Belief in Authority

The older faculty members are, the likelier they are to resist the neoliberal measures of our administrators. The younger they are, the more wide-eyed enthusiasm they have for these measures. I probed, and it looks like they aren’t necessarily guided by any particular love for budget cuts, firings, and worsened working conditions. Rather, it’s the need to believe that authority is always right that inspires them. I’m hoping it’s age-related and not generational.


18 thoughts on “Belief in Authority

  1. It’s 100% generational. Traditionally, younger people have always been distrustful of authority, while older people tend to support the status quo. This millennial generation is the opposite, likely owing to their vast numbers and their Red Guard-like Maoist zeal.


  2. “age-related and not generational”

    I tend to think it’s a bit of both…. millenials stand out (among other ways) by being very neotonous in social terms.
    I remember back in the early=-mid 1990s first hearing about the idea of “sibling society” in which adults act like adolescents and refuse to mature… (a more benign theory was that longer life spans were stretching out earlier developmental phases over longer periods of time)
    I think that’s just gotten worse because young adults now seem frozen in pre-adolescence – a state in which they want a grown up to save them and tell them what do…


  3. “I’m hoping it’s age-related and not generational.”

    Oh, it’s totally not generational … because what’s actually at play is much worse.

    The Mainscream Media(TM) offers you the score:

    1) Do your own thing, then someone notices, then get smacked down for doing it;
    2) So instead, become one of the official noticers so you can get part of the take;
    3) Then follow the herd of authority figures so that you can benefit in the bigger graft.

    Ultimately it’s another grooming operation, and you’re part of it!

    Not willingly, but you are anyway, because the grooming operation consists of what’s in place within the institutions that have been converged as the result of the long march on the institutions themselves.

    Teach the kids to follow instead of to lead, and only the anti-social types want to do their own thing.

    Then get those follower kids to behave like little tyrant narcs against anyone who steps out of line.

    This works all the way from Donald Trump down to the local photographer who got whacked because she stepped on the turf of the local little tyrant narcs.

    Individually, within “higher education”, you may be doing what you can to encourage people to lead rather than to follow, or if that’s not tenable as a result, you may be satisfied with at least getting them to think and to appreciate.

    But the institutions themselves press on with the assertion that if you jump through the right hoops, you’ll wind up in a situation like Jerzy Kosinski’s infamous Chauncey Gardner where all of the right things happen for you just because you’re in that spot.

    “… in which adults act like adolescents and refuse to mature …”

    In which adults realise the games are rigged and refuse to participate in what other people insist is an “honest society”.

    For all of you who want to push back against this idea, why is it that every transfer you make in the US that’s over 600 USD now has to be announced to the IRS, but Sinister Bankster-Fraud could scoot off with 10+ billion USD and nobody in the Mainscream Media(TM) seems to bat an eye?

    No, it’s not generational, it’s societal, and it’s the defining mark of a society that’s lost its way irrevocably.

    What is to follow will only be worse, and the watershed has already been reached.

    (And that’s why we’re leaving, first gradually, then suddenly, in the manner of Ernest Hemingway.)

    All of these little things you notice are just this big thing appearing above the water line, such as what you have noticed about American dysfunctions concerning race, and there will be more of these things to come, some not so little.

    Played right, even a pasty white British-American guy like me with several other nationalities tacked on could figure out a way to Grift for Government Cheese.

    And yet I don’t do that because I’d rather lead my own way out of the corruption.

    Grifting for Government Cheese in the US works pretty damned well for the son of a South African apartheid-era emerald mine magnate, doesn’t it?

    Once you see it, you see it everywhere, along with all of the people who will watch you as you see it.

    The corruption is everywhere, right down to how people are groomed in order to accept it.

    [sits back with a glass of 18+ USD per gallon orange juice mixed with vodka and insists you attempt to change my mind]


  4. “… in our society.”

    What is this “our society” of which you speak?

    But let’s do the generations for the US with some choice words about them.

    Lost: Spanish American War of 1898 was entirely a corrupt venture, but fed on the carcass of it.

    Interbellum: War lies culminated in a regressive national income tax that sponsored soft socialism.

    “Greatest”: Perpetuated mass bullshit about “the final war” so they could pick certain parts of Europe clean for their treasury in order to fund soft socialism.

    Silents: Got blown up by the Great Depression, but then proceeded to be a huge benefactor of redistributed wealth via American social insurance (aka “Social Security”), in which they came out ahead at the cost of future generations with a greatly expanded socialist benefits scheme.

