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Thursday, August 17, 2006

Why Must We Pay Socialist Academics to Warp Our Kids Minds?

Cactus Kate has written a very interesting piece about her experiences with Auckland Uni law academic, Jane Kelsey.

Anybody studying law at Auckland will probably meet Kelsey, as Kate notes

Chances are you have to as her specialist subjects Jurisprudence (Marxism) and Legal System, are compulsory.

Kate describes Kelsey thus

Kelsey is extremely marketable in left wing circles around the world. She is the most openly lesbian, feminist, marxist, anti-free trade, pro-Maori, welfare and purple, anti-colonial person I have ever been taught by in my life. She has never worked anywhere other than in academia.

Jane is also a former National President of the Association of University Staff of New Zealand and maintains an active profile in debates on tertiary education policy and academic freedom.

She also has tenure. You must accept this. No matter how legitimate your complaints about her bias are, she will NEVER get fired. The entire faculty including the Dean, was terrified of her when I was in attendance.

While Kate's view of Kelsey is actually quite complimentary-much like the admiration some old diggers had for Rommel, she does highlight a problem.

The positions she takes are so blatantly corrupt and historically imbalanced that they are begging for aggression. She banks on no one having the balls to front foot it with her. She banks right a lot of the time.

This raises the question: why should taxpayers pay to have their children indoctrinated, intimidated or browbeaten by the likes of Jane Kelsey?

Meanwhile Andrew Falloon posts on compromising his views in order to secure marks

Oh dear, I just cited CAFCA (Campaign Against Foreign Control in Aotearoa) in an essay for Mass Communications. It's quite a left-wing course (the free market is bad bad bad). Unfortunately it's a 100 level paper and in my experience lecturers don't like me arguing with them until at least 200 level papers. So for now I just have to suck it up and write stuff like this....

So a good liberal like Andrew feels he has to write crap in order to pass the course he and his parents are paying for.

Privatise the universities. It is the only way we'll end the corrupt practice of taxpayers paying socialists to undermine their own society.

15 Comments:

Blogger andrewfalloon said...

Too late!!
Handed it in yesterday.

At the end of the essay I still came out in support of free market media, but I did have to shoot a few holes in my argument which I didn't enjoy :(

2:49 PM  
Blogger Trevor Loudon said...

Hell Andrew, that was quick. Don't do it again is my advice. Stick to your gyuns no matter what.

3:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You keep an eye on that bloke, Trev. He's starting to worry me.

8:29 PM  
Anonymous Cameron said...

I agree don't compromise your views for anyone. This is coming from a "leftie" who thinks Jane Kelsey is a brilliant academic. I wouldn't change my views if there was ever an ACT Party member for a lecturer.

She was one of the lecturers for Law and Society but I had one of the other lecturers (who was also very good). Was a brilliant course. I got an A+ because I studied so hard ;)

9:06 PM  
Blogger andrewfalloon said...

I was starting to worry myself!!

I'm ok now though, i've spent all day on a Macroeconomics assignment, the free market is good, foreign investment is good, capitalism is good!!

9:11 PM  
Blogger andrewfalloon said...

I should really point out that I didn't compromise my views, I still managed to come down on the "right" side of the fence.

The CAFCA stuff was pretty much just to take shots at my argument, something that is necessary for the sort of paper I was writing.

9:15 PM  
Blogger Murray said...

y brother got through Uni by working out in the forst week what the lecturers wanted to hear then repeating it back to them thus securing an A+ average.

Those that most claimed they wanted differing points of views were those who least wanted differing points of view.

10:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I'm ok now though, i've spent all day on a Macroeconomics assignment, the free market is good, foreign investment is good, capitalism is good!!"


When I studied macroeconomics I learnt about trade offs e.g. the market/government is good because ... but has problems such as ....

There is market failure and government failure. There are several definitions of capitalism; one of which is to have a market that is very free, with the role of the state reduced down to police, judiciary, military and a couple of minor roles. There are advantages to a system like that but it comes at a price.

Foreign investment has the potential to build up the productive capacity of a nation and create jobs but it almost always results in a long term net outflow of money. Some forms of foreign investment would be very good while others would be very bad. If you look on CAFCA's website I think you will find that they describe some of the lower quality foreign investment, in particular take-overs where assets get sold to foreigners rather than created by them.

NZ has had current account deficits each year; a large part due to profit flowing offshore. A lack of asset ownership is the main reason why NZ has slipped so far down the OECD rankings in terms of per capita income.

During the 80s and 90s reforms, if the state assets were corporatised instead of getting sold off at below their true value, maybe the problem wouldn't have been so bad. Government debt would be higher, but the interest on the government debt would have been lower than the yields the corporatised assets would have generated.

Trying to fix the problem now would come at a price. There is debate over whether the state has a role in fixing the problem, and if so how the problem should be fixed or reduced, and whether or not the price of the method is worth paying.

Macro-economics has a lot to do with trade-offs. There is rarely an optimal policy set.

Micro-economics on the other hand has a lot to do with optimisation i.e. individuals maximising utility and firms maximising profit.

There is a difference between right wing rhetoric and economics.

10:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Privatise the universities. It is the only way we'll end the corrupt practice of taxpayers paying socialists to undermine their own society."

