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Friday, August 01 2014 @ 10:55 AM CDT

My Life in the Academic Gulag

Deschooling and Education

Of course, I was always aware that there was an obvious contradiction in being an anarchist who was working for a state university. However, a lot of the impetus for founding that university had come as a result of the student radicalism of the ‘60s and the demand for “relevance.” I was part of that history when I was a university and graduate student. With this in mind, I saw Sangamon State as an interesting place because it offered possibilities that didn’t exist in other academic settings. Now, you could argue that such an approach essentially involved a recuperation rather than a realization of the radicalism of the student movement.

My Life In The Academic Gulag

Jason: I’m someone who consciously, many years ago, decided that I did not want to become a teacher, or have too close contact with academia because I was afraid it would compromise both my vision and my will to work on radical theory and practice with the mundane kind of pressures that you have when you’re trying to keep a job and have to work on things that you’re not so interested in to maintain that position. Anyway, I’ve tried to avoid that. But you have years of experience working in academia and also becoming a prolific anarchist surrealist author. Do you have any insights into how you withstood that pressure? Did it affect your work? Were you worried about how some of the books you’ve written would appear while you were still working in academia?

Ron: Well, by the early Nineties when I first started to publish books beginning with Gone To Croatan, they were completely ridiculed by both faculty and administrators at the university in which I taught. They didn’t take them seriously because they weren’t considered to be appropriate academic scholarship. Fortunately, I never considered academia to be my reference group and wasn’t interested in the career advancement that motivates academic conformity. I was much more interested in the reaction of non-academics to those books. The university that I was teaching at was originally called Sangamon State University and was located in Springfield, Illinois. It was in many ways an exciting place when it first opened its doors in the Seventies, and, to a lesser extent, in the Eighties. By the time that I started publishing books in the early Nineties, it had become way more conservative, and so they were usually ignored or denigrated by my colleagues.

Of course, I was always aware that there was an obvious contradiction in being an anarchist who was working for a state university. However, a lot of the impetus for founding that university had come as a result of the student radicalism of the ‘60s and the demand for “relevance.” I was part of that history when I was a university and graduate student. With this in mind, I saw Sangamon State as an interesting place because it offered possibilities that didn’t exist in other academic settings. Now, you could argue that such an approach essentially involved a recuperation rather than a realization of the radicalism of the student movement. While some people considered Sangamon to be radical, I never really thought so. However, I did consider it to be experimental in some ways, and I was interested in the relative freedom to innovate in the classroom and to involve myself in community activism.

The teaching part of my experience there was not the problem for me. It was more the administrative structure of higher education and academic professionalization that I detested. I loved the challenge of teaching predominantly working class students who were, like myself, often the first in their families to seek a university education. The place was established in 1970 primarily as a teaching university, rather than a publish-or-perish institution, and emphasized “public affairs” work in the community. I came there from New York two years afterwards in 1972. Students were able to take courses without being graded and even could design their own degrees, both of which were pretty interesting innovations. In some ways it was like the Evergreen State College, which was sort of a sister school to Sangamon State University. Everything was very student-centered and class size was relatively small. The students were on all the decision-making bodies. The faculty union initially included many young former student activists and was very strong. The school was autonomous in many ways. It had an interdisciplinary curriculum that was drawing interesting people to it. Many of these people stayed in the community after they graduated and had a counter-cultural presence there. It was originally a nexus for a lot of creative and radical energy to gather.

Five years after I arrived, the faculty unseated a very paternalistic president. They basically decided that this guy had to go. Now, that president almost certainly would not have granted me tenure given my radical politics on and off campus that had visibly upset the powers-that-be in Springfield. I knew that, and so I never expected to be there for more than five years. However, when the new president was appointed, he didn’t want to go against the faculty because they were so strong, and they wanted to give me tenure. They were in some ways people like myself who understood where I was coming from. So I got tenure. This meant that I had a lot of freedom to do what I wanted. I certainly didn’t want to squander it on careerist goals. While I could aspire to being promoted up the academic ladder and eventually becoming a full professor, for me to do that would mean playing the academic career game and that never interested me. I preferred instead to just take the freedom and run. For the next 20 or so years, I remained a lowly assistant professor. (Laughs) It didn’t bother me though, because the typical careerist trade off of radicalism for promotion was so obviously unacceptable to me.

