“How Academia Resembles a Drug Gang” — December 4, 2013

“How Academia Resembles a Drug Gang”

Fascinating read, via the estimable Rick Perlstein (whose [book: Nixonland] you really want to read, and which I’ll one day get around to properly reviewing), via Corey Robin at Crooked Timber. [1]

I think of my friends in desperate pursuit of tenure — or even a job that promises tenure in a mirage-like way — and I wish them luck. I used to dream that academia would be free of all the bullshit that I expected the corporate world to be filled with, and that academics had endless freedom to research whatever they chose. My sense is that the latter just isn’t true. As for the bullshit piece: I’m sure academia has its own bullshit; it’s just different bullshit than the bullshit I deal with.

We’re all part of the capitalist machine, whether we like it or not. Fortunately, that means the solution to your problems is likely the same as the solution to mine: organize.

[1] – Robin one day leapt onto my radar, and has been writing astonishing essays ever since. His [book: Reactionary Mind] is on my list, though I think I need to read [book: The Rhetoric of Reaction: Perversity, Futility, Jeopardy], by the great A.O. Hirschman, first. I also owe you guys a review of a Hirschman biography that I recently read, not to mention Hirschman’s own [book: The Passions and the Interests: Political Arguments for Capitalism Before Its Triumph]. What can I say; I’m behind.