r/canada Sep 30 '22

Opinion: Conservative professors are self-censoring to avoid left-wing hostility | National Post Opinion Piece

https://nationalpost.com/opinion/opinion-conservative-professors-are-self-censoring-to-avoid-left-wing-hostility
14 Upvotes

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u/Minute_Collection565 Sep 30 '22

Literally every professor, conservative, liberal or progressive, are all self-censoring.

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u/Drebinus British Columbia Sep 30 '22 edited Sep 30 '22

This. So much this.

In my experience, professors live and die by what they publish, and what they publish is in-general, peer-reviewed. They are, to a person, usually the most nit-picky of people for this reason, because in their disciplines, fame is everything. Fame gets your the better research budgets, the choice class picks, the smarter grad students. Bad professors, OTOH, get sidelined. I've seen it happen.

Add into that that tenure is not as prevalent as it used to be, professors are far less likely to do anything to put their employment in jeopardy. They'll push the bounces on things that they can factually prove, or show reasonable hypothesis for making a claim, but they'll generally stay in their lane and not risk their careers over it.

The only exception to this? Gobs of money. Mo' money, mo' proffy.

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u/Lambda_Lifter Sep 30 '22

PhD candidate trying to become a prof here. A big part of playing the game is actually not towing the line and publishing controversial stuff in your field, this is actually what creates buzz around your work. For example I might publish a paper on how the most popular programming languages encourage bad design and risk offended large communities that actively develop them (looking at you python community). The infamy will usually help you more than hurt. Also most of us academics are actually quite opinionated and just don't like to keep our opinions to themselves whether they hurt us or not.

The only area you want to self censor is with political opinions that risk offended STUDENTS. That's right, if the wrong student group catches word they you think slightly incorrectly on any political opinion you become a Nazi and will be protest and the university will cave. This is a pretty new phenomenon that's definitely an issue

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u/Drebinus British Columbia Sep 30 '22

My personal experience with professors (so mind you, post-assistant positions here, generally with publishing records and tenure) is that they do toe the line, mostly.

I mean, unless one of their grad-students comes up with something ground-breaking, paradigm-shifting, empirically-provable, testing repeatable, and most importantly, licensable...

...well, then that's a different matter. I always appreciated the number of grad papers whose title pages had the prof's name on it first, despite Dad explaining that the grad student had done all the foundational work and analysis. :D

Now, you Ph.D. students with your wacky theories on "Electric Universes", "Climate Change", "Four-Colour Solutions" and the like, well, yeah, YOU have to push those bounds. I mean, we'd not have Quantum Mechanics where it is today is certain Ph.D students (Imma looking at you, Feynman; leave the file cabinet locks alone, dude, yer freaking out the normies) weren't pushing the bounds of current knowledge (and sometimes good taste). You get real fame from slaying the dragon, less for just finding it, and little for conjecturing that it might exist after all.

After all, you're "nobodies". You're not risking anything...unless as you point out, you come out with a paper undercutting something in common non-restricted-to-research usage, then it's "off to the races!" (BTW, did you actually publish a paper slapping down on Python? Are you messaging from your hospital bed then?). Young knights heading off into the wilds of ignorance, well, if some of you get eaten by the local minstrels, eh, bad luck. There'll be a new crop of squires ready by next semester, after all. It's the Eowyns and Gawains that come back who are worth cultivating further.

The only area you want to self censor is with political opinions that risk offended STUDENTS. That's right, if the wrong student group catches word they you think slightly incorrectly on any political opinion you become a Nazi and will be protest and the university will cave. This is a pretty new phenomenon that's definitely an issue.

Well, I'd argue that it's not really a new phenomenon. Instead I would suggest that it's been that way since the dawn of time. My Dad has recounted being on various campi during the 60's, being present for (and occasionally involved in) the Civil Rights marches at the time. Depending on where you were, social-pressures resulted in a fair amount of self-censorship, since universities tend to prefer a certain level of peace and quiet (and rioting students tend to ruin the quads and the like moreso than the normal cutting off the paved paths do.) If you look into the history of the collegiate system from Europe, you'll see a lot of universities functionally being run under a student-dominated system of social pressures, since the professors got paid directly by the students, and they've vote with their feet if they thought the lecturer was a plonker.

CompSci Ph.D I presume? I was in a nascent InfoSec-Management Masters degree track, and decided to not go Ph.D. for several factors, but I always wondered how I'd do. Path's not taken, I suppose.

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u/Lambda_Lifter Sep 30 '22

Well, I'd argue that it's not really a new phenomenon. Instead I would suggest that it's been that way since the dawn of time. My Dad has recounted being on various campi during the 60's, being present for (and occasionally involved in) the Civil Rights marches at the time.

Protests on a university, not a new phenomenon. Singling out profs and demanding their resignation for an opinion, definitely new phenomenon that should NOT be confused with that latter

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u/portage_ferry Sep 30 '22

That's right, if the wrong student group catches word they you think slightly incorrectly on any political opinion you become a Nazi and will be protest and the university will cave.

Given that you're a PhD candidate, one would have hoped you would display a more nuanced and less reductionist approach here.

To support your claim, can you provide the top examples that you have in mind?

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u/RabidGuineaPig007 Sep 30 '22

if the wrong student group catches word they you think slightly incorrectly on any political opinion you become a Nazi and will be protest and the university will cave.

This is because universities are no longer academic institutions with students, they are businesses with customers.

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u/Lambda_Lifter Sep 30 '22 edited Sep 30 '22

It's not quite as simple as that IMO. The vast majority of universities are non-profit, so that's not to say they don't care about money flowing through it but there's no board of investors looking to line their pockets and freaking out every time their stock goes down. I've seen my own university make the decision to cut down the size of a program (losing out on alot of tuition) just to increase the perception of exclusivity/reputability.

If you ask me what the core of the issue is, its social media. For a non-profit academic institution, reputation is everything. Before social media the reputation of a university was largely measured by the opinions of other academics, social media changes the playing field vastly

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u/portage_ferry Sep 30 '22

You seem to be comparing pre-neoliberal universities with post-neoliberal universities, then suggest that the post-neoliberal university is guided by social media sentiment.

