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While many have remarked upon the presence of union members and military personal among OWS, I have yet to see anyone remark upon the almost complete absence of outspoken, if not radical, academics/intellectuals. This fact, like Sherlock Holmes' dog that didn't bark, requires an explanation.

Now this fact is implicit in the leaderless, horizontal nature of the movement. An intellectual might be a charismatic speaker who would try to pull rank, and this would lead to the cult of personality that is so rightly decried as the Achilles heel of leftism.

In this diary, I want to investigate two reasons for the absence of high-powered academics/ intellectuals in the movement: the fact that the GOP have totally demolished logical arguments and facts as the basis for political debate, and the fact that most academics today are too much at the mercy of the corporate system.

1. The (artificial) limits of logic

After the 1960s and 70s rebellions were put down, a campaign to dumb down America was put in place so that people would stop being aware of how badly they were being screwed. Movies became shallow. Historical movies began to be full of irrelevant love interests and to stray from the facts (like Mel Gibson's lying, American Revolution movie, "The Patriot"). Books were infamously described as being about "live cats and dead preppies". Critical thinking skills in schools were de-emphasized in favor of rote learning and constant testing. With the repeal of the Fairness Doctrine by Reagan, it became quite possible to lie and lie again. It became possible to create The Big Lie and make dumbed-down America believe it.

After 20 years of creating that propaganda bubble, we have reached the point where 25% of the population lives in cloud-cuckoo land. They are true believers - unreachable by logic, which many have been taught is the instrument of the devil. Based on that minority of suckers and complete control over the corporate media, logic has been removed from political debate.

The fact that neoliberalism is, and always has been, nothing but a form of looting has been disappeared from the corporate media. Climate change has been denied for twenty years as icecaps and glaciers melt at accelerating rates. The sharp decline of the US in all areas of developed economies is never mentioned; all we here is patriotic chest beating and the ever pathetic "We're number one."

Of course, the academics understood all this a long time ago. But their arguments are too logical. For example,

The point, first stressed by Quine (1961) is that any hypothesis confronts the world intertwined in a whole mesh of other hypotheses, laws, and statements of initial conditions. Given disconfirming evidence, consistency requires that some statement(s) of the premises be abandoned, but we are free to choose which premise we shall abandon and which we shall save…Typically, we choose to save those hypotheses that are most central to our conceptual web and give up peripheral hypotheses or claims about initial conditions. But that very choice renders those central claims very hard to refute, indeed, almost true by definition…One can consistently maintain that the world is flat despite almost enormous evidence to the contrary.

- Stuart Kauffman, The Origins of Order

Doesn't exactly make a soundbite on the circus we call the news, does it? So, the first reason that academic influence does not inform OWS is because the conservatives have succeeded in destroying logic and fact as the basis for political action - at least in the elite media. The elite media refuses to fact check insane lies by Bachmann, Perry, and all the rest of the Survivor cast (I mean GOP field.). It fails to do any serious investigative journalism on the uncounted racketeering scams run by the GOP: rigged voting machines, voter disenfranchisement, etc. No facts, no logic; no problem.

2. The corporatization of academia

The second reason academia is politically castrated is that academia is now a sweatshop. The publish or perish syndrome just keeps getting worse. Grant funding is down, and more professors are competing for less money. Its survival mode for people who have invested more years than anyone but medical doctors in carving out an intellectual livelihood. There is very little time left to be a political activist. Its labor's dilemma all over again - when they put the "speed up" in place, the workers are too exhausted and afraid of losing their means of living to stand up for their rights.

The funding cuts go hand in hand with corporate/university research partnerships that have all but ended the transparency and independence of academia. Research is embargoed for competitive advantage; and inconvenient results never see the light of day because the University administrators don't want to lose their funding.  Needless to say, professors who speak out against corporatism are not on the fast track to tenure.

Speaking of university administrators, their salary has inflated as fast as post-docs' and lecturers' salary and job security has evaporated. Academia now resembles your average corporation, where the CEO makes a fortune, the name professors live comfortably,  and everyone else busts their butt for minimal pay and doesn't dare speak up.

3. What does all this mean for dissent in America?

On the positive side, the lack of intellectuals in leadership roles  (because there deliberately is no leadership) has made the movement more friendly to working people and the military and police cadres. It goes without saying that there are plenty of smart folks in OWS. Keith Olbermann had on the LiveStream guy from OWS - he is a Russian, named Vlad, who used to be a derivatives trader!

Perhaps OWS is where the 60s would have gone if social media had existed. We can collectively keep ourselves informed and coordinated. We can simply ignore the propaganda machine, which was not an option back then.

On the negative side, the message has to stay simple: you robbed us, and we want our money back and you crooks in jail. This critique is totally true, but incomplete. People like William Black have written extensively about "control fraud". There is a massive literature on the absolute intellectual and empirical failure of "free markets" and "free trade". But even in the wake of the worst economic disaster in 80 years, this valid intellectual criticism cannot break through the Quinian "flat earth" nonsense of the neoliberals.

Also, a flat organization is great for running a guerilla war and making the 1% uncomfortable. But, eventually there must be something more concrete in the way of organization. FDR had a "brain trust". OWS needs one too.

----

So, it is what it is. I bloveate; you decide.

Times have changed. Professors are as screwed as the rest of us. We just have to face the fact that logic and facts have been devalued by a massive propaganda apparatus that will not go away before we have broken the grip of the 1%. On the bright side, we are all in this together, in a way rarely seen in American history.

Originally posted to ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement on Fri Oct 28, 2011 at 06:55 PM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  We need to remember (22+ / 0-)

    that an intellectual is not necessarily an academic and vice versa (particularly a public intellectual).

    It may be that OWS has to develop a public intellectual class that might have a academic background but not necessarily.

    •  True, but it is the destruction of the system... (26+ / 0-)

      of higher education and fact-based politics that worries me.

      When all intellectual credentials have been nullified by the corruption of the universities and the press, then Hannity and Limbaugh are as legitimate as genuine scholars.

      The bad guys are winning. Destroying one middle class institution after another.

      •  I think what's happened is that we've (24+ / 0-)

        let a particular segment of the population that's basically incompetent and non-productive take the reins of our institutions on the basis of their verbal acuity.  
        Conservatives are good talkers. Conservatives are also insistent talkers.  So, they drown out rational thinkers and, to make them shut up, except when we want them to be heard, we let them have their way and put them up front, so to speak.

        The mindless politicians and CEOs do not get there by themselves. Somebody finds it convenient to have them as front men (they are mostly men) and scapegoats. Their verbal acuity (repeating what they hear like parrots, but more consistently) comes in handy for those who want to manipulate and is basically deceptive because, in addition to being repeaters, these talkers are echos. If they were mockingbirds, we'd say that these people are mimics. What that means is that in their interactions with other people, they pick up the jargon and speech patterns of their interlocutors and end up saying what other people want to hear -- their own ideas repeated back to them. What people don't pick up on is that this apparent consensus (people agreeing with their ideas) isn't even skin deep. The conservative personality has no firm convictions or moral sense.
        These people are like a self-adjusting record player, inserting the needle according to the musical preferences of the listener.

        That's why Mitt Romney keeps verbalizing a different script, depending on his audience. He's not pandering; he's doing what comes naturally to a mockingbird--repeating other birds' songs as its own.

