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Would you ever get in trouble for expressing certain opinions at Oxford?

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    There seems to be a sinister and pernicious atmosphere of censorship that is very apparent in American universities and is beginning to linger in Britain.

    Oxford appears to be relatively tolerant of the extreme Left. For example, on a university page that lists all of the societies at Oxford, there is a Marxist society and even a Communist society.

    As far as right-wing societies go, there is only the Conservative Association and, as much as you may disagree with them, the Tories are relatively tame compared to Communists.

    Do you think that the university would be as tolerant towards the far-Right as they would towards the far-Left? Would they allow a Nationalist society to exist? Or a European Identity society to exist? What about the right-wing equivalent to the Communist society; the Fascist society?

    I suspect the answer is no and that there exists a double-standard because of the nature of student demographics and the fact that the student populace will undoubtedly skew left to a far greater degree relative to the average population.

    Also, how would one be treated in Oxford if you expressed views associated with the hard-Right? Would you be ostracized? Or, provided you could argue your position, would you be tolerated?
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    :erm:

    When you say "how would one be treated in Oxford", what do you mean exactly? In tutorials? Or by peers? :dontknow:

    Love the fact you think we're a bunch of Lefties :lol:
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    (Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd)
    :erm:

    When you say "how would one be treated in Oxford", what do you mean exactly? In tutorials? Or by peers? :dontknow:

    Love the fact you think we're a bunch of Lefties :lol:
    Students seem to be overwhelmingly left-wing, in my experience. I've heard that this phenomenon is true to a far greater degree at Oxford with the far-Left (Cuntry Living etc) being quite prominent. Is that not true?

    Provided you aren't running around shouting, "Sieg Heil!", in a Nazi outfit, how would views to the right of the Tories generally be perceived by your peers and by your tutors; e.g. criticisms of immigration/multiculturalism/Islam/liberalism?

    Despite the fact these are quite common positions through society, I have always suspected that they would get a hostile response among university students (regardless of how well you can argue in favor or them).
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    (Original post by DavidHSmith)
    Students seem to be overwhelmingly left-wing, in my experience. I've heard that this phenomenon is true to a far greater degree at Oxford with the far-Left (Cuntry Living etc) being quite prominent. Is that not true?

    Provided you aren't running around shouting, "Sieg Heil!", in a Nazi outfit, how would views to the right of the Tories generally be perceived by your peers and by your tutors; e.g. criticisms of immigration/multiculturalism/Islam/liberalism?

    Despite the fact these are quite common positions through society, I have always suspected that they would get a hostile response among university students (regardless of how well you can argue in favor or them).
    Students in general tend to be centre-left or more left than right, yes. But Oxford students are no ordinary students I've no idea what "Cuntry Living" refers to but I would actually take the opposite view to you. I think there's a greater proportion of right-leaning people at Oxbridge (I see you've posted in the Cambridge subsection too) than there are at other unis. As a left-leaning student there, I felt the right (as in Tories or right of Tories) was very well-represented (or overrepresented, to my taste ). So I'm not sure who's been giving you these impressions, but I personally disagree

    It's as it would be at any other uni (apart from seriously left-wing places, like SOAS and Goldsmiths): some Oxford peers and tutors will think you're a douchebag and not go near you with a bargepole. Others will like and agree with your views. There are no hard-and-fast rules. In terms of tutorial essays, providing you make a case well and supported by credible, intelligent arguments and you are not being a complete ********/violating the UK Equality Act/posing a danger to anyone, then you can probably get away with it OK.
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    (Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd)
    :erm:

    Love the fact you think we're a bunch of Lefties :lol:
    At once the most popular and most wrong stereotype of Oxford in the tabloid end of the market.
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    (Original post by DavidHSmith)

    Also, how would one be treated in Oxford if you expressed views associated with the hard-Right? Would you be ostracized? Or, provided you could argue your position, would you be tolerated?
    How hard right do you mean? Goose-stepping through the quad dressed as an SS officer? Might attract some attention.

    Do you imagine Oxford to be a sort of well managed Communist state with a Politburo issuing orders and an efficient secret police crushing dissent in the JCRs?
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    Oxford is very left, even by university standards. I have a link for exit polls by university at the last general election saved on my computer but I don't have my computer here! You'll just have to trust me when I say: big labour majority with lots of green votes too.

