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February 10, 2004

Why Does Academia Tilt Left?

First, when you add in economic departments and business schools and vocational teachers and a range of other parts of higher education that are often ignored in the ideological debate on the ideological cast of professors, I'm not so convinced that academia is particularly leftwing.

However, to the extent that there is a tilt, the answer is pretty simple, as Jesse at Pandagon notes:

those who enter in the public sector tend to rank material acquisition as a lower priority, a value hierarchy consistent with liberal ideals. The flip side of this would be conservatives entering the private sector, as material wealth is more highly regarded within their value system and the public sector is a terrible route through which to acquire it.
Or, to put in more bluntly, smart conservatives go into business, so you end up with a lot of dumb conservatives competing against very smart liberals for academic jobs.

Which is why those dumb conservative academics are not smart enough to observe this very problem.

BTW the same dynamic effects the journalistic profession, which is very low-paid for the training demanded. Although the ideological conservatism of corporate publishers pretty much offsets any real ideological cast to the media.

Posted by Nathan at February 10, 2004 07:31 PM