When The AAUP Got War Fever

, Malcolm A. Kline, Leave a comment

Believe it or not they did, albeit a century ago. Nevertheless, John K. Wilson gives a little history lesson on the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) involvement in World War I.

“During World War I, the AAUP embraced the most repressive measures ever supported by the organization,” he writes on the academe blog maintained by the AAUP. “Never before, and never again, would the AAUP call for the suppression of peaceful dissent.”

“In part, the AAUP’s position reflected the stance of an organization eager for public approval and unwilling to sacrifice its limited credibility for the abstract principle of academic freedom during wartime. But the AAUP’s support for repression also reflected the strong support for the war itself among its leaders. John Dewey believed in academic freedom, but he also believed in this war to end all wars.”