Is P.C. Persecution Overblown?
By Bryan Caplan
I just got an invitation to see Indoctrinate U, a documentary on the tyranny of political correctness in higher education. The trailer left me with a furrowed brow. Why? Because in all honesty, I’ve never been the target of p.c. persecution.
You might say: “Well, you’re at GMU!” But before that, I was a student at UC Berkeley and Princeton. During those years, I was bored about 1000 times as frequently as I was mistreated for my contrarian political views.
You might say: “You were in economics!” Now, you’re on stronger ground. But even in my non-econ classes, the serious problem was instructors’ lack of enthusiasm, not instructors’ enthusiastic brainwashing. And in any case, as long as economics provides asylum for refugees from p.c., how bad can things be? As I’ve argued before, whatever your non-natural-science interests are, economics is probably the best place to pursue them.
If I saw the documentary, I’d probably find a lot to be annoyed about. Yes, you’ve got intolerant leftist ideologues on a lot of campuses. Yes, it’s hard to have a civil discussion with them about a lot of topics. But in school as in life, it’s not that hard to avoid such people. And who wants to have a protracted discussion with them, anyway? The world is full of polite, smart, reasonable people who disagree with you. If you want debate, talk to them.