Ph.D. Octopus

Politics, media, music, capitalism, scholarship, and ephemera since 2010

The Academic Left and Resentment

with one comment

The Atlantic’s Clive Crook points to an essay that suggests professors tilt toward the political left because they are envious of their more financially successful professional peers. Without any serious evidence to back this point up, it seems to me that only someone with a view of human nature as wholly obsessed with economic gain could make such a case. Isn’t it more logical to assume that academia, especially the humanities and social sciences, self-selects for people more concerned with opportunities for critical thinking and achieving social justice than the fatter paychecks they might earn from many others jobs? Of course, pathologizing the academic left (it only really believes in social justice because of financial envy or resentment towards a society that rejects its merit system) provides more entertainment for bemused economists.

For a more serious stab at the question of academic politics, see Neil Gross and Solon Simmons article, “The Social and Political Views of American Professors” September (2007).

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Written by Julian Nemeth

April 18, 2010 at 17:42

One Response

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  1. Great posts Julian. Keep them coming.

    Brendan

    April 21, 2010 at 22:53


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