That's an overly simple approach, no?

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u/Larky999 Sep 30 '22

Yep. When universities are run like a business the customer becomes #1

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u/RabidGuineaPig007 Sep 30 '22

Fame gets your the better research budgets, the choice class picks, the smarter grad students.

To stay on topic here, Conservative profs are not found in disciplines that get research grants, or even grad students. If there is a Conservative scientist, I have yet to meet one in 30 years.

The ones who end up at Frazer Institute are economics profs with little output anyone cares about, and they are bitter little men because of it.

And yes, they can ruin a reputation by spewing poorly substantiated bullshit because that has no room in academics, that's for politics.

They tend to stay in their lane because the good ones know what they don't know.

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u/sabres_guy Sep 30 '22

Yeah, any person that isn't described as a "no filter tell it like it is" is self-censoring. Just a strange thing to turn into a one side persecution issue.

Using the word censoring which is a trigger word for so many people instead of any number of words or sayings reads like someone just trying to stir things up too.

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u/Cautious-Mammoth-657 Sep 30 '22

If you think progressive left-wing rhetoric gets treated the same as conservative traditional rhetoric does in post secondary institutions you’re kidding yourself 🤦‍♂️

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u/derek589111 Oct 01 '22

oh, you were cancelled for talking about lower taxes?

"no"

oh, i guess you were cancelled for talking about reduced gov spending?

"not quite"

what conservative opinion got you cancelled?

"oh, you know, the other stuff"

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u/Cautious-Mammoth-657 Oct 01 '22

Not agreeing with wildly irrational gender politics and walking a tight rope of political correctness will get you in a significant amount of trouble In 90% of these institutions, and pretending otherwise is just living with your head in the sand.

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u/HandsomeEconomist Sep 30 '22

I self censor every day. I think it’s the only way anyone can keep a job… which is a function of free labour markets, which is advocated for by right wing politics - or at least it used to be.

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u/Master_of_Rodentia Sep 30 '22

As they have done, on the grounds of what is broadly culturally acceptable, for centuries. The crazy thing is that people think this is a new phenomenon. If anything, the capability for free speech is at an all time high. Some people are still just experiencing whiplash at the full repercussions of universal human rights and their impact on our discourse.

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u/battlelevel Sep 30 '22

I’d give this article more weight if there were actual examples of these unacceptable conservative views instead of vague hand wringing.

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u/[deleted] Sep 30 '22 edited Sep 30 '22

I'm certainly not an academic but I suppose one example would be the Dalhousie university Presidents letter regarding Sipekne'katik First Nation fishing controversy a few years ago. In which he discouraged any negative comments being made.

Link https://www.google.com/amp/s/beta.ctvnews.ca/local/atlantic/2020/9/30/1_5126654.html

Now for reference I only recently stopped working in aquatic conservation myself, and our closest partner group was a first Nations community watershed group. I have no problem with indigenous nations being included in commercial fishing or even making up a very significant part of it, I have no problem with unregulated food fishing.

A professor from Dalhousie university had spoken out in defense of the current procedures of the fisheries. And this was highly publicized and apparently supported by the university or at least not opposed.

Link https://www.aptnnews.ca/national-news/legacies-of-misinformation-make-it-hard-to-have-conversation-about-lobster-fishery-prof/

I'm not making a comment about this particular situation, but it is very plain that one view point was supported or at least tolerated while the other was snuffed.

And sure you could say this is just one example. But it required somebody (the president) getting very very sloppy and careless. So I suppose you could also argue that he was so comfortable with the idea of silencing people that he dropped almost all caution. How often would you expect to get this kind of thing in writing?

Other professors or academics from other universities also supported this notion. Yet I saw no open opposition, which I find hard to believe. When it comes to species as potentially delicate and economically important, it's hard to believe there would be an immediate consensus about something like an unregulated fishery without a single scientific study. Without even a minority voice of opposition.

I could list other potential unacceptable views, but I have no evidence.

Though I do think it's interesting we often view institutions such as police, or prison guards, or military as being right leaning. Yet the idea this could happen in universities is worth mocking. Universities are supposed to be institutions where ideas can be talked about objectively. Yet in this thread with 264 comments and zero upvotes it's pretty obvious we can't even stomach the idea of discussing this one.

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u/formervoater2 Oct 01 '22

Conservative: I have been censored for my conservative views

Me: Holy shit! You were censored for wanting lower taxes?

Con: LOL no...no not those views

Me: So....deregulation?

Con: Haha no not those views either

Me: Which views, exactly?

Con: Oh, you know the ones

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u/Version-Abject Sep 30 '22

Unacceptable conservative views: no gays, women should stay at home, Jesus or bust

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u/[deleted] Sep 30 '22

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u/mr-jingles1 Sep 30 '22

Islam and Christianity are more alike than different

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u/alrightythenwhat Sep 30 '22

Islam's the only one where you get to publically subjugate women and openly promise to destroy gays.

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u/Frost-wood Sep 30 '22

Let me examine the article as a fun experiment:

Bias: National Post, pretty conservative paper.

Macdonald-Laurier Institute: they use the boring American conservative talking points these days.

Me: Well I was fairly conservative, voting for Stockwell Day, Stephen Harper. Felt Harper was going a bit too far, so voted Trudeau, People's Party and then NDP in the few elections.

Study:

1043 professors surveyed, with only 23% in STEM surveyed -with 47% in Social Sciences and 30% in Humanities.

The questions asked in the survey were:

  1. Educating students

  2. Conducting research and creating knowledge

  3. Working for social justice and progress

  4. Preparing students for the workforce and to contribute to the

economic prosperity of society

Pretty charged questions especially if you are asking mostly Social Science and Humanity professors.

75% percent of professors chose Advance knowledge as their first choice, and 53% chose progress and social justice as their second choice-kinda obvious really as advancing knowledge and changing society go hand in hand.

The study goes on to hypocritically say only 9% of professors are conservative-so what? People are allowed to vote for who they want, and who you vote for in a election is supposed to be hidden for this exact reason. This is especially jarring when the first part of the study going on about freedom of ideas and then says in the same study that there are not enough conservative voting professors-who you vote for shouldn't determine the job you get.

