Left-Leaning Academia

January 19, 2010

Conservatives are objectively, demonstrably wrong about everyfuckingthing.

The corollary to this is that they either lie to themselves and/or others for their own perceived gain–think David Brooks, Bill Kristol, and the like–or are abject dumbfucks–think teabagger “morans”.

The single most severe political problems of our time is that the mass media–for a variety of reasons–simply refuses to point this out, and rather fetishizes “balance” and false equivalence. The reason that academia “leans left” is that fewer liars and dumbfucks are attracted to academia than they are to other professions, because they correctly intuit that a human enterprise aimed at (while certainly not always achieving) figuring out the nature of actual reality is not as conducive to their lies and dumbfuckery as are professions like law, business, “journalism”, and the like.

About these ads

20 Responses to “Left-Leaning Academia”

  1. Aurora Says:

    Yeah the alternate reality thing always puzzled me. In my experience though some government agencies like the one in Fort Meade filled with more democrats than republicans have this same strange view on reality. Aah how I wish I could cuss them out in print like you.

  2. sherkat Says:

    What I really liked about Neil’s study is that he turns the “liberal academia” thing on its head, and points out that conservatives avoid academe because they are pricks who worship only jesus and money. Unfortunately, the other side to that is that there is no discrimination against conservatives (as they claim). And, a consequence is that motivated conservatives find it easy to get affirmative action tracks into academe (particularly riding on big grants from right wing foundations). Any far-right social scientist can get a million or so in grants every three year cycle from the likes of Templeton, Pew, Brookings, etc. There are no left-leaning foundations, and NSF, NIMH, etc. don’t have squat for the social sciences. So, in my field, I now have to deal with hordes of tenured, radical right wing assholes. Worse yet, I wrote letters of recommendation for promotion and hiring for half of them….I’m a dumbfuck. I believed they were interested in social sciences….yeah, right.

  3. Katharine Says:

    My slightly more ruthless side occasionally wonders how to make conservatives’ stupidity painful.

  4. Phledge Says:

    Educate their children, Katharine.

  5. The Barefoot Bum Says:

    I think it’s most productive to look these issues with an evolutionary paradigm: there’s variation in the ideas held by individuals a population, and various selection pressures working on those ideas.

    In the case of scientific academia, there’s a big selection pressure to come up with results. Ideas contrary to an effective scientific method don’t get results and are thus selected against. But scientists don’t get results because they like to be honest, they like to be honest because the people who didn’t like to be honest didn’t get results; the scientists who happened to be honest (or have honesty-compatible habits) were the only ones left.

    There are no “results” to drive selection pressure in much of the humanities academia (especially philosophy, literary criticism and social “sciences”; historians are still pretty tight). Hence variations outside an effective scientific method are not selected against, and the humanities academia has (as Frederick Crews and Ophelia Benson have described at length) drifted far from the scientific method and its associated principles of honesty, criticism and empiricism. I suspect that the humanities academia remains liberal mostly because conservative individuals are removed from ordinary academia, especially public universities, and recruited into well-paid conservative think tanks and punditry.

    The press has, I think, an entirely undeserved historical reputation for honesty. Pre-1940s journalism was full of egregious bullshit; the reputation for honesty after the 2nd Imperialist War was caused, I suspect, less by any intrinsic honesty in the journalistic community and more by the fact that the truth was not at the time particularly damaging to the dominant faction of the ruling class. Randian conservatives such as McCarthy and Nixon were not part of the dominant faction; even so, the press at the height of its reputation for honesty was slow to confront these bastards on their obvious factual failings.

  6. Katharine Says:

    BarefootBum, indeed – and PHILOSOPHERS, especially, drive me batfuck insane. Every philosophy major I’ve ever met who didn’t major in something else didn’t have their feet on the ground when it came to reality; then again, philosophy isn’t exactly founded on experimental and observational reality. I mean, fuck, they got substance dualists and property dualists.

    Part of the problem with humanities is it doesn’t pay enough attention to psychology or neurobiology. They live in their own world where humans are ethereal, non-chemical beings free from the constraints of physical reality.

  7. The Barefoot Bum Says:

    I know a fair number of professional, academic philosophers, and they’re doofuses… and those are the ones I like; the ones I don’t like are complete fucktards.

  8. maryyooch Says:

    “Any far-right social scientist can get a million or so in grants every three year cycle from the likes of Templeton, Pew, Brookings, etc. There are no left-leaning foundations, and NSF, NIMH, etc. don’t have squat for the social sciences.”

    That’s what is called, ‘Wing Nut Welfare’.