        How can he do that? I think it's because there's a self-awareness deficit.  Such people (there are many) pay no attention to themselves and they don't pay attention to other people either. Their sense of the other is instinctive--like small children and dogs knowing who's friendly and who's not.
        For public appearances, such a person can be primed to repeat the last conversation s/he had with a handler.  Press availabilities are strictly controlled to make sure the "points" are covered and then the "schedule" demands they move on.
        I suspect that such people have a poor sense of time.  Which means, ironically, that they are (like Dubya) always on time because somebody else is keeping them on schedule. It's actually very convenient to have a person who says what he's told, goes where he's told and doesn't object to doing it over and over again.

        I first discovered these traits in a child I was appointed to represent as she transitioned (for ten years) through a series of mental health facilities. It took us (me and the professionals trying to figure out the problem) about 8 years to come up with a diagnosis (pre-frontal lobe syndrome) and a strategy for handling her (minute positive directions and prompts). Then, when her behavior became "appropriate" it became obvious that had she had a positive, loving home to begin with, she never would have been institutionalized. In loving homes, people figure out how to direct individuals who have to be told what to do almost every moment of the day until, by sheer repetition, some behaviors (brushing teeth, getting dressed) become routine.
        Conservatism appeals to people who have no self-direction because they have no awareness of the self. Where we go wrong is in letting such people set the agenda and, even worse, letting malefactors use them as fronts to perpetrate mayhem and theft.
        We wonder why people vote against their self-interest.  Some people do not know where their self-interest resides because they have no sense of self. Think of it as comparable to people who have no sense of pain or sense of sight or sense of sound.

        Why are conservatives jealous of special needs kids?  Because these kids are getting help they didn't get?

        People to Wall Street: "LET OUR MONEY GO"

        by hannah on Sat Oct 29, 2011 at 02:22:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  This is one of my worst nightmares. (0+ / 0-)

        On my wall the colors of the map are running. From Africa the winds talk of changes coming. The torches flare up in the night. The hand that sets the farms alight has spread the word to those who are waiting on the border. ~ Al Stewart

        by Saint Jimmy on Sat Oct 29, 2011 at 05:50:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  There are intellectuals (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        happymisanthropy, Saint Jimmy

        these days.  They are often unemployed, underemployed, self-taught, unpublished.  They discuss and learn on forums, frequent used books stores and really read.  And think. And discuss things.  Perhaps only influencing their tiny corner of the world.  They are often treated with suspicion and scorn at work and live fairly isolated lives if they have no money.

        I've spoken to some, who feel they are too old and frail to Occupy, but no doubt there are many who are at Occupy already, just influencing those who they happen to come across...

        •  Hmmm.... (0+ / 0-)
          They are often unemployed, underemployed, self-taught, unpublished.  They discuss and learn on forums, frequent used books stores and really read.  And think. And discuss things.  Perhaps only influencing their tiny corner of the world.  They are often treated with suspicion and scorn at work and live fairly isolated lives if they have no money.

          I fit at least that part of the description.

          I've had my own thoughts about how the education component of Occupy should look like and what my role could be.

    •  Good point. (8+ / 0-)

      I'd call Naomi Wolf a public intellectual -- she was arrested at an #ows event.

      Love him or hate him, Cornel West is both a public intellectual and an academic -- he was arrested in an #ows-related event in D.C.

      The fact is, you don't know who's at the encampments; most college professors are just as anonymous (outside their fields) as your average mechanic or schoolteacher.   (And don't forget, they're tied to their jobs as much as anyone, so if they're teaching in Debuke, they can't be in NYC.)

      There may be college professors there some of the time, but they're probably not camping out.  (From what I've seen, the campers tend to be young, and a Ph.D. takes 5-10 years after undergrad, meaning late 20s at the earliest.)  

      I for one think it's positive that academics don't seem to be at the forefront in this movement, not because they have nothing to add, but because they're just not that big a percentage of the 99%.

      But I know at least one of my college professors has at least been to an Occupy event; not because I've been in touch, but because that's who she was.  

      •  Can't quite go there (5+ / 0-)

        There is basically nothing in Cornel West's oeuvre that I recognize as being "intellectual." What I do see is a man who struts about, constantly referring to himself verbally and in print as being an intellectual.

        Kind of the like person who never misses a chance to tell you about his or her IQ score, Mensa membership, and reading list, the guy who keeps pointing at himself, shouting, "hey, everybody, look at me - I'm an intellectual!" most assuredly is nothing of the sort.

        Noam Chomsky, Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, John Searle, and the late David Foster Wallace easily qualify as being some of our top thinkers and fully deserve whatever intellectual accolades you would wish to heap upon them.

        Where I really agree with you in full is in your observation that we really don't know how many intellectuals are at OWS events. OWS is not a movement conducive to having representative voices and leaders.

        Rather, OWS is tectonic. It's a sub-audible rumbling you feel in the core of your being. The US population is being to awaken from its long slumber and beginning to realize that the economic game has been well and truly rigged - and not in its favor.

        When the glutted and jaded aristocrat goes to the window and sees the villagers and serfs assembled with torches and pitchforks, tumbrels at the forefront, guillotine faintly visible in the smoky distance, he doesn't much care to ask who is in charge.

        Every day's another chance to stick it to the man. - dls

        by The Raven on Sat Oct 29, 2011 at 07:17:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I disagree with you about West (0+ / 0-)

          West really is a public intellectual.

          However, I also see West as being far too caught up in the academic star system.

          So I greeted the Cornel west sighting at OWS the same way that I treated the Judith Butler sighting at an OWS event; with a swift rolling of the eyes.

          •  We can disagree, sure (0+ / 0-)

            Nothing wrong with that.

            For my part, I've read several of his essays, listened to him speak, watched him on Bill Maher's show - if there were anything about him that I could recognize as being representative of intellectualism, I'm sure I would have noticed it.

            In general, intellectuals burn brightly with the force of their ideas. It comes across in the things they say, the originality of their insights, the breadth of their vocabularies, the quality of their diction.

            Although West fails to score on any of those points, John McWhorter very much does fit the bill. Anyway, this is a digression (albeit an interesting one).

            Every day's another chance to stick it to the man. - dls

            by The Raven on Sat Oct 29, 2011 at 08:09:59 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well, when I think of West (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              The Raven

              I'm mostly thinking of his earliest writings and his initial appearences in the mainstream back in the 1990's.

              To me, West's turning point was the Million Man March when he supported the March and toned down sharply his support of feminism. I've never really gotten over all of the various equivications that West did at that time.

              And then the whole Larry Summers encounter at harvard; well, in many ways, I think that blew up West's head a bit much for his own good.

        •  Elizabeth Warren, also (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          The Raven

          Being ignored is the difference between being a one percenter and an American.--sweeper

          by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sat Oct 29, 2011 at 05:55:00 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Two professors at Cal State Fresno (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mahakali overdrive, cai, frisco, Nespolo

        have had op eds supporting OWS published in the local paper: 'Occupy' movement about sense of unfairness and Occupy Wall Street is being unfairly bashed. Another led discussions of capitalism at two OWS events and spoke at a school board meeting as part of Occupy Fresno.  Several retired professors have participated in OWS demonstrations.  Nationally, David Graeber, former Yale prof now at the University of London, has made news as important to the movement and posts occasionally at dkos. Links here and here. According to the last link,

        This summer, Graeber was a key member of a small band of activists who quietly planned, then noisily carried out, the occupation of Lower Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park, providing the focal point for what has grown into an amorphous global movement known as Occupy Wall Street.