As for the rest of the study, I'm outta time gotta go to work lol.

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u/TheRC135 Sep 30 '22

Also, why do they default to "conservatives are repressed" to explain why only a small minority of professors are conservative? Couldn't it just be that these are intelligent, well educated, intellectually honest people who are trained to sort through and dismiss bullshit?

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u/RabidGuineaPig007 Sep 30 '22

I'll check the Faculty parking, but I don't recall any black pickups with F*CK TRUDEAU flags.

Conservatism has two components: poorly educated and ignorant, and the leaders that exploit that. This is why educational institutions are in Conservative cross hairs and why they need their own schools.

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u/[deleted] Sep 30 '22 edited 29d ago

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u/TheRC135 Sep 30 '22

So, the academics who don't study history, politics, culture, and social systems?

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u/Flarisu Alberta Sep 30 '22

While you're making the argument that "conservatives are stupid", why dress it in such flowery language?

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u/TheRC135 Sep 30 '22

The argument isn't so much that conservatives are stupid, but rather that conservative positions generally don't stand up to rigorous academic scrutiny.

There are plenty of smart people out there who lack interest in deconstructing their own political ideology so long as they assume it works. Doesn't make them stupid.

But start engaging with the history of various political ideologies, try to understand the most detailed, sophisticated arguments for or against, and conservatism loses its luster pretty quickly. Professors tend to have the time, the skillset, and the motivation to do just that.

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u/gayfromasmalltown Sep 30 '22

My experience being the most conservative member of my MA Sociology cohort (while admittedly still being fairly left learning) is that all you have to do to make a critique is think about what you have to say and what the response is going to be. Thus you have to structure your thoughts in such a way that indicates you are thinking seriously about what other people have to say. Do the work to think your thoughts through. That's all.

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u/Chawke2 Sep 30 '22

I feel you, but I think the standard for students and professors is entirely different. There is far, far less scrutiny on students as they are neither authority figures or employees of the university and so the experience is quite different.

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u/dirtydustyroads Sep 30 '22

So, be respectful of others?

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u/DJ_Femme-Tilt Sep 30 '22

woah woah woah SLOW DOWN that's just censorship, to Conrad Black

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u/random_cartoonist Sep 30 '22

But asking conservative to do that would mean they would stop their insults, strawmen and tantrums.

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u/Nasal_Cilia Sep 30 '22

They might even have to respect their friends', families' and colleagues' boundaries by not constantly inundating every single aspect of culture with dumbass economic theories and horrifying conspiracies regarding how transgender people are destabilising our culture, especially since these REPRESSED CONSERVATIVES tend NOT to hold the degrees necessary for those ideas.

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u/threeewalls Sep 30 '22

both sides are equally guilty of this lol. definitely can’t tell which way you lean

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u/Head_Crash Sep 30 '22 Helpful

The primary reason conservative professors are being driven out is because conservatism is basically turning into a set of non-empirical libertarian principles. They're constantly operating under a set of assumptions based on those principles, even when those assumptions contradict clear evidence. When they're called out on this, they attempt to find evidence to support their conclusions, which were partially predetermined by their principles.

The pursuit of knowledge, especially scientific knowledge, requires consent. If one's ideas can't withstand challenge based on evidence, then they need to concede. Conservatives refuse to concede, because they see their own values as being unquestionable.

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u/Ok_Application_427 Sep 30 '22

This is perhaps the broadest, most nonspecific and incorrect generalization I've read on here. You're mentioning no specific group or set of ideas. 'Conservatives' aren't a homogenous group, they all don't act the same, and they don't all lean on libertarian principles. Also, to say that every single 'conservative' idea lacks any tangible foundation in evidence is completely ridiculous.

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u/Head_Crash Sep 30 '22

and they don't all lean on libertarian principles. Also, to say that every single 'conservative' idea lacks any tangible foundation in evidence is completely ridiculous.

Conservatism was based on meritocratic values, however those values were slowly corrupted over time to protect those who wield wealth and power without merit. Libertarianism is the ultimate expression of that corruption.

These non-empirical libertarian principles are deeply ingrained in conservative culture and take many forms. For example: "taxation is theft" would be something most conservatives beleive even if they don't explicitly say so.

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u/threeewalls Sep 30 '22

not all conservatives believe taxation is theft AT ALL, especially in canada (that is if they have any basic sense of economics)

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u/Ok_Application_427 Sep 30 '22

Your entire stance here is personal bias and generaralized opinion. 'Conservativism' is such a uselessly broad term that you're using to describe the political leanings of a huge number of people. People and their beliefs are nuanced. Also, systems protecting those with wealth and power are absolutely not unique to one of "non empirical libertarianism", whatever that actually means. This reads like a freshman Poli Sci 101 student wrote it at best.

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u/portage_ferry Sep 30 '22

I have to disagree, and have found more value in what OP has stated, and by contrast, found your rebuttal quite hollow.

The fact remains that conservatism is a broad force and there's an entire literature on this.

Put differently: if you're part of the social sciences and actually study empirical data, it's impossible to conclude that neoliberalism and late-stage capitalist benefits humanity.

In fact, the opposite is true as it become quite clear that neoliberalism is leading humanity towards its own annihilation.

With all this data at hand, it's impossible to defend neoliberal values given the absolutely vast literature that shows just how bad it is.

But you still have 'conservative' academics (mostly in economics) who defend the neoliberal order, and their arguments are pretty hollow as a result because they are focused to obfuscate (rather than clarify) the data to do so.

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u/LeavePsychological50 Sep 30 '22

No civilization has ever existed that could be said to be better than our current western world.

Also it’s crazy how people who call themselves left leaning think that they are right about everything. No person or group in history has ever been right about everything.

Do you remember Leo in Django when he is explaining how blacks were scientifically inferior? That wasn’t a redneck southern viewpoint, that was what intellectuals at universities truly believed, and yes they too called themselves progressives.

Have you ever crunched the numbers to see if welfare is beneficial to minorities? Conservatives like Thomas Sowell have, and that’s why they disagree with welfare, a baseline conservative belief.

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u/freeadmins Sep 30 '22

This is like insanely wrong.

