Academics and Political Activism

Sunday 3 April 2011 - Filed under Education

This WaPo article concerning academics and their role in political activism just about sums up my opinion on academia and politics. Only a disingenuous fucktard would claim that, by and large, academia isn’t overwhelmingly liberal as an institution. It’s the primary reason why I left academia. I loved what I did;1 I had a pretty strong dislike most of those I worked with. Everything was a political affair, and deviating from the “company line” was all but verboten. Colleagues couldn’t resist making everything a political affair, and even simple conversations quickly became tiresome and tedious because of their overt artificiality. Normal speech was scarce, replaced with overtly formal constructions designed in such a way as to be linguistic signals of belonging. Using the “correct” language is one of the keys to the ivory tower. It’s as if many academics cease to see themselves as individuals, and only identify with those around them as a political being, using coded speech. Not John or a Jane, a normal person just trying to get through life, but a woman. A person of color. An atheist. And all with an agenda.

Class readers in our freshmen composition program were essentially handbooks composed of liberal writers, writing about liberal topics, containing a decidedly liberal bias. Options for those of us who don’t subscribe to liberal thought were few, and could result in a censure of some sort if we didn’t stay where the higher-ups wanted us to. When academics talk about “academic freedom” they don’t mean freedom as in speech, but freedom as in positive rights.

1. I studied medieval literature and computing for humanities. I worked on various research teams digitally restoring and encoding medieval manuscripts for their use in digital editions.

2011-04-03  »  madlibertarianguy