Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Moron Intellectual Diversity

(I meant to write "More On Intellectual Diversity", but now that I look at the title I'll leave it. Freud smiles).

I found this, at Gadflyer:

In fact, liberal bias in the academy is a fiction based on the same sort of selective analysis used to "prove" bias in the media. While there are certainly plenty of liberal professors, never mentioned are inherently conservative departments like economics, right-leaning frats and student groups, the influence of campus ROTC or the fact that for every left-leaning Vassar or Oberlin there is an equally conservative Washington and Lee or BYU.

Instead, the focus is on departments like sociology or ethnic and women's studies where there's a lot of progressive thought. In those departments conservatives collect liberal professors' statements, take them out of context and use them to weave a circumstantial case of bias. The goal is not to promote diversity of opinion but to convince people that our nation's universities have been hijacked by, as the title of one book put it, "tenured radicals" who brainwash our youth with their crypto-socialist ideology.


Well....thanks for playing, but no. Econ departments and Business schools are also mostly liberal in terms of affiliation. The ratio is 5-3, instead of 10-1, but still. Academic leftists are kidding themselves with this kind of crap. It is simply a fact that far and away most academics are liberal, and far too many have long ago stopped caring about honest intellectual discourse. They are so comfortable, and isolated from real debate, that they can't stand to have anyone disagree. When I tell colleagues that I am conservative, their response (seriously) is "But you seem smart."

Sure, lots of people do good teaching, and are honest intellectual brokers. But there is a real problem. The only solution is an intellectually diverse commitment to good pedagogy.

I was on an NPR show recently, where we talked about this. Interesting response from Judith Wegner: see no, hear no, say no, do no.

I try to be fair, but most faculty are just so sure that (1) There is no bias, and (2) Conservatism is to intellectualism as Creationism is to biology. If you believe #2, you can't argue #1 with a straight face. Unless you are a liar or a fool. And they are not fools.

Some Links:
1. On the documentary from AcademicBias.Com....A small role here for KGrease himself. I tell the drama of Robert Brandon, revealing all the facts for the first time. (Okay, no, but I do appear in the film for a few minutes).
2. NPR "State of Things" show on the subject
March 31, 2004
3. Duke's rather raucous forum (yes, I was brilliant. Thank you).
4. And then....Coturnix. An interesting and (for him) fairly balanced polemic. I think I disagree with him, but there are some good points here.
5. Poliblogger on Ward Churchill and academic freedom.
6. Post on MB article from the Chronicle
7. Ju-Gen on Western Culture
8. Finally, as I blogged before, here is Peter Lange (Duke Provost) addressing, if not quite answering, a difficult question.
9. Finally plus one (sue me): This.

1 comment:

coturnix said...

You aree getting softer with age! Me "fairly balanced"? By I never tried to be balanced. Why should I? Your blog and mine TOGETHER may provide balance, though....Why should I water that down?

Just joking! Anyway thanks for the quote, thanks for not saying my name on the air, and thanks for suggesting they contact me for a fiture show.