Jason: You never had to be head of the department?

Ron: At first there wasn’t even a departmental chairperson, only a facilitator/coordinator who was accountable to the faculty rather than to the administration. However, while I was able to teach my heresy, the administration didn’t like me to act it out in the street. That’s always what most bothered the administration about me. They didn’t like it when I self-published power structure studies on the city of Springfield or got arrested at anti-war demonstrations. While my anarchism was vaguely acceptable as long as it wasn’t more than philosophical, I was constantly provoking their ire by my direct action tactics.

Not surprisingly, what eventually happened is that the university became just like any other corporate university in the state of Illinois. The interdisciplinary Justice and Social Order and the Studies in Social Change programs in which I taught were eliminated by the Board of Regents after much protest on the part of students and faculty against them doing so. Even its former name, Sangamon, which was an indigenous term meaning “place of confluence,” fell on the chopping block. As part of its corporate makeover, it was renamed the University of Illinois at Springfield by the Republican-dominated state legislature. This name change was the poisonous icing on a noxious bill that was fully intended to bust the faculty union. They took our relatively autonomous local and merged it with an existing statewide bargaining unit. We were no longer a majority union, and we completely lost control of our campus. Overall, the curriculum became more standardized. I managed to retain some room to maneuver by teaching tutorials and so-called “public affairs” courses on subjects ranging from anarchy to the arts, and by my activities within the Individual Option Program, which was the last remnant of what the entire university had once been. However, for the most part, the school became a more traditional university in all the worst ways. Once that change had happened, the university stopped attracting interesting faculty and students for the most part. The students who did subsequently attend often had no knowledge of, or attraction to, its past as a somewhat radical university.

I don’t know if you’ve read a book called Sundown Towns by James Loewen? It’s an incredible book. It’s about the way in which African American people were ethnically cleansed from small towns throughout the Midwest. Now most people think of sundown towns as having happened only in the Deep South. You know, they envision those archival photographs of roadside signs that read: “Nigger don’t let the sun set on you.” The message was clearly to get out of town if you knew what was good for you. After the university was restructured along corporate lines, almost all of the students who were attracted to the new University of Illinois at Springfield were from Central Illinois. Students attended simply because it was their local university. They most often came from Springfield, Illinois, which is a middle-sized city and the state capitol. In spite of its carefully polished Lincoln tourist industry image, it had once had a major race riot in 1908. Now, students increasingly come from surrounding former sundown towns that had a history of ethnic cleansing. It’s a history about which they were in complete denial. In essence then, these new students were from a background that was built on a fear of diversity.

I was exposing them to radical ideas, and it was too much for many of them to handle. As a teacher, I would increasingly get the “deer in the headlights” kind of look. The student body no longer wanted to explore experimental ways of learning or radical content. That was too threatening, too upsetting. Instead, white and black students alike were largely interested in keeping the blinders on and moving straight ahead on an upwardly mobile career path to a secure job in the state or corporate bureaucracy. And that just wasn’t what I was all about. Oh, I still found some students who were attracted to radical education, and it was actually an interesting pedagogical challenge to reach those entrenched in the fear-based denial of the sundown towns. Eventually though, as it became more and more of a corporate educational environment, I no longer desired to be there. I began looking around for another place to live. I originally had thought I’d teach five years at Sangamon and then head out to the west coast. In the end, I did leave and go west, and even left the United States.

Jason: So, I’m curious then, since you probably have a fairly unique experience in academia and your setting there, do you have any thoughts on the growing number of people who are both identified as anarchists and work in academia these days? Do you see any kind of trends? Do you identify with where they’re at or do you think they’re having a totally different experience? Does it affect what they tend to write?

