How academia is fallen

Daniel T Rodgers is a professor of History at Princeton. His book Age of Fracture won the Bancroft Prize in 2012.

So, what’s the deep analysis today?

Liberals risk becoming a permanent minority in America

Liberals, in the sense that he’s using (hint, special snowflakes) always have been a distinct minority in the US. Just as the Owenite wing of the British left couldn’t get elected to local councillor let alone above without the sheep of the Labour Party. Who disagree with them about pretty much everything except the desirability of the red rosette.

The desertion of the northern, white working class in the 2016 election, should it persist, would leave liberalism without a viable electoral base. Unless the Trump victory literally splits apart the Republican party, liberalism threatens to become a permanent minority of the educated, the bi-coastal, the urban, the nonwhite, and the poor.

Again the sort of liberalism we are talking about here is an almost exclusive preserve of the over-educated bi-coastal elite. Those non-white poor for example, not known as a great reservoir of tolerance towards gay men really – as innumerable hip hop lyrics point out.

It could even be that the coalition has broken because that concentration on the minor degrees of LGBYQQwhatsitallabout have not in fact addressed the interests of the poor of any race, urban or not?

Even, get your economics right and people might vote for you again?

25 thoughts on “How academia is fallen”

  1. I guess when you live in a bubble where People Like You are in the majority and you delight in actually oppressing Otherthinkers, while justifying to yourselves that you’re the righteous ones, it must come as a shock to discover that the world outside is different…

  2. So Much For Subtlety

    The Pauline Kael effect. He hasn’t met anyone outside his bubble so he doesn’t know they are there.

    But it is a few short months since the Left was insisting that the decreasing number of Whites meant the Democrats would be in power forever. The Democrats not being the same as liberals of course, even though they are moving that way.

    In the end it looks like what Steve Sailor calls the KKKrazy glue that holds the Democrats together – that is, the belief that Whites and especially White men are evil and out to kill all minorities at the drop of a hat – has not held together. Hillary could not get Black males to vote for her.

  3. get your economics right and people might vote for you again?

    I think that might be a tad optimistic, given who does get elected.

  4. So Much For Subtlety

    By the way, I loved the map of the Hillary archipelago.

    I encourage people to google it.

    However none of it matters because as much as people like 50 Cent hate Gays, they hate Whites more. The Democrats only have to wait for the demographics to shift their way and once America is sufficiently enriched with Chavez voters, they will have a monopoly on power.

  5. I take issue with the term ‘educated’. These people can not be considered ‘educated’ in any meaningful sense. The more accurate term would be ‘extensively-schooled’. With ‘schooled’ understood in the sense of ‘schooling’ a show-jumper. The vast majority nowadays do not acquire an education so much as undergo indoctrination, which at the end of the day results in a ‘certification’.

  6. @fnord – I read something recently by a Ukrainian who grew up in the USSR and stated that the degree of political indoctrination in US universities would put the Soviets to shame. The soviets, at least, were apparently interested in providing people a good education (with a lashing of Marxism-Leninism on top), whereas the US universities seem more interested in turning out good little indoctrinated activists above all else.

  7. I loved the map of the Hillary archipelago.

    Best version I’ve seen (and on the originator’s site) here.

    Described in one particularly egregious post as “Hillary’s real America”, as opposed to Trumpland which is “not really as big as this mapped perspective seems.”

  8. Long term the interests of the non white working man are a lot better aligned with the interests of the white working man than they are with those of the college educated. It would be as unwise of the Dems to rely on their vote as it has been to rely on the white working class.

  9. They would be better off crafting policies that actually help the working class and explaining them in the language of the working class.
    But that would entail years spent listening to the working class both to find out what they actually want and to learn the language. I can’t imagine them associating with people they clearly despise, far less giving up on political correctness.
    BTW it sounds to me as though Trump has spent decades listening to the working class.

  10. The soviets, at least, were apparently interested in providing people a good education (with a lashing of Marxism-Leninism on top), whereas the US universities seem more interested in turning out good little indoctrinated activists above all else.

    Indeed. At the school level, kids used to treat the political lessons much as we did the RE and music lessons: an excuse to fuck about and make the teacher cry. Nobody took it seriously, and putting aside the political crap they got a pretty good, classical education.

  11. @Tim Newman,

    I struggle with the whole concept of the US “liberal arts” degree as it’s currently practiced. What’s the point in paying money to go and learn about current issues (irrespective of the ideological indoctrination prism they’re viewed through), to take basic UK prep school level Latin and language classes, and so on, and leave without any grounding in how the heck we got to where we are today? Surely the right time to learn about now is 20-30+ years on, with the benefit of hindsight and less emotional connection to it.

    The scary thing is that the political indoctrination is taken very, very seriously, is used as an excuse to behave appalingly towards wrong-thinking other students, and is conflated with an education.

  12. @fnord

    That is a great observation. An alarm-bell usually starts ringing when I hear people self-describe as being ‘educated’, especially when speaking in the context of politics.

