Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy

In my recent Economist there is an article about the rampant liberalism in American Universities. It is a vague article and I will only get frustrated as I delve into it; but I am interested in what you guys think about the issue of liberal teachers and a liberal curriculum taught in universities.
Here is an interesting quote from the article:

Bias in universities is hard to correct because it is usually not overt: it has to do with prejudice about which topics are worth studying and what values are worth holding. Stephen Balch, the president of the conservative National Assoc. of Scholars, arggues that university faculties suffer from the same political problems as the "small republics described in Federalist 10: a motivated majority within the faculty finds it easy to monopolise decision-making and squeeze out minorities.
I find that one problem with some of this thought is that liberalism, and a liberal education, does strive to embrace several points of view - but all at once, which is what I think really bothers some conservatives, among others. Anyone seen as having a conviction that could be exclusionary (or perceived as such) is ostracized. This is part of that PC mythology (also mentioned in The Economist article).
I went to American University in D.C., which my father calls the bastion of liberalism (possibly heard on O'Reilly), and which I feel had a diverse population with diverse views. Many students at the university came from other countries, which means that they tended to have very different points of view on liberalism and conservatism at the core. Those are the views that I feel are lacking in American education; but trying to understand those perspectives is an act often dismissed by conservatives. The main fault of a liberal education, I feel, is that it leans too much away from pragmatism and too much towards relativism. But I much prefer to err on the side of open-mindedness. Cultivate an open mind and many will still become conservatives. Clearly, this country is not lacking in conservatives. After all, Bush did have a mandate.

On a related note, isn't it interesting that it Republicans and conservatives talk so much about the liberal intelligentsia - if so many intellectuals are liberal, maybe they're on to something.

I would appreciate any comments you may have on this.