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Friday, March 18. 2011
Why are Profs Lefties? a re-post
It's about time somebody wrote this essay. Prof. Thomas Reeves at Mercator: What do professors want?. h/t, Mankiw. He is harsh about the academic life:
I am sure Prof. Reeves has tenure, but he might need police protection too, after writing that honest piece.
Posted by The Barrister in Education, The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 12:02 | Comments (19) | Trackback (1)
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One could say much the same about social workers and psychologists.
I was a professor for 37 years. All professors are very well-paid, much better than national averages, and if their discipline gets federal or corporate research monies their salaries can be in the low 5 figures. In such cases, they lead jet-set life styles with fully-paid travel to exotic, fun places. They get excellent pensions, often approaching 90% of best few years. They have Cadillac health plans for themselves and their families. They set their own working hours (as long as the work gets done, and there is quite bit of it when school is in session). Except for the pressure to publish and bring in research dollars (which is substantial), the work environment is pleasant, the campuses manicured gardens, and the students pliant and obedient. Tenured full Professors can coast the last decade or so of their careers doing very little. Dean's and Department Chairs are transient workers and are treated as such. No Chair or Dean or Provost or President can tell a full Professor what to do. Administrators like to say that managing faculty is like herding cats; it's more like herding pissed off rattle snakes. Big ones. This is a cushy, cushy job.
Of course, most professors are professional whiners and fault-finders. In all my years, I almost never heard a faculty member say anything pleasant or positive about anything. (Another reason to like the students, who are generally much less cynical than their profs.) Those in the humanities and social sciences are totally, completely alienated from Western culture, and in fact know very little about it. They are contemptuous about nearly everything and everyone. Except maybe Zero.
The typical professor is deeply neurotic, and I have know a few who are actually insane by any measure or definition.
"The shady groves of academe have cachet as a home address, but the pay is lousy, the prestige is negligible, and the power is derisory." Ever the long suffering put-upons-these people make me tired. Generally, few have ever had it so good! In fact, their pay is in keeping with their contributions to our civilization. It's often more than it should be.
Academics in presnt company are excluded for the most part, but generally, their view of themselves as a repressed class is delusional.
In the comments, David Page suggested that "an open mind isn't comfortable in the narrow confines of right-wing politics." I hope he was making a joke, but I don't think he was. As a group, they are some of the most narrow creatures ever assembled.
I was about to be drafted, so I enlisted in 1968. My family wasn't as well off as some of my friends were. They got a "get out of military service free" card.
During the Viet Nam war [old timey spelling], college students majoring in Education and certain other majors were given a coveted deferment from the draft.
As a result, large numbers of students listed ''Education'' as their major.
To keep their draft exemption, most went into teaching -- which maintained their draft-deferred status, unlike most other professions. [For instance, police officers were also exempt. But that's a dangerous profession, too.]
Those draft-dodging students were well aware that other American boys had to step up and fight for our country in their place. But their guilt was not enough to make them step up and do their duty.
So colleges had a large influx of draft-dodgers.
These 'educators' needed to rationalize their guilt and cowardice, knowing they had put their tails between their legs and hid out, rather than serve our country like most American boys did.
So for 35+ years now, they've taught impressionable students that the anti-war draft-dodgers were the heroes, and the soldiers who served in their place were the villains.
Today's students are simply reacting to that continuous false indoctrination by those same guilt-ridden draft dodgers who, rather than serving our country in its time of need, cut and ran instead.
Now they have the deluded belief that since they themselves have overpaid, worry-free, tenured jobs, everyone ought to have good jobs.
Their economic illiteracy is caused by cognitive dissonance; the economy doesn't work like that because there is simply not enough money, and there is too much government sucking up available funds.
Now these perfumed cowards, modeled after William Ayres, demand that they must be exempted once more, this time from any cuts in Education. Naturally, Obama agrees. They are his constituents.
Except for my Business School Profs (an extremely conservative bunch) most professors I've known have never had to make payroll, compete for revenue, accomplish a military objective while keeping their troops alive, or make a profit.
In other words, they are completely detached from the real world. Most students recognize this and hold them in contempt while repeating their drivel back to them for grades.
There's a certain type of narcissist who believes he is just so special that he deserves preferred treatment. It's a Romantic myth that flowered in 19th-century Europe. Marx was such a one, freeloading off Engels with his entire family, big fat daughters and all.
One reason so-called intellectuals view Christianity with disdain is that it posits no such distinction.
Smokey that was caustic but informative.
I have a very old and close friend who is a humanities prof in Louisiana. After obtaining his phd in genetics he decided the more important thing was to guide minds through college. He is now a casualty of war. Spouting the most ridiculous things you can believe. He is now a 911 truther and environmentalist to the extreme.
The culture permeates and alienates it's members to such a degree it is almost impossible understand opposing facts. Everything that cast doubts on his presuppositions are instantly discarded as "Orwellian."
It is really frightening to send one's children to college, and have them come home spouting left-wing drivel. A few years out in the work-place cures it, at least for my three, but they had strong conservative roots.
I think that the right underestimates what a position of power the left-wing professoriat occupies. Training young minds gives you a lot more, long-term, power than running a business.
Whatever happened to a government of laws, not men? These Gramscian-march-challenged professors are a disgrace and a menace.
I'm very glad I took a 12 year break in the real world (working on the railroad) between undergrad and grad. It was very instructive to see the academics through adult eyes. And a few of them didn't like me very much as a result. What a bunch.
