Why are universities dominated by left ideology

The university as a political stage

Jena / Vienna - Not to make the universities a pavement for conservative theorists - left student representatives in the USA have repeatedly expressed this concern after Donald Trump's election victory. Last week, for example, the lecture by right-wing political scientist Charles Murray at Middlebury College in Vermont had to be canceled because the protests of left-wing students had gotten out of hand.

While in the USA left-wing students are fighting against right-wing ideologies at universities, in Germany and Austria in the recent past right-wing politicians in particular have been campaigning to restrict the work of left-wing political groups at universities. They were already successful at the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich. According to a resolution by the student parliament, no more rooms will be given to political groups (the UniStandard reported). Similar attempts are now being made at the Friedrich Schiller University in Jena and at the University of Vienna.

Complaint against the University of Jena

An advertisement from the right-wing member of the state parliament Stefan Brandner of the Alternative for Germany (AfD) has been running against the University of Jena since September. He accuses the university of supporting actions of civil disobedience by allocating rooms for blockade training.

Klaus Dörre, professor of sociology at the University of Jena, observes the events with concern: "The anti-fascists' scope for action is becoming more and more restricted." He sees an increasing popularity of right-wing attitudes not only in the frequent xenophobic rallies on the street and the election success of the AfD in the parliaments, but also in the judiciary: "Thügida (Pegida in Thuringia, editor's note) pulls on Hitler's birthday through Jena. If the city applies for a ban, the Higher Administrative Court of Gera decides that the demonstration is legal because it has nothing to do with the birthday. " Dörre himself was already affected by attacks by AfD-close colleagues at the university. "Right-wing groups are continually expanding their influence," he says.

Identify problems

He sees the reason for the increasing shift to the right in the inadequate processing of social problems by left-wing politics: "The less promising it seems to correct the distribution relationships that are perceived as unjust from top to bottom, the more likely one interprets distribution conflicts as those between inside and outside be stoked. " For Dörre, the only way to combat right-wing populism is to name the mistakes in the capitalist system: "The left needs a credible alternative to contemporary capitalism. It needs practicable implementation options for politics and intellectuals who engage in controversy."

Discussion in Austria

In Austria, too, there are discussions about how much politics can be at the universities: For example, prohibiting certain political groups from meeting at the university is the concern of the National Council member Andreas Karlsböck (FPÖ), as from a parliamentary question he brought in in December. In it, he criticized an event by the "left-wing extremist" group Left Turn at the Institute for Political Science at the University of Vienna shortly before the Federal President's election and asked the Minister of Science: "Is it acceptable from your point of view that a non-university, non-campaigning group on official university grounds agitation against FPÖ and its federal presidential candidate allowed to operate? "

Last week he brought another question in parliament concerning Thomas Schmidinger, lecturer at the Institute for Political Science at the University of Vienna. This time he wants to know from the Minister of Science: "Do you find it legitimate that lecturers who are Marxist or far left dominate at Austrian universities - primarily in the humanities courses?" Karlsböck, however, fails to provide evidence of the dominance of the extreme left among humanities scholars in his request. (Sarah Yolanda Koss, March 9, 2017)