NACLA and Colombia

Michael Hoover hoov at
Fri Dec 15 17:51:46 MST 2000

> My remarks were
> intended to address the
> differences between an academic windbag like John Weeks and Michael Moore.
> Louis Proyect

Some people think Michael Moore is a windbag...

I know nothing about John Weeks but your academic/tenured prof bashing
became unplayable scratchy record a long time ago.  Your take is
flip side of Reed Irvine & Accuracy in Academic types: they give
impression that colleges/universities are teeming with lefties bent
on turning students into revolutionaries, You apparently think that
halls of academe are crawling with sell-outs with cushy jobs who
have no political agenda other than to turn young minds in pomo

Fact of matter is that most US college students are *never* exposed
to material beyond mildly critical.  Part of reason is that purge
- through denial of tenure - in mid-to-late 70s diminished influence
of instructors trained in activism of mid-60s to early 70s.  Large
numbers of activists entered various liberal arts, humanities, &
social sciences only to find adversity when these disciplines
experienced funding problems.  Both adjunctism & increased classloads
short circuit anti-racist, anti-sexist, anti-elitist pedagogy.  And
as higher ed has incresingly responded to "needs" of capital, labor,
women & minority studies programs have been deemphasized or eliminated
for want of funding.

There just ain't many radical teachers (and researchers) out there.
Take New Political Science caucus: We've had hard time keeping our
numbers at 300 so that we can remain inside American Political Science
Assn (whether we should try to do so is another issue, one that has
been often debated).  My experience is that most NPS folks are
activists, and good ones.

I mentioned to you when we spent some time in NYC last fall that number
of left academic journals were response to inability of radicals to
get published in mainstream journals.  Yes, tenure is an issue and,
yes, some of the left publications exhibit snottiness of mainstream.
But some of that was attempt to establish alternative that would be
acceptable for tenure review.  In other words, this has been political
matter in contested terrain of higher education.  Maybe not most
important arena of struggle but one in which more than selling out
with cushy jobs are at stake.

Don't believe the hype, most instructors have work lives quite different
from the myth...    Michael Hoover

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