political correctness. manners is a -- when you have manners, you're seeking to treat another perp the way you would like -- another person the way you would like to be treated. and to the extent you know the other person you're interacting with has particular sensibilities or a particular background which would lead you to be sensitive and compassionate in your communication with them, be sensitive and compassionate in your communication with them. if you to know, however, you're talking with someone who is tough as nail, maybe you're going to live a little bit more free. it's common sense. >> yep. >> and one last thing i would say, you know, this language of trauma and this language of victimization and the -- and this conversation stopper that says if you continue to speak, you're harming me is, again,
7:09 am
it's just not evenly applied. if it was even hi applied -- evenly applied, speech would just shut down on campus. i'll give you an example. i was at penn late last year, and i was speaking about free speech on campus, and i was addressing this very issue. and a student spoke up, and they were from, they were from the inner city, latino student, and they were talking about -- because i had touched on issues of race and affirmative action and things like this. and i'm in the 40% that does not believe in the race-based affirmative action. and he explained with great emotion that it's difficult to hear me talk about these things because he's from a historically disadvantaged area, he's from a low income part of the country, he knows people who have died on the streets in gang violence, and who am i really to speak about this? how can i have an opinion about this when i didn't -- >> yep.
7:10 am
>> and so i responded, i said do you have an opinion about the iraq war? and he said, absolutely, i have an opinion about the iraq war. and i said, well, you know, i'm a veteran of that conflict. i was there during the surge in '07-'08. it was the most traumatic experience of my lifetime. i can't -- it's hard to imagine anything more traumatic, and i've seen more death in that one year than i hope to ever see in the whole rest of my life. do you think someone should be entitled to oppose the iraq war in a conversation with me, or does my experience and the pain that i experienced there trump any opinion that anyone has? in my presence, should they keep their opinion completely to themselves lest they trigger, trigger me or lest they bring up trauma? and you could see the sort of, wait a minute, but i'm really anti-war. [laughter] i really want, i mean, that's
7:11 am
really what i want to say. so these things are not, are not evenly applied. not all trauma is the same. and so, you know, we do not have, we do not have a environment where what's good for the goose is good for the gander so to speak, if i may use gender terms like "goose" and "gander." [laughter] and so that's why to a lot of conservative students this notion that the university is taking care of its students just flatly rings hollow. it's just seen as absurd. >> thank you. greg? >> i don't even know where to begin, there's so much to cover. the, obviously, there's -- since you cited my work, i agree with jonathan quite a bit about the situation on campus. i've seen three major phases on campus, and the first sort of age of political correctness
7:12 am
was, frankly, before my time. and i was at a school that was not affected by it, and it was towards the tail end anyway. i didn't realize when i started at stanford, at law school, that only two years before they had lost a court case in which their speech code was defeated even at a private school because the state government got so angry about it, they passed the leonard law saying even nonsectarian schools -- they meant stanford -- can't have speech codes. so for most of my career i would be talking to conservatives, for example, when they had this really kind of a sense of the really emotional student who desperately wanted censorship and was on to accessed with identity politics, i was sure that person existed, but it just wasn't what i was dealing with for most of my career. those seemed likal tales from the -- like tall tales from the late '80s, early '90s which was before my time. but i do get a little frustrated
7:13 am
with the political correctness. people being so fixated on it. some of my cases aren't political cases at all, they're just abuses of power. one of the worst cases period that i've seen dealt with a university president at a georgia college who decided to kick out without due process a student because he was critical of a parking garage project. >> yeah. i referenced that in the book, yeah. >> it's a crazy case. but then again there are horrifying political correctness like i talk about in a book i wrote in 2012 like university of delaware where it was administrators engaging in this incredibly aggressive indoctrination program that went beyond anything i'd ever seen. so i feel like my career's had three faces. somebody always has to be running apork of course, first -- amok, obvious. the federal government coming up with standards that are
7:14 am
literally impossible to comply with at least if you want to be in keeping with the constitution. the standard enunciated about harassment in a 2013 letter is laughably unconstitutional and impossible to comply with and necessarily, as david points out, has to be applied with deep double standards or nobody would be allowed to say a thing on a college campus. but the third phase which is distressing to me but it's relatively recent is seeing what looks like all these stories i heard about which is this very strong, usually got a strong element of identity politics. but a lot of times also, you know, white liberals saying i don't want this person speaking on my campus, and then, of course, people say, well, it's their special day, so commencement. and i always point out, first of all, that's not a very persuasive argument to me. but second of all, this also includes speakers being -- they're not even going to go to charles murray's speech, but they still don't want him speaking at that school because it offends their very sensibility that he even steps foot on campus.
