Occupations and Vocations

“Every town must have a place where phony hippies meet.” –FZ

This morning, as I sat and advised my frosh on their autobiographical narrative papers, I tried to imagine my kids trying a stunt like the “Occupy Wall Street” crowd. First of all, there’s really not a place in Mondoville that would make for an interesting base of operations — “Occupy the Wal-Mart/ShoeShow parking lot” just doesn’t scan.

More importantly, though, my kids are less interested in overthrowing the system than they are in making their way in it. For most of them, college is an avenue toward earning a life equal to or better than that of their parents (the operative word there being earning). While I gripe about some of what that entails — such as a disinterest in Chaucer — I respect that, and I know that some of their resistance to things that don’t seem immediately practical stems from the fact that they want a place in the world as it is. I know Chaucer matters, and it’s my task to show them why Chaucer matters.

They’re willing to do the work that they think is necessary to do the things they want to do, and would prefer to be left alone once that work is done. Put another way, they don’t necessarily see it as their purpose to fix the world — they see their purpose as taking care of themselves and the people around them, and I have great sympathy for that, even as I try to expand their world. They don’t want to be dramatic — they want to tend their gardens, whatever forms those gardens take. Doubtless the OWS crowd would try to raise their “false consciousness.” Maybe that’s what I try to do as well, but I’m doing it without anger and without the contempt I hear too often from our society’s self-described elites.

On the other hand, when we look at things like the proposed list of “demands” from the OWS, what we see is the same call for a Year Zero that we’ve seen from the left since the time of the Jacobins. Wipe everything out (especially anything we might have to work to earn)! Start fresh (because that’s convenient for us)! Eliminate consequence! I want a pony! (OK, I may have made that last one up.) Meanwhile, let’s make life difficult for the people we expect to provide for our needs while we’re on this holy mission. You can’t make a better world without defacing a few restrooms, right? Shelley would have understood. This soi-disant occupation isn’t a noble gesture — it’s a tantrum.

Who is behaving contemptibly here? Here’s a hint: It isn’t the group of kids in my classroom. I’m proud of them.

About profmondo

Dad, husband, mostly free individual, medievalist, writer, and drummer. "Gladly wolde he lerne and gladly teche."
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29 Responses to Occupations and Vocations

  1. majormaddog says:

    I’m not sure I see these folx as the Left’s version of the Tea Party. I do note that they’ve got room to grow, so your criticisms (which are kind of boilerplate at this point for what you throw at the Left in general), may be OBE at some point. In support of that thought I offer a reminder that, in its infancy, the Tea Party labeled itself tea baggers. They’ve moved past that and had some political impact. For the sake of my side, I hope these folx do the same. Even if they don’t, however, I’m generally supporting them on the theory of “if big business and Fox News are annoyed by them, it’s a good thing.”

  2. profmondo says:

    Perhaps my complaints about them are boilerplate are because the occupants (a term for people with no worthwhile individual identity, or so my junk mail tells me) are already self-parodying cliche.

    And having a political impact is not enough. Jefferson Davis had a political impact; so did Pol Pot. It matters what you want your impact to do. The occupants merely want to go to 1968 fantasy camp(TM). My kids — and the tea partiers to whom I’ve spoken — want to support themselves. There’s a difference.

    • majormaddog says:

      Sure “there’s a difference.” The difference is our values and ideology. I find the force Christianity down their throats politics of the Right and the dislike of people of color gussied up in a nostalgia for 1950’s white America by the Tea Party to be repugnant. And if you find my lumping all folx on the Right or in the Tea Party together in those statements offensive, then you get the difference. Kind of like juxtaposing the idea of Lefties as 1968 anarchists or government-loving spend and tax liberals versus the hard-working Tea Party adherents who just want to make an honest wage, raise their god-fearing families and have the government leave them alone. Amen.

      • profmondo says:

        Let’s see…
        the dislike of people of color gussied up in a nostalgia for 1950′s white America by the Tea Party
        Herman Cain says hey.
        Meanwhile, on the Left

        or maybe over here

        But let’s move along…
        the hard-working Tea Party adherents who just want to make an honest wage, raise their god-fearing families and have the government leave them alone.

        Which part of that isn’t true? You lost me here. When did the tea partiers insist upon (as Jen noted) “Demand three: Guaranteed living wage income regardless of employment.” or “Demand four: Free college education.” The tea partiers want to keep what they earn, and to spend it on what they choose. The occupants want other people’s earnings to be given to them because… well… because they should, that’s all. It’s on their freaking web site!