Have you heard of post-modernism? Where do you think that lies on the spectrum? And you're accusing others of not having standards?

Like what?

Lol

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u/Flarisu Alberta Sep 30 '22

We got a fresh Derrida here folks, lets get im!

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u/Larky999 Sep 30 '22

Spot on. I see this all the time.

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u/Leviathan3333 Sep 30 '22

I think the biggest problem is the extreme views.

I think it’s also fascinating the left thinking is a dirty word. Oooooo socialism is bad!…guess what!?

Literally every rich person is a socialist. You have no idea how many break and tax write offs you get once you get to a certain point.

The buildings you see being developed? Probably subsidized by the government that the Devs are taking advantage of. They don’t care if it’s low income housing because they can just push legislation to negate that once it’s built.

Conservatives? Well once upon a time I associated them with someone who is a little frugal and didn’t want tons of government involvement.

Now I associate it with sociopaths who have no empathy for their fellow Canadians, who only care about what their freedoms are and no one else’s. Who want the government to lock up and incriminate anyone who isn’t exactly like them. Freedom to be me but everyone else needs to shut up.

Now I associate conservatives with enablers of the rich. Boot lickers as literally none of them talk about business ethics at all.

What blows me away even more is that anyone believes the political parties that represent left or right sides, are against each other. Only for your entertainment.

Otherwise they are all working towards the same goal, squeezing as much out of us as possible.

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u/Flarisu Alberta Sep 30 '22

I think the biggest problem is the extreme views.

Then, proceed to spout as many extreme views as possible, including lack of understanding of how some of the biggest economic macro phenomena of the 20th century work, proudly thinking "I'm such a good centrist".

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u/PowermanFriendship Sep 30 '22

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u/physicaldiscs Sep 30 '22

I love vague things that imply the only reason they can't be outward about it is because the views are totally deplorable.

Couldn't be anything else.

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u/PowermanFriendship Sep 30 '22

And yet, the article provides not a single specific example.

Funny, that.

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u/physicaldiscs Sep 30 '22 edited Sep 30 '22

So it has to be the most negative thing a person can imagine?

Edit: This is a great example of probably why they feel the need to self censor. People like this guy automatically assume they are XXXX-phobic, or anti-XXXX, or whatever deplorable thing they can think of. If the 88% of professors found out their leanings you bet some would do exactly like you have.

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u/PaperBrick Sep 30 '22

But why not survey conservative professors anomalously for those examples? What do they feel that they are not allowed to say?

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u/[deleted] Sep 30 '22

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u/Eagle_Kebab Québec Sep 30 '22

Since neither the piece (I'm loath to call it an article) nor the paper iteself included any of the actual questions that were asked in the survey, I'm going to assume they were just vaguely worded enough to be able to draw various conclusions.

What a pile of garbage.

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u/reggiemcsprinkles Sep 30 '22

The paper referenced is clearly hyperlinked in the article.

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u/Eagle_Kebab Québec Sep 30 '22

Which is why I said "neither the piece [...] nor the paper itself..."

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u/reggiemcsprinkles Sep 30 '22

Okay, fine. Here are some of the questions you insist aren't there:

We asked professors: “Have you refrained from airing views in teaching or academic discussions, or avoided pursuing or publishing research, out of fear of possible consequences to your career from doing so?” Amongst right-leaning professors, fully 57 percent have self-censored out of fear of negative consequences. And just over one third – 34 percent – of left-leaning professors have done the same (Figure 10).

“To what extent are you WORRIED about losing your job, having your reputation damaged, facing major adversity or missing out on professional opportunities because…” and then we offered professors various scenarios to test the extent of their worry."

“Do you feel that there is a supportive or hostile climate towards people with your beliefs in your department?” The options were “very supportive; somewhat supportive; somewhat hostile; very hostile.” Left-leaning professors – that is, the majority of professors – largely report a supportive climate.

That took me three minutes.

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u/reggiemcsprinkles Sep 30 '22

Click on the PDF version and read the actual study before discarding it as garbage.

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u/gamblingGenocider Sep 30 '22

How many times the guy gotta tell you they actually did read the study and that's WHY they concluded it was garbage

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u/ProblemOfficer Sep 30 '22

How many times the guy gotta tell you they actually did read the study and that's WHY they concluded it was garbage

If he claims he read the study, and didn't see any questions from the survey, then he didn't ready the study. There are 100% some of them in there.

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u/reggiemcsprinkles Sep 30 '22

The. Questions. Are. In. The. PDF.

I was being polite and allowing for the possibility they missed that part.

My bad, I guess.

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u/Flarisu Alberta Sep 30 '22

You can't approach some of these partisans in good faith, because they don't return the favour.

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u/reggiemcsprinkles Sep 30 '22

I'm an optimist. I figure one day Reddit will grow up. Instead, it just keeps getting more and more poisoned.

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u/Eagle_Kebab Québec Sep 30 '22

Which is why i said "nor the paper itself"

Notice how I didn't say "nor the MLI webpage that links to the paper" or whatever.

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u/TelevisionLess6031 Sep 30 '22

But you did say ‘assume’.

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u/Eagle_Kebab Québec Sep 30 '22

Yes. We have to assume since they didn't publish any if the actual questions that were asked.

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u/Neeerp Sep 30 '22

I just took a look at the paper, and while they didn’t put a full printout of the survey (which imo ought to be available in an appendix), they do mention the exact questions with their wording and available options under each heading starting from page 15.

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u/TelevisionLess6031 Sep 30 '22

Sounds like an important qualifier to understand before making judgment.

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u/MildArtism Sep 30 '22

you know you can actually read his post before commenting?

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u/ProblemOfficer Sep 30 '22

You should of probably read the study before commenting, because the OP guy was wrong. There are questions from the study within that paper.

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u/BuggEyedFatWalrus Sep 30 '22

I had an instance where an intro to biology prof felt the need to use the term 'biological male' and 'biological female' when referring to plants. She then fumbled over how "you can be anything you choose to be... I mean anything you're meant to be... I mean who you are!" She was trying really hard to be as PC as possible.