7:15 am
so i've watched a lot of these stage, and i want to get back to the way you introduced the section. and i thought it was great that you started talking about pluralism. i think anytime you pass anything like a speech code, you are making a very narrow statement of culture. and i think you're basically saying our culture -- this harvard campus culture is superior. and meanwhile i was a hellion at stanford because i was always pointing out, wow, it's weird, because all these sound like the views of white, bay-area or rich people. [laughter] and they hated me for pointing this out. i think class has fallen out of discussion. >> at laguardia community college. >> and a lot of these other places because these tend to be signs of class stratification. and i just it should robert putnam's "our kids," definitely read it, but for the rich kids,
7:16 am
it's a 14 to 1 ratio whether or not you're going to go to one of the elite schools as a poor kid. and i think they've become so lob sided they can't see, in some cases administrators can't distinguish what they think a good person should say from absolute truth. and i always refer back to my father. my father's russian, my mother's british. you can't have two people of more different cultures and still remain within europe. but my father would always teach me that the first rule of dealing with other cultures or people who aren't like you is to try to to figure out where they're coming from and what their norms are, not to impose your norms immediately on them. and as my father would explain in non-p.c. term, if you don't, you're acting like hick. [laughter] and what i see going on today this very -- it does -- i nearly called unlearning liberty the new victorians because i see a lot of parallels between the victorian era and this very self-confident idea that, conservatives, they're backwards, and evangelicals,
7:17 am
they're completely wrongheaded. they've somehow managed to square that other religious beliefs have similar beliefs as do van yennings -- evangelicals, but that's okay, because that's multiculturalism. we know the end of truth, and we know the way people should talk, and it is getting away from this pluralistic model where it's okay to have, quote-unquote, wrong beliefs, where it's becoming much more this is what all right-thinking people think. that's only possible due to sort of the heterogeneity of the student, the professoriate. >> yeah, you know, let me just say i read about greg's background, and it does remind me of the old joke that the british don't know how to say hello, and the yiddish don't know how to say good-bye. [laughter] you know, to go, to go to what david was saying earlier, you know, i actually think it's important to acknowledge that sometimes what we say might hurt people's feelings, you know? but at the same time, say that
7:18 am
that can't be the playing field and that can't be the barometer. >> right. >> it should be possible to acknowledge those feelings instead of willing them away, but make an argument for why they shouldn't rule the day. so when the question of -- [inaudible] i can well understand how if you were a member of a minority group, you might be offended by an argument against race-based affirmative action. i get it, right? but i don't think your offense should prevent us from discussing the question. so rather than say don't be offended, you can be offended. i can answer why you might be offended. all right? but we can't use that as a measure of when and how we speak. that seems to me just a fundamental distinction. and i'm afraid that we have lost it. and i should tell you, quite frankly, i've been very distressed at my own campus that when i make pleas for including more people in the discussion
7:19 am
including people that voted for donald trump, i'm met with comments like it's just too soon, people are too hurt. [laughter] >> wow. >> they need time to heal. >> yep. >> i mean, that's a purely psychological response. and i can tell you again just for total sake of transparency, i am appalled by donald trump. i mean, i yield to nobody in my outrage at the things -- >> did you almost run for president? [laughter] >> i think you might be standing next to someone who -- [laughter] >> nobody. >> he gets a lot of death threats. >> yeah, yeah, yeah. but -- [laughter] not a majority, but close to a majority of the voters or did vote for him. there are a small number of people at penn who voted for him. some of them have appeared in my office and have told me that they don't feel like they can say that. >> oh, yeah. >> and, friends, that i cannot tolerate. if somebody wants to disagree
7:20 am
with something i've said or written, i'm fine with that, because that's about me. i'm a a tenured, full professor, i'll be fine. [laughter] the things i'd have to do to get fired, i can't even say. [laughter] that's how bad they are. >> that can be read two ways, by the way. [laughter] >> yeah. i've got no problems and no complaints, okay in but if i hear from a student that he or she feels like they can't say what they're saying, that's war. that's war to me, okay? because that cuts to my fundamental beliefs about what a university is or should be. and what i'm doing, i don't think if this will work, but identify been in contact with a couple of bible colleges near philadelphia to try to create a few seminars involving people from penn and people from the bible colleges next semester just talking about the election. because i don't feel at penn internally, well, we would be able to have what i call a conversation. most of what's happened recently is not a conversation, it's a mourning session, right? >> yeah.
