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My First Day at UCLA, USSR

by Garin K. Hovannisian Tuesday, Sep. 30, 2003 at 3:42 PM

MIT professor Noam Chomsky (a rabidly anti-American leftist) had more books at the UCLA Store than did Aristotle, John Locke, Adam Smith, Frederic Bastiat, Thomas Malthus, John Stuart Mill, F.A. Hayek, Milton Friedman, Thomas Sowell, Ayn Rand, Nathaniel Branden ... if not for the fading scent of liberty, I might as well have been at the University of Havana.

My First Day at UCLA
Garin K. Hovannisian, FrontPageMagazine.com, September 29, 2003

I walked through the beautiful campus of the University of California, Los Angeles on September 25 with the silent hope that the rumors about American higher education would prove untrue.

I had walked through UCLA many times before, but this was an especially important day. It marked my first as a college student.

Dressed neatly with a feigned confidence, signs of freshness that any thinking person could discern, I headed toward my first class. The professor of my "Introduction to Western Civilization" class indulged our group with the timeless flavor of Greek philosophy, quoting a Theban writer in his definition of man: "What is a man? What is he not? Man is what a shadow would dream to be." This sent chills down my spine.

Then the enthusiasm stopped. The professor began to talk about the positive contributions of modern "historians" Marx and Hegel (fathers of Communism) to history, with the neatly crafted preface, "Now don't tell the L.A. Times that I said that Karl Marx is a great man, but€"

But at least this was contextualized. Toward the end of the talk, the lecturer, with apparently no connection to the topic at hand, opined, "I don't think it's unprofessional of me to say this: I think that each one of you should join an environmental organization." And then, on the theory of global warming, "even laymen know that the earth is getting hotter." These comments, strangely, were not responses to any questions or remarks by the students, but rather composed a part of the introduction to the course.

After a brief interlude at the food court, I proceeded to English composition. It was then that I bumped into a group of students who marched around campus with the sign, "Impeach Cheney; Vote no on this recal." They chanted, "Hey hey! Ho ho! On this recall, vote no!" Revolving around the group like lunar satellites, were students who held up signs that read, "Lyndon LaRouche for president"; still others yelled, "Arnold Schwartzenegger thinks that voters are sluts!"

The English class was described to me by other students familiar with it as "more about Feminism than it was about English." They described the professor as someone who "isn't afraid of expressing herself€[and is]€passionate about getting her point across."

After passing a man who was distributing a newspaper titled "The Spark" with a sign "Socialism and Revolution" and several opponents of Proposition 54 (which would prevent the government from collecting data on race in certain fields), I found myself on Bruin Walk, where one can find any national flag except Old Glory. (I'm not counting a cheesy rainbow-colored mockery of the flag that was on proud display.)

I finally reached the object of my journey--the UCLA bookstore. I asked a sales employee to check the database for a few conservative books that I wanted to buy. After receiving a negative answer on all three -- a result that, given the prominence of the books, was astonishing -- I inquired further.

Of the 25 political books that were on display, 21 were ideologically to the Left, 3 had no apparent political inclinations, and only 1 was ideologically to the Right.

But much more perturbing is the following: MIT professor Noam Chomsky (a rabidly anti-American leftist) had more books at the UCLA Store than did Aristotle, John Locke, Adam Smith, Frederic Bastiat, Thomas Malthus, John Stuart Mill, F.A. Hayek, Milton Friedman, Thomas Sowell, Ayn Rand, Nathaniel Branden -- in effect, the entire tradition of intellectual classical liberal thought -- AND David Horowitz, Dinesh D'Souza, Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity, and Larry Elder -- the current-day advancers of the libertarian and conservative legacies... combined. Whether these results were achieved as a result of faculty demands or the tastes of UCLA bookstore administrators they are equally degrading to the concept of diversity -- the diversity of opinion.

If not for the language difference, the baroque-styled buildings, and that faint and fading scent of liberty, I might as well have been at the University of Havana.
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LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 50 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
TITLE AUTHOR DATE
young conservatives... johnk Tuesday, Sep. 30, 2003 at 4:36 PM
ahhh, a nice link... johnk Tuesday, Sep. 30, 2003 at 4:46 PM
johnk thanx Tuesday, Sep. 30, 2003 at 5:01 PM
thats what going to college is all about. UCLA alum Tuesday, Sep. 30, 2003 at 6:00 PM
UCLA alum thanx Tuesday, Sep. 30, 2003 at 6:19 PM
Extinguishing the Fire of Patriotism Garin K. Hovannisian Tuesday, Sep. 30, 2003 at 6:52 PM
Don't give up, rewrite Parmenides Tuesday, Sep. 30, 2003 at 8:33 PM
of low intelligence fresca Tuesday, Sep. 30, 2003 at 10:14 PM
Reply for Garin K. Hovannisian MadMaxim Tuesday, Sep. 30, 2003 at 11:20 PM
right on ucla alum 2 Wednesday, Oct. 01, 2003 at 4:16 PM
references? ucla alum 2 Thursday, Oct. 02, 2003 at 1:34 PM
The reason for Chomsky worship. nonanarchist Thursday, Oct. 02, 2003 at 7:50 PM
OneEyedMan KPC Thursday, Oct. 02, 2003 at 7:58 PM
No, he doesn't confuse me. nonanarchist Thursday, Oct. 02, 2003 at 8:37 PM
actually... frank black Thursday, Oct. 02, 2003 at 8:54 PM
OneEyedMan KCP Thursday, Oct. 02, 2003 at 9:26 PM
Does verbally abusive language work? Bill Winter Thursday, Oct. 02, 2003 at 9:34 PM
don't like UCLA you won't be missed Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 1:30 AM
then it appears that you have lose your mind duh Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 6:10 AM
paste me some brains please Hex anon w/ encryption Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 6:45 AM
Chicken Boy and Hex nonanarchist Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 7:05 AM
a disinfotainment scam artist Hex anon w/ encryption Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 8:05 AM
Eyes rolling fresca Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 8:41 AM
all proof "nonsense" to fresca blind 7 Hex anon w/ encryption Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 9:24 AM
yep fresca Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 9:35 AM
This article makes me sick. Nate Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 9:51 AM
nothing = nonsense, same diff Hex anon w/ encryption Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 9:51 AM
Deadline: Oct. 15, 2003 time Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 10:06 AM
Dumb Chumpski BTW Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 10:29 AM
Chumpsky and his merry band of half-wits. Nate Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 10:57 AM
Nate BTW Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 11:00 AM
a troll is a troll is a troll... Hex anon w/ encryption Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 11:07 AM
Hex Anon = Warren Palin (aka Diogenes) in the know Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 11:12 AM
faker . Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 11:30 AM
">>So then the question is who posted under your "name" then?" Warren Palin Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 11:30 AM
so now everybody is fake Hex anon w/ encryption Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 12:25 PM
Hex time Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 12:35 PM
sure whatever you say sarge Hex anon w/ encryption Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 12:44 PM
"do you believe me ?" pollster Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 2:45 PM
no please believe me - kobe is perfectly safe Hex anon w/ encryption Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 6:32 PM
Hex time Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 6:36 PM
Hex nonanarchist Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 6:37 PM
OneEyedMan KPC Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 6:53 PM

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