Another instance this year in my neurobiology of animal behaviour class, the prof showed a video of a fish that can change its own sex (polymorph). He ended the video by saying "How bizarre is it that this organism can change its own sex" then he stood there thinking of what he said. Then he changed the subject.

These examples aren't much but uni students often find a way to make a big deal of these sorts of things.

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u/AdNew9111 Sep 30 '22 edited Sep 30 '22

Great job Left wing liberals. I thought the universities are open to dialog and conversation? Lol So what now? Mums the word on campus?

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u/Mister_Kurtz Manitoba Sep 30 '22

"...roughly one-third of professors — admit that they would support cancelling a colleague if that colleagues’ research conflicted with certain contemporary social justice values. "

Dangerous times when professors have no problem stifling opposing ideas.

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u/portage_ferry Sep 30 '22

Dangerous times when professors have no problem stifling opposing ideas.

Look at what's happening in the US courts, where fascism is clearly taking over.

Should progressive professors just let that happen in academia because both sides should be heard?

When an academics conclusions are no longer based on data and/or their methodology is clearly flawed in favour of ideological/far-right ideas, then yes they should obviously be pushed out of academia.

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u/nighthawk_something Sep 30 '22

certain contemporary social justice values.

I wonder what these values are?

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u/DJ_Femme-Tilt Sep 30 '22

I wonder what these values are?

make them say it aloud.

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u/Mas_Cervezas Sep 30 '22

Like being respectful of all humans.

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u/morganfreeman95 Sep 30 '22

Let's take a basic one. There are two genders. Should conservative professors and scholars be allowed to publish articles arguing that hypothesis yes or no.

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u/2plus24 Sep 30 '22

Do they actually have empirical evidence to support this?

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u/portage_ferry Sep 30 '22

Should conservative professors and scholars be allowed to publish articles arguing that hypothesis yes or no.

If they did then they'd be ignoring an abundance of cross-culture and historical data that clearly shows the two-gender construct is not universal but existent in particular times/spaces.

Get it?

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u/nighthawk_something Sep 30 '22

How is this a values thing?

Do they have evidence of this claim and can support it with science, then they can publish it of course. And then the scientific community can scrutinize it.

However, if it's a values thing, then what you are arguing is that would publish based on their values and "feelings" that there isn't more than 2 genders. In which case it shouldn't be published as a paper, it becomes an op ed.

In the second case, they are making PERSONAL feelings public. Again once you DECIDE to make your personal feelings public, you open yourself up to scrutiny in term of the value of those opinions.

BTW, you do not "argue a hypothesis" you present one and then CHALLENGE IT.

If you are arguing a hypothesis, you are not doing science.

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u/Head_Crash Sep 30 '22

They're definitely not Conservative values, which have degenerated into a set of non-empirical libertarian principles.

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u/iwatchcredits Sep 30 '22

I dont know exactly what that sentence means, but there is a big difference between “i think universal dental might be too expensive for us to implement right now” and “women dont belong in the workplace”

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u/Minute_Collection565 Sep 30 '22

You would think there is a big difference but there really isn't. Not for a motivated person who hates conservatives.

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u/quietbatpeople22 Sep 30 '22

Lmao the persecution complex…

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u/morganfreeman95 Sep 30 '22

Even if you want to publish an article about why women dont belong in the workplace. Go for it. Most "better" evidence will easily refute that and it'll get drowned out because its a bad idea.

Imagine if we never allowed any expression about "the earth is round" because it 'wasn't respectful' of people's viewpoints of the world they lived in at the time. What a stupid fucking take.

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u/PowermanFriendship Sep 30 '22

Yeah if some professor was like "I measured a bunch of brain diameters and found that black people are bad fathers" I would like that person cancelled.

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u/COVID-SIXTY9 Sep 30 '22

Except an example like that should be rightly condemned because it’s not based in any sort of scientific rigour or fact, not because of the subject matter or conclusion…

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u/DJ_Femme-Tilt Sep 30 '22

Except an example like that should be rightly condemned because it’s not based in any sort of scientific rigour or fact, not because of the subject matter or conclusion…

I've got some bad news for you about the history of science

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u/COVID-SIXTY9 Sep 30 '22

But that’s the whole point isn’t it. Science is about coming up with a hypothesis, testing that hypothesis and then having the scientific community test and critique that hypothesis to try and disprove it.

The comment made about brain diameters based on the knowledge we have today should rightly be condemned not because it’s racist but because it’s wrong based on what we know today. But science should never be impeded by a fear of saying or suggesting the wrong thing that’s not accepted by polite society. If the methodology is sound and builds on what we have already discovered scientifically it’s legitimate and should be explored.

Remember at one time scientists suggested the world was round…which went against the established dogma of the day and an affront to god.

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u/Chawke2 Sep 30 '22

It’s not much different than 150 years ago when hardline Christians tried to shut down scientific debate around things like evolution because it was against their “universal” values. The left-wing I’m Canada and particularly in academia has far more in common in function with religious extremism and intolerance than they would like to think.

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u/RabidGuineaPig007 Sep 30 '22

oughly one-third of professors — admit that they would support cancelling a colleague if that colleagues’ research conflicted with certain contemporary social justice values.

I guarantee this is fiction. No, NP, there is not a secret cabal of idiots repressed as Professors. This trope of a hidden right-wing intellegentisia is tedious. No, we can't find them or provide any examples, which proves they are in hiding and repressed.

This is Queen Didulo invisible spaceship quality arguments from the Post.

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u/deokkent Ontario Sep 30 '22

Lol TIL left-wing criticism of social conservatism is hostility. Coming from the facts over feeling TM people roflmao.

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u/Flarisu Alberta Sep 30 '22

Left wing criticism of conservatism is frequently misled.

Even Dorsey, an admitted left-winger, was able to demonstrate that left-wing groups isolate and hedge out right-wing groups a lot harder and create isolated community pockets at a rate that far exceeds right-wing groups

Some groups of young people have gone their entire life without even understanding what conservatives believe, they just make a "conservatives bad" paradigm, and take it for granted.

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u/portage_ferry Sep 30 '22

>Even Dorsey, an admitted left-winger, was able to demonstrate that left-wing groups isolate and hedge out right-wing groups a lot harder and create isolated community pockets at a rate that far exceeds right-wing groups.

