Tuesday, March 09, 2004


Conservatives in Academia Post Over at Asymmetrical Information

Jane Galt has an excellent post on the lack of conservatives in academia over at Asymmetrical Information. She does a nice job of breaking down the cause and effect aspect of the problem.

As for the lack of proof one commentator complains about, I think that the rapidly growing number of conservative academic blogs, most of which complain about this problem, are beginning to constitute proof enough, not to mention the Duke statistics and the studies conducted by Horowitz and company.

However, I do agree with the commentator who argues that the problem should not be identified as the lack of conservatives in academia but rather the preponderance of a leftist point-of-view (I can't really call them liberals--sorry, but what I see isn't liberalism). It's not that there aren't conservatives in academia, it's that in the humanities and social sciences at least, one political point-of-view dominates all others.

Most academics in the humanities and the social sciences--and when I say most, in my personal experience this is something like 90% (1) are against the war in Iraq; (2) consider Bush to have illegally seized the presidency; (3) are for abortion on demand; (4) oppose the death penalty; (5) are agnostic or atheist; (6) are in favor of affirmative action; (7) are in favor of redistributing income through the use of a progressive tax structure (though I know quite as few who are in the favor of the Nader/Green Party limit of $30,000 a year income for all); (8) are in favor of gay marriage; (9) belief Western culture to be responsible for many of the world's ills; (10) consider the authority of the U.N. to be ethically "weightier" than that of the United States.

I could go on, but I think you all get the picture. The prevailing point-of-view on almost any issue you could raise is left.

But it doesn't stop there. There is also the attitude--sometimes expressed overtly, as in the Duke Philosophy Department Chair, but more often subtly--that other points-of-view are unenlightened, whether they be conservative, neoconservative, libertarian, or what have you.

The problem is that leftism is all too often taught as dogma. Other points-of-view are misguided at best, evil and wrong at worst.

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