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Political Scientist Fears Conservatives are Being Squeezed Out of the Field

Political Scientist Fears Conservatives are Being Squeezed Out of the Field

“But will academia remain open to people like me and to the unique perspectives we bring?”

Robert Maranto is an academic who has been active in this field for years. He sees things shifting and fears that the political right is vanishing.

He writes at The Hill:

I’m a conservative. Is there still a place for me in the field of political science?

This week, thousands of social scientists are meeting in Los Angeles for the 119th annual American Political Science Association meeting. I’ve attended nearly every APSA since 1984, a third of its existence and most of my life. Seeing old friends, new books and countless panels exploring politics is the highlight of my year, even though I am one of the roughly 10 percent of political scientists — not all on the down-low — who usually vote Republican.

But will academia remain open to people like me and to the unique perspectives we bring? Until recently, I assured libertarians and conservatives that unlike much of academia, political science had a tent big enough for them. Today, as academia becomes as leftist as Rush Limbaugh always said we were, I am not so sure.

It was not always that way. As a first generation college student at the University of Maryland, I was mentored by a social democrat who in class occasionally needled me about my politics, but who also graded my papers fairly. He urged me to apply to the top-ten Ph.D. program at the University of Minnesota and wrote a recommendation which helped me win a graduate fellowship there in 1980. Decades later, we still keep in touch…

These anecdotes above from my own career demonstrate the open-mindedness that once characterized my field. As political scientist Richard M. Merelman detailed in “Pluralism at Yale,” in the mid and late 20th century, the nation’s leading political science department enshrined pluralism rather than Marxism or traditionalism as the field’s dominant paradigm. Pluralists value disagreement — we don’t purge dissenters. By temperament, pluralists oppose both McCarthyism and Marxism.

Pluralists likewise endorse the scientific method — what Karl Popper called “conjectures and refutations” — even when hypothesis-testing undermines our beliefs. For pluralists, science requires disagreement, without which it loses both its legitimacy and its ability to ask novel questions.

Unfortunately, pluralism is fading. I fear that in my remaining years (I’m 65) no conservative scholar will ever lead APSA, even though as recently as the 1990s, James Q. Wilson and Nobel Prize-winning economist Eleanor Ostrom did so.


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The left has dispensed with plurality and tolerance. Academia was seized by the Marxists years ago, and they’ve been purging the ranks ever since, to permit unrestricted re-education. They are following Marcuse as they suppress and eliminate the opposition, any opposition to the Grand Narrative as they use the education system to build a new American Red Guard.

Conservatives are also realizing that formal training in so called “Political Science” is just another way of saying Leftist Ideology training which is about as useful as gonads on a sow.

Conservatives have surrendered education to the left, much as a farmer surrenders a crop to locusts, because he really has no other defense. He knows that his crop will not sustain the locusts forever because they do nothing but consume, and that in the end they will all die and he will prevail. But the price of his victory is that he will also starve.

There are so many expressions for this basic social truth: Conquest’s Second Law; the “skinsuit tactic”; the producers and parasites model. The latter is the most invidious, since the social construct you set up to protect producers from parasites is in itself a parasite and so doomed to fail.

One wants to believe that quality will always prevail in a market; that if alternative educational institutions (e.g., Hillsdale, University of Austin) are formed and privately supported, that the word will go out to students genuinely interested in learning HOW to think, and employers looking to hire graduates of true quality. But there is no mechanism to keep the wheel from turning again, to stop the capture by the locusts, to prevent the decline and fall of the new institutions.

Conquest’s Second Law is just a social restatement of the three laws of thermodynamics. Religion teaches us that virtue never loses, but cosmology teaches us that chaos eventually triumphs. The best you can do is to reverse entropy for a while. The goal is to maximize that “while.” We don’t seem to have a strategy for that.

We got about 200 years out of the Constitution. In terms of human racial history, that’s nothing.

Look at this study as to the awful state of freedom of speech on college campuses