Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Left-Wing Stranglehold On The Academy

Ok, ok...I know this is's like my third NRO or Weekly Standard post in like a week...but I've been dropping by Arts and Letters Daily rather a lot, and you know how it slants...

Anyway, here's this book, Forbidden City, by Neil Gross, himself a liberal apparently. He wants to know why academia slants left--a question I'm interested in as well.

I dunno why it is. Philosophy is a bit less loony lefty than, say, sociology (which Gross seems to focus on). Most philosophers I know are fairly level-headed liberals...but, then, my philosophy friends may not be a representative sample. In my experience, mainstream liberals are the most populous group in the academy, followed by loony lefties. Libertarians aren't uncommon. Conservatives seem to be there, but are pretty quiet about it. (It differs my discipline, too, of course...)

I went into academia because I was interested in philosophy, and because business seemed like a soul-crushing world of authoritarianism and mindless greed. Whether or not it really is, I have no idea. But that's what it seemed like young me. But mostly, I just wanted to study philosophy. I wasn't attracted to the academy because it was liberal...though I rather was repelled by business because it was conservative.So that's consistent with what Gross says.

Gross argues that young conservatives are repelled by the lefty lean of the academy. I can believe that. I myself, I must admit, get really, really tired of the stream of po-mo-y quasi-leftyspeak that seems to pour forth from the institution. Hardly a week goes by without some new multicultural somethingorother, or diversity whatsis. Hell, I'm generally for that stuff and I'm way tired of hearing about it...

Anyway. Frankly, I do worry about the left lean of academia...but since the right has so many weapons on its side, I don't worry as much as I probably should. I very much disapprove of the misological, radical lefty nuttiness one sometimes encounters...but, then, I very much disapprove of any misological nuttiness...

So, anyway, I haven't read the book, and I'm neither endorsing it nor knocking it. I merely offer this up in case its of interest to anybody.


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