How A Leftist Echo Chamber Became The New Norm On Campus

Saturday, July 20, 2019
By Paul Martin

by Phillip Magness
Sat, 07/20/2019

A pronounced and growing hostility to free markets has turned the academic humanities into an ideological echo chamber. Over the past 20 years, faculty in English, history, foreign languages, and philosophy have shifted sharply to the political left, resulting in a nearly complete exclusion of dissenting perspectives from these fields.

My previous investigation of this trend found that the most biased majors on campus are now struggling to attract new students, whereas disciplines with greater balance are seeing their majors increase. Ideological homogeneity may comfort faculty and students who already share in a common set of beliefs, but it’s also off-putting to the nearly two-thirds of incoming college freshmen who do not hail from the political left.

A new study of student attitudes about socialism and capitalism provides strong confirmation of the echo chamber effect taking hold of these same disciplines.

College students as a whole have a roughly even divide in their political beliefs, with a clear plurality classifying themselves as moderates and smaller groups identifying on both the left and right of center. In the humanities, however, the political left overwhelmingly dominates the student landscape as well as the faculty.

According to a recent survey by College Pulse, 78 percent of philosophy majors, 64 percent of anthropology majors, and 58 percent of English majors state that they hold the economic and political system of socialism in a favorable light. Unfavorable opinions of socialism account for only 21 percent of philosophy, 20 percent of anthropology, and 24 percent of English majors, with the remainder undecided.

When measured as a whole, 51 percent of humanities majors have a positive opinion of socialism while only 27 percent view it critically. On the flip side, 54 percent of students in the same humanities majors have a negative view of capitalism compared to only 32 percent in support.

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