        Again, the tea partiers are claiming negative rights; your side claims positive rights. Which one demands that someone else supply their needs in order to be allowed to exist without harassment? At best, that’s robbery; at worst, slavery. So which side is calling us back to the Bad Old Days again?

        And by the way — which bunch would you prefer as neighbors?

        It’s pretty simple, really. My students want to be able to pull their wagons. The occupants want to ride.

      • majormaddog says:

        Ah, the downside of the comment section. My snark and/or sarcasm is lost in the chaos. Clearly, in my opinion, the TP doesn’t just “want” to earn a wage and have the government leave them alone. If only that were the case. No, their agenda also includes many of the social issues that are near and dear to conservatives’ hearts, such as having the government prevent doctors from giving a woman an abortion if she wants, or having the government prohibit people from choosing to put certain chemicals in their bodies, or having the government decide that’s enough with immigrants, thank you very much, or making sure that the government treats undocumented immigrants as poorly as possible as they give them a boot out the door, or…the list goes on. Nah, the TP is very interested in having government involvement in people’s lives as long as its government involvement they like. They want to draw the line where the government gets to play or not play based on the things they believe in. And that’s not that different from what the WS protesters are doing (a guaranteed minimum wage income and free college education, for example, are pretty standard social democratic principles that you find throughout Europe. You know like in Germany or Denmark – hardly wild-eyed communist countries). The difference, I’d say, is where they draw the line.

      • profmondo says:

        Re: abortion: Try again.

        Again, I’ll ask you — who would you rather have living next door? A tea partier or an occupant? Which one is more likely to trash your neighborhood and expect someone else to fix it? Which one is more likely to help you fix your car? Which one are you more likely to trust with watching the Mad Pup? Is all that irrelevant because they might invite you to church? Jeer at the tea partiers all you like, but Mondoville has its charms.

      • majormaddog says:

        Your article is from March 2010, which is an eon in political terms. Even without abortion, I think my point stands. Both sides want the government for the things they like. Did I forget to mention allowing the government to put prayer into public schools and working to get their version of mythology taught in public school as if it were a scientific theory? Oh, wait, the TP doesn’t get into any of that stuff, right? As for your final question, I’ve known plenty of hippies in my time. As long as we’re playing stereotypes you can drive a semi through, I’d much rather have any one of those hippies as my neighbor than to have a TP Bubba with trash and broken down cars littering his lawn and who cooks meth back out in the woods.

    • The Ancient says:

      After FLG posted those definitions of “freedom,” I spent a little time poking around and found this:

      “America touts itself as the land of the free, but the number one freedom that you and I have is the freedom to enter into a subservient role in the workplace. Once you exercise this freedom you’ve lost all control over what you do, what is produced, and how it is produced. And in the end, the product doesn’t belong to you. The only way you can avoid bosses and jobs is if you don’t care about making a living. Which leads to the second freedom: the freedom to starve.”

      This bit of Vanitas is from Tom Morello, a graduate of the Harvard Social Studies Department. So it’s not just over-indebted 20-somethings out there talking piffle. It’s vastly rich rock-and-roll guitarists, too.

      P.S. Did you just equate Jefferson Davis with Pol Pot?

      • profmondo says:

        Not quite, as Davis would have found the killing fields to be bad business — but Hitler is a cliche, after all, and I wanted to pick a couple of folks that I knew the Major would find objectionable. (You do still oppose Pol Pot, right, Major?) 🙂

  3. Jen says:

    I think the tea partiers are ridiculous, but I get what they want and how it fits into government and real life. I don’t get the Occupy Wall Street movement at all. I tried to, because I have a soft spot for grassroots movements and social change and whatnot… but I don’t get it.

    Then when I clicked over to their proposed demands I only got to #3 and started to LOL.

    “Demand three: Guaranteed living wage income regardless of employment.”

    Ah, hippies.

    I think we have an obligation to help people who truly can’t find work. I don’t want them to go hungry or go without medical care or heat in the winter. But doesn’t the word “wage” imply that they are in fact working? And to me it implies payment rather than provision, payment being something they can spend as they please. And I’m not all over that, especially as it’s being “demanded” of me, by people who are basically having a lengthy X-treme camp out while I’m hustling.

