Academic left

The Yearbook Purges Begin

Featured image You just knew that a full-scale Maoist ideology struggle session would break out amongst college administrators in the aftermath of Governor Moonwalk’s yearbook fiasco. And behold American University: To:                  American University Community From:             Daniel Myers, Provost, Fanta Aw, Vice President of Campus Life Re:                  Yearbook Review Dear American University Family, When the issue of yearbooks and past student conduct emerged in the national conversation last week, AU »

The Hypocrisy of Multiculturalism

Featured image Before there was “diversity,” which is college-speak for people who look different but all think the same, there was “multiculturalism.” In the abstract, “multiculturalism” is entirely sensible. We ought to learn about other cultures, and even borrow from or imitate them when they have successful or enriching customs and art. But in practice what multiculturalism meant is active hatred of our culture—the culture of Western European civilization and its outgrowths »

This Week @ Yale: Equality Uber Alles!

Featured image For those of you in the New Haven area, I’ll be returning to Yale on Thursday afternoon (if the airlines and weather cooperate!) for the next in my series of lectures for the William F. Buckley Program at Yale, this time on the subject “The Endless Quest for Social Equality.” The actual lecture has taken a different—and I guarantee more provocative!—direction since the description written for the early announcement below, »

“Deep Dive” on Universities

Featured image I’m in Los Angeles right now, taping two different Fox News panel shows. Last night I taped an episode of “Deep Dive,” which is a show for Fox’s new online streaming service FoxNation—you can sign up for a free trial subscription here. The show has a rotating host, drawn chiefly from the ranks of Wall Street Journal writers and editors, though last night’s taping was hosted by Fox’s own Steve »

Universities: “Diverse” in Everything But Thought

Featured image I have an unofficial “No TED-Talks” policy for Power Line, because of the overproduced style of the things, and the vacuousness of 90 percent of the content. This “thought leader” spoof gets the problem just right. Also this one. And this one, too. And . . . yeah, they’re almost endless. But I do make occasional exceptions. Such as anything by the late Hans Rosling. Especially his talk on “the »

Academic Absurdity of the Week: Writing is Racist

Featured image Like our coveted Green Weenie Award, we could cover academic absurdities on an hourly basis these days. To paraphrase Will Rogers, there’s no trouble exposing the rot of our universities when so many faculty are working full time for you. So we limit ourselves to the most extraordinary or novel expressions of academic rot. Like the idea that conventions in writing are—wait for it, you know what’s coming—raaaacccist! American University »

Our Rotten Liberal Arts Colleges

Featured image I have a hypothesis that I’ve not yet published anywhere, but it seems like the propitious time has arrived. My hypothesis is that while places like Berkeley, Colorado/Boulder, the University of Wisconsin, etc. have the rap for being the most politically correct and radical institutions of higher education, in fact they are relatively sane compared to small, elite private liberal arts colleges. I believe that most small private liberal arts »

This Week @ Yale

Featured image With all of the holiday commotion I have neglected to put up notice here of my final visit to Yale for this semester, this Tuesday at 4:30, in the same location as before (WLH 207, 100 Wall Street). Sponsored by the William F. Buckley Program, I’ll be giving a lecture on the topic of equality. I’m going to begin with the droll opening line from Peter deVries’s novel The Prick »

Needed: A Modern-Day Aristophanes

Featured image I was reading an old lecture on Aristophanes by Leo Strauss when I came across these very usable sentences: When about to enter a place at which we are meant to laugh and to enjoy ourselves, we must first cross a picket line of black-coated ushers exuding deadly and deadening seriousness. No doubt they unwittingly contribute to the effect of the comedies. Strauss had in mind of course the typical »

How to Wreck Universities: Make Them Free

Featured image One of the high priority items for the incoming Democratic House is to make college free. It is perfectly understandable why Democrats would want to do this. Just look how successful they were at making health care more widely available and affordable with Obamacare! No, that’s not the reason. Noting that people with college degrees tend to vote more Democratic, one way to generate more Democratic voters is to have »

It Has Come to This: Academic Samizdat

Featured image We have come to the point where even liberal academics in good standing will feel the wrath of leftist orthodoxy if they depart from the party line. So what to do? Imitate the late Soviet Union, and start a samizdat literature. I heard several months ago that this new initiative was in the works, but now it is official. A group of scholars from across the political spectrum is launching the »

Harvard: Stop Pretending!

Featured image As the lawsuit by Asian-American students against Harvard proceeds, our friend David Lebedoff–one of whose degrees is from Harvard, if I remember correctly–weighs in, with Harvard’s motto, Veritas, as his polar star: Karl Marx, who today’s undergraduates think was that curly-headed guy honking at Groucho, proclaimed in his own turbulent time that “History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce.” Well, he had to get something right. But who »

Free Speech on Campus? Not For Conservatives

Featured image You know that, of course. This story is just a drop of water in the ocean of officially-sanctioned campus leftism. At the University of Minnesota, there is a bridge over the Mississippi River on Washington Avenue. (BTW, it won’t be long before Minnesota Democrats demand that Washington Avenue be given a new name.) University organizations of all types are given space on the bridge to post signs. The college Republicans »

When You’ve Lost the Socialists. . .

Featured image A lot of people inside the Grievance Studies camp are lashing back at what’s being called “Sokal Hoax Two”—the faux articles submitted and accepted for publication in various supposedly “premier” academic cultural studies journals. Even though the three hoaxsters, like physicist Alan Sokal who punked Social Text 20 years ago, consider themselves liberal or progressive, leftists are saying their hoax articles are a right-wing provocation, or something. But it turns »

Political Correctness, and Other White Elitist Fads

Featured image I’ve seen several people observe that the anti-Kavanaugh protests of the last few weeks in Washington were demographically embarrassing for the race-conscious left. I recall seeing one comment that the composition of the protests was “whiter than a suburban country club.” But a new study just out from a British study group makes the left’s fanaticism about diversity and political correctness look even worse. The study, Hidden Tribes: A Study of »

PPS on the Grievance Studies Scandal

Featured image Steve had a “Postscript on the grievance studies scandal” about the project of three liberal academics placing nonsense articles in leading postmodernist/identity politics journals. I have a PPS. Jillian Kay Melchior’s updated Wall Street Journal story on the hoax is accessible here on Outline. The Australian site Quillette has posted “The Grievance Studies Scandal: Five Academics Respond.” It is prefaced by this editor’s note: For the past year scholars James »

Where Do We Go From Here?

Featured image Brett Kavanaugh will be confirmed to the Supreme Court tomorrow, bringing to a close one of the most appalling episodes in American political history. The Democrats’ shameful treatment of Robert Bork in 1987 has distorted our politics–not just the politics of the Supreme Court–for the last 30 years. But the slanders the Democratic Party directed toward Kavanaugh were, if anything, even more disgraceful. We will feel their impact for many »