Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Law Schools Lean Left...A Lot

Carolina not lookin' so good on that measure, either.


Anonymous Old Gringo said...

Why is this such a dire problem again? Most of the business world (small and large) is right wing. The military tends to heavily lean right wing. The police, the FBI, and the intelligence community also are heavily populated by the right. For all the complaints about the media, Fox News crushes the other cable news networks and talk radio is almost entirely right wing. If the universities have been brain washing generations of young people to become leftists, they aren't doing too well as we live in probably the most right wing country in the industrialized world.

These kinds of complaints about American university professors' liberal bias are often concealed attempts by the right to undercut the left in one of the few institutions it has a dominant presence in. The Koch Foundation has been working on this for a long time. Would it be better for students to be exposed to equal numbers of conservative professors as liberal professors? Probably, but I'm not even sure about that. It's certainly not the enormous problem that some make it out to be.

For what it's worth, I went to Carolina Law. Conservative students were just fine there. The liberal professors went to great lengths--sometimes absurd lengths--to try to respect the ideological diversity of the student body.

2:51 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Yeah, OG, I basically agree with everything you say here--I didn't go to Carolina law, but I had a couple of friends who did, and their opinions about the political climate seemed on par with yours.

Specifically: I'm not *sure* that it's a big problem, but I'm fairly strongly inclined to think it's a big problem...here's an attempt to articulate my concerns:

Just because there are other institutions that are biased / intellectually irresponsible doesn't mean it's ok for academia to be. (And law school--by reputation, anyway, is way, way more conservative than that parts of universities where political matters are most relevant and most often discussed, incidentally.)

This political bias clearly effects all of the political quasi-disciplines like women's studies...but also more reputable fields like sociology and social psych, that people actually pay attention to.

I'm in academia, so it's what I know, and what I have the strongest responsibility to. And I don't think that we should be biased to balance out other biases.

In fact, now that you put it that way...if *the vast majority* of other institutions are more conservative than academia...well...it's the outlier that's usually wrong...

I can tell you that in philosophy there's a fairly noticeable bunch of left-wing crackpottery... There's *some* religious crackpottery, too...which I guess could count as conservative... But those guys seem to be in the minority and/or keep their heads down, whereas the lefty crackpots are very prevalent, vocal and powerful.

My $0.02, FWIW

3:07 PM  

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