How Universities Promote the “Coming Apart” of America

Every decade or so, Charles Murray writes a blockbuster book captivating America. First came Losing Ground, focusing attention on our dysfunctional system of public assistance, and, along with Richard Herrnstein, The Bell Curve, a controversial but rigorous examination of the role played by cognitive endowments in American life. I suspect his new book, Coming Apart: … Continue reading How Universities Promote the “Coming Apart” of America

Consumer Deals Coming to College Pricing

The end of higher education as we know it is no myth. Say you have three children and they’ll come of college age about two years apart. That’s a lot of money. But what if the college were to make you a deal? Buy one college education at full price, get the next college education … Continue reading Consumer Deals Coming to College Pricing

A Liberal View of ‘Becoming Right’

As a staffer with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in the early 1970’s, would-be Supreme Court Justice Lewis F. Powell Jr. penned his historic, if awkwardly titled, memo, “Attack on American Free Enterprise System.”  In that August 1971 “confidential memorandum,” to the Chamber’s board of directors, Powell called for an unprecedented effort on behalf of … Continue reading A Liberal View of ‘Becoming Right’

Stereotype Threat Coming to the Supreme Court

Get ready for a brand new defense of affirmative action that you’ve never heard before: preferences are necessary to assure selection by merit. How can that be? Simple. Just rework Claude Steele’s theory of stereotype threat–that minorities do less well on tests than their abilities warrant out of fear that their performance will confirm negative … Continue reading Stereotype Threat Coming to the Supreme Court

Anti-Apartheid Week – 1

How About A Real Campaign Against Abuses? Every year at about this time, radical Islamic students—aided by radical anti-Israel professors—hold an event they call “Israel Apartheid Week.” During this week, they try to persuade students on campuses around the world to demonize Israel as an apartheid regime. Most students seem to ignore the rantings of … Continue reading Anti-Apartheid Week – 1

Eight Ideas Forbidden on Campus

Heather MacDonald, writing in The Wall St. Journal, says there is a new list of forbidden ideas that can’t be mentioned on the modern college campus. Scott Johnson at Power Line cites the same list but says that even thinking the guilty thoughts puts you at risk of saying them out loud, and they must … Continue reading Eight Ideas Forbidden on Campus

The Real Defense of Charles Murray: Truth Not Free Speech

The Middlebury College incident in which Charles Murray was forcefully prevented from speaking about Coming Apart has generated a mini-industry of brilliant responses on behalf of academic freedom. Unfortunately, at least from my perspective, these high-sounding admonitions are misdirected and paradoxically give comfort to disruptors. Murray’s champions uniformly embrace the classic let- a-thousand-flowers-bloom, anti-censorship argument … Continue reading The Real Defense of Charles Murray: Truth Not Free Speech

Crime But No Punishment at Middlebury?

Two weeks have passed since a student mob shouted down visiting lecturer Charles Murray at Middlebury College, injured a professor, and jumped up and down on Murray’s car. But college President Laurie Patton still hasn’t acted to deal with any of the perpetrators. The action necessary was laid out clearly and forcefully by Rod Dreher … Continue reading Crime But No Punishment at Middlebury?

The Bubble at Middlebury

Photo: The Rutland Herald I’m surprised there hasn’t been more outrage about the somewhat violent silencing of Charles Murray at Middlebury. I feel more than a little threatened by the fact that a political scientist was actually injured in the line of duty. I thought I had prudently chosen a profession where that just couldn’t … Continue reading The Bubble at Middlebury

Charles Murray on Why He Was Silenced at Middlebury

 Photo:  Erielle Davidson for The Daily Wire A few months ago, AEI’s student group at Middlebury College invited me to speak on the themes of Coming Apart and how they relate to the recent presidential election. Professor Allison Stanger of the Political Science Department agreed to serve as moderator of the Q&A and to ask the first … Continue reading Charles Murray on Why He Was Silenced at Middlebury

Charles Murray Insulted but Allowed to Speak

The thought police are at it again. The latest confrontation is at Virginia Tech University at Blacksburg where the usual suspects — a coalition of black activists and white leftists — have called upon the university president to withdraw an invitation to Charles Murray, where he is scheduled to speak on March 25 at Tech’s … Continue reading Charles Murray Insulted but Allowed to Speak

Robert Putnam Knows The Real Reason the American Dream Is Fading

Professor Robert D. Putnam argued in his influential book Bowling Alone that since the 1960s, the U.S. had undergone an unprecedented collapse in civic, social and political life–a finding he modified in 2010 by noting that the trend had turned the other way. In this interview, Putnam discusses his new book, Our Kids: The American … Continue reading Robert Putnam Knows The Real Reason the American Dream Is Fading

Investing in Higher Education Will Not Bring Democratic Equality

By Robert Weissberg America’s huge investment in higher education has always had a democratic justification: everyone should be able to attend college because this opportunity would flatten the social pyramid. Yes, a North Dakota State and Harvard degree differ in prestige, but at least the North Dakota State graduate can join the game. Put ideologically, … Continue reading Investing in Higher Education Will Not Bring Democratic Equality