7:21 am
>> it's just different analysis of what went wrong. and i've been a part of that too. i think things went terribly wrong, to be honest, i'd engage in that conversation. but i'm ashamed of how few trump voters i've had discussions with, and i don't think i can have those discussions internally at my university. >> of and one thing that -- i haven't said this publicly before, but john and i have just signed with penguin press to do a booking that's taking the american mind as a starting point and getting deeper into this. because we thought we'd said everything we needed to say on it, and universities went much crazier than we ever saw coming. and, you know, we're very serious about the idea that this is based on a bad psychological model, not one that is in keeping with the actual current research, but actually is precisely the opposite. like, i put it this way to students, you don't -- if you were to go to a psychologist and he would take you by the shoulders and say you're very,
7:22 am
very fragile, and if you hear thingses that bother you, you're done forever -- [laughter] that psychologist would be fired. we're creating this self-fulfilling prophesy of fragile students, and i do think it's empirically demonstrable that we are seeing upticks in rates of anxiety among college kids and students increasingly going to seek psychological help for oppression. now, i say this because i also take psychology very seriously, but i don't want it to be abused into something that -- and this is the tentative title of the book, it almost certainly won't end up being the actual title -- but ends up disempowering students and making them feel fatalistic, making them feel like they have no choice. but as far as things that really frustrate me that have been generated by the culture currently on campus is what i refer to as the exquisite technologies. used to be, you know, back in our day in college and law school the way to dismiss someone's opinion was to call them a conservative, and if you could figure out a way they were conservative, you were off the
7:23 am
hook for having to listen to them. >> right. >> now it's exquisite how many arguments we have for not having to listen to each other. if you go deep into privilege theory, 100% of the entire human race is privileged. there is punching up and punching down, there is victim blaming, there's argument, man explaining, argument after argument after argument that doesn't actually get you to the argument. and we've tolerated all these things. and that's the emotional reasoning too, saying that i'm offended. that's a statement of an emotional state. it's not a substantive argument. and i think this is happening across political lines as well, that we're figuring out ways to not talk about the actual issue. but i do think on particularly the elite campuses they're becoming experts at this way of never to actually get to the substance of the argument, and i think that's inherently really destructive. >> do you mind if i -- >> oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. i was just going to say one quick thing since his name came up -- [laughter] you know, so i don't know if
7:24 am
anyone, i don't know if you guys have ever done this, but i've actually conducted diversity training before. >> oh, goodness. [laughter] >> yes. >> how did that make you feel? [laughter] >> i felt oppressive. [laughter] so as a jag officer when the military changed, repealed don't ask, don't tell, we were all -- there was a mandatory standdown across the military. and we were going to train our troops about same-sex marriage and lgbt issues. so can you imagine me? i'm being asked to run through this power point that is all of this sensitivity training and all of this diversity training, and i had to do it. it was orders. typical military diversity training, it begins with a general looking in the camera, you will listen to this -- [laughter] and you will behave in accordance. but here's what happens -- >> they can order people. >> yeah. >> they desegregated before the rest of us. >> yeah. so here's what happens when you deliver diversity training.
7:25 am
and i tried to be as engaging as i possibly could be, and the whole crowd is like this. [laughter] >> very dramatic. >> yeah, just -- they cannot wait for it to be over. they just hate every second of it. >> pleads get me -- please get me back to the war. >> yeah, exactly. [laughter] and this is what happens on college campuses. a whole lot of people sitting through these trainings just going -- and the only thing they're getting from it is this view that you're telling me is the approved view, it's not the view i necessarily have or the view i'm going to adopt. and so one thing that we've learned in this election is people cannot be hectored out of their beliefs. they will sometimes send their beliefs underground, and then they'll share them in the anonymity of the voting booth. i live in a, i live in a preisn't that went 72 -- precinct that went 72% for donald trump and, guess what, guys? it's a great place to raise a family. it's not, you know, trump's
7:26 am
america's not some sort of hell hoel. but it was an -- hellhole. but it was an awful lot of people who just were really sick and tired of being told what to think and what to do and were actually voting as a sheer act of rebellion, just a sheer, complete act of rebellion. i not tell you -- i cannot tell you how many times i heard that. a lot of what's happening on college campuses is not achieving the effects. and i think one thing that was interesting about your book is you showed, through actual data, that colleges aren't quite indoctrinating quite as much as people tend to think they are. >> that's the biggest myth, by the way. first of all, it's a myth that the faculty is full of radical marxists, right? we are overwhelmingly liberal, like myself, but not very radical. that's number one. but the students don't agree with us on a whole bunch of different issue, right? if we're trying to indoctrinate them, we're doing a really crappy job, you know? it's just not working, and in