Ron: When I was teaching at Sangamon, though there were radicals on the faculty, there were originally no other anarchist professors. Later on, in the late Eighties until the late Nineties, there was another self-identified anarchist who taught there named Dennis Fox, and, together, in 1995, we published a critique of the university in Radical Teacher, entitled, “From ‘Radical University’ to Handmaiden of the Corporate State.” But all the other campus “lefties” were either socialist feminists teaching in the Women’s Studies program or straight-up Marxist academics. Many of the latter taught in the Work, Culture and Society Program, which later became the much blander Labor Studies Program as a result of an administrative edict. They were careerists for the most part who typically saw no contradiction between their radicalism and their professionalism, and, in some cases, even aspired to eventually becoming administrators themselves.

I used to think that anarchists would be more resistant to the lures of careerism. But as more anarchists have entered academe, I have seen that the attraction to careerism is very strong. I felt isolated on campus during my teaching days, constantly paddling upstream in a sea of entrepreneurial professionalism. Today anarchists in the academy are not as alone. While many rally professional support in achieving careerist goals, some embrace mutual aid in questioning them. Some relish careerism, some get trapped in it, and some rebel against it. I don’t think you can make a generalization about anarchists in the academy, but I think that academic careerism is a dead end. The whole idea of academic professionalism is based on competition for career recognition and its rewards. What I’ve noticed among some anarchist academics is that while they might publish their anarchist thinking, it is often only in professionally juried scholarly journals rather than in more grassroots publications. I have a lot more respect for those who publish in the latter or in both, and are also involved in campus struggles and anarchist projects in the larger world rather than merely being armchair revolutionaries.

However, because academics are in a relatively privileged position, they tend not to want to bite the hand that feeds them, particularly in a time of precarity. Consequently, even anarchist academics are often reluctant to critique the university of which they’re a part. I used to criticize Sangamon a lot, and the administration hated me for it. I would not only critique the university internally on campus, but I would organize against it outside the hallowed halls of academe. Radical students and faculty would organize together routinely in the early days of Sangamon State to challenge administrative authority and question the role of the university in the larger community. If, as an anarchist, my goal was to put an end to all bosses, it was a given to me that I might as well start close to home with my own. How could I be silent? Nevertheless, I have had discussions with some anarchist academics these days who are much more cautious. I had one such strained conversation at an elitist campus dining hall, which only allows faculty and graduate students to eat and socialize there. Undergraduates are not allowed entrance. I said, “Isn’t this a bit odd in the twenty-first century? Don’t you think something should be done about this restriction?” The slightly irritated response was essentially something like, “No. I wouldn’t want to say anything negative about, or, perish-the-thought, organize against the policies of, a university which benevolently allows me to espouse anarchist ideas in the classroom.” What was implied was “or I might lose my privileged position.” When I first entered academia, I had naively expected to have a work-life that was illuminated by a variety of stimulating intellectual discussions with my colleagues, but I soon found out that what they mostly talked about amongst themselves in these faculty clubs were the boring details of their professional careers. I knew that if I had been on a career path, I would have had to make a lot of unacceptable compromises. One of these compromises is that in order to get your books and publications respected you have to write in a particular type of academic jargon. While I have no problem with calling myself an intellectual because we all have intellectual capacities, I’ve never felt comfortable identifying myself with the bureaucratic title of “academic”. What a horrible, limiting way of expressing your intellectuality. Impoverished, stilted and miserable. If academic jargon is not off-putting to you and if you’re conversant with it, I suppose it can be one way of exploring the complexity of things. To me though, such typically turgid academic prose has no life to it, no poetry. Consequently, I’ve always been interested in breaking complex ideas down into more readily understandable terms and looking for engaging ways to express myself beyond the circle-jerk milieu of academia.

