Peak Leftism

The Federatlist has an interesting article up called Have We Already Reached Peak Leftism? by Robert Tracinski that asks a pretty important question.

In the realm of Sci Fi we have the Pink Shirts and the SJW’s who have a large cultural hegemony but their dominance is probalby not as much of lock as it is in academia. Still perhaps we will continue to see a trend away from it as we are likely to see a trend away from it in academia. Give it a read.

A recent study that has been making the rounds argues that “academic psychology once had considerable political diversity, but has lost nearly all of it in the last 50 years.” The paper examines historical data and concludes that party and ideological affiliation in university psychology departments used to be split close to 50-50. By the 1960s, the ratio of Left to Right had climbed to about 4-to-1, and then in the 1990s academia was transformed. Conservatives were chased out, and current left-to-right ratios are estimated at 11-to-1 or higher.

Jonathan Haidt, the lead author of the study, is an honest liberal who admits—and the paper goes on to demonstrate this—that the dominance of the Left distorts the scientific output of academic psychologists. When there are no dissenting voices, it’s a lot easier to confirm each others’ biases.

I’m pretty confident you would get similar results for most other academic disciplines. When I was in college in the late 1980s and early 90s, my sense was that there was a generation of elderly scholars holding the line against “political correctness”—the term had just become popular—but as they retired or died, the new orthodoxy was taking over among their replacements. I’ve seen the same thing elsewhere: an older generation who are at the very least non-ideological and apolitical, followed by a younger generation who are steeped in the neo-Marxist dogmas of “race, class, and gender.”

Academia is likely to be the worst in this regard, since it is a parochial subculture isolated from “the real world out there” and highly resistant to influences that might correct its excesses. But much the same thing has happened in the other commanding heights of the culture, particularly the mainstream media, Hollywood, and the arts.

Current left-to-right ratios in university psychology departments are estimated at 11-to-1 or higher.
There are two ways to look at this trend: as evidence that we are doomed because the Left has taken over the key institutions of the culture—or as evidence that the Left has reached such a high degree of saturation that they have nowhere to go but down.

In other words: have we already reached peak leftism?

  • Foxfier

    I recently saw an article about how a lot of the old, established results need to be redone with modern equipment– enough of what “everyone knew” was only mostly right that it may be skewing results. (Think along the lines of how physics has advanced– things that work when you’re only using muscle power don’t work so well when you’ve got mechanical or chemical power, and things that work if you assume “everyone is on earth” do not work for getting to the moon! The old stuff was only mostly right, with assumptions that had to be recognized to avoid becoming wrong.)

    A similar effect would happen, but even more strongly, for pursuits that don’t have objective checks.