Interesting to see that you spent 12 yrs on the railroad. I worked for the railroad beginning in 1965, spent 3 yrs in the Army (2/66 to 2/69) and returned to the railroad.
I was able to exhaust my GI Bill educational benefits on a part-time undergraduate basis through May, 1979, when I gave up and devoted my life to the railroad for the next 21 yrs.
Was forced into an early retirement in April, 2000, and decided that I needed to keep my brain alive and so returned to college on a part-time basis and graduated with a degree in liberal arts in May, 2006.
Got into graduate school in Jan., 2007, and am now pursuing an MA in international affairs and national security and once I get the master's, I'm gonna go after a PhD in the same topic.
The state I live in has a program whereby Vietnam veterans who've exhausted all GI Bill educational benefits can attend any state-funded university or college and the state will pay tuition and fees. Saves me big bucks except when buying books and paying parking fees.
As for professors, I've encountered some wonderful men and women (I'm old enough to be their father) and I've encountered some arrogant types. I don't tolerate BS because my railroad experiences demonstrated multiple times that BS will get somebody killed.
To that end, as long as I have documentation to substantiate my position, I'll take on any professor (or student) who goes of on a tangent. They can't fire me.
All things considered, just about every professor has expressed appreciation for the knowledge and real-world experiences I bring to classroom dialogue and projects and I have every confidence that they are presenting a multitude of philosophies and values about any topic so as to instill the ability to think critically. Not that my life on the railroad didn't shape my thinking to that end.
Thus, considering the tenor of the subject commentary, I think it is bullshit and written by a pompous, arrogant ass who holds a grudge against professors because he failed to demonstrate logical, rational, and analytical thinking.
During the dot com crash recession my well paid and easy life law professor neighbor complained bitterly that budget pressures didn't allow the library to get all the journals he wanted and he had to share the admin with more colleagues than he prefer...meanwhile my tech company was dealing with lay offs, massive budget cuts and extreme pressure to simply survive.
Needless to say it took all my self control from slapping that spoiled liberal brat.
BD, I am a prof and I say everything in that article is true.
Bird Dog ... Maybe in your sister's academic neighborhood what the article says is not true. but arguing from personal experience is always anecdotal. My brother was a full professor, my father had been a professor before the First World War, and my whole family history is dotted with 'teachers and preachers.' Which also doesn't make me an expert, but it also leads me to at least give some credence to Thomas Reeves well taken points.
The 1960s were a watershed for America's classic freedom-loving and independent attitudes when they came up against the Woodstock rebels' philosophy of life. Those kids who joined in the Woodstock rebellion now overpopulate our halls of academe. One of our close friends, a very distinguished professor with awards, honors and five Ph.D.s, -- I used to tease him about that -- said once that all battles between academics are so fierce, because in actuality they matter so little. If an academic espouses a position that later becomes patently ridiculous, he doesn't lose much. He can always write a book about it, which he can then insist that his present and future students have to buy as required reading. So there are no real, painful consequences in academe of his having taken a ridiculous position on something.
In fact, the person doesn't even have to be a full professor. He can become the President of the United States with only the somewhat doubtful credential of having been an "adjunct lecturer" on certain aspects of the Constitution. [An adjunct lecturer is one step above a grad student, I understand.] Talk about rising to your level of incompetence....
Intellelctual dimlights it ain't all that bad,hell" it takes all kinds." Life would suck if we were all of like mind.
I am a professor of history and government, one of the few conservatives in my field. I teach at a small, realtively conservative college in Texas, so I am not treated like the lepper I would be on most campuses.
Most profs (especially in fields like Psycology and Sociology) are lefties to the extreme.
The snippets you posted are true, but I think the bigger reason is that when you have an easy life you can either give your money and time away or feel guilty about the easy life. Most of my conservative prof friends give of their time and money to Christian charities and thus escape the guilt.
I would say that the salaries depend greatly on where and how you teach. As a community college teacher, I don't get close to six figures, but I live in a small town where the cost of living is very low, so my Lovely Bride doesn't work outside the home (taking care of our tricycle motors is plenty of work!). I probably make more than most of the guys I graduated with, so we are doing ok. But I teach six classes each long (Spring and Fall) semester and as many as they will let me teach in the summers (typically five) and generally both short minimesters (twelve day crash-course semesters sandwiched into the Chrstmas break and the weeks between the May graduation and summer semester) so a big chunk of my income is from working the teaching equivilent of overtime.
I think there is an activist mindset or disease. It isn't the specific issues or policies that create an activist. These same people in 1772 would have opposed King George and fought for our soon to be created constitutional republic. But because they are born into the lap of luxury and everything any person could possibly want they seek activism to oppose that. Things are too good for Americans so we must suffer. To many people in the world don't have what we have so it must be our fault and if we just brought ourselves down to there level somehow things would be better. I think Activism is one of the basic needs for some people and by it's definition activism tends to oppose what is in favor of what could be. But for the 98% of us who aren't activist we are quietly enjoying our life and most of us are blissfully unaware that activists are hard at work to turn our world upside down. So there is is in a nutshell. We have activists pushing themselves into positions of power and influence far beyond their numbers because most of us are fat dumb and happy enjoying life.
My favorite line: "leftist leaders might redistribute income 'fairly,' by taking wealth from the "greedy" and giving it to those of us who want more of everything."
Tracked: Apr 17, 22:44