Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Socialist Scholars Split

The New York Sun reports that, after a 23-year run, the Socialist Scholars Conference has split. Link.
For 23 years, the Socialist Scholars Conference was a big tent under which leftist activists and academics took shelter in an increasingly conservative America. Last June, however, seven of the group's 16 board members resigned, "in protest of the lack of democratic and participatory governance procedures."

As a result of the split, the group's annual conference has been canceled, at least for this year. Meanwhile, the seven who quit the board quickly formed a new organization, the 2005 Left Forum, which has scheduled its debut conference for this weekend at the CUNY Graduate Center in Midtown Manhattan.

I had never heard of the Socialist Scholars Conference, but the name did not come as a surprise. Many like Thomas Sowell have pointed out that the only remaining stronghold of Socialism/Communism in America are university faculties. From the timing, it appears that they formed early in the first Reagan administration. Since then, his ideology has been a bit more successful than theirs.

Reading about the split reminded me of the Second Party Congress in 1903, when the Russian socialists split between the Bolshevics (Russian for "majority") and the Menshevics (Russian for "minority"). That split had consequences, ones that enslaved the Russian people plus many minority peoples for seventy years. I am sure that this one will rate but a footnote, if that. The student bodies are becoming more conservative, which points to a future when academic socialism slowly dies of old age.


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