421 CHRONICLESn”either you understand the science ofnMarxism as I do, accept it, and apply it,nor else see me after class to discuss yournlearning disability.”nSome American history books willn”spare little ink on Communism, itsnnature, or its history in practice,” warnsnHewitt. Quite. Students may even encounternpopular American history textsnsuch as Marxist historian HowardnZinn’s A People’s History of the UnitednStates. (Zinn claims that his historyntext is written from the point of view ofnthe Indians, the slaves, pacifists, andndraftdodgers.)nThe publishing of First Principlesncomes at a time when the Americannacademy suffers from a number ofnharmful unintellectual diseases, especiallynin promoting the myth of “moralnequivalence” that Professor JeanenKirkpatrick has confronted in all itsndangerous implications, and in promotingnthe idea “that it’s all relative.”nIf students equip themselves withnHewitt’s handy manual and apply thenwisdom therein, we might be able tonbegin again the discussion of how tonreopen the minds of our future leaders.nWith Ms. Carter, it might be too late.nLes Csorba III, executive director ofnAccuracy in Academia, is executiveneditor of Campus Report.nCommon Sensenby Steven GoldbergnFeminism and Freedom bynMichael Levin, New Brunswick,nNJ: Transaction Books.nOver in my philosophy department theynused to shake their heads and smile.nThey didn’t actually pat me on the headnor anything; professors don’t do that.nBut they did get a kick out of what theynsaw as my naivete. “How sweet,” theynseemed to think, “that he could reallynbelieve that philosophy is, by its nature,nimpenetrable by the sort of idiocy thatnhas penetrated sociology and anthropology.”nWell, it made sense to me. In sociology,nthe irrelevance of fact is such thatnover three quarters {well over threenquarters) of the introductory textbooksncan claim, even after more than 50nyears of Margaret Mead’s vehementlyndenying she ever said any such thing,nthat Mead’s Tchambuli reversed sexnroles. But philosophy doesn’t have empiricalnfacts, and so, it seemed to me,nany logical equivalent of the made-upnfact would be so obviously false thatnderisive laughter would be philosophy’snsource of immunity.nIt turns out it doesn’t work that way.nYou wouldn’t believe the nonsense thatnsome men and women in philosophy,nat least in the area of sex-role issues,nnow take seriously. Most of the nonsensenis a sort of Dadaist entwining ofnconfused argument and obsessive concernnwith bodily functions. It’s a littleneasier to think that this stuff isn’t actuallyntaken seriously by the author (evennif it is taken seriously by HarvardnUniversity Press), than to believe thenauthor or anyone else could confuse itnwith serious thought. But whether onenfinds duplicity or stupidity more repugnantnis a matter of taste, and ultimatelynirrelevant. Dumb is dumb.nA sentence created by a third-ratenmind and devoid of any real meaningncan sound meaningful, even profound,nparticularly if dressed up in splashynfootnotes that misrepresent seriousnwork and accurately present work evennmore ridiculous than that of the author.nRectifying the intellectual damagendone by such a sentence requires anrigorous mind devoting pages to undoingnthe confusion and exposing thenlack of content. Whole books of suchnsentences (see, for example, CatherinenMacKinnon’s Feminism Unmodified,n1987) dissuade those who lack thennecessary rigor, endurance, or couragenfrom responding. Until now, in philosophy,nthis seems to have meant everybody.nFinally, one of the few contemporarynphilosophers who possesses thennecessary traits in sufficient quantitiesnhas responded to the thousands ofnpapers and hundreds of books thatnwould lead an outsider to think thatnphilosophy is the silly studying thensillier. What is particularly admirable isnthat Michael Levin didn’t need this.nAlready possessing a world-class reputationnin abstruse areas of mathematicalnand other philosophies, Levin couldnhave ignored the once-unimaginablendepths of incompetence now exhibitednby many of those who perform atnphilosophy conferences and conven­nnntions. All the other smart ones did.nLevin calls his book Feminism andnFreedom, a title that reflects his beliefnthat feminist philosophy generates anworld view and a set of policies discordantnwith the requirements of liberty.nHe effectively demolishes both feminism’snassumptions and the argumentsndrawn from them. Feminism and Freedomndeserves an audience far widernthan its obvious constituency of conservativesnand others for whom the issuesnof liberty and freedom are of centralninterest.nLevin’s primary concern is that ancombination of illogic and bullying cannlead — and has led — to policies thatnare inefficient at best, disastrous atnworst, and always unjust. He examinesnthe myriad areas in which a feministnenvironmental model has denied thenrelevance of physiologically-rooted sexndifferences, and then coerced ignorantnand/or cowardly politicians into supportingnpolicies that would make sensenonly if the model were correct. By thentime Levin has demonstrated the lacknof common sense in arguments forncomparable worth, military Rambettes,nunisex educational policies, alterationnof the language, redefinition of excellencenin athletics, and a score of otherndenials of human experience, onenwonders what leg their supporters arenleft standing on.nConsider, for example, the case ofnthe women who wanted to be firemen.nThese women, like all potential firenfighters, were given a strength test. Tonany of you who have ever lifted a firenhose, to say nothing of a 200-poundnman, such a test is obviously necessary,ngiven the nature of the job.nThe judge who heard the womens’nsuit (Berkman v. NYFD) did not thinknso. When faced with the fact that all 88nfemale applicants failed the test, thenjudge decided that here was discriminationnat its most pernicious. (The factnthat over half the males failed the testndoesn’t seem to have bothered HisnHonor too much.) Demonstrating thencorrectness of the truism that “a littlenknowledge is a dangerous thing,” thenjudge concluded that the odds againstnthis happening in the absence of anbiasing factor are less than one in tenntrillion.n”Bias” has two different meaningsn— one being “statistical skewing resultingnfrom real differences” and then