Academic Regulation of Research: Human Subjects restrictions

Chuck Grimes cgrimes at
Sat Aug 26 23:12:25 PDT 2000

So the research is attacked and restricted, while the coercive structures that intimidate welfare recipients in the first place are left in place.

Which is exactly the point of my objections.

I don't like or approve such abuse, but I think it is the worst form of liberal self-deception to think that gains are made repressing use of power for research, yet leaving it in place for everything else.

Nathan Newman -------------

I don't believe that was my point. But, we can pretend to have an argument if you insist.

Recall that I wasn't arguing against your main point, that restrictive polices on human subjects could be effectively used to obscure public view of the establishment power structure. The description I gave was to background why or possibly why human subject research policies at UCB got very obnoxious and paranoid.

And, for the record, I think the particular academic studies and their potential use by the California State policy apparatus was likely the primary motivation for the so-called research. Teen pregnancy rates, welfare, poverty, and high school drop out rates were highly political subjects and of great use to the governor's office at the time. This was an instance were academia was accomplice to very oppressive state policy against some of the most vulnerable people in the population: young single mothers and pregnant teenagers in poverty. It wasn't a matter of abuse of a neutral intellectual establishment, but rather the intented use and practical application of such a so-called neutral system.

The UCB Educational Psychology Dept(?) had no intention of looking into the political and social motivations of the governor's office or the state political machinery and the reasons were quite far removed from their sloppy habits in following human subject protocols.

As for academic research into the uses of research for the benefit of the political and police machinery of oppression in government and academia, I think I can safely bet your favorite drink, that that kind of work will never appear in peer reviewed academic journals.

The academy is part of the oppressive apparatus of state in the first place and so it has no intention of underwriting such work. For example, I noticed that Michael Perelman didn't thank the Ford Foundation, Sun, IBM, NSF, or the California State University System for their support, since quite obviously they didn't provide any. What establishment organ in their right mind would put money out for something called Class Warfare in the Information Age?

That's what radical malcontents like yourself are supposed to do, right? In fact, the nice thing about just talking to people, reading, and writing about it is that you don't need no stinking badges.

So, in a sense this leads to the question of why bother to worry about the fallen status of academic work in the social sciences? As far as I know they were never virgins. Remember they were the intellectual point forces for the new sciences Man in the quake of the French Revolution, installed to prove that the Bourgeois were the norm and measure of all things human. Remember?

Chuck Grimes

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