NEH and Nancy MacLean blasted in ForbesHistorians in the News
tags: NEH, Nancy MacLean
The National Endowment for the Humanities is one of the remnants of Lyndon Johnson’s foolish “Great Society” idea that the federal government should meddle in almost everything. Signed into law in 1965, the law creating this federal agency (along with the National Endowment for the Arts) declares, “The encouragements and support of national progress and scholarship in the humanities and the arts, while primarily matters of private and local initiative, are also appropriate matters of concern to the Federal Government.”
That was and still is nonsense….
People should be free to study and write about any of that, but with their own money or money willingly given to them for the purpose. Federal bureaucrats should not give away money taken from the taxpayers for such humanities “research.”
The reason why I say that the case for abolishing the NEH, as proposed in President Trump’s budget, just got stronger is that it funded an egregiously political hatchet job of a book that was recently published, namely Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America by Duke University history professor Nancy MacLean.
Using phrases like “radical right” and “stealth” are sure to get accolades from leftists who love a good horror story about their supposed enemies. Never mind that any fair account would have to say that there is nothing stealthy in what the “radical right” wants. Conservatives, classical liberals, and libertarians want a return to limited government under the Constitution and have never hidden that. If that’s “radical,” so was the American Revolution, which also sought to secure individual liberty against an overreaching state. And as for putting democracy “in chains,” that was exactly what the Constitution’s drafters intended.
But the fact that MacLean has written a book meant to confirm leftist biases isn’t the main problem. The problem is that she has chosen to target and misrepresent economist James Buchanan (1920-2013), who received the Nobel Prize in 1986 for his path-breaking work on public choice theory. MacLean portrays Buchanan as the dark, racist figure who provided the intellectual veneer for the movement to downsize the government.
comments powered by Disqus
- 20 years since America’s shock over Clinton-Lewinsky affair, public discussions on sexual harassment are changing
- The Trump Presidency: Year One
- From presidential nominee to freshman senator? Romney would make history if he runs.
- From King George IV to President Trump, The Fat Men Who’ve Ruled The World
- Here’s How One Family Prepared for Nuclear War in 1954
- Steve Bannon says historian Walter Russell Mead was the inspiration for hanging Jackson’s picture in the Oval Office
- A historian is helping students register to vote
- Pension report shows that a historian continues to be the highest paid pensioner in New York State education system
- Ibram X. Kendi’s NYT op ed drew a strong response
- Andrew Roberts says Trump might even win a second term