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The National University (UNAM)
Christopher Balz, " a graduate of a "philosophy and letters department" in the United States, namely that of the Modern Thought and Literature Department at Stanford," has sent a long statement, of which some extracts are reproduced, reiterating his vehement denunciation of U.S. policy in Latin America. He says those who defend it "find themselves relegated to increasingly obscure institutions (such as the Hoover Institute) which are outside of the scrutiny of top-notch academic standards of rigor. Who is really aware and who really understands what kind of change needs to take place? Who has done the theses which have been looked over for accuracy and defended? The people you deride as "misfits" in philosophy and letters, the people who study history up to the present and extract its relevance: the people who overwhelmingly (but not unanimously) disagree with you. Perhaps the only thing that saves many at institutions such as the Hoover from being "misfits" is the fact that their corruption corroborates well with the corrupt money that generally runs this country.
In light of the global facts which the students have been attempting with all valiance [sic] to confront, the damage to the University of Mexico (UNAM) is actually minor. I think that a return to academic rigor on the part of those who feel that it is not would help them realize the scale of the issues which are very much at stake, and being contested very hotly. To sum up, I think that you suffer from a severe lack of perspective."
My comment: Harsh words. I do not speak for Hoover. The members of WAIS have conflicting opinions, but they are a mature, well-informed group, and, as good WAISers, they enjoy the friendly exchange of information and views on international affairs, which many have been following closely for decades. Alas, I am not corrupted by money and power, having neither.
Ronald Hilton - 2/13/00