Why Academics are Socialists
Liberals make up nearly three-fourths of
the faculty of colleges and universities;
with the elite universities, the number is
closer to 90%. Why is that? The answer lies
in human nature as it often does.
A great number of the faculty never work
in the private sector moving directly from
their educational training directly into the
academic environment. Young people
notoriously lean to the liberal side but as
they see the real world with real jobs,
reality sets in. The business of earning a
living, paying bills making progress in a
career tends to mover people in the
conservative direction. So college
professors often do not experience this
segment of life. The private sector is not
books and formulas, it mostly about people.
A college graduate who enters the private
arena soon learns that life is not quite so
straightforward as the college courses might
lead one to believe. But there is more to
The college professor is deemed to be an
expert in his or her field. Being an expert
is not easy. Standing before a class of
bright young people, the professor cannot
afford to be wrong. So he does his homework.
In the narrow field in which he teaches, he
presumably knows all the history and current
state of knowledge. The professor is able to
defend his teachings because he must.
The students, peers and the professor
himself think he cannot be wrong. After all,
he has spent a career studying the field. He
begins to think he is infallible. With this
ego, he begins to think outside his narrow
field of study, perhaps into politics. Since
his knowledge and reasoning are so perfect
in his chosen field, he begins to think that
he can transfer the techniques to any body
The phenomenon becomes more accentuated
when the professors teach in fields where
advancement of knowledge through technology
and science is critical. An engineering
professor becomes adept at controlling the
environment in his specific field. If he is
designing an electrical circuit, he can make
it do what he wants. Almost always, he is
successful or if not, he simply reworks the
circuit until it does what he want. With
enough brain power and money, he can design
any system to solve any problem.
But these problems are all electrical
components that behave mostly the same all
the time. A resistor is a resistor.
Connected to a capacitor, it behaves pretty
much the same, always.
So when professors with this knowledge
and design capability venture into politics,
they assume they can design and control
things just like the physical items they use
in the lab. But people are not resistors.
And they vary greatly from one to the next.
Moreover, they have a brain so that
dependent on the recent stimuli, they might
respond quite differently over time. Making
a circuit work where the components donít
always react the same would be an impossible
job. Yet, these professors from their
training think they should be able to do so.
Socialism is the belief that an economic
system can be designed top-down, that a
government can control all the pieces if the
right policies are put in place. But people
are not fixed components that all react the
same every time. Not only are they all
different, they often react differently at
different times. Think of the shift in
election politics from one cycle to the
next. Predictability in politics is futile.
Humans are as complex as the weather and we
canít predict it for more than a few days.
To think that we can predict human behavior
over a yearís period is unlikely, even in
the foreseeable future. As times change,
people will change as well.
So socialism is the belief that anything
can be understood and systems can be
designed to optimize performance from a top
down mechanism. Professors by their nature
are led to believe they can do these things.
As a result, they lean to the liberal side.
But people are not so amenable to this
approach. The best approach when it comes to
society is for government and business to
take their signals from the people, rather
than the other way around. People through
liberty and freedom will pick the optimal
route for themselves and that will be
optimal for society. Any other way will
crush their liberty. Of course, as weíve
discussed before, oneís liberty cannot
impact someone elseís. But people are
understanding of otherís rights as they
would not wish anything different for
Professors should be required to operate
in the private sector as part of their
training so that they can see that
programming and commanding people is not an
ideal situation. It might work for circuits
and students, but people have a mind of