The Other in the Academy

“The theory that a political debate can only be won by silence should sound strange in the mouths of people who toil in the realm of ideas.  Alas, it isn’t strange at all.  I have a friend who compares his academic work today to ‘a mine-clearing operation’:  at any moment, you might step on a hidden sensitivity and blow up.  The once-rowdy American university has become a place of conformism and fear…In a real sense, it was a victory for intellectual openness over the dogmatic impulse and fear of taboo. The whole affair nonetheless felt more like pathology than politics: another psychotic episode in the strange ongoing breakdown of the American mind.”

—Martin Hurried, “The Other at Bard College.” October 31, 2017.