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Leftism in vogue in Irish Universities?


Fallacy Police

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Jan 24, 2013
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I've noticed over the last 2 years of being in a Dublin University that there is a large, silent majority of students tending towards conservative ideals, primarily if not exclusively with regard to fiscal policy and acceptance of austerity. The recent referendum on the disaffiliation of UCDSU from the patently left wing USI gives me reason to believe that the majority of students are repelled or at the very least are unconvinced by leftist ideals. What I found strange about the campaign was the lack of right wing rhetoric from ordinary students on the NO side to counter the arguments of the YES side. Which begs the question, has it become socially unacceptable to espouse conservative views on a college campus? As Winston Churchill put it, "the fascists of the future will be the anti-fascists". Has the student left managed to bully the conservative students into silence? With talk from prospective candidates for positions within Students Unions of making the union's official stance on abortion pro-choice going completely unchallenged, one has to wonder to what extent students who disagree with the perceived leftist consensus have the ability or the platform to speak their minds. The way in which student leftism manifests as populism (choosing the high ground, moral or in terms of numbers) and dogma has all the characteristics of bullying, to which today's student ought to be sensitive.

Have any conservative students ever feared it would be socially unacceptable to air their opinions or has anyone at all detected a hostile atmosphere towards dissenting views?
 


Heligoland

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Joined
Jan 21, 2007
Messages
2,333
I've noticed over the last 2 years of being in a Dublin University that there is a large, silent majority of students tending towards conservative ideals, primarily if not exclusively with regard to fiscal policy and acceptance of austerity. The recent referendum on the disaffiliation of UCDSU from the patently left wing USI gives me reason to believe that the majority of students are repelled or at the very least are unconvinced by leftist ideals. What I found strange about the campaign was the lack of right wing rhetoric from ordinary students on the NO side to counter the arguments of the YES side. Which begs the question, has it become socially unacceptable to espouse conservative views on a college campus? As Winston Churchill put it, "the fascists of the future will be the anti-fascists". Has the student left managed to bully the conservative students into silence? With talk from prospective candidates for positions within Students Unions of making the union's official stance on abortion pro-choice going completely unchallenged, one has to wonder to what extent students who disagree with the perceived leftist consensus have the ability or the platform to speak their minds. The way in which student leftism manifests as populism (choosing the high ground, moral or in terms of numbers) and dogma has all the characteristics of bullying, to which today's student ought to be sensitive.
You're not studying English are you?
 
R

Ramps

Have any conservative students ever feared it would be socially unacceptable to air their opinions or has anyone at all detected a hostile atmosphere towards dissenting views?
Yes and yes.....though I wasn't conservative; I was a libertar....I mean I was a bug-eyed, nutjob, free-market loon...
 

Grizzly

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Jan 31, 2011
Messages
828
I've noticed over the last 2 years of being in a Dublin University that there is a large, silent majority of students tending towards conservative ideals, primarily if not exclusively with regard to fiscal policy and acceptance of austerity. The recent referendum on the disaffiliation of UCDSU from the patently left wing USI gives me reason to believe that the majority of students are repelled or at the very least are unconvinced by leftist ideals. What I found strange about the campaign was the lack of right wing rhetoric from ordinary students on the NO side to counter the arguments of the YES side. Which begs the question, has it become socially unacceptable to espouse conservative views on a college campus? As Winston Churchill put it, "the fascists of the future will be the anti-fascists". Has the student left managed to bully the conservative students into silence? With talk from prospective candidates for positions within Students Unions of making the union's official stance on abortion pro-choice going completely unchallenged, one has to wonder to what extent students who disagree with the perceived leftist consensus have the ability or the platform to speak their minds. The way in which student leftism manifests as populism (choosing the high ground, moral or in terms of numbers) and dogma has all the characteristics of bullying, to which today's student ought to be sensitive.

Have any conservative students ever feared it would be socially unacceptable to air their opinions or has anyone at all detected a hostile atmosphere towards dissenting views?