I think some of the most heroic people who are anarchists in the university are also looking for ways beyond academic jargon. The clawing professionalism of the academic environment limits the way that you express yourself, and how you conduct yourself in the university and the world. So-called professional objectivity is expected of you. That’s the way you get promoted. As I said, I was in a very fortunate position. I had tenure. I didn’t have to worry about those kinds of academic constraints since promotion wasn’t important to me anyway. I published not because I had to, but because I wanted to do so. If I received an unfavorable review, for example, I didn’t freak out because I feared that it might jeopardize my academic career and my propped-up professional authority. A lot of people used to think I was completely insane for not complying with those professional expectations that would get me promotions, higher salaries, respectability, or recognition, and would allow me to avoid being considered as the bad example at the university. (Laughs) When I was derisively called unprofessional by my more conservative colleagues, I simply pointed out that I was not unprofessional, but anti-professional. When I was dismissed as anti-intellectual, I explained that I was actually anti-academic. However, as time went on I had to be on the defensive more and more. Increasingly under attack, I was not willing to live my life under constant siege by sneering professional academics and administrators who held me in contempt and wanted to fuck me over at every turn. It was time to sever the velvet chains of the academic gulag.

Jason: I know you went out early in retirement, or you got your retirement with some kind of deal.

Ron: Well, the details basically are that I was on a lot of pretty powerful people’s hit lists. They wanted to get rid of me. As the university became more conservative, I actually had been wanting to leave anyway. But I didn’t tell them that. I told them that I was going to die there and that they would have to put up with me for as long as I was there. I constantly would be a thorn in their side. There was even a bounty on my head. One of the members of the business community in Springfield had said that they would make a large contribution to the university if and only if Sakolsky was gone. I knew about this offer because news of it had been leaked to me by somebody who worked in one of the administrative offices. Well, this information is great bargaining power, right? They really wanted to get rid of me. Even if they would have to pay an exorbitant amount of loot to do so based on what I might demand from them, it would be worth their while financially because they were going to get this large contribution in the end. Armed with this knowledge, I engineered an arrangement that allowed them to be rid of me and allowed me to retire eight years early at a full professorship. So (laughs loudly!) I went from assistant professor to full professor in one fell swoop. As I say, I was ready to leave at that point. I didn’t feel like I was letting the students down because those who were attracted there were no longer that interested in what I was doing anyway. The faculty members with whom I had the most camaraderie were long gone. I was ready to head west.

Jason: An interesting story.... (Ron laughs again.) To move a little bit beyond your particular situation then, from my perspective it seems like the more Marxists that made it into academia the more neutered and domesticated their Marxism became. I’m wondering if you see that as somewhat being exhibited by the newest wave of anarchists in academia? I am struck by the lack of self-consciousness among anarchist academics about the potential problems of even the idea of putting anarchism in the context of academia. There doesn’t seem to be much awareness or discussion of the dangers amongst those who are in academia and are anarchists these days from what I’ve seen. Do you have any comments on that?

Ron: Yeah, I think it’s crucial to have that awareness. It’s a self-awareness and an awareness of the context in which you’re operating. I don’t see much evidence that many contemporary anarchists in the academy are seriously addressing this matter. If they are, I find it disturbing that they often tend to be a bit too sanguine about the ability of anarchist academics, in comparison to Marxist academics, to resist the temptations of careerism. The assumption they make is that either intrinsically or by strategic design, anarchism trumps academicism hands down. While anarchist academics might be less prone to careerism than their Marxist counterparts, it’s still a very problematic situation. Academics are taught to problematize all kinds of things, but they often don’t problematize their own privileged status as professionals amidst the pressures and temptations of the corporate academic environment. While they might regret the erosion of their professional autonomy in the bureaucratic university setting, their arguments are typically based on dismay at the loss of their privilege to administrators rather than on a call for the eradication of privilege itself. To me, if you’re not calling the professional-bureaucratic form of domination that exists at the university itself into question, then to critique hierarchy in general is kind of hypocritical. So I think there’s a real need to demystify academic professionalism.

