The fashionable academic disposition is one that is critical of the status quo. Being privileged to observe our prosperous society 'from above', academics observe the relative levels of inequality in the world and tend to feel guilty (I'm not saying this is misplaced). This guilt manifests itself in a variety of ways, but it generally translates into a contempt for all things American. This turns into a blindness that corrupts their scholarly pursuit for truth.

However warranted their guilt may be, I do not think it is an excuse for not investigating the reasons that our society has been so successful, over and above others. We ought to be able to explain what is good about America without feeling bad about it. Likewise, we should be able to explain what is bad about America and prudently work to correct it.

I would argue that, being overcome with guilt, some academics are unable to honestly confront the foundational principles of our moral, cultural, and political system. It is obvious that, in America especially, human beings have been able to create a society where vast numbers of people live in a level of economic and social stability never before seen on the world stage. Faced with the massive inequalities created by the American experiment, should we buy into the Marxist argument that it is the result of the oppression of the working class? Or should we give the subject a more serious philosophical investigation before reaching our conclusions?

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