The Chronicle of Higher Education
by Silke-Maria Weineck
August 4, 2020
It is true that academics vote overwhelmingly for Democrats. This has led conservative enemies of higher education to claim that universities are left-wing institutions. They are not. They are quintessentially bourgeois institutions — liberal, sure, but not on the left in any meaningful sense. Their prime function is the reproduction of civil society and the managerial class.
With regard to labor politics, even calling universities liberal is a stretch. This is, in many ways, an open secret; we don’t talk about it much because it is in both academics’ and the right wing’s interest to maintain the fiction of campus radicalism. But the abyss between academic self-presentation and actual institutional politics is yawning so wide it threatens to swallow what’s left of our collective claim to decency. I want to draw attention to just one simple yet infuriating example of how many universities have abandoned even the pretense of liberal commitments.