Best Universities are Blue

Discussion in 'Political Discussions' started by Tom57, Nov 26, 2004.

  1. grgrwll

    grgrwll New Member

    Please tell me one "great mind" who believed that the existence of God could be proven using the scientific method and describe how they conducted the experiment.
  2. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Resolution isn't the purpose of this forum. Debate engages and expands the mind causing each of us to think more deeply and critically.
  3. Orson

    Orson New Member

    Best Universities are Blue? GUILT drive!!

    "Blue states" really means cities - where the wealth is. The wealthy are able to give more, hence their universities are the best funded.

    "Blue" is a revealing bcategory because there people also experience the most guilt over having wealth. This guilt causes those poor souls afflicted by it to embrace socialism to expiate their angst.

    I was recently asked by a poor Indian university student from West Bengal why the US Blues states are against others growing wealthy: I explained the guilt drive, and he found it a compelling expanation.

    By contrast, "Red" states are generally much less wealthy, and thus relatively unaffected by guilt. They vote their real interests instead of their imagined unworthiness.


  4. Tom57

    Tom57 Member

    Re: Best Universities are Blue? GUILT drive!!

    This reminds me of crazy arguments about Mars in earlier days of astronomy. It went something like this:

    “We see lots of clouds in the atmosphere of Mars.
    Therefore, the clouds must be a result of water on the surface.
    If there’s lots of water on the surface, there must be swamps and rivers etc.
    If there are lots of swamps and rivers, there must be lots of plants.
    Therefore, the surface of Mars is covered with abundant plant life, and probably animals that feed on that plant life. It must be like a jungle.”

    Orson offers up a similarly nonsensical argument. We begin with the generally true fact that the best universities are located in cities, where there is a higher concentration of wealth. True enough, I suppose, but of course cities have higher concentrations of crime, births, athlete’s foot, garbage, museums, apartments, asphalt, transit systems, and anything else that results from packing people together.

    Orson is actually onto something if he would also admit that cities probably have higher concentrations of good ideas as well, which, at their most basic level, is what universities feed on. The question, left unanswered, is why that’s so. What is it about the liberal environment that leads to better ideas and better academics? Orson, I guess, thinks that people who give to charities, or give a shit about those less fortunate, are a bunch of guilt-ridden Socialists. I guess he’s also saying that a sort of unintended byproduct of this guilt is bigger endowments and better schools. It’s good for a laugh, but it doesn’t explain much.
  5. qvatlanta

    qvatlanta New Member

    I have to agree, my goodness what a silly argument.

    There is a greater concentration of rich people in cities.

    There is a greater concentration of poor people in cities.

    Guess why? There are more people in cities! That's what makes them cities!
  6. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Newly released research today shows that Bush carried 97% of the vote in the fastest growing counties in the United States.


    Tom, I am still trying to find the Harvard study link.
  7. javila5400

    javila5400 New Member

    The article failed to mention the Service Academies (West Point, Annapolis, Air Force Academy, Coast Guard Academy). They are traditionally Republican.

    These fine institutions do not teach young Americans how to burn flags and run like cowards. Hoooahh!
  8. Orson

    Orson New Member

    Re: Re: Best Universities are Blue? GUILT drive!!

    So, it's a nonsensical argument, but on to something if only it's author would admit that urban areas also produce good ideas. Fine. I can admit that if you will also agree to the obvious fact that most people live in suburbs, first, and that universities feed on not merely "good" ideas but bad ones as well (see W.W. Bartley''s " On Universities and The Wealth of Nations"): the fact that most great univerities are in cities is merely an artifact of time when these institutions were first founded.

    For example, few people believe that most good business ideas come from cities: startup firms are concentrated in suburbs (in part because the rent's cheaper).

    But if I understand your fundamental objection, Tom, it's the claim that my argument is a false cause: association does not prove causation. Similarly with your notion that univerities [only?] adapt "good" ideas. Plainly, it depends on the fields and time: not all fields are in fact making progress. Arguably, some fields in higher ed are - or have been - backward. Art, behaviorism in psych, PoMo in the humanities, and positivism in philosophy all make my list - as does socialism (perhaps more controversially) generally!