7:27 am
part it's because some of us aren't invested enough in teaching, right? the whole indoctrination model implies a lot to more investment in teaching and learning than the faculty or teachers exhibit. >> okay, one -- i want to make sure we do this housekeeping thing. if you're in on line audience, go to sli.do and using the code aei event. submit questions, and i'll get to those in a second. but a bunch of you have raised issues related to a question that i wanted to ask which is the influence of this, whatever we want to cull this -- call this, this atmosphere, this environment both on studentses and on the faculty. so i've read a couple times recently that there is, it's anecdotal, but a sense that too many students now, and the term is can't answer the second question. they are so unaccustomed, they're so accustomed to shutting down debate with a whole lot of different techniques that when you get to these tough questions about what is inside and outside of pluralism,s what is good for democracy and what is not, they
7:28 am
just have not been pressure tested in the discussion. >> yes. >> so we've actually inhibited their growth. but, now the faculty part or is even more interesting. i just read this article in city journal, a guy named john tierney wrote in the past week or so called the real world on -- [inaudible] the case that he makes is actually the ott docks city on -- orthodoxy on campuses is affecting faculty in such a way that it is very clear there's certain questions you and cannot ask, and that is having an influence on the research that's being done and on the faculty that is willing to go onto campuses to work. so the environment, i kind of worried what is that going to do 20 years from now. i'm starting to wonder what is it doing to the research and the students at the moment? do you guys have any thoughts on that? >> my co-author for the book and then the article, he wrote this incredible article along with
7:29 am
people like big names in psychology including jose dwarty, six different co-authors talking about how badly the political skew of social psychology was actually hurting the field of social psychology, and he gave the answer of a paper that got published that basically treated conservativism as necessarily a mental disorder. and it gave different -- and it was so loaded. it shows examples of the questions, and they're all like do you think it's this kind of mental disorder or this kind? is there any options in which conservativism isn't a mental disorder in the question? [laughter] and i do think one of the things john, one of the reasons why people listen to him is he's talking -- he's not saying that you need to have perfect parity, he's not talking -- but he does think that the lack of disconfirmation, the lack of someone to call bs when you're in a polarization spiral where basically your confirmation bias -- i've talked to 20 smart people, they all agree with me,
7:30 am
i must be completely right. and just having one person to disconfirm seriously can make a big difference. but when i go to campus, students don't know the second argument. i might agree with them on different political issues, i consider myself a political liberal, but i'm shocked at how bad they are deopinionedding traditional lib call -- defending traditional liberal talking points because they've never been challenged. >> that's a remarkable thing. critical thinking, have you noticed that as a teacher? >> i have, but again, i agree with what greg is saying and, obviously, i wouldn't be here if i wasn't concerned about it. but i also think we need to be just a little bit more tempered, right? one of the great things about teaching in most environments is when you close the door, you can do whatever you want. [laughter] you know? most jobs aren't like that. and there's a problem with that too, right? because some people aren't doing very much or doing something that's actually quite bad, right? but you have an extraordinary
7:31 am
amount of independence, you know? and when i was a k-12 teacher, i would often just say you know what the best sound is? and i would just close the door, you know? [laughter] and so, you know, i found in the recent round of debates at penn that, frankly, the only students and faculty members who have been highly critical of me are people that don't know me, that aren't. >> in my class, you know? to whom i'm really just a cartoon just like some white guy whose sideburns are going gray, right? i mean, rather than an actual human being. because i've been able to conduct in my own classroom all kinds of debates, you know? we can to that, that's the freedom that we have. now, i would agree because of these different strictures and developments that people might be less able to do it. and as far as the war on science goes, i mean, that's real, and it's bipartisan. how many liberals in boulder, colorado, who scoff appropriately at climate change
7:32 am
denial don't vaccinate their kids? a lot! [laughter] a lot. you know? and so, you know, the war on science is real. it is bipartisan. okay? and the prejudice against conservatives is real. one of the things i found so interesting about reactions to things i've written is how i get labeled a conservative. [laughter] and this i just find hilarious. friends, i was in the peace corps. my dad was in the peace corps. he knew jfk. like, i'm jewish, i have a ph d, i'm the most predictable democrat in the world ever. [laughter] >> right. >> like ever, that's ever existed, you know? so it's kind of hilarious. but it's depressing too, and here's why. let me just try an analogy on you. it's not perfect, because no analogy is. one of the most upsetting things to me as a citizen and educator has been the outburst of anti-muslim sentiment in this country. and sometimes directed at the president, right?
