Thomas Sowell: Dry Rot in Academia

Jason Riley has now joined the long and distinguished list of people invited — and then disinvited — to give a talk on a college campus, in this case Virginia Tech.

Mr. Riley is a Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute, a columnist for the Wall Street Journal and, perhaps most relevantly, author of a very insightful book titled “Please Stop Helping Us: How Liberals Make It Harder for Blacks to Succeed.”

In short, Jason Riley’s views on race are different from the views that prevail on most college campuses. At one time, 50 years ago or earlier, exposing students to a different viewpoint was considered to be a valuable part of their education. But that was before academia — and the education system in general — became virtually a monopoly of the political left.

Today one can literally go from kindergarten to becoming a graduate student seeking a Ph.D., without ever hearing a vision of the world that conflicts with the vision of the left.

Conservative critics who object on grounds that the views of the left are wrong miss the point. Regardless of whose views become a monopoly, education suffers. John Stuart Mill understood this back in the middle of the 19th century.