[lbo-talk] posh as fuck

Michael Smith mjs at smithbowen.net
Tue Dec 6 08:03:34 PST 2011

On Tue, 6 Dec 2011 10:36:07 -0500 Doug Henwood <dhenwood at panix.com> wrote:

> One of the reasons the right hates higher ed is that...
> academia is one of the few
> places in the USA where people can think critically and get paid for
> it. Thus the canon wars and all that. But also: make it more
> expensive and foreground the economic payoff lest people take all
> those impractical courses where they "interrogate" stuff.

There seems to be a generous quantity of surmise in this account. Perhaps simpler and less conjectural explanations might be entertained; the Right dislikes public expenditure generally, on anything except police, prisons, and soldier boys; and the Right hates profs because most of 'em are liberals.

Academe as a bastion of free enquiry is a bit oversold, too. There certainly are some bold thinkers in Academe, but there's also a lot of faddism, groupthink, and parroting of conventional wisdom. And there's a fair amount of downright ideological thought-policing too; look at the persecution of Norman Finkelstein vel sim. There are courageous individuals within the Unis, but the Unis are not courageous institutions.

I'm delighted by the idea that pomo litcrit is threateningly subversive, though it might well worry the kind of people who are scared of fluoridation and convinced that Obama is a Commie. The only kind of 'interrogation' that matters much in this society is the kind that employs a waterboard.

Now of course I have an image of Barchester Towers being waterboarded stuck in my head. Well, I probably deserve it.

-- --

Michael J. Smith mjs at smithbowen.net

http://stopmebeforeivoteagain.org http://www.cars-suck.org http://fakesprogress.blogspot.com

Any proposition that seems self-evident is almost certainly false.

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