    (Original post by DavidHSmith)
    There seems to be a sinister and pernicious atmosphere of censorship that is very apparent in American universities and is beginning to linger in Britain.

    Oxford appears to be relatively tolerant of the extreme Left. For example, on a university page that lists all of the societies at Oxford, there is a Marxist society and even a Communist society.

    As far as right-wing societies go, there is only the Conservative Association and, as much as you may disagree with them, the Tories are relatively tame compared to Communists.

    Do you think that the university would be as tolerant towards the far-Right as they would towards the far-Left? Would they allow a Nationalist society to exist? Or a European Identity society to exist? What about the right-wing equivalent to the Communist society; the Fascist society?

    I suspect the answer is no and that there exists a double-standard because of the nature of student demographics and the fact that the student populace will undoubtedly skew left to a far greater degree relative to the average population.

    Also, how would one be treated in Oxford if you expressed views associated with the hard-Right? Would you be ostracized? Or, provided you could argue your position, would you be tolerated?
    In contrast to the above I think you're correct in your assertions. The fact is, in a student circle communist is basically equivalent to centre-Left whereas ukip is extreme right. Socially such views are, in my experience, far less acceptable. I did go to what was at the time a particularly left wing college, but when I was there if you were a conservative supporter you would probably not admit it.

    It's worth distancing from a simple left-right view though. It's not just about how 'extreme' your views are, it's about whether your views are relatively selfless (I'd argue communism is, at its intentions) vs being selfish (anti-refugee/immigration views, anti-welfare state views etc).

    Setting up the societies you suggest would certainly be controversial. I suspect that the uni would allow it then it's meetings would be subject to protest and its members heavily criticised/socially isolated. Even the Conservative Association is rarely free of controversy, being disaffiliated by the uni a few years ago for anti-semetic behaviour by its members (it's reaffiliated now I believe).

    For fear of scaring applicants I'll add: you are under no obligation to share your political views. Left or right, it won't affect your daily life unless you want it to.
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    At Magdalen, I once expressed the opinion that Oswald Moseley was a bit too right wing for my taste. I was told that I would never be invited to dine at High Table again.

    At least, not until I had promised to wear something besides nipple clamps.
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    (Original post by OxFossil)
    At Magdalen, I once expressed the opinion that Oswald Moseley was a bit too right wing for my taste. I was told that I would never be invited to dine at High Table again.

    At least, not until I had promised to wear something besides nipple clamps.
    :rofl:

    Anyway, everyone knows that Attila the Hun is the guiding light at Magdalen, closely followed by Enoch Powell.
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    (Original post by nexttime)
    Oxford is very left, even by university standards. I have a link for exit polls by university at the last general election saved on my computer but I don't have my computer here! You'll just have to trust me when I say: big labour majority with lots of green votes too.
    Of those who voted maybe. I don't know if it looks different on science courses (people always say scientists are more right wing) but there was definitely a lot of Rightery of various obnoxious kinds in the Economics / PPE crowd during my time. However, we leftistas watered it down with a lot of being loud and inappropriate. :teehee:
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    I imagine advocating genocide might be frowned upon.

    Otherwise any support for Zionism is going to get [and rightly so] smcked down.
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    (Original post by Fullofsurprises)
    How hard right do you mean? Goose-stepping through the quad dressed as an SS officer? Might attract some attention.

    Do you imagine Oxford to be a sort of well managed Communist state with a Politburo issuing orders and an efficient secret police crushing dissent in the JCRs?
    this is the headquarters of the OGPU*:

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    (Original post by nexttime)
    Oxford is very left, even by university standards. I have a link for exit polls by university at the last general election saved on my computer but I don't have my computer here! You'll just have to trust me when I say: big labour majority with lots of green votes too.
    What about parties on the right? Are there a lot of Tories? How about people to the right of the tories; e.g. UKIP?

    (Original post by nexttime)
    In contrast to the above I think you're correct in your assertions. The fact is, in a student circle communist is basically equivalent to centre-Left whereas ukip is extreme right. Socially such views are, in my experience, far less acceptable. I did go to what was at the time a particularly left wing college, but when I was there if you were a conservative supporter you would probably not admit it.
    I don't think the average population considers UKIP "extreme right" but rather "fairly right-wing"; a party for rightists who find the Conservatives too moderate. Far-right, to most people, is the right that sees issues through the prism of race; e.g. the BNP.

