A Description of a Really Nice Sausage
Monday, November 29, 2004
  Pictures. George Will writes about liberal campuses, and Leiter replies, satisfyingly, but less than elegantly. So here I am.

The following diagram shows what should be intuitively obvious in any given political society:

Political opinions range from liberal to conservative, although most people bunch up right in the middle. The political line is drawn to roughly split the population in half—sort of grading politics on the curve. Okay.


is how America looks. For a variety of reasons, America's political spectrum is skewed to the right. Where most of the industrialized world considers the drawing line between Conservatism and Liberalism is firmly in the field of the Democratic Party. In fact, it borders on being a fringe belief.

The reason I've done this is to illustrate something straight out of Stephen J. Gould. Academia fosters diversity of opinion—this is true. But it so happens that the broadest area of ideological space is situated to the left of the American dividing line, because the American dividing line is so far right to begin with. There's a lot more room on the left for different ideas to thrive. Whereas, you can't really keep going right unless you want to be a fascist.

So there should be no surprise at the abundance of leftist opinions in Academia—it's like an ecological sorting, with more room in the fitness landscape on the "wrong" side, from Mr. Will's point of view, than the "right."

Of course, Evolution is a subject this country doesn't like to deal with, another consequence of the righward shift.…
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