7:33 am
after, you know, the birther-ism thing was exposed for what it was, suddenly he became a closet muslim. and what's really sad to me is whatsoever as i knew the president was never able to do, get in front of a microphone and say, look, even though my middle name's hussein, it turns out i'm not a muslim, okay? but what if i was? >> yeah. >> i don't think he's ever said that, all right? and that tells you something really huge and upsetting about the degree of are passenger in this country, right? that he can't. i'm sure he's thought it a million times, okay? so, you know, what i've started to do, it turns out i was in the peace corps, i'm the least conservative person in the world. what if i wasn't? >> right. >> right? why would that be such a terrible thing? >> yep. >> you know, the very accusation bespeaks prejudice in the same way -- again, i'm not equating, i'm not saying conservativism on
7:34 am
campus is as bad as anti-muslim anti-muslim -- >> but it's a way to delay listening to you. it's been funny, since the a article came out, you know, the critics of the article, the one written in the new york time, immediately conservative greg -- and i'm like, that's cute, you know, you just want to -- but you know in the circles you run that's basically the same thing as saying, you don't have to listen to them. >> you're a pariah, yeah. >> one thing i would note is there are degrees of acceptability in campus conservativism. so what passes for campus conservativism that's acceptable and which is an awful lot of faculty members who self-identify as conservatives are more on the libertarian-ish end of the spectrum, socially liberal and have economic conservative ideas. if you want to really know how accepting a campus is, you're going to have to ask about social conservativism. >> yep. >> you know -- >> that's fair.
7:35 am
>> are the people who trigger warning, like me, believe that marriage is between a man and a woman and caitlin jenner is still a man? what is the acceptance of that point of view on a college campus. can you say that without triggering, without triggering the kind of reaction that might even be worse than received at yale. >> but we have a real case like that at marquette, and that's one of the reasons you shouldn't be too confident that you're tenured -- >> uh-oh to. [laughter] >> so there's a professor, professor adams who, for year, or had been writing this blog saying i'm a conservative, i teach at marquette, and i'm afraid -- which is a catholic institution -- that i can't actually get catholic opinions at this school, this is ridiculous. so he had -- nobody really clothed themselves in glory in this case, but a student audiotaped a discussion with a junior faculty member about
7:36 am
whether or not in this debate class they'd be allowed to debate same-sex marriage. so the student is told that he can't because it would be homophobingic to discuss that -- homophobic to discuss that, so he brings this tape to professor mcadam, and he looks -- and what he does is he writes what he always writes. i can't believe you can't even debate same-sex marriage at a catholic institution, this is ridiculous. so this gets out to fox news, unfortunately you start getting hate mail directed at marquette which is never helpful, and -- but the, what the university ends up doing is they end up firing, they're trying -- mcadams is suing the school, but they're trying to fire a tenured professor because he reported something that was true and just because the blowback had such a negative effect on marquette and that professor, now they're trying to fire him. >> on what grounds, greg? what's their argument? >> oh, they don't really know. it's always shifting. this is totally normal to my experience.
7:37 am
i think they're basically at this point settled on, and i do mean settled on because they were shifting among professionalism argument. >> oh, that he just didn't fulfill his duties, right, as a professional to agree with somebody else? >> well, the blogging brought -- it wasn't -- his professional duty, i think, to the younger professor, i guess -- >> oh, right, i remember that. >> i mean -- >> look, just be clear, and greg's right, i was a little too cute about that. there are terrible cases in which tenured professors, you know, have their job security threatened, and i feel incredibly lucky that we have people like greg to help us. but the real crisis, friends s not with the tenured faculty, it's with the adjunct faculty -- >> yeah, that's true. >> because they've got nothing. why are the full-time faculty going down? they're just hiker when an old geezer -- they're just hiring,
7:38 am
when an old geezer like me retires, they hire four people to teach -- >> we don't have much time. i want to open this up to the audience. if you have a question, raise your hand so i can make sure we get to you. microphones will come here swiftly. >> my name is jo freeman, i'm an alumnus of the berkeley free speech movement, and lurking in the background of our conflict with the administration was a conflict between the administration and the legislature, in particular the california senate subcommittee on un-american activities which was trying to get clarke kerr fired for letting too many subversives into the university. now, we knew none of this at the time, we just saw the administration as the enemy. i've written a book since then, so i know a lot more. it makes me wonder if there's not something similar going on behind the political correctness of today's universities. you said the administration and the students are on the same side, but is it perhaps true -- what is the state legislature doing in this?
7:39 am
is there some equivalent to that? what are the politics behind the politics? >> okay. so the role of government on this is what i refer to as the secret engine of why a lot of these things get so crazy, but it's primarily the federal department of education that's setting standards that are impossible to comply with. and even universities like tufts university that actually, that scoured everything that was supposed to do according to the department of education did, basically, a textbook policy and got investigated anyway. we can't make you guys happy. there's no amount of reform we can do that can make this department of education happy. but that only lasted about a week before the professor was scared into backing down. however, state legislatures to play a role sometimes too and, actually, sometimes they're -- sometimes they end up being sort of the more embarrassing grandstanding kind of cases where there were students at university of maryland who wanted to show porn, a porno, and the state legislature thought the it was a good idea to get involved in that one.
