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December 13, 2006

Bias in the Academy

Stanley Kurtz snarks:

Leftist professors sometimes justify their intellectual monopoly on our universities by claiming that, given conservative control of all three branches of government, the left deserves to hold the academy as its citadel. That was always a silly argument....At any rate, now that the Democrats have taken Congress and conservatives no longer control all three branches, I'm sure all those leftist professors will tenure a bunch of conservative academics and start assigning Burke, Hayek, and Rieff in their classes.

It's possible that UC Santa Cruz is a well-disguised conservative redoubt, but I was assigned a lot of Burke, and a fair bit of Hayek. I read far more Burke, in fact, than I did Rawls. I didn't do much Phillip Rieff, but then, I wasn't a sociologist, and I also wasn't assigned any Daniel Bell.

December 13, 2006 | Permalink


I took a conservative politics course at UC Irvine. We read Burke, Hayek, Freidman and the like. I felt it would balance out all the Marx and Habermas I was reading in social theory - which it did.

The thing I love about Burke is that he defended the American Revolution on the basis of opposing tyranny, even if that tyranny was practiced by his own government. If today’s conservatives were alive in 1776 they’d be denouncing Jefferson and Washington as terrorists.

Posted by: Comandante Agi | Dec 13, 2006 1:57:48 PM

Leftist professors sometimes justify their intellectual monopoly on our universities by claiming that, given conservative control of all three branches of government, the left deserves to hold the academy as its citadel.

Does any leftist professor seriously make that argument, or is this another one of those "some people say brown people can't have a democracy" type of things?

Posted by: Seitz | Dec 13, 2006 2:06:08 PM

Oh please, Stanley Kurtz, David Horowitz, et. al., not the obsessive tilting at the putative left-wing-ridden American university. Go to a business school and ask any faculty member you encounter if anyone teaches a class that has Marx on the syllabus.

Posted by: Danton | Dec 13, 2006 2:09:55 PM


Stanley Kurtz was talking to a cabdriver who takes a lot of leftist professors as fares, and the cabbie said that this was their justification for sabotaging all the conservative academics.

Just ask Tom Friedman, he'll tell you all about it.

Posted by: Stephen | Dec 13, 2006 2:47:23 PM

I read Marx and Hayek in college... but thankfully, got to read some Polanyi and Marglin as well. Who else loves heterodox economics?

Posted by: senior | Dec 13, 2006 3:10:47 PM

Come on you don't expect actual evidence do you? What were you thinking? Oh wait, you received some of your education at UCSC? That explains everything....godless commie.

Posted by: Col Bat Guano | Dec 13, 2006 3:16:51 PM

I agree that the "left wing professors" who feel there duty is to "balance the conservative control of the three branches of govt" is an obvious straw man used to advance affirmative action for conservative professors when in fact there is no objective evidence that academics especially in economics and political science are "left wing." As a U of Chicago grad, I read both Marx and Adam Smith. There was no shortage of conservative professors there.

Posted by: beyond_left_right | Dec 13, 2006 3:33:47 PM

This left wing professor assigns Burke all the freaking time, and then tries to trick his leftie students into taking him seriously.

Posted by: djw | Dec 13, 2006 3:45:58 PM

I have to wonder just who all these leftist professors are and where they're teaching. While studying international relations at UC Davis, the furthest left my history and political science professors got were Tom Friedman-esque neoliberals.

Posted by: James F. Elliott | Dec 13, 2006 3:58:33 PM

I was assigned Burke by a Marxist art history professor. And Goethe. But no Foucault, Derrida, Lacan, or Gramsci, much less the big M.

Posted by: RWB | Dec 13, 2006 9:36:58 PM

Stanley Kurtz's knowledge of what goes on in university classes could fit on the back of his eyelids.

I do like his new faux-dissection, though: it's Congress vs. campuses, as opposed to the liberals' (much better) line that the Fortune 500's boardrooms are atrociously biased against collectivists.

See, conservatives thrive because of the market, and lefties rely upon non-market mechanisms. Oh:

"Stanley Kurtz is an adjunct fellow of Hudson Institute and a fellow at the Hoover Institution."

Quite. Although 'wingnut welfare whore' is much more descriptive.

Posted by: pseudonymous in nc | Dec 14, 2006 7:30:56 AM

I love the way, when these guys are discussing the supposed leftist bias college professors, that they ignore the hundreds of bible college and religious affiliated colleges and universities out there.

Posted by: Andy | Dec 14, 2006 10:03:47 AM

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