Libertarianism Is Not the Answer

I have to agree with Patrick Deneen and disagree with George Leef about the worrisome nature of rising libertarianism among students today. It is a troublesome development in my view. For Deneen, this trend essentially means a kind of “laissez faire” selfishness among students that emphasizes personal autonomy and material success and doesn’t allow for … Continue reading Libertarianism Is Not the Answer

Campus Libertarianism up, Civic Commitment Down

One of the most mentioned findings in the annual UCLA survey of college freshmen is a decided trend toward more “liberal” political attitudes. The survey shows increased support for same-sex marriage (supported by 71.3% of students, representing a 6.4% increase since 2009); for a pro-choice position on abortion; for the legalization of marijuana; and a … Continue reading Campus Libertarianism up, Civic Commitment Down

How To Bridge the Educational Divide

In an essay in the Wall Street Journal plugging his new book “Coming Apart” (which I haven’t read yet), Charles Murray writes about a new American divide: “We have developed a new upper class with advanced educations, often obtained at elite schools, sharing tastes and preferences that set them apart from mainstream America. At the … Continue reading How To Bridge the Educational Divide

The Roots of Our New Civil War: Tocqueville vs. Gramsci

As intellectual historians have often had occasion to observe, there are times in a nation’s history when certain ideas are just “in the air.” Admittedly, this point seems to fizzle when applied to our particular historical moment. On the surface of American politics, as many have had cause to mention, it appears that the main trends predicted … Continue reading The Roots of Our New Civil War: Tocqueville vs. Gramsci

A White Sociologist and the Doctrine of the Black Insider

More than forty years ago, sociologist Robert Merton called attention to an emerging “Black Insider Doctrine” within sociology, the viewing of white sociologists as “outsiders,” incapable of understanding or conducting research on matters concerning blacks. Groups in conflict in 1972 wanted to make their own interpretation of reality the prevailing one. Over the years, as … Continue reading A White Sociologist and the Doctrine of the Black Insider

Here’s Why Public Colleges Could Face Defunding

Is America about to embark on the “mass defunding of public higher education”? Fredrik deBoer thinks it’s a real, horrifying possibility. In a Los Angeles Times op-ed and on his blog, he argues that the political basis for this defunding now exists. The problem, according to the Pew Research Center, is that the list of … Continue reading Here’s Why Public Colleges Could Face Defunding

Yale’s Imaginary Crime Wave

Yale is the only university that regularly issues reports on its handling of sexual assault complaints, the result of a 2012 resolution agreement with the Office for Civil Rights (OCR). The university is also unusual in reporting so many sexual complaints, the result of its peculiar decision to broaden the campus definition of “sexual assault” … Continue reading Yale’s Imaginary Crime Wave

‘The Hunting Ground,‘ an Ethically-Challenged Tainted Documentary

On Sunday night, CNN will air The Hunting Ground—a work of activist propaganda disguised as a documentary about sexual assault on American college campuses. Among its numerous faults, the film blames the campus rape problem on a plague of serial rapists; expert opinion on this matter comes courtesy of psychologist David Lisak, whose misleading interpretation … Continue reading ‘The Hunting Ground,‘ an Ethically-Challenged Tainted Documentary

A Lame Defense of Trigger Warnings and Micro-Aggression Mania

Many American campuses are caught up in a great new utopian project – protecting students from speech, writings, images, or anything else that they might find upsetting. Because of the spreading mania for trigger warnings and “protecting” students from micro-aggressions, schools are moving away from their focus on education – which, after all, almost inevitably … Continue reading A Lame Defense of Trigger Warnings and Micro-Aggression Mania

TEN CAMPUS RAPES—OR WERE THEY?

How Accusers Play the Drinking Game at Washington and Lee As you’ll see from the this list of stories, the male students who have the resources to challenge the illegal bullying of their constitutional rights do so by filing a due process lawsuit, like the one facing Washington and Lee. The facts, by this point, … Continue reading TEN CAMPUS RAPES—OR WERE THEY?

Are Liberals Stifling Intellectual Diversity on Campus?

Earlier this year, Jonathan Chait, a liberal, caused a stir when he argued that “political correctness,” a “system of left-wing ideological repression” has made a comeback among students and intellectuals after a long lull. Among his cases in point was Omar Mahmoud, a University of Michigan student who was fired from the student newspaper, and … Continue reading Are Liberals Stifling Intellectual Diversity on Campus?

He Said, She Said–This Time Professor and Student

A philosophy professor and a journalism student are involved in an unusual he-said she-said sex case at Northwestern. The student filed a federal Title IX lawsuit last month, alleging that professor Peter Ludlow sexually assaulted her two years ago and that the school took no disciplinary action, despite finding that he had engaged in “unwelcome and inappropriate … Continue reading He Said, She Said–This Time Professor and Student