7:40 am
that was one where we wrote in explaining they should not be telling students what they should watch. there was an interesting case in oklahoma where richard dawkins spoke at the university of oklahoma, they tried to pass a measure that evolution is an untested and unpopular theory -- [laughter] >> unpopular. >> yeah. >> they're right about that. >> university of tennessee tried to get rid of funding after university of tennessee had sex week on campus. so they're generally sort of social conservative sort of culture war issues, but they're nowhere near, in my experience, the amount of influence as the federal government wields. >> and let's keep in mind. first of all, i'm delighted that you're here, because i've read your work many times over. something that i actually take a little bit of not pride, but just happiness in is the fact that, you know, when david horowitz went to state legislatures and tried to get them to pass laws saying we have to have ideological ballots -- which would have been a
7:41 am
disaster, and i say that as somebody who wants more ideological ballots, we don't want the state legislatures mandating that -- he didn't get anywhere. which is a good thing. >> another question. while the microphones making its way, i'm sorry, i cannot get to all the questions that came online, but several of them are falling into two categories, and i just want to put them on the table in case any of you want to respond. the first is number of conservative either faculty members, young faculty members or students worried about coming out on the campus. so they're looking for advice, what to do, what not to do. and then the other one, several questions are flabbergasted that fact all my and -- faculty and administrators are allowing students to act as consumers. they want to know how did that happen and how do we put an end to that. >> can i -- let me deal with the first one. in my experience, and i've litigated in an awful lot of places, and i'll be interested to hear greg's perspective on this. you're safer out of the closet. >> absolutely.
7:42 am
>> you're absolutely safer. you know, i have dealt with faculty members concerned about, so concerned about tenure and so concerned about people knowing that they're conservative that they would call me and his whisper on the -- whisper on the phone. [laughter] and here's the facts. if you are conservative and you have an outstanding record of scholarship, you have an outstanding record of service to your university and you have, you're an excellent teacher and you're denied tenure and people know you're conservative, oh, man. that's, like, just raising and waving red flags all over the place. but if nobody knows -- >> right. >> -- that you're conservative and you're just, you know, just another faculty member and you don't get tenure, well, number one, where's your discrimination claim? and number two, it's incredibly difficult to make a discrimination claim. it's just, you're just another academic who got frustrated and didn't get what they wanted, and they can go to another university.
7:43 am
and simply with sunts -- similarly with students. students are safer, i think, actually expressing their point of view. however, however, you've got to have some intestinal fortitude. when i say "safer," i mean safer from official sanction. not safer from peer sanction. >> right. >> and that's where it gets really, really rough, and very few students go to college thinking i cannot wait to get to harvard and be hated. [laughter] and so that's the, you know, that's much worse on this issue of being out of the closet, i'm presuming it as protecting you from official sanction. >> yes. >> peer group sanction is a whole and peer shaming and peer attacks, that's a whole other thing. and you have to be able to be, to withstand that. and that's, i think, a greater free speech threat right now, is the self-censoring, because people don't want to confront that kind of peer rejection. >> we had a question, yeah,
7:44 am
please. and we've got to wrap up quickly, so this might be the last one. >> steve hayward, currently an inmate at uc berkeley. [laughter] as we know, an awful lot of the ratcheting occupy of title ix came from guidance from the federal government. so if president trump selected any one of you to be assistant secretary of education for higher education, what friendly guidance might you direct to universities to begin reversing the administrative corruption that you've described? >> i think it's pretty safe to say that one of us would be selected for that. [laughter] but certainly david, neither of us. i like my day job. [laughter] but i have plenty of suggestions. one is put your money where your mouth is on that guidance idea, that these letters, basically, that this is rulemaking we're engaged in. it was amazing that katherine lemond was, or someone at the department of education, was being, was testifying in front of senator lamar alexander, and she managed to say within a couple of minutes of each other,
7:45 am
one, oh, no, no, we're just engaged in guidance, not rulemaking. but what happens if universities don't follow? oh, they lose all their federal funding. [laughter] and it's like, that's rulemaking. the easiest one would be saying this is rulemaking, we need to follow the apa, have guidance and comment, and that will prevent a lot of the wackier stuff from happening. i think they should flat out repeal the 2011 letter, i think they should leave it up to universities to decide what standard of evidence they want to use, and i think they should adopt the davis standard for harassment. you can read about it at the fire, even in the atlantic articles, we talk about it all the time. but it's just the definition of harassment that is more like a process of discriminatory action as opposed to a single wrong thing that you would say. so those three things right off the bat. >> yeah. i would say get rid of the 2011 letter. i think that's just due process 101. initiate rulemaking. however, i would also say that
7:46 am
that rulemaking should remove universities from adjudicating sexual assault entirely. i think that that is a criminal matter. i don't think universities are qualified. they do not have the staff. they do not have the means. they don't -- let's let the criminal justice system. and then, you know what? if you don't want to bring a criminal complaint, you can bring a civil complaint. you can do a civil action. and then let the university get involved when there's an adjudication that actually occurs. >> if i could, if i could take a respectful dissent here -- [laughter] and just keep in mind i'm not a lawyer, these two gentlemen are. in fact, except for marrying my wife and joining the peace corps, not becoming a lawyer was probably the best decision i ever made. [laughter] not that there's anything wrong with that. but let me just say something about, a small point i try to make the in the book. it would be great if universities could wash their hands of adjudication in the way that david is saying.