  4. bluesun says:

    I don’t know. What they seem to want is too greedy for me to take their protests of corporate greed too seriously.

  5. Jeff says:

    I’ve known people who’ve been involved with the semi-pro protest circuit, and I’ve even attended a couple of these things with them, years ago, and I remain struck by how ineffective this whole street-theater business really is. From occupations and protests against tuition hikes on campuses 20 years ago, to marches against the first Gulf War, to all the gigantic anti-war marches of the G.W. Bush years, to recent public-union rallies, these things just don’t get results, even when the “demands” are less ludicrous than they are this time. While protest groups have gotten very slick about organizing, apportioning volunteers, teaching people how to get arrested, etc., they’ve become truly bad at getting what they want. Increasingly, these kinds of sit-ins feel less like a part of the civic process and more like some giant, irrelevant art project.

  6. Severian says:

    I find these comments from MajorMaddog interesting:

    having the government decide that’s enough with immigrants, thank you very much

    This is in fact one of the legitimate functions of government — controlling borders and setting out a path to citizenship. It’s right there in the constitution and everything. (And, I suspect, the Major’s objections are disingenuous — his other comments suggest he’d likely be fine with a total ban on the immigration of fundamentalist Christians). Thus the Tea Party stands accused of… wanting the government to fulfill its constitutionally-enumerated duties. Will the horror of 50s nostalgia never end?!

    or making sure that the government treats undocumented immigrants as poorly as possible as they give them a boot out the door

    This is just silly. “Undocumented” is the euphemism for “illegal.” As in, “lawbreakers.” The statutory punishment for violating US immigration law is deportation. So once again, the Tea Party is accused of… wanting the government to carry out its mandatory functions. I swear, I think one could get away with murder in this country if one simply called it “undocumented euthanasia.” I can just see the weepy New York Times six-part Pulitzer-bait story on the plight of undocumented euthanasiasts nationwide. Mother Jones magazine subscriptions would double overnight.

    And finally, having the government prohibit people from choosing to put certain chemicals in their bodies.

    Annnnnnd….. here we have it!!! As stated, this argument is ridiculous. Of course it’s within the government’s power to prohibit people from putting stuff in their bodies. I can’t believe I have to explain this to a guy whose side wants to ban smoking, trans fats, salt, and pretty much everything but free-range kelp, but here goes: I doubt if even the hardest-core Free Republic Paulbot would argue that the government has zero legitimate interest in public health. I’m a “keep your laws off my body” fellow myself, but even I would like the government to ban homemade smallpox injection kits. The debate isn’t that a constitutional government has such powers; it’s how often, and to what extent, those powers should be used, that constitutes the meat of politics in a democracy.

    Of course, when leftists start arguing about banned chemicals and whatnot, they’re usually just cheesed off that they can’t toke up in peace. Which I totally get — smoke ’em if you got ’em, I say –but as I tell my libertarian friends: “weed, man! Weeeeed!!!” is not a viable political philosophy.

  7. Huck says:

    Severian – Let’s at least get one thing straight about language usage. People are not and never were “illegal.” Actions are illegal, not people. We don’t use this adjective to describe any other lawbreaker, so why do we use it to describe certain kinds of immigrants? It’s a linguistic way to intentionally demean another human being. What these immigrants lack is proper documentation to be in this country, hence the use of the correct terminology of undocumented immigrants. So, the word “undocumented” is actually the accurate and appropriate in this context. You have it backwards, my friend: It’s not that “undocumented” is a euphemism for “illegal,” but rather that “illegal” is a cacophemism for “undocumented.”

    • nightfly says:

      First, congrats on “cacophemism.” Excellent word. However, I don’t think that “illegal immigrant” is an example. In fact, there’s a much simpler reason for the phrase, which also accounts for not using the adjective to describe other lawbreakers: there exists such a thing as legal immigration, therefore we need a way to distinguish the two. We don’t say “illegal murderer” or “illegal rapist” or “illegal jaywalker” because there’s no way to do those things legally. It’s redundant.

      We therefore don’t say “illegal immigrant” to demonize border-jumpers, we say it in recognition of those who work to get their visas, green cards, and possibly take the oath of citizenship.

