I keep meaning to write about adjuncts, and I keep putting it off. Ok, it’s time to get down to business. The reason I haven’t written about it is that nothing is going to change.
1. Nothing is going to change in terms of the adjunct situation. Colleges and universities will continue to use them, that is, to exploit them. I say this even though the Chronicle of Higher Education recently published an essay condemning the situation. Why does this mean nothing? Because twenty years ago a book was written by a leftist, Cary Nelson, deploring the situation, and nothing changed then, so why should anything change now?
2. Nothing will change as far as the adjuncts’ perception of the situation goes. These are loyal leftists, and this is a problem for which the left is to blame, so don’t expect much insight here. Adjuncts haven’t been trained to blame the left and instead have been trained to blame everyone else. Accordingly, they have and will continue to blame all sorts of people, organizations, and groups that have nothing to do with the situation. The average taxpayer isn’t to blame. Corporations are not to blame. The military is not to blame. And even if they were, the horrendous indifference of tenured-left faculty members concerning their plight, which is blameworthy in its own right, should be condemned; but it won’t be. Moreover, those aging faculty members who keep teaching – thus taking up a professorial slot that could be used to hire an adjunct – because they like teaching should be chastised, but they won’t be. No, this is an internal problem of academia, which is dominated by the left. It has nothing to do with outsiders, but is solely a matter of how money in academia is distributed. A look at the endowments of the richest colleges should prove to anyone that there is plenty of money sloshing around in academia. How it is distributed is the key, and any leftist should, though today for some reason they cannot, see that it is maldistributed.
3. Nothing will change as far as conservatives are concerned. Despite the fact that the adjunct situation is the best gift the left has ever given to the right, conservatives will fail to exploit it. It is true that Glenn Reynolds recently wrote an essay on the topic in USA Today (see here), and that is all to the good. But those on the right should be doing this constantly. Think about all the wonderful lessons that can be gleaned from this situation.
• Exploitation can take place in non-profits just as much as in for-profit enterprises.
• Those on the left are just as bad at redistribution as those on the right.
• Those on the left can be callous about the exploited.
• Accordingly, capitalism isn’t to blame for exploitation, and talk of greedy capitalists can be tossed into the rubbish heap of history.
The adjunct situation could have been brought up during the last election as a way to show voters how worthless leftist thinking is, but it wasn’t.
Probably, then, nothing will change.