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View Diary: Oligarchy Alley at MIT (31 comments)

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  •  Whether u mean 2 or not, u make my point... (0+ / 0-)

    political activissm is a luxury that most professors cannot afford.  If they want to keep up, they have to devote all their energy to their career.

    Remember, the OP was about occupying Oligarchy Alley. Then it transferred into something like "its false to say that MIT has no marque name faculty that are polirtical activists". I think you  just settled that question.

    Your response just underscores one of the points of the Occupy movement: EVERYONE in this society is being worked so hard that there is no time left to be a citizen (i.e., to be politically active). And, if someone did have the time, they would be putting their career at risk.

    Bottom line: faculty are as at risk as pro-union workers if they speak up. So much for academic freedom and campus radicalism.

    So, I repeat the original question. Why shouldn't we occupy Oligarchy Alley and call out the Billionaire Boys' Club for its hypocritical funding of elite schools with money they stole by tax evasion and tax cuts by corrupted officials?

    Who is hurt by such a protest besides itys intended targets?

    •  then your point is very, very silly. (0+ / 0-)

      "political activissm is a luxury that most professors cannot afford. "

      Incorrect. Plenty of professors engage in it. Including marque name professors. They simply can't be marque name activists. Neither can anyone else with a a challenging and time consuming job.

      " If they want to keep up, they have to devote all their energy to their career.
      "

      Nothing to do with keeping up. Everything to do with carrying out your professional obligations.  Even no-name professors have to work hard.

      "Bottom line: faculty are as at risk as pro-union workers if they speak up."

      A few months ago a bunch of professors at Berkeley took money from the fucking Koch brothers to conduct a thorough review of all climate data to examine the anthropogenic global warming hypothesis.

      This week they published their conclusion in the Wall Street Journal: "yup, it's real."

      " So much for academic freedom and campus radicalism."

      Academic freedom means the freedom to be an academic. It doesn't mean a free lunch ticket while you do whatever they hell you feel like.  

      •  You know you are quoting corporatist dogma (0+ / 0-)

        Before I get to the dogma, I must comment on your twisting of the English language:

        " If they want to keep up, they have to devote all their energy to their career."

        Nothing to do with keeping up. Everything to do with carrying out your professional obligations.  Even no-name professors have to work hard.

        What weasel wording! Keeping up does not equal "carrying out your obligations"? Keeping up does not equal "working hard"? Keep on defining words to mean exactly what you want - you are half way to being a Libertarian.

        ----

        A few months ago a bunch of professors at Berkeley took money from the fucking Koch brothers to conduct a thorough review of all climate data to examine the anthropogenic global warming hypothesis.

        This week they published their conclusion in the Wall Street Journal: "yup, it's real."

        Basically, your claim is that by being non-political (scientific), they were being political (debunking climate change debunkers. But, then you turn around and say:

        Academic freedom means the freedom to be an academic. It doesn't mean a free lunch ticket while you do whatever they hell you feel like.  

        So, according to you, scientists check their citizenship at the door. They can only be political by being non-political scientists. You are truly a spinmeister.

        The sum total of your position is exactly the corporatist party line. I quote from John Ralston Saul's, The Unconscious Society:

        Important decisions are made not through democratic discussion or participation but through negotiation between relevant groups based on expertise, interest and the ability to exercise power,. I would argue that the Western individual, from the top to the bottom of what is now defined as the elite, first acts as a group member. As a result, they, we, exist primarily as a function, not as a citizen, not as an individual. We are rewarded in our hierarchical meritocracies for our success as an integrated function. We know that real expressions of individualism are not only discouraged but punished. The active, outspoken citizen is unlikely to have a successful professional career.

        What I am describing is the essence of corporatism. What they have in common is their assumption as to where legitimacy lies. In corporatism, it lies with the group not the citizen.

        Whether you know it or not, you are a corporatist at heart. According to you scientists are not citizens; they should keep their personal opinions to themselves at the risk of being fired. They can only speak up within their area of expertise.

        This is the kind of crapola I expect from David Brooks.

        •  Reread (0+ / 0-)

          What weasel wording! Keeping up does not equal "carrying out your obligations"?

          Keeping up means competing with other professors. There is a lot of competition. But even those who don't win the publications and grant money still have to put in the hours.

          And that is because teaching is important, and takes up a lot of time.

          And research is important, and takes up a lot of time.

          And mentoring is important, and takes up a lot of time.

          And "academic freedom" means being protected from interference while you carry out those 3 duties. It does NOT mean the freedom to put your duties aside and do your own thing.

          Some people still do that, once they have tenure. And for that they are reviled and despised. You might admire Chomsky for his political writing. On the MIT campus he is despised for his neglect and abuse of his linguistics advisees. But he has tenure, so he got away with it.

          Basically, your claim is that by being non-political (scientific), they were being political (debunking climate change debunkers. But, then you turn around and say:

          The Berkeley profs performed academic work with political implications. They had the freedom to do it even though it was funded by someone with a vested interest in the outcome of their work, a textbook example of what academic freedom means.

          What they did not have the freedom to do was take the money and drop everything to camp out at OccupyOakland.

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