As I alluded to earlier, one particular concrete issue is that people who are academic anarchists often use a particularly jargon-laden writing style that is only understood by other knowledge factory professionals like themselves. To not recognize the way in which that approach reinforces privilege is extremely shortsighted. While you could say that this jargon is a nuanced way of understanding a complicated situation, it is also a way by which entrepreneurial professionals typically create, if sometimes unconsciously, positions of privilege for themselves within the academic marketplace. It gives them a monopoly on a way of expression that can be exchanged for money, status and power in the knowledge industry. As academia increasingly becomes corporatized, it’s a way of creating an in-group of people who can function in that world and understand that jargon, and therefore their careers will flourish within that peculiar sub-cultural setting. I understand why people take even the most odious jobs in any industry. People have to put food on the table and put a roof over their head in this crazy world. It causes them to do crazy things. However, to just assume that the corporate university is a place that’s apart from the dominant reality, a utopian setting where people can fully realize their radical potential, is delusional.

Why can’t more anarchist academics address the contradictions embodied by the university itself, or address the corporatization of the university from an anarchist perspective? That would be really exciting. Of course, it’s risky in terms of your job, your career, and all the rest. That’s something that people in those positions have to figure out what to do about. If you decide that it’s too risky and you’re not willing to take that route, then maybe you need to reexamine your anarchism as a practice. I’m not talking about any level of purity. I’m just talking about honestly acknowledging and examining the contradictions of being an anarchist in academia. I would constantly do things that were directly opposed to what the university wanted in terms of the way it was to be run or its role in the community. I knew that was risky, but I felt obligated to do so in terms of my own integrity as an anarchist. Otherwise, how could I look myself in the mirror each morning. When you’re an anarchist working within academia, you have to decide what you’re going to do in that situation. If you never recognize your own internal dilemma as an anarchist at the university, then theorizing about anarchist ideas in other institutional contexts is a bit ludicrous.

The university is an interesting place to engage people with anarchist ideas. You obviously don’t have to go to college to learn about anarchy. It’s ridiculous to think so, but it’s one place people do get exposed to anarchy. When I taught at the university, I thought, “I’m there for those people.” Obviously though, you don’t have to get a degree to be an anarchist. (Laughs) It’s important to keep that in mind and not allow academic professionalism to distort the picture. Professionalism is not simply about being a “pro” (i.e. good at what you do), but about preserving a vested interest in knowledge as a commodity. In this latter sense, it’s kind of a racket. It’s not about sharing knowledge, but holding it within the profession, and then cashing it in for the perks that you get for being the possessor of that knowledge or of a certified academic degree. Not that I escaped all of the problems attached to professional status myself, but at least I recognized them and tried to deal with as many as I could to the best of my ability. I am not saying that what I did was the one path to being a politically-correct anarchist within the university. For me, it was just about recognizing the problem and then engaging with it as an anarchist.

Of course, times have changed and so has the university. Many radical students and faculty who were entering the university in the Sixties and Seventies had some hope it could become a place where radical ideas might be entertained so as to later be enacted in the outside world. The university could be challenged and made to operate in a different way. As a result, there were various attempts to bring that about. These days, as the university gets more and more corporatized, people don’t expect anything of the university anymore. So, at that level I can understand why some anarchists might not be actively engaged in attempting to transform the university. They’ve given up on the university in that radical transformative sense. Of course, there are those who have decided that the university, though deeply flawed, can still be a useful place to research radical ideas and teach them to students. For some of these folks, acting on this realization inevitably involves dodging administrative bullets for their scholarly and activist transgressions, while for others it means keeping your head down and attempting to make a secure professional career for yourself in precarious economic times.