7:47 am
i don't think they can. and here's why. a lot of victims don't want to enlist the criminal justice system in what happened to them. that's just a fact, you know? and that doesn't mean they're not victims, okay? that's point number one. and point number two, for good reasons, the wheels of criminal justice just spin way too slowly. so as much as i would like to say, oh, yeah, the universities can't be in the business of judging these things, it's a criminal matter, they should just wash their hands, i do sympathize with university administrators. there's been this episode on campus and two kids are sitting next to each other, i don't think you can say, hey, look, this is a criminal matter, okay? four years from now some court will decide your case, and until then we've got to have the two of you in class next to each other. i don't know what they should do, i'll be honest about that, but they can't do that. >> you can do no contact and separation orders and things
7:48 am
like that which is very common, for example, in the military while actual criminal due process unfolds. you can separate people. and you can initiate -- judges can craft orders that provide actual sanction if you violate those orders that are far worse than anything an administrator could do. so there are work-arounds to that. very real concern, i agree completely. if someone's claimed -- if i've claimed that greg has attacked me, i don't want to be on a panel with him, you know? we don't have to do that. [laughter] there are work-arounds from that. >> okay. i did a bad job managing time, so we're at the end. i want to give each of the panelists one last sentence. what is one thing folks in the audience either should be looking for say in the next year like a development, or what is one big thing you think ought to be done on a campus to make a big difference. you want to start? >> i've been saying this my whole career, we have to change expectations. i think there's a lot of
7:49 am
pointing at students and saying who's tilling you to be -- telling you to be so anxious? well, i think we are. i think parents are, k-12 is and administrators are. and until we start changing the orientation process to say, listen, actually it's a sign things may be going well if you're made to feel uncomfortable, if we haven't said that to student, we shouldn't be surprised that they expect the right to not be offended. >> we will take that to the k-12 team at aei, thank you. >> i i would say briefly when universities embrace diversity, as they should, they have to take pains to embrace ideological diversity as well. in the same breath. they're not inconsistent. the worst thing that's happened in our landscape now is the idea that a concern for racial and ethnic diversity runs perpendicular to concerns over free speech. every great warrior for civil justice has been a tribune for free speech because if they don't have that, they got
7:50 am
nothing. so in the same breath as we do and should attend to racial and ethnic diversity and the different problems that come with it, all right? we have to attend id ideological diversity at the same time. >> so my message would be to conservative students, conservative professors, conservative administrators, i know you have to have some serious intestinal fortitude. have that intestinal fortitude. [laughter] you can, you can withstand peer shaming. you can. and, in fact, the more of you who demonstrate intestinal fortitude, the less peer shaming there will be because you will be less isolated, you will be seen asless strange and more a part of campus discourse. and, in fact, there's precedent that you should actually take a little bit of joy in it. and i believe the bible says consider it pure joy, my brothers, when you suffer trials of many kinds, including the trial of being a harvard student. [laughter]
7:51 am
>> i mean, if i may say, you know, some of my students come out to me in their papers, you know, as conservatives. and i'm like, just be yourself, it gets better. [laughter] don't live a lie. really, i'm like, we'll all be smarter if you just come out. >> please join me in thank john -- [inaudible] great consideration. thank you, everyone. [applause] [inaudible conversations] >> here is a look at some of the current best selling nonfiction books according to "the wall street journal."