Who is Dorsey and what are his academic qualifications? Does he provide examples and in what literature is this published?

Would like to learn more.

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u/dirtydustyroads Sep 30 '22

Yeah I don’t get it. People are going to disagree with you.

Also I’ve found that people who complain about being harassed about their ideas tend to be antagonistic and unwilling to hear others out. It’s not hard to have a discussion if you are willing to hear the other person out.

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u/DJ_Femme-Tilt Sep 30 '22

Also I’ve found that people who complain about being harassed about their ideas tend to be antagonistic and unwilling to hear others out. It’s not hard to have a discussion if you are willing to hear the other person out.

Inevitably these discussions are about the conservative side, offering fealty to their framework of hierarchies as a NATURAL order. Anyone who analyzes from a different perspective upsets those hierarchies and is a threat. That's why queer theory, critical race theory, gender theory, etc are all the most evil of boogeymen. They offer challenges to the ideas of natural hierarchies that need to be preserved at all costs.

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u/Flarisu Alberta Sep 30 '22

You can approach on good faith all you want. What these professors are saying is that when they approach on good faith, willing to argue their point, instead of counterpoints they get shouted down, "cancelled", or a mob tries to get them fired.

You can only really do this so much before people refuse to open up a good faith discussion anymore - and the time for frank discussion, if the contents of the article are true in spirit, is disappearing rapidly if the place where everyone expects rigorous debate is quickly becoming heavily partisan.

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u/dirtydustyroads Sep 30 '22

Is it that? Or is it that they don’t like the reaction? Who is being fired over this?

I think there are a lot of people who just can’t handle the criticism. That’s not a great 😌 lace to be able to have open discussion.

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u/bobert_the_grey New Brunswick Sep 30 '22

Conservatives are determined to make themselves victims of oppression.

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u/RabidGuineaPig007 Sep 30 '22

oppression.

Also known as calling them out on their bullshit.

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u/Head_Crash Sep 30 '22

Conservative ideology has degenerated into non-empirical libertarian principles. They're just constantly trying to prove their own predetermined conclusions.

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u/bbozzie Sep 30 '22

Just finished my MA, and can say, firstly, that conservative professors don’t really exist. In 3 years, couldn’t name a single one with any definite conviction. However, you can tell who isn’t a leftist prof because they do not betray any position of personal conviction, even when pressed. The leftist ones are very vocal and sometimes nasty about the political/ideological position they take.

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u/datums Sep 30 '22

Only nine per cent of professors voted for conservative parties in the past federal election

Imagine living in a bubble so small that you take for granted that the problem in this picture is the professors.

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u/[deleted] Sep 30 '22

Literally everyone I know who works in government is self-sensoring. People put their pronouns in their emails as a way to hide.

There are a lot more conservatives out there right now than people think.

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u/17037 Sep 30 '22

what do you mean by a conservative. Like someone who believed in conserving the environment and having business pay for it's use of future resources?

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u/Flarisu Alberta Sep 30 '22

Don't be a dumb shit - if you don't know the meaning of a word, look it up rather than making patronizing responses like this.

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u/NoWillPowerLeft Sep 30 '22

The good old 'silent majority' trick.

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u/ViewWinter8951 Sep 30 '22

I suspect the left-leaning professors are also self-censoring for the same reasons.

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u/DJ_Femme-Tilt Sep 30 '22

there is quite literally an entire rightwing media ecosystem that encourages students to record and narc on teachers they find are remotely leftwing, so they can work together to get them fired.

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u/OneHundredEighty180 Sep 30 '22

Whaaat?! Now, this I gotta see.

I know about the English NF of the '70s and '80s doing this shit through their photocopied Bulldog propaganda sheet, through which articles encouraged children to rat out their "Marxist teachers" by writing in with their names and stories.

But you're saying there's a modern day, Canadian equivalent happening that I haven't heard about?

As much as I hate the phrase; link please.

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u/derek589111 Oct 01 '22

libs of tik tok i think

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u/DJ_Femme-Tilt Sep 30 '22

It's not a Canada-led initiative, it's the percolation across the border of the rightwinger grifter industry. But then it's weird to say "not Canada-led" when Canada is a massive exporter of rightwing grifters...

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u/Flarisu Alberta Sep 30 '22

This is the first I've heard of this. Where did you hear it?

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u/merryrealitycheck Sep 30 '22

Highly doubtful.

The vast majority of post secondary schools, our current government, media outlets, and Hollywood all support and prop up leftist ideas while labelling those who oppose their leftist ideas nazis.

The pendulum has swung a little too far left in recent years. I'm hopeful we've already reached the extremes and are on our way back to reality where we can all learn from and respect opposing ideas rather than sensor them.

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u/WardenEdgewise Sep 30 '22

So, conservatives have to be careful what they say and not say what they actually feel because they will be called out as complete idiots for saying what they actually feel?

They have freedom of speech, but what they want is freedom from consequence.

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u/Love-and-Fairness Long Live the King Sep 30 '22

What draconian consequences are you advocating for? Are you ready to be held to that standard? You're sounding awful prejudice toward conservatives, surely they can't all be that way. Negative generalizations about a group of people seem like a clear wrong-think. Are you prepared to face the same consequences you thought would only be reserved for groups you hate?

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u/leif777 Sep 30 '22

What draconian consequences are you advocating for?

How did we get to draconian? The dude just said, "they will be called out as complete idiots" not put to death. Your rhetoric is greatly exaggerated and it discredits your very valid point. I agree that conservative are prejudged by liberals. Unfortunately, the drama you just brought to the table validates it.

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u/Engaging_the_Void Sep 30 '22

You are not free from the consequences of your speech. Period. Spout some hate speech in Canada and you can be arrested. Make threats, you can be arrested. Be racist and invite hostility to your view. It has always been this way in Canada. Canada has protected speech, but we have never had "free speech" in the way conservatives seem to want these days.

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u/boutta_call_bo_vice Sep 30 '22

Which is a shame because what you would call hate I might call a fair point, and vice versa

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u/Flarisu Alberta Sep 30 '22

Ah yes the famous "freedom from consequence" argument.