DCU has long-been the most left-leaning university in Dublin and disaffiliated from USI years ago. The view aired by many was that the USI is consistently under the control of FF/FG shills.

Studies have shown that there is a correlation between lower intelligence and conservative and/or racist views. Therefore it is hardly surprising that left wing views would be fare more common in an environment such as a university.

On the issue of abortion however, I have to disagree with your presumption that it is an indicator of political views. I don't think that can be easily defined on a left/right spectrum. Some of the most hardline leftists I know are opposed to abortion while some Fine Gael-y types are in favour of legalising aboriton.
 

Dame_Enda

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I reject Grizzy's equating of conservatism with racism. David Cameron is hardly someone of "low intelligence", and is hardly a racist. :roll: As for American academic studies, 72% of US academia is liberal according to research, suggesting a bias.

Liberalism also remains the dominant political ideology in academia, with 72% of full-time faculty identifying as liberal in a 2004 study.[40] The social sciences and humanities were most liberal, whereas business and engineering departments were the least liberal, though even in the business departments, liberals outnumbered conservatives 49% to 39%. Generally, the more educated a person is the more likely he or she is to hold liberal beliefs.[41]
Also I would opine that the correlation between Leftism and academia/univversity education may be a case of groupthink. During the Cold War there was heavy infiltration of Western universities by the KGB e.g. Cambridge spy scandal. It's possible that this encouraged recruitment of like-minded academics, helping to spawn the present Left-leaning culture.
 
Last edited:

Fallacy Police

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DCU has long-been the most left-leaning university in Dublin and disaffiliated from USI years ago. The view aired by many was that the USI is consistently under the control of FF/FG shills.

Studies have shown that there is a correlation between lower intelligence and conservative and/or racist views. Therefore it is hardly surprising that left wing views would be fare more common in an environment such as a university.

On the issue of abortion however, I have to disagree with your presumption that it is an indicator of political views. I don't think that can be easily defined on a left/right spectrum. Some of the most hardline leftists I know are opposed to abortion while some Fine Gael-y types are in favour of legalising aboriton.
The abortion thing was merely an example of how a very touchy subject could be demagogued and go unchallenged. "Studies have shown" is not a phrase you should use on a guy named Fallacy Police. Appeal to authority: Rejected.
 

Grizzly

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The abortion thing was merely an example of how a very touchy subject could be demagogued and go unchallenged. "Studies have shown" is not a phrase you should use on a guy named Fallacy Police. Appeal to authority: Rejected.
If you clicked on the link contained in the thread you would see the study which was published in the Psychological Science Journal
 
R

Ramps

Some of the most hardline leftists I know are opposed to abortion.....
Really?? I've never met one lefty, let alone a hardline lefty, who is opposed to abortion!

We must move in very different circles. :)
 

Grizzly

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Really?? I've never met one lefty, let alone a hardline lefty, who is opposed to abortion!

We must move in very different circles. :)
I would not say they are opposed to abortion completely.

Many I know would be supportive of legislation for X but oppose so-called "abortion on demand".

The only person I know who is hard-left and completely opposed to any type of abortion is a former SWP member from north Dublin. He has since emigrated to Russia.
 

Concerned Irishman

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Feb 27, 2009
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The abortion thing was merely an example of how a very touchy subject could be demagogued and go unchallenged. "Studies have shown" is not a phrase you should use on a guy named Fallacy Police. Appeal to authority: Rejected.
And if the poster just said it and left it at that you'd have a point. But he/she actually linked to a peer reviewed scientific journal...

If you're going to reject that as an "appeal to authority", then you might as well simply dismiss all science because peer review is simply how you determine credibility these days
 
R

Ramps

I would not say they are opposed to abortion completely.

Many I know would be supportive of legislation for X but oppose so-called "abortion on demand".
Oh right, I get you. I thought you meant against it completely.

