More on Academia
From a comment by moof1138 in a Crooked Timber thread entitled Conservatives in Academia:
The labels ‘conservative’ and ‘liberal’ take on new and peculiar meanings in Academia. For instance, I believe in affirmative action, increasing taxes on the rich, socialized medicine, I am pro-legalized abortion, hold Christianity to be institutionalized ignorance, and donate to the ACLU. In all you could say I am pretty left wing. Except when I was a grad-student in Classics.
Then I was called at various times a Nazi, a Fascist, compared to the French Aristocracy prior to the revolution, and labelled ‘arch-conservative’ more than once. Why? I rejected relativism, ridiculed deconstructionism, was in favor of the traditional Canon as core reading in the Humanities, had the audacity to point out the many egregious historical errors that certain Black Studies and Women’s Studies professors made (the former blatantly making stuff up about Egypt, the latter Crete). I also ‘proved’ I was a right-winger by explaining the etymology of the word ‘history’, after someone used the term ‘herstory.’
Intellectual conservatism and political conservatism are quite different things. Intellectual conservatives can actually manage in Academia if they have the stomach for it. Political conservatives… to redraw blunt lines mentioned above, they are generally either stupid or selfish. If stupid, they won’t make it in Academia. If selfish, they’ll recognize they won’t make money in Academia.