    When you say that socially conservative views are "far less acceptable", what do you mean by this? What was your experience? Surely, if one is capable of defending their positions competently, there shouldn't be much issue?

    (Original post by nexttime)
    Setting up the societies you suggest would certainly be controversial. I suspect that the uni would allow it then it's meetings would be subject to protest and its members heavily criticised/socially isolated.
    This seems childish and irrational. It essentially boils down to, "if you don't have the same opinions as us, we won't tolerate you", which isn't a good image for a university that is supposed to be one of the most prestigious in the world.

    How far to the right do you think one would have to get to experience this? I think there actually is a UKIP society at Oxford... do you think they would fall prey to this?

    A more interesting question might be, "why are such mainstream views (e.g. skepticism about immigration which is a majority held view in Britain) so fringe at universities?"
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    (Original post by DavidHSmith)
    What about parties on the right? Are there a lot of Tories? How about people to the right of the tories; e.g. UKIP?
    UKIP got <1% at every university, if I remember correctly.


    I don't think the average population considers UKIP "extreme right" but rather "fairly right-wing"; a party for rightists who find the Conservatives too moderate. Far-right, to most people, is the right that sees issues through the prism of race; e.g. the BNP.
    That's my point. It's different with young people, especially young people in higher education.

    When you say that socially conservative views are "far less acceptable", what do you mean by this? What was your experience? Surely, if one is capable of defending their positions competently, there shouldn't be much issue?
    My experience is derogatory remarks about the conservatives/ukip/bnp but not other parties as normal in everyday conversation, people talking about their communist views but never their conservative ones, and occasionally some amount of *****ing and obviously negative judgement about those who have expressed more conservative views. As I say, the Conservative Association has a particularly bad reputation, being a member would certainly be the subject of gossip at my college when I was there.

    This seems childish and irrational. It essentially boils down to, "if you don't have the same opinions as us, we won't tolerate you", which isn't a good image for a university that is supposed to be one of the most prestigious in the world.
    It's 'if you have opinions we very strongly disagree with we won't tolerate you'. Your point still applies but it's more debatable.

    How far to the right do you think one would have to get to experience this? I think there actually is a UKIP society at Oxford... do you think they would fall prey to this?
    Wasn't aware they existed. They're sufficiently mainstream now though that they'd probably fall under the same category add the Conservative Association.

    A more interesting question might be, "why are such mainstream views (e.g. skepticism about immigration which is a majority held view in Britain) so fringe at universities?"
    Because students are idealistic and relatively willing to work towards those goals. Far more volunteer for charity work at this age for instance. This has been the case basically forever - I'm sure the Romans commented on the same.

    Once people start transitioning to a more material-based existence and identity, and paying for houses and cars children, they get more selfish.

    My ideas anyway.
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    (Original post by Fullofsurprises)
    Anyway, everyone knows that Attila the Hun is the guiding light at Magdalen, closely followed by Enoch Powell.
    The only person I know with a photo of Enoch Powell on their desk doesn't even go to Oxford, nevermind Magdalen. :rolleyes:
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    (Original post by BJack)
    The only person I know with a photo of Enoch Powell on their desk doesn't even go to Oxford, nevermind Magdalen. :rolleyes:
    I'm quite impressed that you know someone like that - sort of old world and possibly rather grand. :teehee:
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    (Original post by Fullofsurprises)
    I'm quite impressed that you know someone like that - sort of old world and possibly rather grand. :teehee:
    Or just slightly more than a little bit tragic....
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    (Original post by the bear)
    this is the headquarters of the OGPU*:
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    Oxford General Purposes Unit
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    It's not the only chilling similarity.

    The Lubyanka.


    University College.
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    (Original post by BJack)
    Or just slightly more than a little bit tragic....
    One of my tutes had a bust of Marx...
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    (Original post by BJack)
    The only person I know with a photo of Enoch Powell on their desk doesn't even go to Oxford, nevermind Magdalen. :rolleyes:
    I know someone going to Oxford who was very much a fan of Enoch Powell.

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