Some clown at a "conservative" web site posted an attack on Professor Stephen Hicks accusing him of being a Marxist who was "training cadres of revolutionaries" because he had seen videos of Hicks discussing Marx and education. Now, that sure is an odd accusation to hurl at a follower of Ayn Rand. And all because the accuser is apparently unaware that we teachers sometimes present the ideas of thinkers with whom we disagree.
One shocked commenter said of this practice that: "this guy is 'presenting' Marxist philosophy from a Marxist's point of view.. however, this would be like me saying I am teaching about Hitler to young minds by pretending I sanctioned him."
Well, if I were teaching Mein Kampf, my job would be to explain what Hitler thought. Then I would explain the problems with his views. This would not mean I was "pretending I sanctioned him," it would mean I was explaining his writing. I have taught Marx three semesters in a row now, even though I am not a Marxist. Why? Well, he is a vitally important thinker in the history of the West. His thoughts directed half the world at one point in history. It is important to understand his ideas.
The commentators did not stop attacking Hicks and teachers in general even after the error was noted by several other commentators; one person still declared that "teachers [are] the new scum of the earth."
David Hume, Edmund Burke, and Russell Kirk are turning in their graves.