Anyone who’s been near a University in the last 50 years is well aware of this phenomena. Quotable:
“An introductory politics subject, Contemporary Ideologies and Movements, devoted one week to liberalism and conservatism. For the following 11 weeks, it examined different variants of socialism and green ideology as well as feminist and lesbian political movements. Worse, the required reading on liberalism was not John Stuart Mill or Friedrich Hayek but an expose on the social lives of Young Liberals published in The Monthly magazine.”
I can well remember when my older sister went off to college and came back a central planning socialist. And when it comes to political economy, if truth be told, she’s never really gotten over the “higher education” stupid she soaked up in college.
And I do blame the professors at her college. I can remember suffered a year in high school listening to the left / Democrat talking points from another graduate of that same college — a guy who frankly told us he flipped Left due to his college education (with the suggestion that if we were as well educated, we’d agree with his politics as well).
Leftist politics and Marxist ideology dressed up as “academics” has piggy-backed on the financial subsidy people willingly provide to genuine Science and basic Western Culture — but the people have been swindled, and somehow the hard sciences and the humanities needs to institutionally and financially separate themselves from the leftist intellectual rot which has taken such a strangle hold on the modern University.
One of the most insidious forms of this Marxist ideology dressed up as “academics” has been the whole Frankfurt School approach to culture and politics and the humanities. When the “Frankfurt School” offered to give the L.S.E. its unique and extensive library in exchange for appointments at the school, Robbins and Hayek convinced Lord Beveridge to decline the offer — the damage the Frankfurter approach would do to the scientific culture of the University was just to high a price, no matter how impressive the library.
Instead, the Frankfurt School crossed to America, spread from New York to California, and went on to inform the ideas our young socialist, then left wing organizer, and now current President Barack Obama studied at Occidental College (Western Marxism), Columbia University, the annual Socialist Scholar Conference, and Harvard Law School (critical race studies and critical legal studies). You can hear the echoes of the Frankfurt school when Obama “unmasks” the views of his opponents as the irrational product of anger, fear, and racism, rather than crediting them as a well considered product of an analysis of the facts and the economic realities at hand — and when he identifies those he opposes as “clinging” to their religion, their racism, and their guns.
UPDATE: What can be done? Glenn Reynolds interviews David Horowitz. Quotable:
“When I was at Columbia in the 50s, when we read Marx we read Hayek. So we got to see the different points of view. Now it took me many years to appreciate Hayek, but eventually I did. And I’m grateful fpr Columbia for introducing him to me. Today living conservative thinkers, or even recently dead ones, are completely or virtually absent from the university curriculum.”