Dear Conservatives: “Cultural Marxism” Doesn’t Rule Higher Education
“You go to an Ivy League school? Why would you choose a haven of Marxist indoctrination?” is the response I get fairly often when discussing my politics with my more right-leaning friends.
Sooner or later, when my points can’t be refuted on their own merits, where I go to school is next in the crosshairs. I don’t advertise on my personal Facebook page or my clothing where I go to college, or even that I go to college. Yet it is either researched or asked of me in an attempt to dig up dirt on where I come from so that a gotcha moment can be presented.
“Well, you are taught by cultural Marxists, so there!” they accuse.
But is that even accurate? Do professors at my school – or really, any school, anywhere in the country – truly lean Marxist in their political outlooks? And even if they did, how can we prove that they are all intentionally forcing their views down the throats of us poor, impressionable students?
Well, as it turns out, we have data on this already – both on what percentage of school professors are actually Marxists, and what motivates the numbers to fall this way – and it might not exactly fall into any one preconceived narrative. Facts are funny that way.
First is the claim that “all” or even “most” college professors are Marxists. According to three separate surveys conducted over several decades and independently of each other at U Toronto, UCLA, and Carnegie, most college professors are center-left, politically. Professors in a few particular fields of study tend to skew more liberal than others, but there is almost ubiquitously a center-left bias among college professors across the board.
However, it is worth noting that center-left is not where Marxism is ideologically positioned, not even close. Additionally, the studies that divide the surveys’ results by percentage show that there are fewer actual Marxists in higher education than there are conservatives. We are talking single digits here.
But even beyond that point, the better question is how these numbers got to where they are. Is it some Marxist conspiracy?
The National Association of Scholars (a conservative research group) wrote an article that cited “robust empirical support” for the conclusion that the numbers come as a result of self-selection. Why aren’t more conservatives teaching social science? Simply put, less conservatives want to. And so it goes on down the line, including those dreaded Marxists. So, no conspiracy there, after all.
Even the term “cultural Marxism,” has origins in Nazi propaganda. A term with such vacuous etymology and purpose should deter anyone, not just conservatives, from perpetuating it, since most people are moral as well as reasonable. Yet it doesn’t, likely because few people who use the term actually do not know where it comes from.
When used with such fervor and so little restraint, against me specifically, I cannot help but feel sorry for those manning the verbal cannons; they don’t realize what a backfire they are about to experience.
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