Posted on | February 15, 2011 | 23 Comments
Megan McArdle did a post about evidence that academia systematically excludes conservatives. Liberals responded by justfying and/or defending this exclusion, offering a variety of excuses which Megan summarizes thus:
•Smart people are almost always liberal
•Curiosity and interest in ideas is a liberal trait
•Conservatives are too rigid and authoritarian to maintain the open mind required of a professor
•Education erases false conservative ideas and turns people into liberals
•Conservatives don’t want to be professors because they’re more interested in something else (money, the military)
•Conservatives don’t want to be professors because they’re anti-intellectual
•Conservatives hold false beliefs that make them ineligible to be professors
Notice that none of these explanations reflect disfavorably on academia or liberals. Whatever the causes of liberal bias in academia, in other words, neither liberalism as a philosophy nor the university system as an institution can be held responsible. The blame must be externalized onto conservative scapegoats.
These explanations tell us a great deal about the liberal worldview, but nothing we didn’t already know.