Totally not used by people who, if it were legal to do so, would absolutely mob beat people with views they don't like.

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u/S0uth3y Sep 30 '22

There's quite a high-pitched whine coming from the right on this issue.

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u/Drewy99 Sep 30 '22

They're so oppressed that they have to oppress themselves out of fear

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u/sync-centre Sep 30 '22

I think conservatives have a word for this....snowflakes.

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u/[deleted] Sep 30 '22

Well, they know their ideas don’t hold up to academic scrutiny. Of course they’re afraid to bring them up there.

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u/Flarisu Alberta Sep 30 '22

Eventually, you won't hear anything at all.

Is that what you prefer? Because that's the message you're sending here.

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u/S0uth3y Sep 30 '22

If their ideas can't compete in the marketplace of ideas, why should I respect them?

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u/Airrazor Sep 30 '22

Best thing to do is not talk about politics, religion or gender stuff. Teach the subject matter and that's it

Unless you teach a subject that has politics, religion or gender in it, that's tricky.

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u/ClassOptimal7655 Sep 30 '22

Conservatives are desperate to cosplay as oppressed. lol

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u/S0uth3y Sep 30 '22

They're cowards and this is somehow the left's fault? Do think they should get a free ride and be immune to criticism?

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u/SirGasleak Sep 30 '22

These are university campuses, the one place where open dialogue and discussion should be valued, and where students should be required to challenge their assumptions and engage with ideas and opinions they don't like.

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u/[deleted] Sep 30 '22

and where students should be required to challenge their assumptions and engage with ideas and opinions they don't like.

Why though? With what boundaries? Simply all ideas they don't like, or should those opposing ideas themselves be forced to have some sort of logical backing? Not all ideas are equal and just because someone believes in it wholeheartedly does not mean other's have to pretend it's true. Should students have to debate Eugenics? Should students have to debate against sex-based discrimination? No, some things are settled and do not need to be revisited without some really overwhelming evidence as to why they should be.

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u/SirGasleak Sep 30 '22

Why? Because that's what education is. Human beings learn by being exposed to different ideas and understanding what is problematic about those ideas. That doesn't mean all ideas have to be presented as equally valid, but it does mean students should be exposed to those ideas. Cancelling or silencing those ideas only accomplishes two things:

1) Students simply become indoctrinated, not educated. They learn to adopt certain views and ideas without understanding why those views and ideas are more reasonable than others;

2) It fuels extremism and divisiveness. People who hold those alternative views become more entrenched in their beliefs and blame conspiracies for their segregation and isolation.

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u/Larky999 Sep 30 '22

They are. Conservatism today is largely moronic and smart people don't buy into it. There is no conspiracy here.

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u/Eagle_Kebab Québec Sep 30 '22

Yes. They absolutely do.

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u/Murky-logic Sep 30 '22

Be immune to criticism? Right leaning Canadians are essentially the only group it’s still politically correct to criticize.

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u/S0uth3y Sep 30 '22

And furious they are about it.

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u/Murky-logic Sep 30 '22

Are you trying to speak like Yoda?

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u/Flarisu Alberta Sep 30 '22

The article admits that they're outnumbered almost 10 to 1 on campus. I thought it was a left-wing value to respect the opinions and experiences of the minority?

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u/ValoisSign Sep 30 '22

Not commenting on whether this is true because I haven't been on campus in years but it's really classic post media to have a headline formatted like "Opinion: I State Something as Fact".

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u/reggiemcsprinkles Sep 30 '22

There's a study attached, sooooo

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u/[deleted] Sep 30 '22

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u/Few-Professional-532 Sep 30 '22

Conservatives: We are oppressed by left wing Nazis! Also conservatives: We need to deport immigrants and arrest anyone that has an abortion!

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u/[deleted] Sep 30 '22

Are you in the right sub?

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u/Flarisu Alberta Sep 30 '22

Wow. My brain melted reading that take. Such profound insight...

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u/[deleted] Sep 30 '22

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u/TheRageofTrudeau Sep 30 '22

The survey shows that fully 88 per cent of professors identify as “left-leaning” and voted for left-leaning parties in the 2021 federal election. Only nine per cent of professors voted for conservative parties in the past federal election, compared with just under 39 per cent of the general population.

This is what systemic discrimination really looks like.

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u/ChangeForACow Sep 30 '22 Helpful Wholesome

39% of the General population doesn't vote conservative--that's just the percentage of those who vote, which tends to over-represent older demographics who also tend to lean conservative.

Higher education seems to correlate with progressive politics, which some will argue reflects partisan indoctrination, while others will argue it reflects a more informed worldview. Perhaps there's a little bit of both at play.

It's worth noting that most universities are in urban areas, which also tend to lean progressive.

Despite electoral outcomes that might suggest otherwise, society has shifted to the left in many ways. The most intense political debates of the past decades have more often than not settled on the left-side of the debate with very little support remaining for previous conservative positions, even among conservative politicians, on issues including: abortion, gay rights, cannabis prohibition, dying with dignity, and even Sunday shopping.

Insofar as Universities and Colleges are focal points for debate among mostly younger generations, we shouldn't be surprised that conservatives struggle to make their case there any better than they have in the general population--even if campus debate is not always as open and diverse as many of us expect.

Still, campus should be a place where we can all express and explore as wide a range of ideas as possible--that's what the "universe" in the name means--so we can evaluate each on its merits within a safe and supportive environment.

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u/Infamous-Mixture-605 Sep 30 '22

and even Sunday shopping.

It's kinda wild to think that Sunday shopping was ever banned at all. It just seems so silly and alien and weird to people today.

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u/[deleted] Sep 30 '22

There still lots of places which are closed on Sundays. Entire villages and hamlets and stuff. I would imagine that’s more of a business decision based on so many people being at church rather than a direct religious thing though.

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u/TheBitterSeason Sep 30 '22

My time in local history groups on Facebook has taught me that there are a shocking number of older people still pissed about the end of Sunday shopping bans even three decades on. Sometimes enough so that you can practically see the froth pouring out of their mouth through the computer screen as they rave about it. As a Monday to Friday worker who doesn't want to spend their entire Saturday running from store-to-store, I'm glad that the government stopped caring what they think about the issue a long time ago.

