the Duke Conservative Union has placed an ad in the student newspaper complaining that the faculty lacks intellectual diversity. The conservative students cited, for example, statistics showing that, in eight of the university’s humanities departments, “142 of the faculty members and deans included in the survey are registered Democrats, 28 are unaffiliated and 8 are registered Republicans.”
However, as the student newspaper reports, the notion that the faculty may be biased was elegantly demolished by two department chairs. First, the head of the philosophy department explained that “We try to hire the best, smartest people available. If, as John Stuart Mill said, stupid people are generally conservative, then there are lots of conservatives we will never hire. Mill’s analysis may go some way towards explaining the power of the Republican party in our society and the relative scarcity of Republicans in academia. Players in the NBA tend to be taller than average. There is a good reason for this. Members of academia tend to be a bit smarter than average. There is a good reason for this too.”
Next, the head of the history department questioned the Conservative Union’s usage of party registrations to make their point. “The interesting thing about the United States is that the political spectrum is very narrow. Countries, such as Canada, represent a much broader sampling of political leanings. As such, the question of political affiliation in the United States becomes relatively trivial.” There is, in other words, no real difference between the two bourgeois parties. If anything, Duke just needs to increase the number of unaffiliated professors of the Canadian persuasion.
It’s reassuring to know that lack of intellectual diversity isn’t a problem in the humanities departments at Duke. But why no Sex Week?
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“Arise and take our stand for freedom as in the olden time.” Winston Churchill
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