An Update to “Why Are Professors Liberals?”: Jewish Influence Firmly Ensconced in Academia by the 1960s

Recently a blog titled “Ideas and Data” posted a very interesting and important article by an anonymous blogger, “The Jewish Question: An Empirical Examination.” I’ll have more to say about this blog in the future, but here I discuss a study on Jewish academic influence that I was unaware of.

This is the video version:

First, some introductory material from my paper, “Why Are Professors Liberals?.

Gross and Fosse point out that it was during the 1960s when universities became strongly associated with the political left in the eyes of friends and foes alike — enough to result in self-selection processes in which conservatives would feel unwelcome in the university:

Higher education was a crucial micromobilization context for a number of left social movements in the 1960s and 1970s, which further enhanced the institution’s liberal reputation; with concerted cultural efforts by American conservatives, especially from the 1950s on, to build a collective identity for their movement around differentiation from various categories of “liberal elites,” not least liberal professors; with restricted opportunities for Americans on the far left to enter other institutional spheres; and with self-reinforcing processes by which selfselection into the academic profession by liberals resulted in a more liberal professoriate whose reputation for liberalism was thereby maintained or enhanced. (pp. 158–159)

Further, because elite universities attempt to most represent the zeitgeist of the field, Gross and Fosse point out they will offer positions to scholars they see as exemplary; political attitudes are a major part of being exemplary. As noted above, Inbar and Lammers (2012) found that many liberal academics openly acknowledge that they would discriminate against a conservative job candidate. This rigorous policing of the attitudes of professors at elite institutions in turn leads to elite institutions being to the left of lesser institutions. In the academic hierarchy, the result is that graduate students coming from elite institutions are most representative of the leftist academic culture, either because of their socialization in the academic environment or simply because of self-interest as a member of a group (e.g., racial and ethnic minorities, homosexuals) whose interests are championed by the left. This becomes progressively diluted as one goes to the second- and third-tier schools and eventually down to K–12 education. The result is a liberal social environment at all levels of the educational system which in turn has measurable effects on student attitudes. Public opinion surveys carried out since the 1960s show that going to college results in attitude change in a liberal direction compared to parents. If education level remained the same, there was little change in attitudes (Kaufmann, 2004, p. 191).

Thus, academia is a top-down system in which the highest levels are rigorously policed to ensure liberal ideological conformity. Read more

Ezra Pound, Jewish Activism, and the Struggle for Cultural Memory

The terror of Pound for Kazin and the rest of us, if we are honest, is Pound’s racism”
Theodore Weiss, The New York Review of Books, 1986. 

I often take great pleasure from looking into the past and finding, among persons and works of great genius, ideas that we very closely share. It’s not terribly difficult. Times have changed so dramatically, and the window of ‘acceptable’ ideas has so radically narrowed, that almost every great creative thinker of substance prior to the 1950s held socio-political views regarded as quasi-Fascistic by the current dispensation. Most of us will be aware, of course, that these broader cultural shifts have had extremely negative repercussions for the socio-historical legacy of such figures. In short, within a society all too keen to abolish the ‘old White men’ from the history books, such figures will be the first to go.

Against this ominous backdrop, a colleague and literary scholar recently felt the inclination to inform me that the great genius of literature Ezra Pound (1885–1972), who possessed a genuine and open sympathy for Fascism, is being slowly and insidiously exiled from college reading lists and school curricula. It should come as no great surprise to readers of the Occidental Observer that having been caged in a ‘death cell’ for his war-time affiliations, and driven first into a mental health hospital and then out of his country, Pound’s punishment would continue posthumously with his relegation to anonymity. Where my friend erred, however, was in attributing the slow vanishing of Pound to an amorphous ‘neoliberal’ zeitgeist. As an ‘armchair’ fan of Modernist poetry for almost a decade, and an ethno-nationalist even longer, I’ve been more acutely aware of the specificities behind the degradation of the much-maligned poet. Far from being a recent phenomenon, I was also aware that the most important steps in Pound’s marginalization had been put in place decades earlier. Having shared these specificities with my colleague, I now present them here for the consideration of our readership.

The process of annihilating a genius and his worldview from the cultural memory of his people is both straightforward and relatively commonplace. During the course of several research projects over the last decade, it became apparent to me that even where ideologically suspect cultural figures are permitted to remain under study, the socio-political ideas of these ‘tainted’ individuals, no matter how central to their character or intellectual worldview, are sequestered within their social and professional biographies, and often presented as unpleasant ‘moral stains’ upon an otherwise acceptable and productive life. An excellent example in this regard is W.J. McCormack’s 2005 Blood Kindred: W.B. Yeats, The Life, The Death, The Politics, which endeavored to ‘expose’ and quarantine the Anglo-Irish poet’s alleged “intense relationship” with Fascism and anti-Semitism. In this way, ‘offending’ but ‘milder’ figures like Yeats are made ‘safe’ for the young and impressionable White minds passing through our college systems. In the more ‘extreme’ cases, however, like that of the explicitly Fascist-affiliated Pound, these ‘moral stains,’ and the indignation they provoke, are deemed unmanageable and unforgiveable. They are amplified, and utilized in attempts to defame and degrade the cultural figure. The process of defamation and degradation eventually forces that figure out of acceptable public discussion and recognition, and thus into obscurity. Read more