        The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right. -- Judge Learned Hand, May 21, 1944

        by ybruti on Sat Oct 29, 2011 at 08:46:42 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thousands and thousands of Professors support OWS (12+ / 0-)

          Non-academics may not know this but seriously, every Professor, Grad Student, and Adjunct supports the HELL out of OWS. Income inequality is a HUGE topic among some Departments, like Sociology or English Studies or Cultural Studies Departments of all sorts, Psychology, Communications, Linguistics, Philosophy, Language Studies, Library Sciences, Economics to some degree, and generally in the Hard Sciences too.

          Support in my Department is like 100%.

          Same with nearby Departments. Mainly those mentioned.

          "Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today." - Malcolm X

          by mahakali overdrive on Sat Oct 29, 2011 at 09:25:40 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Id add Krugman (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Chitown Kev, frisco, Nespolo

        Both a public intellectual, and obviously a serious academic.  He has been giving voice to our arguments since long before OWS

        Intelligent, passionate, perceptive people will always disagree, but we should not let that disagreement, however heartfelt, lead us to become deaf to those better angels of our nature.

        by Mindful Nature on Sat Oct 29, 2011 at 02:21:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Or at least continue cultivating (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Chitown Kev, mahakali overdrive

      relationships with intellectuals, radicals and "ceelbrity" supporters.

      October2011.org, occupying Freedom Plaza between the White House and the Capitol building in D.C., had Ted Rall, Chris Hedges, Anne Wright, Ralph Nader, Patch Adams, Cornel West, Raheem DeVauhn and many others in the two weeks I was there.

      Meanwhile, Occupy D.C. at McPherson Square on K Street had a similarly impressive guest speaker list while I was in town.

      We need "producers" to line up what I'd broadly call talent supporting the resistance, develop a speaking circuit, coordinate calendars, gather and appropriate funds for travel expenses where necessary, etc.

      People Have the Power. Let's Use It! Start by burning the damn deck chairs already. Sheesh.

      by Words In Action on Sat Oct 29, 2011 at 08:24:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm not a college guy... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Chitown Kev, Laconic Lib, Saint Jimmy

      but I'm a thinking guy and it's quite interesting to see, basically, the main points of what I'd been sensing forever, but since the cheney/bush coup felt compelled to try to define, laid out in a diary...

      - "No facts, no logic; no problem."
      - "...workers are too exhausted and afraid of losing their means of living to stand up for their rights."
      - "...your average corporation, where the CEO makes a fortune, the name professors live comfortably,  and everyone else busts their butt for minimal pay and doesn't dare speak up."

      It seems obvious this was deliberately made this way, and our government helps perpetuate it with policies denying us single payer health care, or making sure unemployment isn't enough to live on. The more dependent you are on your job, the less likely you are to act up. In the cube farm they seem to like their employees a little scared for their jobs.

      The whole propaganda construct is preposterous and I'm amazed how many people are mesmerized by it. Ignoring it or supplying only subversive official quotes - truthful and impolite things that would never be said in corporate media but are obvious to everybody - in order to subvert their mission is vital and OWS seems to maybe get that.

      Intellectuals must be amazed by it all. Or maybe not.

      when I see a republican on tv, I always think of Monty Python: "Shut your festering gob you tit! Your type makes me puke!"

      by bunsk on Sat Oct 29, 2011 at 09:50:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm posting this up here because diary is flawed (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      zedaker, frisco, Nespolo, barbwires

      http://www.dailykos.com/...

      There are thousands and thousands of intellectuals and academics currently in support of OWS and Occupations. Many have been marching. If they are not in leadership roles, it's likely because we WORK really brutal hours. Same reason why you don't see many crab fisherman in leadership roles. Long hours.

      But really, click the link.

      "Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today." - Malcolm X

      by mahakali overdrive on Sat Oct 29, 2011 at 09:56:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It may also be that camping out and fighting (0+ / 0-)

      with cops is not resonating with a lot of thinking people, even if they sympathize with much of the politics and slogans on the signs.  

      Slogans, while good for getting a concept/message onto the nightly news, are inherently uncomfortable paths for "intellectuals" to take in expressing themselves.  And like it or not, OWS's greatest success has come at getting slogans into the braindead American media, with decidedly UNintellectual drama and violence (i.e. arrests and Oakland style madness).

      The people at OWS and especially those getting arrested, tend to be people of "action," while intellectuals and academia tend to be people who like to sit around and think about stuff.

      If the "strength" of OWS is it's lack of organization or formal ideology, one has to accept the resulting "messiness" and lack of sophistication that comes with that.  

      When you couple that "messiness" with the ever present element at such demos of people wanting to hijack them and "fight the system" by smashing windows, and throwing shit at cops, it is not a comfortable milieu for some people to hang in.  

      To simply "change the national dialog," OWS may be perfect (and transitory) as it is.

      But to attract the kinds of people to the movement that the diary is referring to, OWS will have to transcend the streets, and become a more focused, organized movement.  

  •  These are not your grandma's universities (26+ / 0-)

    Those were about like, y'know, teaching and stuff.  

    The present day university is basically an enormous real estate empire (they pay a lower tax rate and have a leg up on the competition) with a huge portfolio (called endowment) managed as a corporation.  The teaching part is what they do on the side to keep their tax status in place.  That's not too much of a problem, because they charge a lot for the service and indenture most who are young and curious to work in other corporate structures until they've paid for the privilege of corporate brainwashing.

    Those who teach seem to spend most of their time on the politics of tenure or seeing how much grant, etc. money they can control in their departments.  I'd be really surprised if anyone who didn't either buy into the general program or amply demonstrate a willingness to shut up and go along with the program lasted more than a year or two.

    The wisest among us are more likely to be publishing zines, blogging, or growing organic carrots.  The truly wise saw this coming decades ago and are as far from the groves of academe as they can get.

    Intellectuals are barking, they just look like punks or old burnouts.  The teevee can't spot them, but a lot of wise words pass around the camps without attribution.

    •  You said it better than I. (11+ / 0-)

      Its so sad. The corporations are commodifying, looting, and destroying our intellectual heritage.

      Yeah, sure not the universities that gave me a good education without any debt.

      I can appreciate why college is a bad deal, but I can also appreciate that demonstrating to people that college is worthless is a horrible thing.

      Why are these assholes winning? They are so completely wrong. We will be barbarians in another generation.

      •  We desperately need to remove (17+ / 0-)

        capitalism from certain areas of our society.  Education is one (medicine, housing, and food production are a few others).

        That doesn't necessarily mean we have to be "anti-capitalist", just that there are places in society that aren't about business, that there's more to life  than money and the pursuit of it.

        Meanwhile . . .

        A healthy underground does exist.  It's fragmentary and disorganized, but I meet some pretty interesting people.  A couple of years ago I painted a house (nice to be on a job without a lot of noisy power tools) with a woman and we spent a lot of time arguing post-structural ethics and aesthetics.  To the rich couple who owned the place we were just loser proles, but we were better (self-)educated than either of them (happier with our lives too from what we saw).

        I think college is a trap right now.  I advise younger friends to learn some sort of trade and really think about whether they need what they'd get from it (college).  If you want to be a physicist, yeah, go.  If you want to read and discover yourself, a few years of fun ain't worth the payback.

        My dad (an intellectual) said in the 70s that education was becoming an extension of consumerism and predicted that, owing to that, it would have little or nothing to offer what he called "thinkers" by now.  I think he was right.  We need to look elsewhere for culture.

        •  College ruined many a good truck driver... (9+ / 0-)

          Given today's job market, a college degree is little more than a lottery ticket to get a job - unless you go to an elite school like Harvard, Stanford, MIT, CalTech, etc. And, its a very expensive lottery ticket. Many professionals are sorry they ever wasted their time getting educated and are telling their kids not to go into their profession. Professions are being off-shored to China as fast as the corporations can set up shop there. IBM, Microsoft, etc. have labs that get Chinese students and give them access to all the corporate info. Because Chinese work for 20% of the salary as US professionals.

          Given how hollowed out education has become, you are probably right at this moment in time. But, the rub is that if we let the public education system go down, then the rich will have us all in chains in a generation. No college degree? Then you can only be a ditch digger.

          I hear what you say about self-education, but in this corporate dystopia, credentials count for more than the person. Institutions are very important; and education is a critical institution. Unless OWS can come up with LiveStream universities staffed by out of work teachers and make the credential accepted, the fucking corporate universities are the only game in town.

          •  I really hope we win (6+ / 0-)

            And get schools (not just college, but all the way up to it as well) aspiring to greatness again.  That'll take a lot of taxation and a lot of standing up to xtians who control what gets into textbooks and libraries.  Do we have the will?  It means running for school boards and equalizing the pressure the well funded right brings to bear.

            We on the left have had far too much faith in reason, far too much faith in passing laws.  We need to get our hands dirty and be willing to be as persistent and annoying as the right has been for the last thirty plus years.  They've had the trenches mostly to themselves.  Corporations aren't going to give us the money to fight with them, we're going to have to find a way to make our schools about learning instead of propaganda.

            Maybe we need to think of ourselves as immigrants in the now foreign land and be willing to struggle so the future will be better for our children.  Then maybe 30 years from now, wise thinkers from universities will have something to say when the whole world is watching.

          •  Forget the better jobs for just a second. (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Urizen, The Raven, Chitown Kev, jimreyn, pdknz

            Do you really want to raise a generation of poorly-educated, ignorant young people?  That's just laying the seeds for a new crop of Tea Partiers.

            We need smarter citizens, not dumber.  Having a chance at a better job is nice, too.

            •  Start by getting rid of religion. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              zedaker

              An opiate, indeed.

              What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

              by agnostic on Sat Oct 29, 2011 at 01:52:56 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Uh, yeah, like Jews haven't doing (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                DamselleFly, Dave in Northridge

                a lot of the heavy lifting in the progressive movement for decades.  Like the Pope hasn't come out in support of OWS.  Don't equate all religions with the Southern Baptist Conference.  The principle of charity is common and vital to most religions, the AFA notwithstanding.  

                •  Ohhh, isn't that sweet! (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  agnostic
                  Like the Pope hasn't come out in support of OWS.  

                  Too bad he also supports all the child rapists and pedophiles his organization employs.  And all the efforts his minions make to elect the most regressive politicians around . . . .

                •  Ben Stein, for ex? Podhoretz? (0+ / 0-)

                  Sorry, that was cruel and unfair of me. Lithuanians have their own crosses to bear (many of them currently conservative members in Siemas), African Americans have Alan Keyes and "Herb" Cain, wild -eyed bipolar sufferers have Saran and Michelle,  and unwashed, reeking,  skanky, pseudo-intellectuals have Ann Coulter.

                  What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

                  by agnostic on Sat Oct 29, 2011 at 06:50:46 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  Oh, I think it's simpler than that (0+ / 0-)

                Simply get the people read...and I mean really read and study what their holy books actually say...as unencumbered by relifgious leaders as possible.

              •  not religion necessarily... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                esquimaux

                it's the churches that cause all the grief. You don't need them to have a relationship with god - whatever that represents for you. If there was ever a true religion, it's surely been corrupted by the church.

                when I see a republican on tv, I always think of Monty Python: "Shut your festering gob you tit! Your type makes me puke!"

                by bunsk on Sat Oct 29, 2011 at 10:01:53 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  I don't think it's capitalism. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          katiec, pdknz, zedaker

          I think it's unearned profit that's the culprit.

          People to Wall Street: "LET OUR MONEY GO"

          by hannah on Sat Oct 29, 2011 at 05:23:33 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Education became too technical and narrowly (7+ / 0-)

          focused on "skills" - that corporations needed at various times.  It became corporate training with a few token courses in liberal arts.  

          Once the old liberal arts model of education died, education in the U.S. was no designed to produce ethical or broad ranging thinkers.  It produced mostly narrow thinkers.... corporate and banker technocrats.

          On my wall the colors of the map are running. From Africa the winds talk of changes coming. The torches flare up in the night. The hand that sets the farms alight has spread the word to those who are waiting on the border. ~ Al Stewart

          by Saint Jimmy on Sat Oct 29, 2011 at 05:48:04 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Frankly (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Urizen, avsp, Chitown Kev

      with my most recent degree, I had to teach myself all the interesting things. It was quite possible to achieve an MA in my subject without any theoretical knowledge whatsoever.
      Good school too.

      "Bootstraps are a fine invention as long as they are attached to boots." blueoasis

      by northsylvania on Sat Oct 29, 2011 at 02:08:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  True in my field as well. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Urizen, northsylvania

        I learned more useful "theory" in my 20 years working in a public library than I learned when I finally went to library school. In fact, I think one of the reasons I was able to get anything practical out of library school was that my background made it easier to focus my study on areas that would produce concrete results that I could use immediately at my library.

    •  b.i.n.g.o. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Urizen

      On my wall the colors of the map are running. From Africa the winds talk of changes coming. The torches flare up in the night. The hand that sets the farms alight has spread the word to those who are waiting on the border. ~ Al Stewart

      by Saint Jimmy on Sat Oct 29, 2011 at 05:53:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Partly right, but incomplete (5+ / 0-)

      Those who teach at most postsecondary institutions are neither tenured nor likely to be. That means that as many as 50-75% of instructors are contingent, depending on the institution. It's high in both community colleges (an average of 70%+) and research-intensive universities (where graduate students and lecturers generally comprise the majority of instructional staff).

      There are still the tenured stars, bless their hearts, and also distinguished part-time instructors who are hugely successful in their fields--but most post-secondary instructors are absolutely just struggling to survive.

      This goes on despite the major portion of revenue comprised by undergraduate tuition, which is used for almost anything else besides teaching.

      My point doesn't exactly contradict yours, just amplifies it.

    •  Well, as a professor at a state institution (7+ / 0-)

      I have to say I resent your broad sweeping paint brush approach to characterizing me. Go ahead and write your zine, but my students and I will continue to figure out a cure for epilepsy. I think that is a good thing. And I will grade exams this weekend why my husband goes and protests for the family.

      "You've got to stop this war in Afghanistan." final words of R Holbrooke

      by UTvoter on Sat Oct 29, 2011 at 07:47:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  no need to take it personally (0+ / 0-)

        I was characterizing an institution not the individuals within it.  I don't think soldiers are bad people even though I think armies are rarely forces for a better world.

      •  There are a number of sweeping generalities here. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        zedaker

        This thread is about as 'intellectual' as a Hannity show.

        When I was attending a University, intellectual identification was usually closely associated with snobbery and an expanded ego.  I don't think that has changed much in 35 years.

        When universities took on a corporate model of management, they became more like corporations.  Isn't that self-evident?

        The Dude abides, now get off my lawn.

        by Boris49 on Sat Oct 29, 2011 at 09:37:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  You Can't Break the Grip of 1% By Making Them (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ignacio Magaloni

    pay a little more fair share or by enacting term limits (one of the 80's rightwing Contract on America demands I've seen from OWS recently).

    If I had money to invest I'd still consider the machine a much more sound bet.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Fri Oct 28, 2011 at 07:25:16 PM PDT

    •  Could you please unpack this. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mint julep, MKSinSA, CalifSherry

      I don't want to put words in your mouth, and I am interested in your opinion.

    •  All this talk of the 1% is wasted on me. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Roadbed Guy, arlene

      I don't get it.  You can't stop the 1% from getting anything they want as long as the Democratic Party stands for giving it to them while blowing smoke up the ass of the 99%.  That's something right in our backyard that we need to remedy -- although I confess I don't know how.

      •  The 1% concept is also odd to me (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dumbo

        I've actually know a person or two in this category, and they're less evil than one would be led to believe from the internet.

        OTOH, Mr. Limbaugh's 7%ers (i.e., the 20 million hard core dittoheads) are nothing but pure evil.  And yet they're presumably lumped together with me in the 99%ers. Ugh.

        No, double or triple Ugh.

  •  A lot of us ignored the propaganda (6+ / 0-)

    machine in the 60s, resulting in enough pressure to stop the war that it deposed LBJ for a start, and did a lot to make the war unpopular.

    OWS seems to show that a significant number of people have yet to be dumbed down, in my opinion, no matter what the mainstream press has to say about it.

    Moderation in most things.

    by billmosby on Fri Oct 28, 2011 at 11:12:23 PM PDT

  •  Probably varies from place to place (9+ / 0-)

    but about half the regular participants  in the listserve for the Occupy I'm working with are academics of one sort or another.

    It may be that if you dig in you'll find academics have tended to cluster in those less visible "spaces" of the movement.

    We are the 99%. We are the mob. We areToo Big To Fail.

    by ActivistGuy on Sat Oct 29, 2011 at 12:37:35 AM PDT

  •  i can tell you the reason why in one name: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hannah, Oh Mary Oh

    norman finkelstein.

    heretics will be burned on a cross and made an example of.

    our one demand? return what was stolen.

    by stolen water on Sat Oct 29, 2011 at 01:26:40 AM PDT

  •  occupywriters, etc.... (8+ / 0-)

    I don't know how to post a link, but if you google "occupywriters" you'll see a huge list of writers who have signed up with the occupy movement.

    Also, Chris Hedges, Bill Black, Naomi Klein, Galbraith,  the entire gang at New Economic Perspectives, many local politicians,
     etc. have voiced support for the Occupy Movement.

    It seems to me the real problem is lack of national platform.  Who's going to interview them?  

    Democracy Now, The Real News, RT, sure.  Rattigan sometimes.  Maddow - when she doesn't have her usual, more recognized talking head on.

    Anyway, think there's a lot of interesting intellectuals out there who support the movement (and who are probably more active behind the scenes than we  think) -- just need a better platform for them.

    •  Thank you. Hedges is a very powerful voice, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      peregrine kate, Oh Mary Oh

      as are Klein and Galbraith.  Maybe I'm an optimist but I suspect there will be more who step forward.  Moyers could be another one.  However, the now big influence of corporate money on college faculties is, I suspect, keeping some powerful pens idle and voices silent.

      On my wall the colors of the map are running. From Africa the winds talk of changes coming. The torches flare up in the night. The hand that sets the farms alight has spread the word to those who are waiting on the border. ~ Al Stewart

      by Saint Jimmy on Sat Oct 29, 2011 at 05:36:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No doubt.... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Saint Jimmy, Oh Mary Oh

        AND there's a lack of platform.

        Also, when someone brave -- like Marcy Kaptur -- gives the public an opening we tend to easily get distracted.

        All of us.  To a certain extent we -- meaning those of us who wish for better leaders/public intellectuals -- need to better rally around those who try.  Marcy Kaptur should be in the Daily Kos news cycle far longer than she has been.

        And that's just one example.

        Same holds true for Bill Black, etc....

        •  good points.... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Oh Mary Oh

          On my wall the colors of the map are running. From Africa the winds talk of changes coming. The torches flare up in the night. The hand that sets the farms alight has spread the word to those who are waiting on the border. ~ Al Stewart

          by Saint Jimmy on Sat Oct 29, 2011 at 05:55:56 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Ding ding ding ding ding (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      UTvoter, Nespolo, tofumagoo

      Ted Rall, Chris Hedges, Anne Wright, Ralph Nader, Patch Adams, Cornel West are just a few of the names I can remember from the first two of the calendar at the October2011.org occupation at Freedom Plaza in D.C.

      It's taking a long time for the G.A.'s to get their acts together. Give the same patience they request to those who are figuring out a way to plug in. Let's not forget that their are many important people who do show up but do not have the time or patience to wait their turn at a G.A. A major flaw IMHO.

      I know of a recently retired George Mason, George Washington U economics professor who showed up for a couple of committee meetings and then, overwhelmed and frustrated by the utter lack of a meaningful to participate in or impact outcomes, disappeared. I suspect this is happening everday in various occupies around the country. The pace may actually slowing down as the word gets out that the horizontal, consensus-based organizations have always been and are still currently not well suited to fast-tracking and utilizing people with real expertise. I support the occupation cause, but not sold on the current effectiveness of organizational methods nor their evolution on a time scale that is useful to people currently suffering. Interestingly, occupations tend to adopt heirachical methods, even if only ad hoc, to deal with the more important, pressing, time-sensitive needs.

      People Have the Power. Let's Use It! Start by burning the damn deck chairs already. Sheesh.

      by Words In Action on Sat Oct 29, 2011 at 08:40:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Btw, I have a deep appreciation (6+ / 0-)

    for "the thing left out." The spouse, a professor of literature, identified in the writings of Hemingway that his sever editing of his own work, cutting out much, gave his work much of its allusive power.  So, for some reason, I started looking for things left out, especially in public policy discussions and discovered, for example, that in cost/benefit analysis of proposed urban renewal projects, the costs were to be born by extant, displaced residents, while the benefits would most surely accrue to developers and financiers.

    Urban renewal was a major redistributive force. The author of this piece also addresses it in regard to Atlanta.

    http://likethedew.com/...

    People to Wall Street: "LET OUR MONEY GO"

    by hannah on Sat Oct 29, 2011 at 05:21:16 AM PDT

  •  DKos and public intellectuals.... (4+ / 0-)

    DKos itself could be a platform if it wanted to be.  I'd imagine a lot of the intellectuals who support Occupy would consent to be interviewed by some of the folks who blog here.

    Why not start a "DKos Interviews" group and lend a platform to those who otherwise struggle to be heard?

  •  Chris Hedges has been there. nt (3+ / 0-)

    "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

    by Lily O Lady on Sat Oct 29, 2011 at 05:48:16 AM PDT

  •  so has Cornel West (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stef, Words In Action

    and I'm reserving comment on this.

    All it takes is security in your own civil rights to make you complacent.

    by Dave in Northridge on Sat Oct 29, 2011 at 05:59:16 AM PDT

  •  Is there a DKos Radio?.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Oh Mary Oh

    Sorry, I'm technologically ignorant, and have only recently checked back in with DKos.

    But did I see where there's a radio show now?

    If so, this should be publicized daily -- with directions of how to use it, cuz for people like me it's necessary.

  •  Set A = Set B? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    peregrine kate, Boris49, antiapollon

    Intellectuals are professors,
     - ergo -
    professors are intellectuals?

    In my experience, faculty wars are as petty as any corporate board room battle for power and glory, with all the egos, backstabbing, pettiness, and lies that the most bloody battle for corporate control has ever shown.

    Even worse, there is something insular, protective, and close-minded about too many colleges and universities. A truly new and creative  idea, or even the hint of one, is a thought so scary and destructive that the powers must unify and eradicate it. ASAP. Lest it upset their comfortable apple cart.

    Being intellectual has absolutely nothing to do with being a professor. And vice versa. Intellectuals tend to be curious, creative, hungry for new ideas. That rarely describes the towers of higher education these days. True, exceptions exist, but they are hardly the norm.

    What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

    by agnostic on Sat Oct 29, 2011 at 06:45:59 AM PDT

  •  I'm not sure most ever protested much (8+ / 0-)

    After three decades of university teaching, I've not seen much change. Most faculty are invertebrates.

    I have a reputation for asking embarrassing questions and I do it in public forums. Rarely, does anyone follow-up publicly, although I frequently get private "Thank yous."

    A common excuse is "wait until I get tenure" which then becomes "wait until I'm a full professor." But habits are hard to change and I've yet to see a colleague change her/his colors.

    For some disciplines, times are tough. We advertised for two positions (one is mine as I'm calling it quits after this semester). We are a small regional campus, yet we had 200 applicants, many from top schools including a number of Ivy League PhDs.

    And yes, universities have unfortunately changed a great deal and unfortunately toward the corporate model. Administrators have rewarded themselves with huge raises (the President of our system makes over $500,000 and got a 20% raise while faculty raises were frozen for several years before finally getting 1.5%. Students are now referred to as "consumers" and "recruitment and retention" are the primary goals. The  "S-word" (standards) is rarely mentioned.

    It is very sad.
     

    I don't know what consciousness is or how it works, but I like it.

    by SocioSam on Sat Oct 29, 2011 at 07:20:07 AM PDT

  •  Judith Butler was at Zuccotti Park (3+ / 0-)

    and spoke in favor of the OWS.

    http://www.newappsblog.com/...

    It's *Gandhi*, not Ghandi

    by poco on Sat Oct 29, 2011 at 07:28:38 AM PDT

  •  My husband got arrested with Cornel West on the (4+ / 0-)

    steps of the supreme court following Cornel's general assembly address. So they are there.

    "You've got to stop this war in Afghanistan." final words of R Holbrooke

    by UTvoter on Sat Oct 29, 2011 at 07:40:56 AM PDT

  •  Did you miss Cornel West, dude? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nespolo, GreenSooner

    You're not helping.

    Moreover, you're either poorly informed, have some personal axe to grind, are participating in a particularly anemic occupation, or are generalizing from an exceedingly small data sample.

    This is not an effective way to either accurately represent or promote the cause.

    Yes, there are lots of people absent. Just about all the moderates, for example, you can count on. Other than that, you'll need a national, statistically valid survey of campers, support volunteers, donors and speakers to convince me you have the information to support your wild, inflamatory, destructive accustations.

    Go ahead and goad, cajole and otherwise attempt to rally those who aren't involved, just don't presume to know who they are without solid information.

    People Have the Power. Let's Use It! Start by burning the damn deck chairs already. Sheesh.

    by Words In Action on Sat Oct 29, 2011 at 08:15:33 AM PDT

    •  Yeah, you have to count Cornel West (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GreenSooner

      In fact, there is a 20 year old essay that West wrote where he discusses various models of public intellectuals.

      He published the essay in the book that he co-authored with bell hooks.

      Now West is writing very specificall in an African American context but some of his insights there may be useful...there might be excerpts of the book in other places on the web

    •  I don't know but this diary angers me (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Chitown Kev, Nespolo, GreenSooner

      because it's FALSE. Not the corporatization part. Hey, I'm completely attuned to that. But um, many academics skew toward more radical politics than the average bear. We're definitely in freaking support of OWS. We're also NOT WEALTHY (Surprise!)

      There are a few areas like Business or Law or Criminal Justice where there may be less support. But these are the same more corporate spaces of the University which tend to cause copious gnashing of teeth amongst faculty in general. They also do tend to be better paid.

      "Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today." - Malcolm X

      by mahakali overdrive on Sat Oct 29, 2011 at 09:28:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You're right. But I do think that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mahakali overdrive

        the overarching theme of the thread is correct, mo

        One of the differences between now and say, the 1960's, is that the 1960's had true and literate public intellectuals and not all of them graduated from college.

        And I repeat, that's not to say that some professor can't be in that role (they can and are) but given the corporatization of academia, the slashing of the humanities and liberal arts, it does seem as if the universitites (or at least the elite ones) only exist to churn out (by and large) technocrats.

        I think that this IS something that OWS can change.

        And I think that education needs to be a component of what OWS is to become (in many ways, I think that it's the most important component).

        For example, many people don't think of Dr. King as a "public intellectual."

        Truth is, Dr. King was as familiar with the history and arguments of Western philosophy as he was of the Bible. His sermons are full of references to Western philosophers.

        •  It is true that Universities are corporatized (5+ / 0-)

          and we, in the non-corporate departments, have been the very people to spend a good lot of time writing about this issue. My favorite book here would be the University in Ruins. We OPPOSE the technocracy, we subvert the system as well as we can by occupying our University positions, administrative positions rotate and by properly placing yourself in them, you can do a great deal. Also, in interfacing with students, you can do a great deal to thwart the technocratic, homogenizing impulses of the bottom-line, for-profit basis of the University.

          We're not there yet. But we're working on it.

          And if it's about other public intellectuals, then why does this diary contain so much information about the University structure, implying that it somehow neuters the Progressive or radical spirit within those who are in it. That's not correct at all. We are not muzzled here. We are speaking out quite well. Could we do better? Always. So could MANY people who aren't represented.

          So is the indictment that University academics are intellectually impotent and morally corrupted by the University technocracy or is the indictment that other academics outside of that structure aren't speaking up enough? And if it's the latter, what does that have to even DO with the former?

          "Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today." - Malcolm X

          by mahakali overdrive on Sat Oct 29, 2011 at 10:13:35 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The one weakness of the diary (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mahakali overdrive

            is what you point out here.

            why does this diary contain so much information about the University structure, implying that it somehow neuters the Progressive or radical spirit within those who are in it.

            I mean, assuming that the diarist feels that the university structure is compromised (and I think that we all agree that it is, I think the discussion here is to what degree)...

            How can we utilize OWS to produce the critical thinkers and public intellectuals that we (or any movement) need?

            That's the question that was implied by the diary and why I tipped and recced it.

            •  That is a good question (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Chitown Kev, GreenSooner, Saint Jimmy

              I might even take it further to ask:

              How can we utilize OWS to produce the critical thinkers and public intellectuals needed to further the message of the movement and engage more people in the movement?

              Here, it seems to me that only OWS can do this through education.

              A really radical move would be to start a free University or free Universities at the Occupation sites. They have libraries. What about ongoing free classes that help with various needs? I am not sure here what those would be, but I can imagine. I can also see lots of Professors volunteering to show up and teach these (some contracts might prohibit it, but not adjuncts or grad students, and if it's for free, not sure it's always prohibited).

              "Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today." - Malcolm X

              by mahakali overdrive on Sat Oct 29, 2011 at 10:28:19 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  In many, many places, universities (4+ / 0-)

    are still the bastions of progressive thought and action in their communities.

    Your generalizations do not apply in more than enough places to render them meaningless.

    People Have the Power. Let's Use It! Start by burning the damn deck chairs already. Sheesh.

    by Words In Action on Sat Oct 29, 2011 at 08:27:03 AM PDT

  •  legacy of the cold war campaign (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    katiec

    to root out and purge "communists," aka vocal progressives.

    chris hedges wrote a book about this:

    the death of the liberal class.

    our one demand? return what was stolen.

    by stolen water on Sat Oct 29, 2011 at 08:59:02 AM PDT

  •  It would cost them their jobs. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nespolo

    Literally, enough of the professoriate we are talking about work for public universities that an arrest at an #Occupy protest would create a scandal that would completely derail their careers because of the vulnerability of those public universities to manipulation by politically appointed trustees and the climate of fear that creates even among good, politically committed professionals.

    Even among private schools, pressure from politically conservative alumni has become a huge issue. Many ivy league schools--especially given the economics of college tuition and the decline of means of public support--have become mere feeder schools for investment banks, law firms and large corporations. This creates huge pressure for faculty members not to be seen undermining the people and organizations on whom the school relies.

    Not even tenure is an effective barrier to these forms of pressure anymore. I could easily conceive of a Scott Walker or Rick Scott using the presence of university faculty members in such a protest as an argument for eliminating tenure so that the people they would portray as dangerous radicals could be fished out of academia.

    Progressive faculty members perform a critical role in just going about their work, which is training young people to think critically, conduct research, and not take the world at face value.

    "It's like we weren't made for this world, But I wouldn't really want to meet someone who was." --Of Montreal

    by andydoubtless on Sat Oct 29, 2011 at 09:21:57 AM PDT

    •  No it wouldn't cost us our jobs (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BoxNDox, Caj

      Where did you get that idea? I'm friends with Professors at Universities throughout the U.S. and Europe. What makes you think we aren't protesting. We're just not necessarily wearing big hats that say "Professor" across them. The support for OWS is near universal. Academic Freedom permits all manner of extracurricular activity. Tenure is determined first by one's immediate peers and then approved by a greater committee (this could vary with University structures). Tenured faculty are very hard to dismiss for any reason. Political participation is definitely not a reason. Edward Said? Noam Chomsky? Howard Zinn?

      "Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today." - Malcolm X

      by mahakali overdrive on Sat Oct 29, 2011 at 09:32:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  asdf (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mahakali overdrive
        Tenure is determined first by one's immediate peers and then approved by a greater committee (this could vary with University structures).

        Also, while personal politics can factor into tenure decisions, it's not really a matter of your specific political beliefs and more a matter of whether you annoy the crap out of your coworkers, or make your chair's life more difficult.  

        If you get into shouting matches at faculty meetings, it may  hurt your tenure case.   If you go to a protest and shout about income inequality, there's a good chance that nobody on your tenure committee is even going to know, much less care what you do in your free time.

        Linking to a news article is journalism in the same sense that putting a Big Mac on a paper plate is cooking.

        by Caj on Sat Oct 29, 2011 at 06:43:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Assuming that one has tenure, of course... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mahakali overdrive

        I am in a non-TT position, and as much as I agree with OWS, I fear that getting arrested, or even getting my face on the nightly news, would have a deleterious effect on my employment.

        "We *can* go back to the Dark Ages! The crust of learning and good manners and tolerance is so thin!" -- Sinclair Lewis

        by Nespolo on Sat Oct 29, 2011 at 07:51:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Huh? The American Association of University (7+ / 0-)

    Professors was LITERALLY one of the first to endorse OWS. http://www.aaup.org/...

    The Collective Bargaining Congress and national Council of the American Association of University Professors stand in solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street movement.

    Over the last several years, we have watched as those at the very top have prospered while the fortunes of those below the very top have stagnated or declined.  The gap between rich and poor is greater than ever before in our lifetimes, and we need to stand up for those who are trying to improve their circumstances and provide for their families.

    ...

    The majority of college and university faculty positions are now insecure, part-time jobs. In addition, attacks on collective bargaining have been rampant throughout the nation, as our job security, wages, health benefits, and pensions have been either reduced or slated for elimination.
    ...

    We strongly support the movement and wish it every success. We are in this together.

    Also, several academics like Slavoj Zizek, Joseph Stiglitz, Lawrence Lessig, and Cornell West have spoken openly on this, lending massive support, and numerous other well-known academics, like Judith Butler have made statements of support. I think George Lakoff commented too? Jeff Madrick has. Richard Wolff. Noam Chomsky. David Graeber would technically be considered "an academic" too.

    Moreover, many, many protesters have been Professors. I would guess that in my Department, support for OWS is at about 100%.  You can find supportive statements and analysis of OWS on dozens of academic forums, literally. On my FB feed, there are daily statements of support, especially because several Professors whom I know have marched in NY early on.

    Remember that the average Professor works a bit more than most people... 100 hours of work per week is hardly unheard of.

    "Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today." - Malcolm X

    by mahakali overdrive on Sat Oct 29, 2011 at 09:22:15 AM PDT

    •  300 Columbia Professors Sign on Support for OWS (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BoxNDox, Caj, Nespolo, GreenSooner

      http://themorningsidepost.com/...

      NEW YORK, NY, October 10, 2011. – Today faculty from Columbia University released a petition signed by over 300 professors expressing their support for the Occupy Wall Street movement.  Signatories to the petition come from across the faculty of Columbia University and Barnard College.  In their petition, the professors join the Occupy Wall Street movement in condemning the growth of economic, social, and political inequalities.  According to the petition, claims that the movement lacks focus are inaccurate and ignore the many important issues that the Occupy Wall Street movement has raised.

      ...

      Why doesn't the diary mention stuff like this?

      You're dismissing 300 Professors right here. At two Universities. And this seems to be fairly representative of what it looks like at other Universities, IMHO.

      "Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today." - Malcolm X

      by mahakali overdrive on Sat Oct 29, 2011 at 09:41:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And here are 1,917 Profs who also support OWS (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BoxNDox, Nespolo, GreenSooner

        "Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today." - Malcolm X

        by mahakali overdrive on Sat Oct 29, 2011 at 09:42:39 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  UC Faculty are trying to create a petition now (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          BoxNDox, Nespolo, GreenSooner

          in support of OWS too...

          http://www.ipetitions.com/...

          So I really, really don't understand the premise of this diary.

          "Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today." - Malcolm X

          by mahakali overdrive on Sat Oct 29, 2011 at 09:44:27 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  One more: San Diego Faculty March at OSD (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            BoxNDox, esquimaux, Nespolo, GreenSooner

            http://ucsdfa.org/...

            Photos of Profs from Theater, Anthropology, Physics, and Sociology right here. Supporting the Occupy Movement.

            This diary should be updated to try and better reflect reality.

            "Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today." - Malcolm X

            by mahakali overdrive on Sat Oct 29, 2011 at 09:46:40 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Another. Since this diary is dismissing (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              BoxNDox, Nespolo, GreenSooner

              these very real academics who are very much OWS supporters.

              New School in support w/ like 50 signatories:

              http://www.artandeducation.net/...

              We faculty members of The New School would like to express our solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street protest. We support its demand for real democracy and its denunciation of the effects of the economic crisis on the conditions of life for millions of people around the world. We strongly disagree with political and economic measures against the crisis based on the reduction of public spending and cuts to public services. We condemn the exclusive and unnecessary use of force by the NYPD that resulted in the arrests of 700 hundred people marching in a peaceful and non-violent demonstration on Saturday October 1st. It is inconceivable that New York, the city known for a tradition of free and independent thinking, should be governed like a police state.

              University of Pennsylvania letter of support w/ about 50 or more signatories:

              http://psychoanalystsopposewar.org/...

              As faculty members at the University of Pennsylvania, we wish to express our solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street movement now underway in our city and elsewhere. This movement expresses widespread anger with the economic and political disenfranchisement of the great majority of the American people. Occupy Wall Street is protesting a system that provides increasingly few opportunities for the majority –– the 99% –– while generating vast profits for a tiny minority. Along with the demonstrators, we are demanding an end to the extreme inequalities that structure our society.  We share with many Americans acute anger at the government’s unconditional bailout of bankers and Wall Street firms that drove the economy to disaster. (cont...)

              Are you still saying that intellectuals aren't barking?

              "Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today." - Malcolm X

              by mahakali overdrive on Sat Oct 29, 2011 at 09:51:25 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  freaking awesome, mo thanks for tracking (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mahakali overdrive

              that down, really inspiring

              Being ignored is the difference between being a one percenter and an American.--sweeper

              by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sat Oct 29, 2011 at 05:56:30 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Not a problem (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                GreenSooner

                I'm a stickler for facts and, as an academic in the Humanities, doing online research is one of my weird skills anyways! Totally glad that you see some familiar names. So do I. Lots of them. Which is why this diary struck me as frustrating.

                "Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today." - Malcolm X

                by mahakali overdrive on Sat Oct 29, 2011 at 09:47:45 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

  •  I guess we haven't been to the same occupations. (4+ / 0-)

    Paul Cienfuegos came and spoke OPDX, to an enthusiastic reception.

    The two things Teabaggers hate most are: being called racists; and black people.

    "It takes balls to execute an innocent man." -- anonymous GOP focus group member on Rick Perry

    by Punditus Maximus on Sat Oct 29, 2011 at 09:30:27 AM PDT

  •  "Bloviate." NT (0+ / 0-)

    "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

    by HeyMikey on Sat Oct 29, 2011 at 10:03:07 AM PDT

  •  academics also tend to be institutional (0+ / 0-)

    ...most academics also seem to be committed to institutional changes...OWS is the opposite of institutional change....

  •  Noam Chomsky (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ybruti

    has recently written plenty about what's going on.
    It's not on his own web site but can be found at ZNet:
    http://www.zcommunications.org/...

  •  Add Christopher Phillips (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mahakali overdrive

    it seems that Mr. Phillips moderated a Constitution Cafe in Washington Square Park earlier this week and did another CC further uptown in Manhattan yesterday.

    For several days now, I have been considering whether OWS groups could conduct both a Constitution Cafe and a Socrates Cafe (or any other kind of cafe/salon) as they see fit.

  •  I am a tenured academic . . . (7+ / 0-)

    I was at OWS this morning in the snow.  I've been several times.  I've given money to OWS and to Occupy Oakland and Occupy Boston.  Over 300 of my colleagues at my university issued a joint statement in support of the movement, and we are holding teach ins on our campus on a regular basis.  

    So I'm not sure what you mean.

  •  I'll have to go with paraphrasing Confucius: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Chitown Kev, mahakali overdrive

    If you want intellectual rigor in politics, then be intellectually rigorous yourself.  

    The first step in overcoming the lack of resonance is to stop caring whether or not it resonates and just be the way you want society to be.  

    The conundrum of stable democracy: Reform requires the consent of the corrupt.

    by Troubadour on Sat Oct 29, 2011 at 03:53:00 PM PDT

  •  The assault on the authority of reason. (0+ / 0-)

    In an authoritarian system, there is no authority except the Authority, and anyone who disagrees is a dangerous crackpot.

    Passengers: Feel free to rearrange the deck chairs, but please remember that the bridge is off limits.

    by happymisanthropy on Sat Oct 29, 2011 at 05:11:32 PM PDT

  •  well, I'm an academic (2+ / 0-)

    I just haven't seen the need for me to use those skills in service of OWS.  OWS is doing just fine on its own with simple messages and no one unified message.

    They maybe could use a little more work on framing themselves, but I like the frame of the 99%.

    And, btw, a bunch of academics at my old graduate school, University of Pennsylvania, wrote and signed a letter supporting OWS.  There may be more actions like this around that I haven't seen.

    Being ignored is the difference between being a one percenter and an American.--sweeper

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sat Oct 29, 2011 at 05:53:38 PM PDT

    •  it's not just about framing a message (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SouthernLiberalinMD

      occupys are also forums set up to educate.

      the next topic being offered at my camp:

      Event Summary :

      "Economic Aristocrats and the Struggle for Economic Justice in the Early American Republic: Popular Action and the Roots of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights"

      The topic will cover the early period of American independence, from the Revolution through the turn of the 19th century, with a focus on how the 'founding documents' were fundamentally shaped by popular action and opposition to the 'economic aristocrats' who consolidated governmental power after the revolution. The analysis will be from the perspective of history, and it will emphasize important events from early American relevant to the Occupy Movement that are generally minimized or left out of contemporary narratives about the 'founding' of the United States of America.

      Bio: The speaker is a graduate student of US History at the University of San Diego, and has been a part-time member of the education committee since Day 3 of OSD.

      our one demand? return what was stolen.

      by stolen water on Sun Oct 30, 2011 at 12:07:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  that's awesome but as a former (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        stolen water

        teacher of literature, I don't know what I'd have to give aside from message framing or teaching critical thinking--and it seems to me that most of the OWS people already have critical thinking skills out the wazoo.

        Being ignored is the difference between being a one percenter and an American.--sweeper

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sun Oct 30, 2011 at 12:57:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Silly diary IMO n/t (0+ / 0-)

    "So, am I right or what?"

    by itzik shpitzik on Sat Oct 29, 2011 at 06:17:50 PM PDT

  •  asdf (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mahakali overdrive
    Needless to say, professors who speak out against corporatism are not on the fast track to tenure.

    That certainly is needless to say, because it's bogus.  Your tenure committee is not monitoring protests or news clippings to see if you are speaking out against corporatism.  

    And even if this was true, this argument has a giant hole in it:  what about the faculty members who already have tenure?   If a tenured prof isn't protesting, you can't explain that by some sinister corporatist influence keeping him or her silent.

    Linking to a news article is journalism in the same sense that putting a Big Mac on a paper plate is cooking.

    by Caj on Sat Oct 29, 2011 at 06:25:50 PM PDT

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