Left mindedness


At Quillette, a webzine well worth bookmarking, Jonathan Haidt’s experiment with left- and right-thinking university students is cited in a must-read post by Matthew Blackwell as further confirmation of what conservatives have long known — we think the Left ill-informed and in need of gentle education; they regard us as evil and in need of suppression.

Here is a taste of Blackwell’s piece:

Given the current environment, conservatives would be advised to simply abandon academia if they know what’s good for them. On the other hand, it is a problem when a student goes through university where each and every course is taught by a left-leaning professor. For conservative students, the toxic and hostile university environment needn’t cripple their intellectual development. These students arrive at university with conservative ideas and will naturally seek out and read conservative authors in their own time to balance out the latest application of progressive doctrine to which they are subjected in class. The most ambitious will be familiar with both Rand and Marx, Keynes and Hayek, Galbraith and Friedman, Krugman and Sowell, Picketty and Peterson.

But we ought to worry about the progressive student who arrives with progressive ideas, and is then showered in class with more of the same and reinforces them in their own time. Such students live in a much smaller cultural universe than the cosmopolitan intellectual world through which the conservative will be made to travel. This isn’t to deny that bigoted reactionaries on the opposite side of the spectrum also inhabit a tiny intellectual space. But that does not excuse the closing of the mind at a university.

Blackwell’s essay can be read in full via this link or the one below.

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