It’s not just that the people at the university have changed or that their politics have changed from academic Marxism to anarchism, but that the university itself has changed substantially. Many people today who are anarchists in the university don’t see any point to challenging the university. Some of the most radical have defected from or deserted the politically-engaged academic model. It’s a given to them that the university is going to be just as bureaucratic as anywhere else in an authoritarian society, and just as beholden to state legislatures, government grants and contracts and corporate deals. In saying this, I’m certainly not trying to justify the growth of apathetic careerism or to encourage people to abstain from challenging university power relationships. I tend to be the kind of person who values resistance to authority as sort of a basic anarchist principle. Yet, I think one of the reasons more people aren’t actively resisting internal university policies and criticizing the university’s external relationship with the community is that they’ve given up on the idea that the university can be saved at this point. Better to occupy everything and demand nothing.

In 1995, I was arrested with fellow anarchist professor Dennis Fox at the now University of Illinois at Springfield campus where we both taught for the crime of informational leafleting before a speech about to be given by one of the legislative architects of the forced corporate restructuring and union busting then underway at the university. A trumped-up felony charge was leveled against me for resisting arrest. I was threatened with the loss of my teaching position and even with jail time. The charges never stuck, but the chilling effect on other faculty’s opposition to the university’s corporate restructuring agenda was devastating. They were reminded that they held a privileged position and the unwritten assumption is that if they let the university administration do what it does, it will let them do what they do in the classroom. Just don’t create too many waves within the university or in the community, and you might be promoted or even get tenure. The lure of promotion and tenure both typically function to create an internalized process of acquiescence in which you seek to insure career advancement by gradually selling pieces of your rebel soul in return for professional and institutional rewards.

I’ve often seen a reluctant acceptance of authority creep up on radicals in academe, so that as they go through the process of getting promoted or tenured, they change politically without even realizing it themselves. They’re not the same people that they were before. They start by thinking that this will never happen to them. On a personal level, you say to yourself, “I just want to get this tenured position so that I can attain the ‘academic freedom’ to speak my heresy freely without fear of dismissal.” But academic rewards like tenure typically involve a process by which people are ground down slowly, and the gradual extinguishing of the flames of their radicalism is reinforced by their academic peers every step of the way in a professionalized version of mutual acquiescence. Like the frog in boiling water, they don’t notice their dilemma until it’s too late. However, as problematic as the tenure process might be, today there are less people who even have the opportunity to apply for tenure. Typically college teachers are not in tenure-track positions anymore, and so are vulnerable to more direct employer pressures for on-the-job conformity with no union protections. Given their precarious situation, teachers are increasingly willing to forego tenure in order to just get a teaching job, and often find themselves juggling several non-tenure track academic positions in order to make ends meet. While tenure certainly needs to be critiqued from a radical perspective because it is not all that it’s cracked up to be, the increasing precarity of academic wage slavery without tenure has its own debilitating problems attached to it.

Jason: The whole situation of having people who actually are carving out their research areas by focusing on studies of anarchism seems kind of risky to some degree unless they do it in a way that’s going to domesticate those areas. Anything else would seem to be threatening to the university and the larger society. So it seems that if anybody’s going to get into those areas in academia, they have to almost be willing to stand up and challenge things and maybe expect to lose that job. As a knowledge worker, either you’re speaking up about anarchism or you’re not. And if you are, it’s going to be threatening unless you are somehow trying to recuperate the subversiveness of anarchy. I am wary that so many people seem to be in that position now of publicly claiming to be anarchists in academia. I see so many graduate students who are anarchists, and yet, the things they write rarely seem to have any radicalism to them. It seems that their anarchism is getting watered down or is something to avoid being open about before they have a chance to become professors. A lot of them have the goal to go on from grad school to PhD and professorship. Maybe a lot of them have some new conception of anarchism now so that they don’t see it as being subversive to academia or to the larger society, but that’s more of a formal philosophical radicalism.

Ron: My desire in this interview has not been to condemn individual anarchist academics but to challenge the fundamental assumptions of academic professionalism from an anarchist perspective. I am not dismissive of everybody who’s an anarchist in academia. However, if such anarchists are not consciously recognizing the dangers involved in academic careerism and actively confronting them, that’s a big problem.