7:52 am
>> our look at "the wall street journal"'s best selling upon the knicks books continues with:
7:53 am
>> of these authors have or will be appearing on booking tv on c-span2. you can watch them on our web site, booktv.org. >> so in 1953 there's an uprising in east germany. workers protest living and working conditions and demonstrate for basic human rights and for reform and for freedom. but the red army moves in with tanks and crushes the rebellion. hundreds are killed, tense of thousands are arrested for their role in participating. some 100 organizers are executed. and along with around 20 soviet soldiers who are ebbs cuted for refusing -- executed for refusing to shoot demonstrators. and now the secret police tells -- the leadership tells the secret misto do whatever's
7:54 am
necessary to make sure an uprising never happens again. so back in 1960, some three million -- around one-sixth of the population -- has fled. and the regime decides that the time has come to do something to stop the hemorrhaging of its labor force. if they don't want to see their country collapse altogether. while the border between east and west germany is secured in berlin due to the interconnected nature of the city, people are still able to escape into west berlin. but by now there are rumors that the regime plans to someday build a structure, perhaps a wall to permanently separate west berlin from the east. thus cutting off the last hope of escape. and so by the early 1960s, 2,000 east germans are trying to flee into west berlin.
7:55 am
this is a quote: no one has any intention of building a wall. but one month later, that's exactly what he does. what starts as a barbed wire and brick wall eventually becomes a 12-foot-high, 3-feet-thick rounded wall with a rounded top to prevent grasping, wire mesh, electrical fencing is installed, trip wires, search lights and a death strip, a 100-yard-wide gauntless of carefully-raked sand which mix it easy to spot the footprints of escapees. the wall stretches over 100 miles, completely encircling berlin and seals the country. one year later, in 1962, to my grandparents, especially my o to pa's -- opa's great disappointment, his youngest son is ordered to be a border guard to serve at the berlin wall.
7:56 am
between the building of the wall in 1961 and the fall of the wall in 1989, almost 150 people would be shot trying to escape. some 1,000 others killed while trying to cross the border elsewhere or by drawning in the baltic -- drowning in the baltic sea or river. the berlin wall was clearly built to keep the people in, but the east german leadership tells its people the wall is built to keep subversives out. subversives from the west out. but the family in the east knows it, and although some east germans might be fooled, millions of others know exactly why the wall was built. so by now oma, my grandmother, has built a wall of her own. and even gives it a name, the family wall. so i'd just like to read another excerpt from the book. the safe haven that she had begun to create the day the
7:57 am
soviets stepped foot in town to shelter her family from the suffocation of the regime now had a name. she declared the family wall a sanctuary, a refuge where the family would save their souls by keeping the good in and the bad out. the children followed oma's lead, and the concept took hold. inside the family wall, the children let down their guard. as the fabric of east german society began to fray under the yoke of an orwellian oppression, and families wondered whether they could trust their parents, and siblings, behind closed doors they insisted we foster any chance to fight against the spirit of a regime out to crush the spirits of its people so the cold war rages on. the space race takes off, the
7:58 am
nuclear arms race continues with both the soviet union and the u.s. building their nuclear arsenals. major world tensions pit communism and democracy against one another. president kennedy and soviet leader khrushchev go head to head in various conflicts, khrushchev eventually saying to the west, "we will bury you with." after the wall is built, east germany's reputation plummets. in an effort to upgrade its image, the regime launches a sports program the likes of which had never been seen in history at all. suddenly, the tiny country of east germany is producing extraordinary athletes. the country's reputation goes up for a while, the world stopping to watch every time an east german shatters a record at world competitions and at the olympics. but then it's discovered that's germany is doping its top athletes. back in town, opa continues to
7:59 am
speak up against the regime, chalks up more black marks, eventually pays the price for his belligerence. he's finally denounced, marginalized from society, kicked out of the communist party and is banished to a remote area in east germany, even sent for a time to an insane asylum where he has to undergo reeducation training. the family makes its way in the system, most of the children group to become teachers. they live their lives by following the rules, following the laws and trying to preserve their self-dignity and trying to live a life of meaning in this restricted environment. heidi, the little sister, grows up. she and her husband both do not join the communist party, and they suffer the consequences especially professionally. but they also create a sort of little secret hideaway, sort of a magical place with a flower garden that becomes a kind of
8:00 am
refuge where they can escape emotionally from the stresses of society. paradise bungalow, which is what they call it, becomes for them a tiny oasis of freedom and life energy, and i won't ruin that story for you. you'll have to read that one. [laughter] >> you can watch this and other programs online at booktv.org. >> c-span, where history unfolds daily. in 1979, c-span was created as a public service by america's cable television companies and is brought to you today by your cable or satellite provider. >> host: rahul telang, in your new book, "streaming, sharing, stealing: big data and the future of entertainment," you open with: for the creative industries -- music, film and publishing -- these are the best of times and the worst of times. what do you mean by that? >> g

15 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on