Those were the days

At dinner on Friday evening, one story I recounted of my undergraduate days was when I gave a paper in a class on political theory.  The students in those days tended to be very much on the left.  I was in a class with a load of Marxists – they could quote Marx at length, but once one got beyond that they were completely lost.  I had been asked to speak on Conservatism.  I did not confine my analysis to British Conservatism, but put it in a wider context.   This took some time.  Indeed, I think I spoke for about 45 minutes.  When I finished, the tutor asked if there were any questions.  There was silence.  It lasted for ages, until one student eventually piped up.  ‘Do you actually believe all that?’  That was the totality of the questions.

About Lord Norton

Professor of Government at Hull University, and Member of the House of Lords
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2 Responses to Those were the days

  1. franksummers3ba says:

    Lord Norton,
    I imagine there are a good number of post-modernist seminars in every social science and humanities discipline where the students lack exposure to any canon as organized or any literature as rigorous as classic Marxism. There the question might not be asked at all but simply replaced by a hiss. I am of course not pointing to the US Ivy League top schools and their tradition of hissing conservative lectures. I am simply speculating.

  2. maudie33 says:

    I would say that student was a bright chap, LN! He had obviously listened to your ‘spiel.’.

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