I hear often from other academics that we should be more like Europe. Honestly, I’ve never really understood this argument. I’ve been to Europe on several occasions and while Europe is great for Europeans, I’m not a European (don’t get on me about my Irish ancestors).
The more I thought about their “Europenvy” the more I wondered why it existed. After all, we in the US have a remarkable history, a thriving culture, wealth beyond imagine, and FREEDOM. Ah, there it is.......we have FREEDOMS that many leftist faculty don’t like. Guns, for example, are abhorred by just about every faculty member I know and surveys show that social science faculty STRONGLY support gun control and confiscation.
Other freedoms, too, appear to be greeted with suspicion. Alas, freedom to speak your mind comes immediately to mind. I don’t find it at all unremarkable that efforts to curtail freedom come from the academic left. Nor do I find it at all out of character that they would try their best to limit speech, limit exposure to certain ideas, and limit research efforts. This is what they do because that is who they are.
Members of the academic left are prevalent on American university campuses. Some campuses have more, some less. However, on European campuses, the academic left appears to be a strong majority. When I gave a talk in Portugal last year members of the academic left demanded to know why I was given a platform. Other European scholars also told me that they cannot get science courses approved through their respective departments because the academic left frets endlessly about sexism, racism, and every other ism under the sun.
Now we get to see the academic left in all of its glory. You can read about it here: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jan/24/safe-spaces-universities-no-platform-free-speech-rhodes
John Paul Wright and Matt DeLisi
Professors of Crime and Criminology