      If you want to split hairs and say “illegal immigration” to keep the focus on the activity, that’s fine – but to simply say “undocumented” is to imply oversight rather than willful refusal to follow the law. I can forget my driver’s license at home, and thus be temporarily “undocumented,” or I can simply never bother to go get one, which would make me an “illegal driver.” I think it’s important to preserve the distinction.

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  9. Severian says:

    Ummmmmm…..ok. “Undocumented,” illegal…. they’re still breaking the law, aren’t they? 🙂

    I agree, though, that it’s a very odd locution — which was kind of my point. If “illegal” is intentionally demeaning, as you assert, then it seems to me that “undocumented” is a deliberate way of avoiding the fact that “undocumented immigrants” are, in fact, breaking the law. You say this yourself: “What these immigrants lack is proper documentation to be in this country.” Which is a violation of the law. Which is… illegal.

    If I bring a kilo of cocaine into the United States, I’m not an “undocumented importer,” I’m a drug trafficker. I doubt many people would take to the intertubes defending my right to sell that kilo of coke by saying “What this importer lacks is proper documentation to retail cocaine in this country.” Is this intentionally demeaning to me, the aspiring drug kingpin? “Undocumented” is at least as appropriate in this context as it is in the context of “undocumented workers,” as we’re both trying to make a buck by clearly and knowingly violating the laws of the United States.

    If you want to change US immigration policy and have solid arguments to that effect, have at it. That’s what the political process is designed for. But my agreement to use “undocumented immigrant” henceforth does nothing to advance that: they’re still in the country illegally, they’re still breaking the law, the penalty for that is still deportation, and so forth. Insisting on points of semantics — usually accompanied by insinuations, or outright declarations, that your opponents are racists — does nothing to change the facts on the ground.

    So let’s stipulate that the correct term is “undocumented immigrant.” Now: what, specifically, do you propose to change in current US immigration law? Do you favor a blanket amnesty? A guest-worker program? Phased deportations? Some kind of card check?

    • Huck says:

      Severian – I’m not defending the undocumented immigrant’s right to be in this country; I’m just saying that the inclination to want to call such an immigrant an “illegal” immigrant is to suggest that illegality is inherent to the human being who is an immigrant. The motivation in doing so is to vilify the individual person as much if not moreso than the action. And that makes the use of the term “illegal” in defining a person who doesn’t have the proper immigration documentation a cacophemism.

      I acknowledge a government’s right to police its borders; and I support comprehensive immigration reform. My start at a solution (imperfect but I think better than what we currently have), acknowledging the supposed wealth-producing benefits of free trade in all markets, including the labor market, would be to give every person who passes a background security check (which he would pay for himself) the opportunity to find work in our country. The way I would do this is to develop a program that gives an immigrant seeking a job a temporary work visa for six months with the possibility of converting this temporary work visa to a permanent visa and a path to permanent resident status or citizenship after six months upon providing evidence of a secure wage/income stream from an established employer who certifies the immigrant’s future employment.

      • majormaddog says:

        I’m with Huck. The Nativist contingent (mostly on the Right) I think has us going the wrong way on immigration. Instead of trying to shut down immigration and trying to kick out the people who are here and doing quite a bit to help our economy along, we ought to be looking to get those undocumented immigrants documents (or legalize the illegals if that suits Severian better). We ought to be trying to attract as many of the best and brightest from around the world who want to come here and letting them settle here permanently. Arbitrary limits like 50,000 a year are counter-productive for a country that wants to continue to be the strongest, best and smartest in the world. I actually think this is a quasi national security issue because in the next 20 years we’re going to really be coming into conflict more and more with China. If we’re going to arrest and reverse the stagnation in this country and be able to punch at same weight as China over the long term, I think the solution starts with a well thought out, safe, but open immigration policy.

  10. Severian says:

    Fair enough. I’m not sure I agree, but it’s a fair point, well made. Thanks for the followup.

  11. Huck says:

    For most of them, college is an avenue toward earning a life equal to or better than that of their parents (the operative word there being earning).

    I agree, Professor Mondo; but maybe you can answer a related question that has always puzzled me: if college is something to value, something that represents earning a better life, why is there such a disdain among many conservatives for the intellectual accomplishment that comes with earning an advanced college degree in the liberal arts and then taking up a job as a college professor?

    • profmondo says:

      Well, I think part of it is the pragmatic aspect of the American character, which goes back a long way — Ichabod Crane, anyone? However, I think a lot of it goes to the contempt our intellectual class has shown for them. From Babbitt to American Beauty, and by the New Left and its descendants, we’ve been harangued by people who declare themselves our intellectual betters about the evils of our lives.

