Lots of interesting developments in the world of the woke today—too much for one post.
If you have access to the Wall Street Journal, don’t miss Eric Kaufmann’s article, “Academic Freedom Is Withering,” in which he reports on an extensive survey of American, Canadian, and British universities about aspects of the cancel culture they have unleashed upon the world beyond the campus.
For those without access to the Journal, some highlights:
Academic freedom is in crisis on American campuses. Last year, the National Association of Scholars recorded 65 instances of professors being disciplined or fired for protected speech, a fivefold increase from the year before. Yet many of academia’s defenders brush aside worries about dismissal campaigns and the lack of ideological diversity as little more than a collection of anecdotes cherry-picked to feed a right-wing moral panic.
My new report for the Center for the Study of Partisanship and Ideology gives the lie to these claims. Based on eight comprehensive surveys of academic and graduate-student opinion across the U.S., Canada and Britain, it buttresses the findings of numerous studies to provide hard data on the absence of viewpoint diversity and presence of discrimination against conservative and gender-critical scholars. High-profile activist excesses are mere symptoms of a much wider problem of progressive authoritarianism. Roughly 1 in 3 conservative academics and graduate students has been disciplined or threatened with disciplinary action. A progressive monoculture empowers radical activist staff and students to violate the freedom of political minorities like conservatives or “gender-critical” feminists, who believe in the biological basis of womanhood—all in the name of emotional safety or social justice.
The full report is 195 pages long, with over 130 tables and figures from the survey data. (Material for weeks and weeks of our “Geek in Pictures” perhaps.) And it is full of stunners. I’m going to be a while getting through it all, but here are a few highlights:
Political discrimination is pervasive: 4 in 10 American academics indicated in a survey this summer that they would not hire a known Trump supporter for a job. In Canada, the share is 45%, while in Britain, 1 in 3 academics wouldn’t hire a Brexit supporter. Between one-fifth and half of academics and graduate students are willing to discriminate against right-leaning grant applications, journal submissions and promotion cases. On a four-person panel, this virtually guarantees that a conservative will face discrimination.
Younger academics are twice as likely to endorse a dismissal campaign as older faculty. Doctoral candidates are around three times as likely, suggesting the problem of political intolerance is likely to get worse.
This chart is especially ominous for the next generation, showing at the bottom that 82 percent of current American graduate students admit to a disposition to discriminate against conservatives in at least one of several dimensions the survey tested (“SSH” means faculty in social sciences and the humanities):
The problem people in this chart is obvious:
Lesson: Don’t trust anyone under 40.
And these are only the ones that jumped out at me through page 41. Stay tuned, I’ll have more on this, and several other interesting woke car crashes occurring this week in a sequel.