Thursday, December 21, 2017

Does The Left Exploit Academic Freedom?

I've mentioned this before. I don't have much to say about it other than what I already have: I've come to think that the left exploits academic freedom. It basically realizes that academic freedom permits what I guess we might call borderline-indoctrination. So it avails itself of he opportunity. To people on my side of the issue, this is no better than shilling for your personal business or proselytizing your religion in class.
   Also, of course, popular philosophical and quasi-philosophical views on the left argue that indoctrination is permissible/optimal/obligatory. One common argument, of course, has it that every assertion is politics-laden...[insert mumbo-jumbo here], basically, there's no pedagogical obligation to be objective. So these views either motivate or provide cover for (or, probably, some combination of the two) the injection of leftist indoctrination into teaching.
   I reckon that the role of leftist politics in the average university is probably rather like the role of Christianity at a place like Liberty U. This is something that could be studied empirically, I'd think...if social scientists wanted to know the answer.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's not just academia, the Left is surprisingly adept at coopting virtually any bureaucracy. Take for example, FALN's use of the Episcopal Church as a de facto funder for their terror activities in the '70s (obligatory WaPo article dated 1977 here). This was when the Episcopal Church was still heavily Republican too, if I am remembering my history correctly.

Basically think of a bureaucracy as an organism with the collective intelligence of an 8th grader. The Left's strategy of malevolence masked with purported good intentions is surprisingly effective on that sort of target. Even if any individual bureaucrat would see through it, the organization is still very vulnerable because its operating processes do not properly detect bad faith.

10:44 AM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Yeah, this is another thing that's in my mind in some sense...but not quite in there firmly enough. Your point's related to (though more detailed and explanatory than) Conquest's second law of politics:

1. Everyone is conservative about what he knows best.

2. Any organization not explicitly right-wing sooner or later becomes left-wing.

3. The simplest way to explain the behavior of any bureaucratic organization is to assume that it is controlled by a cabal of its enemies.

But anyway, your point is really interesting IMO. It's also consistent with the observation that people get more conservative as they age.

Gotta think more about this.

10:51 AM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Holy crap that business with the Episcopalians...

10:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh it's definitely Conquest's laws. Such a good, under-appreciated set of observations.

11:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

On a similar note of how ineffective bureaucracies can be against malevolent actors, here's an amazing article about how Afghan migrants have abused the criminal justice and refugee resettlement systems in Germany and Austria. It is written by a former refugee aid worker, and shows how easy it is to mess with bureaucratic process if you just don't give a damn. For instance, one of the things the migrants would do is simply claim they are children (balding hair and all), knowing that the authorities would have to prove otherwise, which means finding nonexistent birth records from the backwards world of Afghanistan.

Not really meant to be a segue into migrant issues, just another comment on how bureaucracies actually have specific rules about fair play written into their operating code, and if an actor just decides to ignore them, they can turn it into a totally different institution (hence Conquest's third law).

11:44 AM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

I've read that before, and maybe even posted it. Really one could go on and on about what's in there.

Somebody smarter about this stuff than me could say something really important about the bit about the middle-aged dudes claiming to be kids and the institutions (apparently) being helpless to call *bullshit* on bullshit.

12:13 PM  

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