      And of course, it’s not like the animosity toward academics is one-sided. How many times have we seen efforts to explain the leftward tilt of the academy with the ideas that conservatives are either too greedy or too stupid to make it in academia? And how many times have we heard our peers say that part of our job is to correct the false consciousness our students have received before they got to us?

      I’ve written about an interesting article I read on working-class attitudes; one of the points I noted was that working-class people (from which sector I came. My dad was a blue-collar guy who smarted his way into white-collar work when I was a little kid — although he didn’t get white-collar pay until I was an adult.) tend to be rather sensitive to condescension. Is it surprising then that we’re going to bristle at the condescension that is the stock-in-trade of too many of our academic peers?

      • Huck says:

        I don’t know, Professor Mondo. Sure, a lot of academics lean left (I’m one of them); but I know very few who openly express what can be truly considered condescension towards the working-classes. I really wonder if that’s your actual experience, too.

        You ask: How many times have we seen efforts to explain the leftward tilt of the academy with the ideas that conservatives are either too greedy or too stupid to make it in academia? And how many times have we heard our peers say that part of our job is to correct the false consciousness our students have received before they got to us?

        In all honesty, I really haven’t heard any of my academic colleagues, liberal or conservative, make the claim that conservatives are too greedy or too stupid to make it in academia. Have you ever been treated that way by your colleagues? In my experience, I have never heard any of my colleagues say that we need to correct false consciousness. What I have heard is the need to develop critical-thinking abilities, to learn solid research and argumentation skills, to master the methodologies and languages of our disciplines. I think David Horowitz has done conservative students a disservice by inculcating a belief among them even before they get to college that the university is hostile to ideological diversity.

        But getting back to the original point of the discussion… I’d say that it’s more and more the case that academics come from middle and working-class backgrounds. Witness the two of us. I find myself coming to the conclusion that what really rankles many who are ideologically opposed to the academy is simple aversion to intellectualism. I think that more often than not intellectual ability in and of itself is considered a hallmark of elitist snobbery and antipathy towards the less-schooled.

        With all due respect, I think people’s “sensitivity to condescension” is more often than not either a resentment at getting bested in a clean and respectful argument or a frustration in not having the ability or skills to engage effectively in an argument.

  12. profmondo says:

    I think the snobbery awareness goes a bit deeper than David Horowitz, Huck. Megan McArdle has written on it here and here, for example. As for condescension, I’ve written about some that I’ve encountered at this very blog — the comments are of some interest as well. Check the bumper stickers on the cars in the faculty lot at your local Tier I — let me know which way the politics lean.I know that’s anecdotal evidence — but it’s still evidence.

    Meanwhile, wouldn’t you be suspicious of someone who said that claims of bias or condescension are the refuge of a loser in other sectors of our society? Finally, if the purpose of diversity is exposure to other points of view, rather than exposure to a range of genetic backgrounds (which presupposes the notion that ethnicity is intellectual destiny), shouldn’t there be as many conservatives in academia as liberals? Again, there is evidence of underrepresentation of conservatives in academia (especially in the humanities and social sciences.) Why wouldn’t smart conservatives therefore suspect that they are less than welcome, and feel a certain enmity in return?

    • Huck says:

      All good points, Professor Mondo. (And thanks to the links to the McArdle pieces. Long, but worth the read.) I think it’s worth recalling that I readily admit that liberals dominate the academic environment, and that I would like to see much more ideological diversity among the ranks of the academy. McArdle makes some compelling arguments about why the patterns of liberal dominance of the academy persist, and even why that has negative consequences of society as a whole; but what she never does is to propose a solution beyond just saying that it should change. I want more ideological diversity in the academy, but I am at a loss as to how to go about this other than by making a conscious effort to convince qualified and competent conservatives to do what it takes and to endure the environment, such as it is, to earn that Ph.D. and to not give up on the academic job market that seems stacked against them.

      Maybe the reason why the academy leans left has very much to do with the ideological perceptions of academic work. Could it be that those who lean left generally find the simple idea of academic work more fulfilling and appealing a career choice than those who lean right? I am reluctant to buy into this, but I can’t just believe that what dissuades conservatives from the academic profession is the preponderance of liberals in it.

