It turns out Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) was correct when he claimed Harvard Law School had significant numbers of what might reasonably be called “communists.”
Anyone who knows the Ivy League knows the question shouldn’t be, Who at Harvard is Marxist? but Who at Harvard isn’t Marxist?
Cruz, a U.S. senator for almost two months now, made the offending statement in a speech almost three years ago. He described Barack Obama as “the most radical” president “ever to occupy the Oval Office.”
Obama “would have made a perfect president of Harvard Law School” because “there were fewer declared Republicans in the faculty when we were there than communists!” said Cruz. “There was one Republican. But there were 12 who would say they were Marxists who believed in the communists’ overthrowing the United States government.”
Dan McLaughlin, a law school classmate of Cruz, confirms that the senator “is absolutely right on the basic point here: there were multiples more Marxists on the Harvard Law faculty at the time than open Republicans.”
Does any of this mean that Cruz believes actual dues-paying, card-carrying members of the Communist Party USA (CPUSA) dominate the Harvard Law faculty? No, but he knows that Harvard, like so many institutions of higher learning across America, is infected with Marxist fellow travelers who are ideologically sympathetic to communism. To distinguish such people from actual CPUSA members, they are often referred to as small-c communists or neo-communists.
Like most Americans, Cruz wasn’t using the plural form of the word communist with the precision of a political theory scholar. He was referring to people who believe that markets are fundamentally unjust and that physical force should be used to create a classless society. They believe in extreme, forced equality and boring sameness at the expense of freedom and individual rights.
A Cruz spokeswoman later explained that her employer’s “substantive point was absolutely correct: in the mid-1990s, the Harvard Law School faculty included numerous self-described proponents of ‘critical legal studies’ — a school of thought explicitly derived from Marxism — and they far outnumbered Republicans.”
Greg Sargent, the Washington Post’s in-house ideological purity enforcer, pounced on Cruz, calling the clarification the “latest blast of unhinged nonsense from Cruz’s office.”
Sargent is wrong.
Critical legal theory takes the neo-Marxist perspective that the law is concerned with power, not justice. Because the law is a fraud perpetrated on the people, an oppressive tool of capitalism, imperialism, sexism, racism, and whatever other ism it is currently fashionable to attack, the legal system should be criticized endlessly as a means of tearing it down. If you’re a communist it’s natural to embrace critical legal theory as a way of changing American society.
Judge Alex Kozinski of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals eloquently describes critical legal studies (CLS) as “horse manure.”
As I understand this so-called theory, the notion is that because legal rules don’t mean much anyway, and judges can reach any result they wish by invoking the right incantation, they should engraft their own political philosophy onto the decision-making process and use their power to change the way our society works.
Imagine the chaos that would ensue if “Crits” dominated the judiciary. There would be no fixed rules. The only certain criterion for decisions would be so-called social justice, whatever that might mean on a particular day. As the judicial branch became an instrument of naked redistribution, Karl Marx would look up from his fiery torments and cheer as America degenerated into kleptocracy.
There are more than a few Harvard Law academics associated with critical legal studies.
Harvard has been ground zero for the CLS movement for decades, a fact Time acknowledged in 2005. The magazine identified Harvard law professors Roberto Mangabeira Unger, Morton Horwitz, and Duncan M. Kennedy as “three of the best-known” CLS adherents. (Kennedy is also a member of the far-left Democratic Socialists of America and the radical, pro-terrorist National Lawyers Guild. Bernardine Dohrn, incidentally, used to be an organizer for the NLG.)
Other Crits on the Harvard faculty are Mark Tushnet and David W. Kennedy. In a 1981 law review article titled “The Dilemmas of Liberal Constitutionalism,” Tushnet wrote that if he were a judge he “would decide what decision in a case was most likely to advance the cause of socialism.”
Crits Northeastern University law professor Clare Dalton and University of Wisconsin law professor emeritus David Trubek taught at Harvard Law but failed to earn tenure.
