Arnold Beichman's article (Editorial Pages, Nov. 21) in support of Accuracy in Academia, the new right-wing watchdog organization that aims to smoke out Marxists on our campuses, is disturbing. I am one of those Marxist professors who would be deemed to be so dangerous, so I can speak from that point of view.
Beichman and AIA claim that Marxists are one-sided and ideological--that Marxists aim to propagandize their students. Beichman is disturbed when Marxists mainly teach Marxism in their classes because he sees that as imbalanced, that each instructor ought to teach a variety of perspectives.
I will not try to argue that Marxism is non-ideological, but rather, that all knowledge, Marxist and non-Marxist, has ideology embedded in it. Instructors who teach neo-classical economics, for example, are certainly teaching a world view that has social and political content. They are, in a sense, engaging in "propaganda" for capitalism. I don't hear calls for a balanced approach here.
No one says that each class in neo-classical economics should make sure it gives equal time to Marxism, as the chief critical perspective on neo-classical thought. Instead, like Marxist instructors, neo-classical economists believe they have a body of material to cover that requires full attention and discipline. Some courses compare ideas and systems of thought, but not all do or should.