      But there’s one nagging question that no one ever seems to address in this debate — and it has to do with what are the measurable outcomes of this liberal predominance in academia. How many people in our society have college degrees of some sort? And among this group, how many identify as conservative or liberal? To me, it is a testament to the academic profession that, in spite of the fact that the academy is constituted disproportionately by liberals, we are educating individuals who represent a fairly good range of ideologies. And if it is true that 40% of Americans self-identify as conservative while only 20% self-identify as liberals, what reflection does that have on the argument that college professors are out to correct a false consciousness?

  13. profmondo says:

    Well, the 40-20 split indicates either that those profs aren’t very good at accomplishing their aim or that given a choice between the profs or their “lyin’ eyes”, people tend to choose the latter. 🙂 (Meanwhile, either way might explain some of why an ever-growing proportion of the population finds the humanities irrelevant. If we were to value what we do as an end in itself rather than as a means to some end in the political struggle, it might begin to win back the trust we’ve lost from much of the culture.)

    Again, the idea that members of group x “just don’t want” a position in field y smells like a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    But the larger question, as you have astutely noted, is what can or should we do about this? Well, I’ve poked at this a few times here. For example, the fact that some of our courses are thinly disguised ideological soapboxes may in fact create hostile environments. The bigger problem, I think is groupthink, particularly in fields that place premiums on concepts like collegiality.

    But I don’t think there’s necessarily a need for some sort of “Affirmative Action for conservatives program.” I’ve talked about that here. Ultimately, I think what’s called for is a willingness to look beyond the sort of research that is currently trendy and beyond the institutions that have a near hegemonic ability to define the boundaries of our profession. That’s not affirmative action — it’s just the openness and honesty we’ve claimed for decades.

  14. Huck says:

    Well, the 40-20 split indicates either that those profs aren’t very good at accomplishing their aim or that given a choice between the profs or their “lyin’ eyes”, people tend to choose the latter.

    I know you wrote this rather tongue-in-cheek; but I’m not convinced that you don’t believe it deep down. Why wouldn’t Occam’s Razor apply here? Maybe the 40-20 split means that profs are accomplishing their aims, which is to teach people to think critically and for themselves and not to engage in ideological brainwashing. I’ve read some of your old postings on the subject of your experience with grad school and you seem to indicate that your profs (I presume they were liberals) were intellectually honest and treated you fairly (even if your grad student peers did not). I like to hope that I treat my students the same way your profs treated you. And I really do think that most of my colleagues, liberal or conservative, approach their teaching the same way. While there may be some liberal profs who are unsufferable propagandists as teachers (like your prof in the Canonicity class you took during your MA program), I’d imagine 95% of them are not. That’s not to say that a professor’s ideological leanings aren’t going to seep into the course dynamic (How could they not? And I think it’s a fool’s errand and actually an impossibility to expect anyone to ideologically neuter himself in any setting, much less a setting where “big ideas” are debated.); but a good teacher never lets his or her leanings create a classroom environment hostile to differing perspectives. And most of my colleagues are pretty good teachers in this sense. I just think that liberal preponderance of the academy does not necessarily mean producing liberal mind-bot graduates and citizens. If the academy really is nothing more than a liberal ideological propagandist machine and liberal brainwashing outfit, that 40-20 split would be much, much different.

    • profmondo says:

      You do realize that your argument stipulates that most people who think critically are going to reject liberalism, right?

      Meanwhile, back to the issue of bias in the academy — yes, I’ve acknowledged the intellectual honesty of my Ph.D. professors — even the full-on Marxists (one of whom blogs — and occasionally appears on MSNBC — as the Rude Pundit). OTOH, that was at a non-flagship school — another factor may have been the fact that as a medievalist, my field was less contaminated by theory than, say, Victorian Lit. However, the flagship school where I did the M.A. (and this was before I turned toward the medieval) seemed more like a site of the Gramscian Long March — and again, those profs were from the usual hegemons.

      You may be right that most profs — righty or lefty — can keep their classrooms as intellectually open as you and I want them to be; I hope you are. The prof-as-indoctrinator may be relatively uncommon — particularly at the Mondovilles of the world. But at the schools that for better or worse set the disciplinary agenda — the Ivies (and Ivy wannabes) that produce the faculty at the top-tier schools — those cultural capitalists — seem to lean in a considerably more doctrinaire direction, and the repercussions of that may well extend down to Mondoville.

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