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Clarissa's Blog

An academic's opinions on feminism, politics, literature, philosophy, teaching, academia, and a lot more.

Neoliberal Infants

What drives me nuts is that whenever the issue of people being hounded on campus arises, all everybody wants to discuss is whether they agree with that person’s ideas. Or, which is more likely, with somebody’s clumsy retelling of a retelling of those ideas. It’s like that old Soviet joke where a fellow says, “Gosh, that Pavarotti guy can’t sing worth a damn. He’s horrible. Rabinowitz sang me a couple of Pavarotti’s tunes and they stank.”

A university should be a place for a free exchange of ideas. Not “ideas I like and approve.” Just ideas. All of them. 

As I keep saying, there need to be at least a couple of general principles that guide your actions. But people have been so colonized by neoliberalism that the only principle they can accept is “whatever doesn’t give me warm and fuzzy feelings of comfort is bad and should be screamed down.” Neoliberalism tries to transform us all into infants with their insatiable needs, their incapacity to stand any frustration of their desires, their intolerance of delayed gratification, their complete dependence, their existence outside the realm of the word and within the realm of emotion.

That’s what we need to resist. Everybody on their own and all of us together. 

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