Commentary: The Death Spiral of Academia

Library with several people at library tables, working.

On March 1, Eric Kaufmann published a remarkably detailed and comprehensive study of bias in academia, “Academic Freedom in Crisis: Punishment, Political Discrimination, and Self-Censorship.” Kaufmann’s writing is a product of California’s Center for the Study of Partisanship and Ideology, a small think tank set up to do research forbidden in today’s Academy. His research uncovering rampant leftist political bias in publication, employment, and promotion in the academy—and discrimination against anything right-of-center—qualifies as that kind of work.

In the academy, the free interchange of competing ideas creates knowledge through cooperation, disagreement, debate, and dissent. Kaufmann finds that the last three are severely suppressed and punished. This repression’s pervasiveness may be a death sentence for science, free inquiry, and the advancement of knowledge in our universities.

I am led to that dire conclusion because there doesn’t appear to be any way for universities to prevent it. No solution can arise from within the academy, as it self-selects lifetime faculty that are largely left-wing, making promotion of dissidents highly unlikely. Kaufmann demonstrates profoundly systemic discrimination by leftist faculty against their colleagues who disagree with them politically.

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Commentary: Those Who Should Be the Defenders of Civilization Are Determined to End It

The year 2020 witnessed a long series of writs lodged against an America beset with plague, quarantine, recessions, riot and arson, and the most contested election since 1876.

What was strange was not so much the anarchist Left’s efforts in the present to wipe away the past to recalibrate our Animal Farm future. What was odder were both the absurdities of the complaints against American civilization, and the unwillingness or inability of Americans to rebut them and defend their own culture.

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Commentary: A Retired Professor’s Retrospective on How Academia and Society Have Gone Separate Ways

I landed in Washington, D.C., in 1965 as a graduate student. For a conservative, the landscape was barren.

There was no conservative administration, no national newspaper that competed with the liberal New York Times and Washington Post, no conservative think tanks that rivaled the Brookings Institution or Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and no conservative majority in Congress.

Over the previous 32 years, the Democrats occupied the White House for 24 years, and both houses of Congress for 28 years. For all practical purposes, Washington and national politics were a Democratic Party monopoly.

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Commentary: What the Hoax Papers Tell Us About the Decline of Academic Standards

by Phillip W. Magness   By now, most followers of the higher education press have heard of the “grievance studies” or Sokal Squared hoax. In this incident, a team of three researchers successfully published several hoax papers on intentionally absurd subjects in ostensibly serious scholarly journals. Their purpose was to…

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