Sunday, March 6, 2011

Education, Not Apartheid

Peter McKinney, the owner of a fifty plus year old Harvard degree, notes that, of the 32 members of Congress having degrees from Harvard, 29 are Democrats and observes that this "suggest that ...[the development of independent and critical thinking in undergraduates]... is not happening at Harvard College".

Clearly, among members of Congress, having a Harvard degree correlates very well with being a Democrat and therefore presumably having a liberal ideology. Perhaps that correlation could even be generalized and applied to all recipients of Harvard degrees, not just recipients elected to Congress, as McKinney obviously does. Even so, no conclusion can be reached as to whether having a Harvard degree causes the recipient to be a Democrat/liberal. Correlation is not causation.

However, it is still a striking statistic which implies that the biggest pusher of "diversity," especially in educational settings, is either not trying achieve diversity when it comes to matters ideological, is trying and its efforts have been an epic failure, or is even attempting to discourage or avoid it. Sadly, the last option seems the most likely, whether intentionally or otherwise. Before you ask, I have no real evidence for that observation. Just a gut feeling that having a deep blue faculty and a deep blue administration can lead to discouraging people from the other end of the spectrum from attending, teaching or working there. One might ask Larry Summers about the matter.

Given that the logical conclusion of all diversity arguments is quotas or preferences, I shudder to think what might happen if Harvard wanted to and actually succeeded in attaining ideological diversity. Still, it seems to me that if achieving a diverse population does any good anywhere, it would be most beneficial where ideological issues are concerned. So its a real shame that the ivory towers should be the home of a sort of ideological apartheid.

From Ira Stoll via Overlawyered.

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