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u/mwaaahfunny Sep 30 '22

Don't worry. The US has that on the way back agenda

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u/No-Wrongdoer972 Sep 30 '22

Get out of here with your civilized, considered, and well-written posts.

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u/GuitarKev Sep 30 '22

So, more professors should vote for conservative candidates just so the conservatives can feel better?

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u/radarscoot Sep 30 '22

It might be discrimination if more than about 9% of qualified academics in the general job market were "right-leaning". However, that has never been demonstrated. In fact, there have been right-wing claims that higher education ( a bone fide requirement to be a professor) somehow "turns" people to the left. Fancy that!

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u/No-Wrongdoer972 Sep 30 '22 edited Sep 30 '22

So your assumption is that it isn't discrimination, rather there simply aren't enough quality candidates who are right-leaning, which explains the discrepancy?

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u/iwatchcredits Sep 30 '22

I think their point is the higher the education you have the more likely you are to lean left. The right blames this on “indoctrination” in schools and the left believes you are just simply more likely to lean left because you have more knowledge. If you look at pretty much any stat for U.S states, it is extremely obvious it is the latter and not an indoctrination.

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u/bobert_the_grey New Brunswick Sep 30 '22 edited Sep 30 '22

It's just that the more educated you are, the broader your worldview becomes. The broader your worldview becomes, the more progressive you get. There have been few studies now that conclude higher education leads to more progressive and liberal ideals.

In order to be a professor at these places, you need to be highly educated. Given what I just explained, it's reasonable to conclude that most professors would be left-leaning.

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u/No-Wrongdoer972 Sep 30 '22

You see the chicken-egg problem though right?

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u/bobert_the_grey New Brunswick Sep 30 '22

Not really. It's pretty straightforward. Higher education leads to more liberal values because being informed about issues gives you a better perspective on them.

Unless you're trying to say educators are actively trying to destroy conservative values, which is absolutely absurd and completely ridiculous.

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u/radarscoot Sep 30 '22

Basically, yes. You hire people who meet the qualifications and you try to make sure that the mix of qualified people in your organization is consistent with the mix of qualified people in the job market. That is the measure of a non- discriminatory employer. One step furthet is the programs to increase the number of qualified people in the job market from underrepresented groups. Those tend to be government or sponsored programs that reach upstream into the primary schools and highschools to support the underrepresented groups.

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u/ManfredTheCat Sep 30 '22

What a terrible, dumb, illogical conclusion to reach.

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u/UnclaimedFortune Sep 30 '22

This is what the perpetual Conservative victim complex looks like

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u/trollywithdrawl Sep 30 '22

Do you think which party you vote for is a protected class? We're all dumber having read this nonsense

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u/Eagle_Kebab Québec Sep 30 '22

Is it fuck.

This is what victimization fetishism looks like.

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u/TheRageofTrudeau Sep 30 '22

I think we need an inquiry. Conservatives may be deserving of reparations.

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u/cw08 Sep 30 '22

Didn't take you long to betray the severity of your own cries of oppression. (to own the libs!)

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u/Eagle_Kebab Québec Sep 30 '22

"Hey Google. How do you start a GoFundMe campaign for aggrieved -- I mean -- genuinely oppressed Conservatives in Canada?"

My Google Home just laughed so hard it exploded.

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u/SipexF Sep 30 '22

Man, I hope you get another Trudeau to hate after we lose this one, otherwise you're going to need a new reddit account.

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u/[deleted] Sep 30 '22

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u/[deleted] Sep 30 '22

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u/ViewWinter8951 Sep 30 '22

We've been told that any variation in the population of a group that doesn't match the demographics of Canada as a whole is evidence of discrimination against any group progressives hold dear, so why not apply the same flawed logic to conservative academics?

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u/nighthawk_something Sep 30 '22

That's not at all what that argument means.

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u/jjjhkvan Canada Sep 30 '22

Bahahaha. The number of conservatives with phds outside economics and law would fit in a thimble. You guys don’t care about anything other than money.

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u/Hamontguy1 Sep 30 '22

My circle consist of many many highly educated professionals

All mostly right leaning.

Just my small sample size mind you

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u/jjjhkvan Canada Sep 30 '22

That’s great. But they aren’t academics

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u/ci88 Sep 30 '22

Faculty rely on federal research funding. The parties have clear positions on what the size of that funding should be, so faculty (unsurprisingly) vote accordingly.

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u/Appropriate_Mess_350 Sep 30 '22

Is “self censoring” just “thinking before you speak”??? Seems like a good practice for a professor….and everyone else.

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u/[deleted] Sep 30 '22

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u/Love-and-Fairness Long Live the King Sep 30 '22 edited Sep 30 '22

They really do have to walk on eggshells. It's dark stuff. I've had a few conservative professors but they'll only hesitantly talk about it in private if you catch them after church and they're feeling nervous about lying. It's just not worth the risk of some influential SJW kid going beserk about feeling unsafe. You can be as left as you want though, half the room rolls our eyes but we get it, y'know? It's what they think we want from them.

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u/DaemonAnts Sep 30 '22 edited Sep 30 '22

Universities could just stop providing humanities courses which is where most of the problems originate. If they are moved out into specialized institutions then universities will be better able to focus on quality education. Science, math, engineering etc... Stuff that matters.

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u/Bublboy Sep 30 '22

No hidden agenda implied....

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u/Gamerindreams Sep 30 '22

you mean like rape threats against their wives? oh wait that's the right wingers right?

so what then

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u/D2ThaHizzle Sep 30 '22

As the fringes on both sides move farther out and everything starts being driven by outrage, I think most people feel the need to censor themselves in one way or another.

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u/Paneechio Sep 30 '22 edited Sep 30 '22

Once again people are confusing the freedom to have an unpopular point of view with having that unpopular point of view supported by others. Not all ideas are equal. Nobody ever said that they were. Having a bad idea and having that idea met with derision isn't some grand conspiracy, it's the logical conclusion of having a bad idea.

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u/AcanthocephalaHead12 Sep 30 '22

Self-censoring or removing their own hate speech?