Priggish progressives are on a purity crusade, consuming their days lecturing everyone about their culpability in all of society’s ailments, from racism to climate change. Leftist schoolmarms have been firing on all cylinders in recent years, employing exasperated epistles on Twitter and shrieking sermons on city streets through megaphones. Introspection is a rare feat for leftists, but when they do turn the mirror on themselves, these individuals are blind as to what others, especially conservatives, perceive. When mendacity can be masked as truth, why bother engaging in an authentic deconstruction? Today, it is far more convenient and profitable to peddle lies in a partisan environment than to spread the truth that threatens victimhood status. Case in point, Teen Vogue’s odd take that academia is right-wing.
What Teen Vogue Has to Say
Teen Vogue, which recently reported on Justin Bieber’s new haircut, offered a unique perspective on the state of academia today in an article titled “Campus Cancel Culture Freakouts Obscure the Power of University Boards.” The publication’s contention is that college campuses are dominated by conservative orthodoxy instead of neo-Marxist dogma. The author, Asheesh Kapur Siddique, dismissed the political preferences of professors, arguing that it is university boards, comprising individuals with corporate backgrounds, that control the central components of these post-secondary institutions:
“But the right is not underrepresented in higher education; in fact, the opposite is true: The modern American university is a right-wing institution. The right’s dominance of academia and its reign over universities is destroying higher education, and the only way to save the American university is for students and professors to take back control of campuses.”
According to Teen Vogue, the statistics of how much the college and university system leans left are inconsequential because “there is no ‘Democrat’ way to teach calculus, nor is there a ‘Republican’ approach to teaching medieval English literature.” Perhaps the writer has not scanned the headlines about schools modifying their math instruction due to the racist tendencies of the subject.
The primary argument seems to be “capitalism’s destructive takeover of American higher education,” pointing to business executives, bankers, and white-collar attorneys who now populate these boards.
Has Teen Vogue dispelled the notion that leftist toxicity has seeped into the college curriculum?
Just the Facts, Ma’am
Indeed, the facts indicate that college and university faculties and administrations are devoid of ideological diversity. These places of higher learning are disproportionately liberal. A 2017 survey found that left-leaning administrators outnumber their conservative counterparts by a 12:1 ratio. A 2019 study discovered that Democratic professors outnumber Republican teachers by an 8.5:1 ratio. These are not outliers either, as multiple studies over the last 20 years spotlight the same trend: post-secondary schools are heavily skewed toward the left.
Even if the corporate boards possess all the power, does it cancel out conservatives’ concerns and support Teen Vogue’s assertion? The world has metastasized into a Freaky Friday-esque sideshow. No longer are the executives on Wall Street wearing Reagan-Bush ‘84 T-shirts under their suits nor are they espousing the virtues of Ayn Rand’s objectivist philosophy. There is a reason why the right is sounding the alarm about woke capitalism and coining the “go woke and go broke” catchphrase. The days of Gordon Gekko have been tossed into the trash receptacle in favor of a 3×5 card of allowable opinions.
Universities can hire all the MBAs they wish. It does not mean they have converted into Misesians. On the contrary, business schools and the conference rooms have now fallen victim to woke-washing, abandoning the core principles of these entities in favor of appeasing the mob of wokeologists.
That said, students are not dissecting material and listening to the orations of the men and women behind the curtain. Instead, they are sitting in lecture halls, jotting notes from left-leaning professors who believe it is their responsibility to teach pupils what to think as opposed to how to think. Accountants from Ernst & Young and gas company directors are not presenting these lesson plans.
One more thing. The idea that inflated tuition is the result of the “corporate capitalist regime” is dubious. Soaring higher education costs are the cause of the government’s public policy guaranteeing student loans, enabling colleges and universities to both spend more and raise tuition. Even President Joe Biden admitted this in 2012 – and he certainly is not an advocate of free-market economics.
Education Has Failed the Kids
The initial objective of the university system was to facilitate an atmosphere of reason, logic, intellectual curiosity, and free speech. Students were meant to be exposed to a broad array of ideas, debating their merits and drawbacks. Once they graduated after two to six years, they were supposed to come out smarter, more curious, and better prepared for the real world. As the routine Two Minutes of Hate emanating from schools such as Evergreen, Mizzou, and Yale highlight, the college campus is churning out students ill-equipped to endure life’s anguish and gravitas. Whether it is because they are shielded with safe spaces of puppies and cookies or inculcated with half-truths, the education racket is broken – and it is not because of maniacal accountants trying to balance the books.
Read more from Andrew Moran.