12 October 2007

Academic Monkeys Defend Their Turf

Nothing is funnier than sinecured monkeys defending their turf. Greg Mankiw comments on Larry Summers' observations about the lack of ideological diversity on campus.
Question to think about: If right-wingers are underrepresented in universities relative to the population and discriminated against by the left-wing majority, as Larry suggests, should there be affirmative action for right-leaning academics? It seems that, on principle, those on the left (who favor affirmative action to promote diversity and correct past injustice) should endorse such a university policy, and those on the right (who more often oppose affirmative action) would be against.

I am against affirmative action discrimination whether in hires, school admissions, government contracts, or whatever, and I am a libertarian leaning independent. But Greg is wrong about leftists. They are militantly against any process or procedure that would force them to release their monkey's grip on any peanut of power whatsoever. If you do not believe me, go and read the comments here.

The comments illustrate a point I have made many times: if students do not grow up with experience dealing with diverse ideologies and points of view, they become incompetent parrots repeating a single tedious point of view. Larger numbers of university graduates are becoming incompetent to argue simple points, beyond repeating rote phrases. This is disheartening to anyone who was hoping to see education raising the general state of thinking in the western world.

Rather than calling for affirmative action for conservative and libertarian professors, simply requiring that academic hires and tenure be based upon merit rather than good old boy and girl insiderism, would probably be sufficient.

Political Orientation of Faculty Members — 7 Categories

  • Extremely liberal 9.4%
  • Liberal 34.7%
  • Slightly liberal 18.1%
  • Middle of the road 18.0%
  • Slightly conservative 10.5%
  • Conservative 8.0%
  • Very conservative 1.2%
But there is hope for the future in this table:

Percentage of Faculty Members, by Age, Identifying as Left Radicals or Activists


Left Radicals

Left Activists










from The Social and Political Views of American Professors

The dying out of the extremists may eventually allow more thoughtful and inclusive hiring to take place. Students who go directly from their parents authority to today's campuses will need time to find themselves. They do not need to be pressed into autocratic classrooms presenting carbon-copy talking points regardless of the professor.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Al Fin you are a breath of fresh air, a voice of reason in a sea of lunacy.


Friday, 12 October, 2007  
Blogger al fin said...

And you, sir, are clearly a gentleman and a scholar.

Friday, 12 October, 2007  

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“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act” _George Orwell

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