The only person I know who is hard-left and completely opposed to any type of abortion is a former SWP member from north Dublin. He has since emigrated.
Just out of interest: where did he go?!
 

Hitch 22

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Joined
Dec 26, 2011
Messages
5,220
I've noticed over the last 2 years of being in a Dublin University that there is a large, silent majority of students tending towards conservative ideals, primarily if not exclusively with regard to fiscal policy and acceptance of austerity. The recent referendum on the disaffiliation of UCDSU from the patently left wing USI gives me reason to believe that the majority of students are repelled or at the very least are unconvinced by leftist ideals. What I found strange about the campaign was the lack of right wing rhetoric from ordinary students on the NO side to counter the arguments of the YES side. Which begs the question, has it become socially unacceptable to espouse conservative views on a college campus? As Winston Churchill put it, "the fascists of the future will be the anti-fascists". Has the student left managed to bully the conservative students into silence? With talk from prospective candidates for positions within Students Unions of making the union's official stance on abortion pro-choice going completely unchallenged, one has to wonder to what extent students who disagree with the perceived leftist consensus have the ability or the platform to speak their minds. The way in which student leftism manifests as populism (choosing the high ground, moral or in terms of numbers) and dogma has all the characteristics of bullying, to which today's student ought to be sensitive.

Have any conservative students ever feared it would be socially unacceptable to air their opinions or has anyone at all detected a hostile atmosphere towards dissenting views?
People don't want to be annoyed by crashing bores.

They want to do their course work and party and hopefully get a job when they get their qualification.
 

Grizzly

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Oh right, I get you. I thought you meant against it completely.



Just out of interest: where did he go?!
Germany originally. Now Moscow. lol
 
R

Ramps

What about Sinn Féin?
Of all the major parties, SF has probably the most liberal stance on abortion, does it not? I know some of the older members were quite conservative (socially), but I don't think there are many of them left, tbh
 

Fallacy Police

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Jan 24, 2013
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And if the poster just said it and left it at that you'd have a point. But he/she actually linked to a peer reviewed scientific journal...

If you're going to reject that as an "appeal to authority", then you might as well simply dismiss all science because peer review is simply how you determine credibility these days
True. The whole "leftists are smarter than conservatives, thus conservatives are wrong" argument is still a fallacy though. I understand that's not what the poster explicitly said, but that particular article doesn't examine people's views on fiscal policy, but social policy. It should come as no surprise that bigots are generally less intelligent than non-bigots, but bigotry doesn't necessarily apply to those who espouse conservative fiscal policy. I made the distinction between socially conservative and fiscally conservative in the second line. I also didn't ask whether more students were leftist or rightist, just whether there was a hostile environment towards conservatives in university. So the poster didn't answer my question directly, but their belittling response is still very telling.
 

west'sawake

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Joined
Sep 15, 2008
Messages
3,649
Really?? I've never met one lefty, let alone a hardline lefty, who is opposed to abortion!

We must move in very different circles. :)
Indeed, all of the parties that deem themselves left wing are pro choice/pro abortion to one degree or another: S.F., Labour, Socialists, United Left Alliance, other left wing independents such as Claire Daly, etc. Only Peader Toibin of S.F. has been unambiguously pro life.
 
R

Ramps

True. The whole "leftists are smarter than conservatives, thus conservatives are wrong" argument is still a fallacy though. I understand that's not what the poster explicitly said, but that particular article doesn't examine people's views on fiscal policy, but social policy. It should come as no surprise that bigots are generally less intelligent than non-bigots, but bigotry doesn't necessarily apply to those who espouse conservative fiscal policy. I made the distinction between socially conservative and fiscally conservative in the second line. I also didn't ask whether more students were leftist or rightist, just whether there was a hostile environment towards conservatives in university. So the poster didn't answer my question directly, but their belittling response is still very telling.
Tbh, I think the term conservative, in relation to economic matters, is completely misleading.

Socialists are the true conservatives, only slightly ahead of those who are called conservatives, in the
conserving stakes!
 

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