science requirement that could be fulfilled with history,npsychology, or sociology; the math unit could be satisfiednwith logic; and science by kitchen chemistry or amateurnastronomy or even “geography.” At Chapel Hill I met anstudent satisfying a requirement by taking “Foods of thenWorld.”nOh, there were dissident voices, and here and there anGreat Books program (as at the University of Chicago undernHutchins) or a humanities core (as at the University ofnWisconsin under Meiklejohn), but these half-measures,nwhile they did highlight the failure of the progressivencurriculum, were a poor substitute for a traditional curriculumnthat had been evolving over more than two millennia.nLike so many “conservative” experiments, these humanitiesncurricula were the products of a loyal opposition that wantednto hold onto a few trinkets of the old order without rejectingnthe broad goals of the revolution. A conservatism dedicatednto preserving last year’s progressivism is doomed to failure, ifnonly because the general course of revolution is almostnalways to the left. As Daniel Bell has remarked of RobertnHutchins’ reforms at the University of Chicago, “Allnrevolutions fade and after a while look tedious to theirnsuccessors.”nThose successors had revolutionary projects of their own.nBeginning in the 60’s, New Left Marxists fought for thenpower to teach critical theory, blacks set up black studiesncurricula, and feminists invented women’s studies; all thisnwas tolerated by the grumbling defenders of the progressivencurriculum, but capitulation never resolves a struggle, andntimidity only invites more claims.nThis takes us to the present time and the controversy overn”diversity.” On the radical side, minority representatives arendemanding inclusion and eventual dominance over thenhumanities curriculum. By themselves, ethnic and sexualnminorities could do nothing, and their success is owed to thencollaboration of their liberal and radical colleagues who railnagainst the culture they are paid to uphold.nThe main point is not, we must remember, an appreciationnof oriental, African, and Native American cultures.nThat would require a serious study of difficult foreignnlanguages, anthropology, and religion — no, the point remainsnwhat it has always been in curriculum reform: anmilitant resentment against the traditions and institutions ofncivilized life.nThe rootless and uncivilized professoriat is, for thisnreason, willing to endorse the claims made by blacks,nHispanics, Asians, Indians, and homosexuals — all in thenname of pluralism and diversity. Professors can hardly benexpected to defend a civilization they have never been partnof, and their self-hatred and self-contempt — the mark of thenbeast that is engraved upon losers and weaklings everywheren— spills over into hatred and contempt for the entire culturenof the West.nA recent conference at Rutgers assembled as distinguishedna group of these cultural rebels as you could find. Itnwas a mixed group of minority rights advocates and establishmentnleftists, willing to make reforms so long as the statusnquo is not threatened. Among the latter group, LeonnBotstein, president of Bard, plainly thought that the radicalsnwere ruining their own revolution by “slugging it out overn10 percent of the curriculum.” He nonetheless excoriatednthe “false nostalgia” of the old curriculum’s defenders.nSpeaking for the future, however, was a dean of somethingncalled Clarion State College, who told the group thatn”retraining” the tradition-bound faculty would be a majornpart of the reforms they had in mind.nThis call for reeducation is an all-too-common feature ofncontemporary thought control in universities, which arenjettisoning all requirements but one: minority sensitivitynclasses for freshmen.nIthink we should not be too harsh in criticizing the currentncrop of curriculum reformers. Their hostility to Westernncivilization is only the natural outcome of their ownneducational experiences. Imagine the case of a professor ofn20th-century English or political science — a Botstein or andean of Clarion. He will have been exposed, in his graduatenschool days, to a few, snippets of Milton and Pope ornAristotle and Cicero, but lacking any training in ancientnlanguages or history, his textbook initiation into the classicsnwill have only confirmed his antipathy to the traditions ofnhumane learning. Ignorant, themselves, of all the things thatnused to define an educated man, many younger humanitiesnand social science professors inevitably resent the larger partnof the content of Western Civ. courses. They are, therefore,nperfectly content to give way to the demands of minorityngroups that may be, in fact, statistically insignificant.nThe motives are particularly clear in discussion of NativenAmerican Indian studies. Spokesmen for so-called NativenAmericans, a group of peoples that has virtually no literaturenand no history apart from what is written about them byntheir enemies, have been demanding a large share ofnhumanities and history instruction in elementary and highnschools.nBlacks, Hispanics, Asians, and homosexuals all makensimilar claims, all in the name of pluralism and diversity. Asnone semi-oflBcial tract, “In Praise of Diversity,” puts it:n”Finally, the time has come to celebrate the diversity thatncharacterizes a country in which some three hundredndifferent native American Indian tribes were joined bynnumerous peoples from every continent and every countrynon this planet.” What time is left for a recognition that ournlanguage and our legal and political systems are derivednfrom Britain, our culture an inheritance from ancientnGreece and Rome and from medieval and modern Europe?nVery little.nBut who stands on the other side, what champions do wenhave defending this old civilization of ours? Sullen andndisgruntled progressives, for the most part. Some of them atnStanford defended the humanities curriculum on thengrounds that it was useful for teaching students how bigotednwe have been in the past.nThe most famous critic of the curriculum in recent yearsnis Allan Bloom, whose Closing of the American Mind mustnbe the most unreadable best-seller of all time. Most of whatnBloom says by way of negative criticism is unexceptionable,nalthough it has been said better by earlier critics like ThomasnMolnar, Jacques Barzun, and Albert Jay Nock. But like sonmany lukewarm conservatives, Bloom wants to have his cakenand eat it. He wants to criticize the students, faculty, andncurriculum of the modern university, and he is even willingnto criticize some aspects of modernism itself There are.nnnSEPTEMBER 1990/15n