In Left Field

Recently, I wondered if our generation has had more than our fair share of left wingnuts in Academia. I reasoned that in the 60's many left wingers escaped to live their lives in the university rather than go spend time in Vietnam. Then as the war dragged on, they renewed their safety by continuing their studies in higher degrees. Not that I consider this an imprudent choice at the time, but my point being that the war would have concentrated liberals more so than in previous times in an academic environment.

Any thoughts?


I think academia had a greater than normal concentration of the more extreme views...but that is the nature of academia. I do agree with your idea that 'Nam probably increased the radical elements.

These radicals are now dropping out of academia, so who replaces them? This to me is the more interesting question.

There is no reason for our modern radical, hippy, peace-lovers to run to Cannukistan or stay in school as there is no draft. They can stay in their affluent yuppie jobs and protest on the side. The best of both worlds.
So who replaces our fading lefties in academia?

The easy answer is, of course, us, their students. What is scary, to me at least, is how our ultra-left professors created a generation of righties that is now firmly in control of America.

Will this new right do the same and create a generation of lefties? Or will they just continue to pull the center further to the right? They are not AS radical as the peace-love generation(the idea of a radical conservative doesn't work until you get really far right ie ultra conservative or traditionalists, religious sects and hate-groups and facists) and may not create their opposites.

It makes me think of a conversation I had a few months back where we were talking about politics and such "liberal" and "conservatives" and the guy said "well, not as liberal as you Rus", I was shocked. Has the center moved so far that a believer in freedom and less government is now a lefty?


If they were 18 or 19 in the late 60's when escalation was at its peak then the draft avoiders would be in their late 50's or early 60's. An ideal retirement age, but not necessarily realistic and not necessary in a cushy job. They are likely settled into tenured positions and will ride out their remaining time on this mortal coil.

I'm not sure I would agree that the conservative class has grown as a counterreaction to their teaching. I would argue that their teachings have been more or less successful and as a result have splintered the left into powerful noncoherence.

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