  9. octogalore Says:

    Interesting. But of course “objectively, demonstrably wrong about everyfuckingthing” is a fairly easy throwaway preach to the choir.

    Additionally, you suggest that academia is in fact a “human enterprise aimed at (while certainly not always achieving) figuring out the nature of actual reality” and “professions like law, business, ‘journalism'” aren’t.

    Out of curiosity, in how many professions in the latter category have you participated?

    Interestingly, per your theary, reality-based individuals who are ensconsed in academia (I know some of them) seem to regularly lose their grasp on survival and come to the doorstep of their fiscally conservative, allegedly fantasy-driven friends and relatives. But apparently, the latter individuals don’t grasp “the nature of actual reality.”

    Of course, the predictable response is that the fact that things are this way is horribly, despicably unfair. And maybe so. But that’s how reality works, as those who supposedly are spending their lives figuring this out (again, by your theory) should know.

  10. The Barefoot Bum Says:

    But of course “objectively, demonstrably wrong about everyfuckingthing” is a fairly easy throwaway preach to the choir.

    Really? I read it as a subtle and nuanced analytical observation, which is of course the usual fare on this blog. Many thanks for correcting my erroneous first impression.

    …things are this way is horribly, despicably unfair. And maybe so. But that’s how reality works…

    No, that’s how you personally and those in your class are presently making reality work, a reality we want to change. It is at best disingenuous and at worst intentionally dishonest to portray yourself as a hapless, passive beneficiary of the working of objective reality.

  11. octogalore Says:

    Ad hominems plus incomplete context plus a shoulder chip tends to be a formula I avoid engaging with. Good luck changing reality, though.

  12. octogalore Says:

    By the way, PP: I do believe “subtle and nuanced analytical observation” is “the usual fare on this blog,” which is why I commented as I did above. It seemed like an nice piece of red meat for the core fans, but of course we all like to coast sometimes, and I greatly appreciate your kind words on my blog. I am grateful for your ability to engage civilly despite occasional disagreement.

  13. The Barefoot Bum Says:

    Ad hominems plus incomplete context plus a shoulder chip tends to be a formula I avoid engaging with.

    I’m don’t care much about engaging with you; understandably and probably inevitably, no rational or moral argument will persuade you to abandon your own privilege. You’re as much of a loss as Daisy Deadhead, albeit for very different reasons.

    I’m writing instead to those whom I believe should seize your privilege for the benefit of humanity.

    Good luck changing reality, though.

    We do indeed aim to change reality, in same sense that any engineer aims to change reality, in the same sense that the capitalist class changed the reality of feudal and monarchist power in the 18th and 19th centuries. Capitalist privilege is hardly rooted in the deep structure of reality; it’s just what happens to exist today.

    But we won’t need that much luck: your class appears to be doing everything they can to throw their power away. You’d better hope the fascists pick it up: they’ll be far kinder to the rich than we communists will.

  14. Scott M. Says:

    Completely off topic but I found your blog through the Barefoot Bum.

    Goddamn I love it when people are righteously indignant (and agree with me) and are unafraid to swear when appropriate.

    I’m going to continue to check out your blog.

    Cheers Motherfucker!

  15. smmo Says:

    nterestingly, per your theary, reality-based individuals who are ensconsed in academia (I know some of them) seem to regularly lose their grasp on survival and come to the doorstep of their fiscally conservative, allegedly fantasy-driven friends and relatives. But apparently, the latter individuals don’t grasp “the nature of actual reality.”

    I bet Octogalore’s downtrodden friends/relatives just love her Keynsian lectures on “reality” as she pulls out the checkbook.

  16. smmo Says:

    Noblesse oblige is soooooo, like, hard.

  17. octogalore Says:

    Hi SMMO. I’m no Keynsian, but I do like me some Adam Smith.

  18. vegofish Says:

    Everything that is touched by left leaning policy turns to shit. Everything. the Statist Progressive left has fucked up every thing it touches. City Management, state management, school boards, all driven by leftist policy, all in a fucking shambles.
    This country, after decades of Statist progressive influence with entitlements for entitlements, a fucking shambles. Yet, our supposed “intellectuals”
    refuse to see what is right in front of their eyes.
    A history of civilization and sociology littered with the ruins of leftist social policy and governing.

  19. Yogi Says:

    “A history of civilization and sociology littered with the ruins of leftist social policy and governing.”

    yep, like democracy and capitalism.

    Oh, wait, I bet you think Jonah Goldberg is right.

  20. Pete Scully Says:

    God Bless the United States of America! We should revel in what we are, not apologize for it! This whiny self criticism and aura of submission to the rest of the world sickens me! GROW UP!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 37 other followers

%d bloggers like this: