Nicholas Kristof: More self-deceptive blather on academic freedom

From Nicholas Kristof at New York Times, who has just discovered  that most “liberals” don’t agree that close-mindedness is a bad thing (he wrote about it recently, and now follows up):

Third, when scholars cluster on the left end of the spectrum, they marginalize themselves. We desperately need academics like sociologists and anthropologists influencing American public policy on issues like poverty, yet when they are in an outer-left orbit, their wisdom often goes untapped.

In contrast, economists remain influential. I wonder if that isn’t partly because there is a critical mass of Republican economists who battle the Democratic economists and thus tether the discipline to the American mainstream.

I’ve had scores of earnest conversations with scholars on these issues. Many make the point that there simply aren’t many conservative social scientists available to hire. That’s true. The self-selection is also understandable: If I were on the right, I’d be wary of pursuing an academic career (conservatives repeatedly described to me being belittled on campuses and suffering what in other contexts are called microaggressions). More.

Oh blather. First, the scholars whom Kristof repeatedly refers to as “liberals” are by definition not liberals if they are massively clustered “on the left end of the spectrum.” That’s elementary logic but universities are too politically correct to teach logic anymore.

Calling them liberals is not a minor verbal dishonesty either. It prevents a discussion of the true issue: It’s not merely  that conservatives are not heard but that only or mainly progressives are heard. And the methods used to enforce that state of affairs are increasingly illiberal, witness the growing use of precious little asshats as enforcers.

Second, why the earnest pretense that these “liberal” “scholars” want to do good academic work anyway? They are interested in enforcing progressive orthodoxies, in part by preventing literate challenges to them. They make that clear by their words and actions, as Kristof himself admits.

He also says

Mixed in here are legitimate issues. I don’t think that a university should hire a nincompoop who disputes evolution, or a racist who preaches inequality.

This is classic virtue signalling. Kristof wants the cocktail set to know that he isn’t serious about free inquiry, he just wants to witter about some of the unpleasant places  into which his favourite people’s fascism has led him.

Most virtue signals are a bit more adroit than this. Right now there is indeed a big dispute going on about evolution, and if Kristof is not hearing more about it, that’s principally due to the fact that he’s likely getting most of his information from Darwin’s fanboys, not from the new thinkers in the field.

Incidentally, as everyone knows, lots of racism is being preached today on campus, in support of progressive “diversity” goals. Would Kristof like to try doing something about that?

No wonder the New York Times is shedding writers and readers. Who wants to pay to see someone decorously wringing his hands?

See also: NYT: Confession of liberal intolerance – a bit late