No, not the sort that sees women and minorities promoted by quota — a concept abhorrent to all who believe merit must be key. But what to make of a Coalition government that allows the left to colonise institutions and control them totally, as in our universities and at the ABC?
Let’s say that you’re a ‘diversity’ freak. What you want in life is to take group X, see what its percentage of the population happens to be, and then demand that the same percentage of X’s be found in the various jobs and roles that matter to you. This is just quota thinking, but without the bravery of calling it a quota. Your focus might be corporate boards, it might be judicial appointments, it might be top political spots. It probably won’t be heavy manual labour down the mines or garbage collection, though for political reasons it might be jobs in the military as combat troops.
Of course, almost all of the people in the West today who focus on ‘diversity’ and ‘equity’ do so in terms of things like the type of reproductive organs one brings to the table, or one’s skin pigmentation. It’s those things, they think, that need to reflect the population at large. It is almost never things such as one’s political outlook or attitude towards open borders or judgements on what sorts of energy sources to develop (or leave in the ground, as it were).
At universities, where I work, left-leaning political attitudes are massively – and I mean massively – over-represented. In the US giving money to political parties is public information. So studies have shown that 91% of Harvard law professors give to the Democrats. It’s 92% at Yale and 94% at Stanford. For subjects such as ‘social psychology’, US academic Jon Haidt has collected data showing that 96% of these social psychologists working at universities see themselves as left of centre; 3.7% see themselves as centrist; and – wait for it – 0.3% see themselves as right of centre. (Still, that still beats ‘our’ ABC with its 0.00 percent of its presenters, producers or top people generally with a right-of-centre pedigrees, but it doesn’t beat it by much.)
You would be a brave person to bet those sort of ratios are any less biased in Australia or that they would be any less skewed in women’s studies departments, in indigenous studies departments, or in those parts of law schools that focus on ‘human rights’ – and I can personally attest to that last one as someone who writes and speaks and has attended many conferences in this so-called human rights area.
I used to bring university meetings to a halt, and I mean this literally, by saying out loud how much I liked John Howard and his government. At human rights conferences around the world, in between the self-righteous, smug, holier-than-thou, bumper-sticker moralising, one could count on one hand the number of people who would ever admit to voting for Thatcher, or Reagan, or Howard, or Harper, or — Gof forbid!!! — Tony Abbott. That said, you would find quite a few who would have a good word for Malcolm Turnbull. Probably they wouldn’t vote for him, but they like his worldview (which is the core of the problem with the man, to my way of thinking).
But the first point is that universities across the Anglosphere – and probably more widely than that – lean ‘left’ with a huge tilt or skew. There is a dearth of people who at core are, say, Hobbesian national sovereignty types, for whom stopping the boats and upholding majoritarian democratic sovereignty are very important. There are a few more of, say, libertarians or hard-nosed free traders. But their numbers would be dwarfed by social justice types, or pro-international law and supra-nationalism pooh-poohers of things like, well, voting and democracy. (Don’t believe me? Just look at the reaction to the Brexit vote by UK academics. A more preening, self-righteous group of ‘we know better than you poor plebs’ would be hard to imagine.)
Oh, and the second point is that when it comes to quotas, or affirmative action, or ensuring ‘diversity’ and ‘equity’ (however you call it, depending on your honesty), there are never any moves to push for a diversity of political outlook amongst the academics on a university faculty, not even in areas that teach about political science and democracy. Now I am personally opposed to all forms of affirmative action, so would oppose it even here. But it has always struck me that if you’re in the quotas (oops, ‘diversity’) game then you ought to be a lot more worried about exposing students to a ‘diversity’ of outlooks and the mainstreams of thought and ideas (by those who actually hold them) in some rough statistical way than you should be about exposing them to a ‘balanced’ coterie of reproductive organs or skin pigmentation.
And clearly that same sort of claim about heavily left-leaning universities applies in exactly the same way to ‘our’ ABC. The imbalance – no, let’s be honest and call it what it is, the bias – is incredible. How the Board of the ABC and its managing head honchos get away with this shameless skewing to the left is beyond me. And don’t point me towards that laughable review last year. If you can say with a straight face that it was convincing and plausible then I recommend that you move to Los Angeles and look for acting work.
So the obvious question is why the main right-of-centre political party does nothing about this clear bias. Start with the ABC. Why do the Libs let it run such a one-sided menu of political presuppositions? I don’t care what people spend their own money to watch or read. But when the taxpayers have to fork out over a billion dollars a year for wall-to-wall lefties, well surely this is grounds for action by the Liberal Party.
Alas, we have a Liberal Party at present so devoid of principle that it appoints Ed Santow to the Human Rights Commission and that it does nothing at all, zero, about the ABC. I suppose Mr. Turnbull owes them one for their vitriol against his predecessor.