Tuesday, January 24, 2006

academics tend to be more liberal than conservative

Anyone surprised by this headline? Apparently David Horowitz still is. He's got a new book to provide all the evidence that Dinesh D'Souza and other right wing academics who are heavily funded by corporate America haven't yet gotten around to mentioning.

There were 2 things striking in Horowitz's latest op-ed in the LA Times today. First, he claims that academics in 1984 were evenly mixed between liberals and conservatives (which he contrasts to more recent data which shows a huge liberal bias). So were all the people writing about liberal bias in academia back in the 1980s (the first wave of attacks on "political correctness") actually wrong? And if so, where was Horowitz when all the right wingers were apparently incorrect in their findings? As a man of truth, he should have said "nay". I'm disappointed.

Second, he claims that employees of Harvard and the University of California were leading benefactors of Kerry and Dean in 2004. My guess is that Kerry and Dean would be happy to trade the money from all the lefty academics for some of the cash Horowitz and George Bush get from corporate America.

Let me end by saying that I have no doubt Horowitz is correct about a liberal bias in certain parts of academia. As are the UCLA conservative alumni who have made up a list of "radical" professors there. My question is how, given the massive Orwelian power of the academic community, did we end up with Republicans running everything? Someone has screwed up somewhere.


Anonymous said...

This is easy: in order to work in academia you generally need to be smart, articulate, learned, well-read, logical and capable of drawing correct inferences from data. These traits seldom appear among right-wingers. Unlike the right-wing commentators who prattle-on endlessly and nonsensically, academic writing and promotion is subject to a rigorous peer review process. Hence, few racist, radical, reactionary, statist right-wingers like the windy Horowitz are able to survive the rigors of academia.

Taylor W. Buley said...
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Taylor W. Buley said...

... first off, Horowitz is not a statist.

Second, I've heard a good explanation for this phenominon: conservatives are more likely to want to enter the 'establishment' and make money, while liberals are traditionally more content staying in school and pondering the deep.

Sure, maybe it's playing on raw stereotypes, but a lot of times these stereotypes are there for a reason.

Anonymous said...

Well if peer review is required and the "peers" are so left-wing they assume opposition to affirmative action is "racism" and so disqualifying. Reverence for the past is "reactionary" and therefore disqualifying. School Choice is "radical" and thus disqualifying. Those same peers will ensure academia remains a bastion of the Left. If we allow that the campus faculty of the 20's was more conservative we must, as good Darwinists, ask how across a broad populace, conservatives suddenly became less well read and academically inclined and intelligent in the space of a mere eighty years? It is a puzzle. I do think Mr. Buley is partially right. However I also think that consciously and sometimes risibly unconsciously faculties exclude conservatives because they are conservative. Gramsci's march through the institutions was properly carried out by those who, upon achieving tenure, ensured that anyone not in the vanguard would not get tenure henceforth. The reason America is not wholly left wing though its elites go through college, probably has something to do with Michael Barone's theory of Hard America/Soft America. Conservative views aid one in fields where results matter. (As Dan Ackroyd famously said upon leaving Columbia's faculty in Ghostbusters "I've been in the private sector they expect results." The nostrums of the Left dissproportionately fail when objective criteria are applied and so non-ideologues quickly stop being operationally Men of the Left shortly after graduation.


Anonymous said...

Of course Horowitz is a big-government, i.e., statist radical. Why else would he want the state to police American universities to protect poor helpless reactionary statist students from indoctrination, i.e. learning something? Note also that Horowitz is a supporter of the Israeli state, whatever it does, regardless of its effects on the Israeli people. Consider a recent report on poverty rates and especially the child poverty rate in Israel, which shows that Israel is now surpassing America in its creation of poverty among its citizens. In fact, for Horowitz any criticism or genuine analysis of the Israeli state is ipso facto equivalent to antisemitism. Likewise, any criticism or analysis of the Republican run American state is ipso facto anti-American. Hence, Horowitz is not a conservative at all, rather he is a reactionary statist, a Stalinist really. Examples of authentic American conservatives: Paul Craig Roberts, Ron Paul.

Chris Dickson said...

David Horowitz is making an immediate impact by exposing the Left Wing Lunatics who are in control of our colleges and universities.

Read article: