Academia in the liberal West is controlled by appeals to ‘agency’, ‘pluralism’, and ‘political relevance’. These are every bit as dogmatic as the ideological demands placed on academia by ‘authoritarian’ societies. ‘Academic freedom’ is the project of imposing them.
The concepts used to control discourse, to ensure its liberal content - that it must make space for agency, pluralism, and political relevance - are also realized within the academy itself, so that the academy is expected to exemplify these concepts, rendering them incontestable.
This is the circularity of ‘academic freedom’. It is defined as the academy exemplifying liberal values, which ultimately amounts to it enforcing liberal ideology on its members. This is no different from the academy enforcing any other ideology, it just has better branding.
This is all completely unavoidable. The academy has to embody some worldview or other and launch its inquiries from that basis and this has to be realized in the structure of the academy itself. It’s the liberal claim to freedom, neutrality, and pluralism that is at fault.
This matters in two ways. One is if you’re a foreigner and told that the liberal academy will allow you to preserve your own heritage within its walls. This is a lie. The other is that it confuses Western dissidents, who think it’d be wrong to impose an alternative worldview.

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with scientism

scientism Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @mr_scientism

17 Sep
The most important question in economics is why the nation-state isn’t just organized as one big, administered enterprise (i.e., a form of state socialism). The usual answers take ‘the market’ to be normative and talk about ‘inefficiencies’, but this is misguided.
You can flip the issue around and avoid taking ‘the market’ as the default: every economy would be one big, administered enterprise; the convoluted structure we call the ‘market economy’ appears due to ‘state intervention’; specifically laws of property, trust, etc.
The ‘varieties of capitalism’ are actually varieties of (state) socialism. Different countries have more or less convoluted administrative structures (i.e., further from default managerialism) depending the degree to which policy has been informed by the discipline of economics.
Read 4 tweets
16 Sep
The idea that America ‘has no culture’ and that it’s culture is merely the result of commercialism or naturally-occurring hedonism is employed to mask the sheer quantity of violence and coercion it has taken to spread that culture worldwide.
The presence of American culture is often taken to be the mark of freedom in other countries. “Before the authoritarians came, people were listening to American music and wearing American style dress and observing American mores.“ Because what else would free people do?
‘Freedom‘, then, merely means creating the kind of environment where American corporations and media can dominate. Free trade, free markets, the free press, etc, are all legal constructs that favor large American incumbents over local suppliers of goods and services.
Read 5 tweets
18 Aug
The purpose of liberalism is to control technology and technical knowledge. 'Private corporations' are silos for technical knowledge. 'Free trade' is about using power asymmetries to keep other states underdeveloped. 'Intellectual property' is used to stop knowledge transfer.
The international system works like this: You must adopt core liberal tenets for isolating technical knowledge before we can share it with you. That means 'free markets', 'intellectual property', etc. You must adopt the containment system before gaining access to the knowledge.
The rest of the liberal system is about how to view technology (and science) and how to use it. You must not read any kind of teleology into science and technology. Technology is all 'happy accidents' created in the 'pursuit of profit'. Science exposes the world as meaningless.
Read 5 tweets
5 Aug
Think of society as split into two sets of institutions. One set we'll call 'operations' - this consists of agriculture, industry, engineering, the natural sciences, etc - and the other set we'll call 'commentary' - this consists of the social sciences, economics, media, etc.
'Operations' is ordered according to 'operational concepts', concepts used in the organization of activities that transform the material world. 'Commentary' is ordered according to non-operational concepts, they're only used in interpreting social phenomena.
'Operations' is subject to compartmentalization, so that nobody in operations has a complete pictures of how things work. This is achieved by switching from operational concepts to commentary's concepts when they talk about outside organizations, society in general, etc.
Read 8 tweets
5 Aug
America is not just going to start building again. The whole of American culture has become oriented to the service economy. Finance, management, politics, public discourse, etc, all now serve the service economy. Nobody has a clue how to 'get back to building' again.
People talk like you can just restore America back to an old save point. "We've just got to do what we did in the 40s and 50s. We did it back then and we can do it now." But even the exhortation betrays the problem: the problem is now just seen in terms of marketing slogans.
Back when America did build, there was pervasive interest in building, the management of large projects, etc; it was all-encompassing cultural phenomenon. Everything that fed into that has been gutted and replaced with ideas that feed the marketing-oriented service economy.
Read 4 tweets
31 Jul
I've been saying for years that the US would ban any Chinese social media app that got popular in the US. Once again: 'free speech', 'free markets', etc, are just the rhetorical exploitation of the power asymmetries the US enjoys over other countries.
When America talks about 'free speech', 'free markets', 'free trade', etc, it means: "lower your barriers so that our established firms, media, NGOs, etc, can enjoy free rein." It does this because it knows it's the more powerful party, that local offerings can't compete.
As soon as another (non-aligned) party proves as capable as the US and the US loses its advantage, 'free speech', 'free markets', 'free trade', etc, are completely forgotten. In the absence of certainty that American firms and media will triumph, national security is invoked.
Read 6 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!