    Boomers: Still playing the social insurance games, but became really good at refining the global hegemony racket for profits.

    Gen X: Abdicated responsibility while mooching off the Silents and the Boomers as much as they dared, only to turn into whiny Late Boomers who want all of the social insurance to remain because they wound up paying for it, eventually settling into silent acceptance (by being philosophically poisoned by the Silents) of the jobs created by Big Hegemony.

    Millennials: Tried to embrace independence only to discover that it was better to try to pick the carcasses clean of the earlier generations, including by means of racking up huge student debts they had no intention of ever paying back, following the imprint of the Boomers.

    Gen Zed: Largely conditioned to regard their “identity” as being more important than what they achieve with it, they have entered the present situation as “special pleaders” using that “identity” to try to hustle expropriated and redistributed resources, rather than trying to lead out of that behaviour.

    Oh, and let’s do a bonus.

    Gilded: A populist saviour by the name of Andrew Jackson used his populism to undermine the independently created Bank of the United States which preceded the Federal Reserve System, and with his Specie Circular and its collapse, he set the stage by the 1830s for the takeover of the American money system, with its base in European banker-controlled New York rather than independent Philadelphia, which has left the United States captive to European banking interests ever since.

    So don’t blow smoke up my backside that “social” = “generational” and that somehow every generation in the US is special because of how they’re different.

    Every generation in the US finds its own way to pursue the corruption.

    Maybe it wouldn’t have been so bad after being sold out by Andrew Jackson if General Jubal Early had advanced on Washington DC instead of “lawyering up” and waiting for permission from General Lee or that sad sack gold embezzler Jefferson Davis …

    I wonder.


  5. @Post Alley Crackpot
    “I wonder.”
    Not much, from what I can see. Or not enough, at any rate. More like, “I am persuaded of this” or, “I know this for a fact”.
    Still, I really enjoy your semi-epic rants, and I generally mark them with a like (about which you probably don’t give a fig anyway; yes, I know that too). However, from one curmudgeon to another curmudgeon, I think it may be the time for you to start a blog, or perhaps you have one already. I for one would be thrilled to read more of your wide-ranging screeds on all and sundry topics.


    1. “Not much, from what I can see. Or not enough, at any rate.”

      Actually, I do wonder, and that’s because of whether Jubal Early could really overcome his circumstances.

      That’s because I regard him rather poorly, almost as if Newt Gingrich would be appointed General of an Army of Northern Georgia.

      I could see General Gingrich waiting on orders from Milledgeville instead of advancing on Charlotte even when the wanted victory of a relatively clean sacking would be certain.

      Also … you mark these “rants” with a “like”?

      The security suite installed within my browser does a number of things, including faking a hardware identity that is now over ten years old in order to encourage Internet servers to stop feeding it so much JavaScript, but the most noticeable thing it does here is that it completely clobbers the up/down buttons.

      I didn’t even know they were a thing until one day I decided to look at this blog with a conventional browser setup.

      I also don’t know who in particular likes any comment, mine or anyone else’s, with that “Liked by N people” feature.

      The security suite clobbers the active scripting there as well, although I see the text.

      But even if someone’s clicking the down button furiously, I wouldn’t care.

      And I don’t care to have a blog for a straightforward reason: this is actually “goofing off”, and I tend to get paid when I write something that isn’t merely “goofing off”.

      Back before this kind of thing was on the Internet, a popular press organisation was having trouble justifying the funds to keep the main news room heated for its reporters.

      So I proposed a scheme to make that happen: I’d publish an “epic rant” guaranteed to rustle more than just a few people, and the people in op-ed would conveniently place an address with internal mailbox for any correspondence.

      Just as I don’t look at up/down votes, I don’t look at “fan mail”, and so it should be no surprise that the internal mailbox listed was that of the building’s furnace.

      The hate mail that one piece generated kept those reporters warm for the better part of a week.

      It was my parting gift to the people I’d been working with for a while, and naturally it was also “my funeral” for ever working there again after my voluntary retirement.

      The biggest thing about doing this covertly if you have what William Shatner termed “a life” is that it may sneak up on you when you’re hanging about somewhere else discreetly just for the LOLZ.

      Having a fixed location somewhere on the Internet pushes a certain date forward, so to speak … or, actually, so not to speak.

      Just so we’re clear, I have a central air system in the house in Florida, not a furnace, as will also be the case with a place we’re having built “somewhere in [DATA EXPUNGED]”, and so I won’t need those hundreds of thousands of pieces of “fan mail” after all.

      But thanks to everyone who almost considered it. 🙂


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