Who You Callin’ a ‘Hoogleraar’?

Last month I was interviewed by a Dutch journalist who was passing through town about what it is like to be an inmate. . . I mean, a professor at a place like Berkeley. The resulting article in Elsevier Weekblad is in Dutch, which I don’t read at all, and in any case, most of the article is behind a subscription paywall. The headline, “Conservatieve hoogleraar: ‘Ook impopulaire ideeën moeten bespreekbaar zijn’,” apparently translates: “Conservative professor: ‘Unpopular ideas must also be discussed’.” Apparently the Dutch word for “professor” is “hoogleraar,” which I rather like. I’m going to put it on my business card from now on.

All that appears before the paywall is part of the first paragraph:

Steven Hayward (59), een van de schaarse conservatieve hoogleraren aan de universiteit van Berkeley, ziet de vrijheid van meningsuiting in gevaar komen. ‘Sprekers weren, dat lost helemaal niets op.’

Google translate, which isn’t entirely perfect, says this translates as follows:

Steven Hayward (59), one of the few conservative professors at the University of Berkeley, sees freedom of speech at risk. “Speaking of speakers, that does not solve anything at all.”

That last sentence doesn’t really make sense, but I’ll roll with it. (I think what I was trying to say is that calls merely for “free speech” are insufficient, because we need to get at the ideological rot at universities before this problem will change.)

Meanwhile, the comments to the article are not behind a paywall, and the Google translate rendering of some of them are quite interesting—though you need to make due allowance for the imperfections of the translations—and suggest the article was sensible, or at least sympathetic to me:

Good, smart guy. It is all too ridiculous for words, all those long left toes and hurt souls. For decades, they themselves have insulted and cheated on more conservative people, and then suddenly they are ridiculously occupied with alleged racism or are faced with intolerant religions. Many Muslims must have NOs of Christians or dissenters, but do you think there is a critical word from the left? No, they’ll join them. Just ridiculous. For years, the Red, Left, Atheist people have had to insult or ridicule ecclesiastical or conservative compatriots, usually behind the backs, and with VARA and VPRO also openly on TV. And then they want to become an advocate of intolerant groups and of people who come here to benefit from the labor of others? How hypocritical can still be left?

What a wonderful article! In the Netherlands we work completely and nobody knows how to name a dark or tinted person. You can not be against the theory of evolution or against abortion and certainly not be a housemother who wants to raise her children herself. Enter the conversation, you can learn a lot from that.

Freedom of speech is not for frightened people. Unfortunately, the current generation of young people consists mainly of frightened people who do not want to be hurt.

I have worked for 40 years at various Dutch universities. For years there has been a rich tradition to make it impossible for scientists to work on ideological grounds. The University of Amsterdam is the worst in that regard. That is where relative non-valeurs are appointed as professors if they are left enough, while decent social scientists take their research time away if their research does not fit into the prevailing multicultural ideology. For a while it was not as bad as during the “cultural revolution” but it seems to come back to the rise of identity politics.

Sounds like there are some sensible people over in Holland.

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