Today, university-based anarchists are joining together as academics to form anarchist studies groups and initiatives, research institutes and archives. They have professional associations to protect themselves in a precarious and often hostile work environment, to share relevant research pursuits and to engage in a wide variety of networking practices. These professional associations solidify the ability of anarchists to be seen as bona fide academics within a university setting. They have peers, typically other anarchist academics, who review their books and verify that what they are doing is legitimate. They have access to scholarly journals and academic presses in which they can publish. They have regular professional conferences. Accordingly, they can lay claim to professional legitimacy. I see such professional associations as attempts to create a strategic beachhead within academia. I understand the need for them at that defensive level. The problem is that this approach to opening the gates of academia for anarchism is largely based on the professional model. Consequently, it doesn’t specifically challenge professionalism as an ideology or adequately address the anarchist tensions in the relationship between professionalism and academia. All too often, it conveniently ignores or downplays the role of institutionalized professionalism itself as one of the hierarchical pillars of authoritarian society.

This piece is one of 2 articles on academia that have been added to the new enhanced second edition of my book, Creating Anarchy (Ardent Press, 2013). It is a reflectively edited and expanded version of a previously unedited interview conducted by Jason McQuinn, editor of Modern Slavery magazine, the full original version of which appears under the title, “A Surreal Interview With An Anarchist,” in M.S. #2 (2012).

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My Life in the Academic Gulag | 2 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
My Life in the Academic Gulag
Authored by: ISHI on Sunday, September 15 2013 @ 03:52 AM CDT

 tho i dont have time to read the whole thing now, thats a kick ass interview (i guess by someone who used to do ajoda about which i had mixed feelings tho i learned situationism there to the extent i did).  

the 'deer in the headlights' comment is on point or apt---alot of the people i know basically say stuff like 'we livwe in this system, so we don't have time to learn about alternatives like socialism or capitalism (tho i guess they have that one)  or anarchism  don't waste our time, divert the topic from what we must do now.

they endorse critical thinking, which means taking the kids to see the hunger game since 'we don't have time to study conflict resolution in school because we're going to play games instead, and i prefer doing that to earn my paycheck'.

dennis fox had an interesting web site (nonlinear dynamics and social theory)---a sort of pop introduction or applicastion of chaos theory stuff to sociology. it seemed basically pretty good---sociology cannot be expected to be physics so far.

my impression is anarchism is going the way of marxism---most well known anarchists will be professors at increasingly elite institutions ---like the s/hero at LSE who, like many syrians and palestianinans and american indians, is a refugee (in his case expelled from his home at Yale) (and they often end up helping their favorite neoconservative students get good jobs because 'they are so cute' ).    Like marxism, a few will be on the street, doing things the anarchist professors can write books about to make money off of and add to their CV. (Also they can then be invited speakers at radical events, like chomsky, or that guy in arizona).  Antiauthoritarians, such as anarchists, love to sit at the foot of some great leader, bask in His light, etc. It gives them legitamacy when they go back to dumpster diving and vandalizing or blocking streets.  "we have cred' (tho personally we never actually have read anything the great professor wrote----sortuh  like atheists---'what do you believe?  i believe religion is bs, and i believe what richard dawkins believes tho i havent looked it up).

 

My Life in the Academic Gulag
Authored by: ISHI on Sunday, September 15 2013 @ 04:20 AM CDT

 ps.  actually the web site i was mentioning is not dennis fox but tr young on critical criminology -- the redfeather  institute   i've looked at fox's site too and it looks ok (i'm ok, you're ok, just like the kkk and the nsa---not to be confused with nasa, who manufactured consent about some bogus scam that they landed people on the moon and even dispute the fact that the earth is only 4000 years old today, and it will be next year too (plus any more years that remain), by induction into the higher alephs (cantor)  )