Reflection on American academia
An American grad student at St. Petersburg University (as in Russia, not FLA) notes:
"What I still find astonishing is the level of openness to different ideas over here. I presented in a panel with graduate students of the best Russian universities, some of which held the standard Russian distrust of NATO. My presentation is somewhat hawkishly pro-NATO, and you would expect sneers and derision. Instead, there was genuine interest in what I had to say. The academic freedom dwarfs that in the United States. In college, I was always afraid to say anything that ran counter to the accepted views of academia, and we all know what those views are. ... I can count on one hand the number of truly fair-minded professors I came across. That is truly a shame, and a detriment to the development of our civil society.
Fair and open debate is essential to the proper functioning of both society and government, and it's astonishing that elite Russian universities understand this better than elite American ones. Perhaps it's because they better understand the negative effect that thought control has on a country.