    I always wonder ‘educated in what and compared to what?’

    I also often point that ‘being educated’ doesn’t mean much, after all some of the most incorrect beliefs about the world, political decisions and ideas and objectionable political positions have come from such ‘educated’ people.

  13. fnord;

    I prefer the term ‘Over-Schooled’. They spend a lot of time in school, but don’t get a lot of education.

  14. ‘BTW it sounds to me as though Trump has spent decades listening to the working class.’

    Exactly. He has been working with people at all different levels for many years, to get things done.

    Personal experience: Though the last 30+ years of my career were as a computer scientist, I spent the first 6 as a manufacturing supervisor. My IT co-workers were terrified of walking out on the shop floor to talk with the workers to see and understand exactly what they were doing, while I was perfectly comfortable with it. My IT co-workers guessed at what they thought the workers were doing or should be doing, while I talked with them to actually know. An advantage I carried throughout my IT career.

    FF to Obama et al. Their beliefs are shaped in faculty lounges, not forged on the front lines of industry. Failure should be no surprise.

  15. I think we should refrain from calling this Liberalism, as it has little in common with the classical meaning of the term. The idea these people, wedded to big government solutions on economics and so much else are ‘liberal’ is slightly odd. I would say that ‘identity politics suffused stalinists’ have had their day certainly. While recognising the persistence of SMFS on this issue surely the great thing about the Trumpland Map is it shows how small a geographical area these people are in, and that a significant number of non-whites find them as contemptible as we do.. An ISIS attack with a biological agent in either the East or West Coast areas could finish a significant number of them off – which would of course be the ultimate irony, given their babbling about ‘Islamophobia’ the whole time…

  16. The Hillary archipelago map is a nice effort but ultimately unedifying. Hillary supporters dominate in large cities; who new? What would perhaps be more interesting is a version of the map where non-voters were assigned to Trump. The argument being that those uninterested in politics probably tend to being uninterested in the issues that animate the current crop of Democrats, such as LBGT (whatever) issues. I suspect that map would starkly show quite how small the clique is (and of the 60m Hillary voters only a portion of those are liberal true believers) that wants to impose their liberal vision on the rest of America.

    Also, if the US redrew its State lines, this map could be a useful guide. Possibly the reason liberals are so keen on using the Federal government to impose their will, is that there are so few States in which they dominate to such an extent that they can achieve what they want through the State legislature only.

  17. Gamecock

    Spot on – I worked in Warehousing and Retail for nearly 10 years prior to moving to Finance so am quite comfortable speaking to anyone at any level – unsurprisingly many who have never needed to deal with frontline employees are much less confident doing so and feel the need to ‘guess’ what their employees want (often spending significant sums outsourcing companies to do it for them) Trump looks like he has been doing this for quite a while!

  18. The Soviets have a good education, provided you didn’t want to go near some subjects.

    Value free, like Maths and Physics, no problem. Which is why their engineering was OK.

    History, Economics, Philosophy etc were, as you might imagine, almost entirely make believe.

    Biology and Chemistry were, surprisingly, rubbish. Stalin would not allow them to be taught without Soviet dogma – so no Darwinism then, and oddly issues with chemical bonding – and they never recovered. The Soviet farms were decades behind modern crops and methods. Their chemical processes were old fashioned too, relying on adding more power, not more efficiency.

    For all the supposed great teaching, name any famous science or scientists who weren’t in Physics, Maths or Engineering who was Soviet educated. Even then they nicked much of their engineering from the West.

    So overall, unless you count rockets and weapons as science, Soviets respected learning. But only if it is the right sort. ( Inmates of the system tended to think they were being educated well, alternative thinking not being a Soviet speciality.)

    We can whine about our modern universities but they remain light years ahead of the Soviets.

    (There is a meme that the Soviets, although evil, were efficient. It’s not true. They were inefficient at almost all levels. Their attempt to be more efficient broke the system.)

  19. Should we volunteer Murphy’s latest tome for that literature crap sex award? I haven’t read it yet mind.

  20. Chester Draws

    The Soviet (or contemporary North Korean) education system seems considerably better than the Social Sciences departments of most universities in the UK and US. If you read the KCNA output it is considerably closer to the real world than the outpourings of the SNP, Greens or Corbynite Labour, with their babbling on about hierarchies, privilege, microaggressions and other such BS. You are correct that in their time the curricula on the arts side were ‘almost entirely make believe’ but give me a Soviet educated historian over a graduate of ‘Women’s studies’ anytime…

  21. Daniel T Rodgers is a professor of “cultural and intellectual history” who apparently focuses on the modern era (post-1850 to the present).

    Any academic with anything relating to “cultural and intellectual history” in their job title should face an Ecksian purge.

  22. So Much For Subtlety

    Edward Lud – “I’m always amazed by your knowledge of rapping and rappers.”

    I am a Renaissance man for our time. Actually I am thinking of going back to uni and doing a Ph.D. on the semiotics of Wiz Khalifa’s We Dem Boyz.

    It is bound to get a First.

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