    Another example concerns science: does it progress thru state (socialist) funding? Or because of the market? (An answer isn't obvious, but comparative history gives compelling clues: Switzerland and Japan have done quite well without state supported research and development; Russia and India had had a lot of it and have done relatively poorly.) A very substantial debate on this issue has been going on since the mid-90s between Terence Kealey of Oxford and Lester Thurow at MIT.

    Others disagree with you about importance of the role of guilt in political culture. Allan Levite, following on Helmut Schoek's social psych classic, "Envy," Erik Hoffer and others, in "Guilt, Blame, and Politics" (1998?) for instance.

    "[R]ich kids" and intellectuals have always been drastically over-represented in proletarian-focused movements, to such an extent that socialism and Marxism cannot claim to have had working class origins. The most important outcome of the guilt of the affluent and the educated has been the craving for big government. Only a supreme authority figure offers relief from 'political guilt" - and only big government worshipping candidates -relatively speaking - find favor in so-called Blue states in the US. Tom, do you really think this is accidental? A difference that is uncaused?

    (And surely there are multiple variables at work: why else would Dem Senate leader Tom Daschle have prevailed in little rural South Dakota for so long? He could not have without a Northern European - often Scandanavian - cultural ethos supportive of socialism, in marked contrast to the Scotch-Irish ethnicity of the South, producing a restive entltled individualism that eschews such socialistic conformism.)

    "Guilt, Blame, and Politics is a stimulating, systematic and lucid examination of an important concept, political guilt, that has thus far received insufficient attention by social scientists. . . . Mr. Levite brings together an impressive amount of historical and social scientific information to elucidate the concept and its impact on contemporary politics. While rich in comparative historical references the book is particularly useful for a deeper understanding of the political beliefs of intellectuals and for bringing into focus left-wing politics and the movements of the 1960s."
    --Paul Hollander, author of Political Pilgrims, Anti-Americanism, and other works.

    "In Guilt, Blame, and Politics, Allan Levite turns Marxist class theory on its head by suggesting that it is the guilt of the affluent class, not the struggle of the working class, that is most responsible for modern socialism. It is a compelling theory, well-researched and entertainingly argued."
    --J. Neil Schulman, author of Alongside Night, Stopping Power, and other works.

    For further info, see:

    But at bottom, the substance of your question comes down to claims of moral superiority: Blue states have the best universities, and education is an [unqualified] good - ergo Blue states are morally better than Red states. My interest here is only in exposing the "unqualified good" hidden premise of your argument. I can't agree, and I rather find the proverbial "shoe" on the other foot: your "good" ncessitiates other "evils" you too uncharily admit.

    Unfortunately, your implicit argument opens up a huge can of explanatory worms, rather than simply supporting your sense of moral superiority. Facts are not only stubborn, they're inconvenient.

    I have lived long enough in socialist cities - Amsterdam, Minneapolis, Boulder, CO - and their opposites like Salt Lake City and Alabama - to form an insightful opinion about the causes of the differences in political culture.

    Now, I think I will pursue further testing of the notion elsewhere.


    PS You are certainly wrong: "Orson, I guess, thinks that people who give to charities, or give a shit about those less fortunate, are a bunch of guilt-ridden Socialists. " No. The broadest statistics shows that Red States are more charitable than Blue; and that boradly considered, Pubbies are better educated than Dems. It isn't charity that's the problem - it's the worship of centralized and coercove solutions that's at the core of our argument. Blue states, cities, and universities do - I can't!
  9. Veteran101

    Veteran101 New Member

    Red vs. Blue


    Red was Bush
    Blue was Kerry.

    I have seen so many Red, Blue, Blue, Red topics it makes one still ask the question...

    What is the difference?????

    Heck as far as Red and Blue in 2004 and 02 for that matter might as well be taupe.

    In today's speak.
    Both parties are left of center, big government, big spending, neo-libcons who believe thier own beans about of new world order utopia.

    So in regard to the best schools are blue...

    Maybe so. But I seem to think
    "Feeling blue in quality while drowning in red ink"
  10. stock

    stock New Member

    Well said Veteran101 !!!

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