Universities can't be privatised because the government doesn't own them. Universities are independent entities. The government subsidises tuition fees and gives research grants to universities. The government doesn't decide which people become university lecturers. As long as the lecturer is teaching the subject properly, I don't care if they are left wing or right wing.

11:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Kelsey is extremely marketable in left wing circles around the world. She is the most openly lesbian, feminist, marxist, anti-free trade, pro-Maori, welfare and purple, anti-colonial person I have ever been taught by in my life. She has never worked anywhere other than in academia."


How does being lesbian make one left wing?

The aim of feminism is to have equal rights for men and women. I don't think women's suffrage was purely a left wing ideal.

Is she really a Marxist? I thought she was a social democrat.

There is a great discrepancy between the principles and practice of free trade. Free trade deals usually mean tariffs must be reduced or removed but subsidies are still allowed. The key difference between tariffs and subsidies is that subsidies depend on the level of government revenue while tariffs don’t. The poorer the nation, the harder it will be for that nation to protect local jobs and firms by using subsidies alone. USA and European agricultural subsidies have been used to such an extent that they are used more as a trade weapon than a trade barrier. Cheap subsidised agriculture from the US or European Union floods the markets of developing nations, undermining their agriculture in the long run. As a result of NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement), Mexican farm land was then bought out by large US agri-businesses that were receiving subsidies from the US government.


What is left wing about being pro-Maori? What does this person mean by pro-Maori? Is it wanting to let Maoris be Maoris? Maoris can't help being Maoris. Being anti-Maori seems racist.

Most people in the country are in favour of having an economic "safety net". I think you would have a hard time finding a lecturer that wants to remove all welfare spending by the government.

What is wrong with being in favour of the colour purple? Or any other colour for that matter?

Are you sure she is anti-colonial? Maybe she is just anti-imperialist.

Why should someone not be hired as a lecturer if they haven't worked outside of academia? Knowing the subject and being good at teaching seem to me like the most important prerequisites for becoming a lecture.

11:45 AM  
Blogger libertyscott said...

You might well ask why she is a key advisor to MFAT on WTO negotiations for the education sector. This has only been since 1999 of course

7:48 PM  
Blogger Trevor Loudon said...

Anon said

"Why should someone not be hired as a lecturer if they haven't worked outside of academia? Knowing the subject and being good at teaching seem to me like the most important prerequisites for becoming a lecture."

The problem I have with this approach anon is that I believe in objective truth. Just as we have no left wing physics or socialist chemistry, I believe that socialist economics, law, sociology and history are pure flat earth bunk.

People who teach them are deluded or liars. The may be very clever loonies, or very plausible liars, but they are not fit to impart truth because they possess little.

In private universities, where academics can be held to account, socialist teachers would become very rare. Their bullshit would be minimised and would damage fewer people.

8:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The problem I have with this approach anon is that I believe in objective truth. Just as we have no left wing physics or socialist chemistry, I believe that socialist economics, law, sociology and history are pure flat earth bunk.

Those subjects aren't taught purely from a socialist perspective. When I studied public and macro economics, the lecturers covered arguments from several different perspectives. In macro-economics, the lecturer talked about attitudes towards market stability from Marxist, Keynesian, Monetarist and libertarian perspectives. In public economics, the lecturer discussed various welfare philosophies including utilitarianism, Rawlsianism and libertarianism.

The perspectives had valid but conflicting arguments. I think that it is important to cover a wide range of views for that kind of subject. If the lecturer was to cover only one view, then I would be concerned. In a situation like that, the subject would be propaganda instead of a discipline. I am not convinced that Jane Kelsey has followed such a line.

You didn't answer my question. Why should someone not be hired as a lecturer if they haven't worked outside of academia?


In private universities, where academics can be held to account, socialist teachers would become very rare. Their bullshit would be minimised and would damage fewer people.

As I have said before, Universities are independent entities i.e. they aren't owned by the government. The government subsidises tuition fees and gives research grants to universities. The government doesn't decide which people become university lecturers.

Lecturers are monitored by their department. Students fill in evaluation forms about their lecturers. Considering how Law tends to attract conservative wankers, if she was as bad as people here are saying she is, she would have lost her job by now.

9:54 PM  
Blogger Cactus Kate said...

Anon 4 down

The listing of those qualities needs to be taken into context. I was creating contrast with myself in order to justify the argument that I completely understood where she was coming from because she is the absolute opposite of myself.

From memory I did not once accuse Kelsey of being a bad lecturer or ill-deserving to be there because of these qualities, quite the opposite.

As far as the left-right argument goes, Kelsey made plenty of middle of the road students rebel against what she was lecturing about because for once they had to get off the fence and have an opinion.

To answer Trevor's question:

"This raises the question: why should taxpayers pay to have their children indoctrinated, intimidated or browbeaten by the likes of Jane Kelsey?".

Because it is excellent training for the "real world" that's why. If these highly educated and privileged students can't stand up and have an opinion and deal with Kelsey in a mature adult fashion, then how are they ever going to make it in a cut throat aggressive professional like law?

Will they run to Mummy and Daddy and say their boss or the opposing counsel is picking on them?

If you are studying law and can't handle Kelsey then you don't deserve to be there.

6:27 PM  
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