It’s my belief that a primary driver of liberalism in academia, is that advanced degrees in humanities don’t have market value except to teach. Of course someone with a PhD in sociology who’s lucky to have a $25,000 job, will believe that society doesn’t distribute its rewards fairly.
I remember seeing some survey results about liberalism among college professors by field of study, where the most liberal were humanities, and the least liberal were engineering and finance. If I could find it again, I bet there’s a very strong correlation between liberalism and average starting salaries for graduates in the field.
Mark feels that choice of field of study and type of degree drives enrollment rather than the other way around. He has it all backwards.
It hasn’t much to do with salaries. Only liberal/Left types get Humanities degrees anyway. Rightwingers in those disciplines are ostracized and drummed out. Of course rightwingers will go into finance. And engineers are always rightwing. It has been that way forever, since I was a boy. If I went to get a Finance degree, I would be surrounded by Libertarian – neoclassical – neoliberal – laissez faire radical capitalists. I would be the only Leftie in my class. I would feel like a complete idiot and would be ostracized completely.
Some disciplines just select more of certain types. Liberal/progressive people tend to move towards Humanities and rightwing dickwads go towards finance, business, engineering and all of that jazz. The ideology comes first, then the enrollment. Ideology drives majors, not the other way around.
Most of us Lefties despise money, hate people who prostrate themselves before Mammon, despise those who value money and the things it buys as the primary or only value in existence, etc. It’s not so much that money is bad. Of course we love it too. I once did a drug deal in 1985 in which I made $300 for an hour’s work. It was easy as pie. Everyone likes money and even the things it can buy. It’s just that Lefties do not particularly care about money and stuff, and we more or less think it is all unimportant or verging on worthless. That is, we reject the reactionary idea, which is a basic capitalist value, that humans who have more money and stuff are better humans in any way, morally or otherwise, than humans who have less money or stuff. We will take the money and stuff, but we hate the rat race – keeping up with the Joneses and especially elevating moneyed folks and looking down on less moneyed folks. We regard all of that as complete garbage.
On the other land, we live in capitalist society too, and we need to survive and it is better to live well than to live like a dog in poverty. Without money, you have a horrid life in America. So most Lefties would like to have enough money so that we do not have to worry about money too much anymore.
Most of us have made good money at various times in our lives. I have worked for wages ranging from $23=65/hour, and that was 10-25 years ago when money went further. It’s just that once you get into the money game, everyone you meet is a rightwing or money-obsessed dick. So it’s not really the money, it’s more the rightwing human garbage that comes along as a free addition to the green stuff.