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The arts are left wing because the pay is rubbish

Leonardo DiCaprio in The Wolf of Wall Street (2013): not going into arts administration

If you think the left has too much power in academia, says Janan Ganesh in the FT, “blame Nadhim Zahawi”. The former Tory chairman could have become a teacher or a lecturer instead of a businessman so successful he incurred a “tax bill in the millions”. If you deplore the preachiness of modern museums, “blame Boris Johnson”. He could have run one after leaving No 10, but instead talks up blockchain for a hefty fee. In each case, the choice was perfectly understandable, but it also meant one less conservative in a “left-liberal” domain.

This is at the heart of why the right perpetually feels it is losing the culture war. There is no plot afoot “to train up leftist cadres” and insert them into the institutions that set the cultural weather. It’s just that only those with left-ish principles ever work in them for long, because the pay is so bad. Barring the introduction of universal conscription into “arts organisations, academic faculties, publishing houses, official bureaucracies, quangos and public broadcasters”, they will always tilt left. Even media organisations with an overtly conservative outlook struggle to keep people who aren’t given to a sort of “too-easy liberalism”. When the average stand-up comedian makes no money, it’s no surprise comedy is a “near-monopoly of the left”. Many conservatives “can’t believe how left-wing universities are” and also can’t believe that anyone would “ever choose the unlucrative life of an academic”. At some point, you’d hope, the irony will dawn on them.