CLS-friendly law professors with ties to Harvard are easy to find. Yale’s Jack Balkin and Georgetown’s Gary Peller and Louis Michael Seidman (author of the infamous column “Let’s Give Up On the Constitution”) all received their law degrees from Harvard. So did academic Peter Gabel (who is also associate editor at leftist magazine Tikkun).
Stanford professor Robert W. Gordon, who has a Harvard law degree, organized a campaign at Harvard Law in support of Dalton and Trubek when they were trying to get tenure. Gordon whined at the time that Harvard had engaged in “red-baiting” the two academics.
CLS enthusiast Mark G. Kelman, a highly cited law professor and vice dean of Stanford Law School, also earned his law degree from Harvard.
And don’t forget that while Barack Obama was a law student at Harvard, he studied under CLS guru Unger. Moreover, Derrick Bell, Obama’s racist, Marxist mentor at Harvard Law, was a proponent of critical race theory, the multiculturalist Left’s race-obsessed spinoff of critical legal theory.
Judge Richard Posner of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has described critical race theorists as the “lunatic core” of “radical legal egalitarianism.”
At the heart of this ugly, destructive, balkanizing worldview is the idea that the white-dominated American system is hopelessly racist. To remedy this imbalance, the views of non-whites on the system should be given greater weight.
As one commentator has written, this perspective appears to be shared by Supreme Court Justices Elena Kagan and Sonia “Wise Latina” Sotomayor, along with Attorney General Eric Holder who is reluctant to investigate civil rights complaints when the victim is white.
Harvard is not the only university infected by CLS-loving communists.
Virtually all major colleges and universities across the fruited plain are dominated by small-c communists. Far-left insurrectionists such as Northwestern University School of Law professor Bernardine Dohrn, a leader of the Weather Underground terrorist group, are not outliers. In the groves of academe today communists are mainstream or close to it.
It’s been this way for decades.
Communists, who reject the core values of American society and want radical change, don’t like being labeled and compelled to defend their subversive beliefs in public. When they are identified as communists, they marginalize adversaries by calling them crazy or by letting the media do their dirty work for them.
Communism may have faded as a threat to U.S. national security, but its lingering influence on the culture is powerful enough that, to quote Ann Coulter in Treason, accusing someone of being a communist “makes you the nut.”
Naturally, Cruz, who earned his J.D. magna cum laude at Harvard Law School in 1995, has been vilified by left-wingers and mocked by the antique media for speaking truth to power. He is portrayed as a liar, a bully, and a lunatic.
The senator has been attacked by leftist Obama-worshipers such as MSNBCers Chris Matthews and Rachel Maddow, The Daily Beast’s Michael Tomasky, and an ever-expanding echo chamber of radical journalists and useful idiots.
Jane Mayer, a reporter on the New Yorker’s anti-conservative beat, started the ovine stampede recently by reporting Cruz’s otherwise unremarkable comments about communists on campus. Like her comrades, Mayer smeared Cruz after he tried to hold Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to account at his recent confirmation hearing by comparing the Texan to Sen. Joe McCarthy, the Red-hunting Wisconsin Republican from the 1950s. Hagel scoffed at congressional demands for details about who has been paying his speaking fees and Cruz responded by speculating about the sources. That’s what happens when cabinet nominees thumb their noses at Congress. Things get ugly.
For pressing Hagel, Cruz was accused by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) of conducting an ideologically motivated witch hunt. Boxer said she was reminded of “a different time and place, when you said, ‘I have here in my pocket a speech you made on such-and-such a date,’ and of course there was nothing in the pocket.”
Of course, the late Sen. McCarthy had nothing to do with much of what has come to be known as McCarthyism. And he was correct about the presence of real, live, pro-Soviet Communist agents in the U.S. government, as M. Stanton Evans proved in his exhaustively researched book, Blacklisted By History.
In his pursuit of Communist spies, McCarthy was a great deal more accurate than Cruz’s critics are about the freshman senator.
(originally posted at American Thinker)