Our Censorship

In a way, the censorship in US academia is worse than the Soviet kind. The Soviet censors were mostly dumb, uneducated people, and it wasn’t all that hard to pull wool over their eyes and make them think you are saying the opposite of what you were. Writer Vera Ketlinskaya, for instance, created a very realistic and poignant depiction of the horrors experienced by young people in Stalin’s industrialization projects. It was investigative reporting of the highest caliber. And she got Stalin’s Award in literature for it because she was smart about how she framed the story.

We don’t have any dumb bureaucrats censoring our work. We censor each other during the peer-review process. This means that the people keeping you in tune with the party line are very smart. If you hide your ideas so well that even they can’t find them, then nobody else will find them either.


3 thoughts on “Our Censorship”

    1. What’s really curious is that the folks who censor would never accept that it’s what they are doing. They are convinced that there are things that are simply not up for debate because they have been settled once and for all. And I agree that there are such things. For instance, Spain lost its last American colonies in 1898. We don’t debate this unless somebody comes up with some major revelation based on archival work or whatever.

      But when the list of things that are not up for debate move into the realm of opinions or ideas and occupies it massively, that’s a problem. Then, we can’t generate any new ideas because there is no space for testing out and developing any new ideas. All we do is repeat the same received wisdoms in different ways.


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