I dunk on conservatives who think the university is biased against them because it’s a fun way to procrastinate on writing my book, but I am under no illusions that they can ever be convinced of the truth: universities are actually right of center institutions. Why? 1/11
Two reasons. 1. The Right has been deeply invested since the McCarthy era in demonizing universities as subversive sites of radicalism. They are in too deep, with too much infrastructure built up to sustain the myth, to ever be dissuaded 2/11
2. Right-wing folks are fundamentally unable to think structurally about power, except in a conspiracy-mongering way. They can’t understand how institutions work. They make a mistake by equating the political leanings of labor (“radical” professors) with the institution. 3/11
Let’s put aside the question of whether professors are actually “radical.” Some are, some aren’t, but diagnosing epistemic commitments from partisan political preferences betrays a fundamental misunderstanding of how knowledge is produced. But set that aside for now. 4/11
You cannot understand the governing culture of a corporation by looking at labor. You have to look at management. They structure the institution & establish its ideology. & university management is right-wing 5/11
in the only sense that matters for understanding an institution, namely in their political economy. There is no question about this & there are no exceptions - every higher ed institution in America is captive to anti-labor ideology 6/11
But conservatives don’t understand this because they have an erroneous account of how institutions work. & while I’m happy to come down to the Piraeus to correct them, I think that even if they were to begin to think structurally . . . 7/11
. . . they have invested way too much effort/money/energy- 70 years, over half a century-in convincing themselves of the alternative, false account 8/11
So the audience for these tweets aren’t conservatives. Instead, I am addressing other academic workers who I hope can be convinced to prioritized solidarity with contingent colleagues & support worker organizing across highered 9/11
esp. if they enjoy the privilege of a tenure line appointment, as the SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT issue facing the academy today. Solving, for example, the student debt crisis without attacking the exploitation of continent academic workers 10/11
actually does not help. This is why #CollegeforAll legislation can under no circumstances be stripped of the provisions that address this exploitation. If it is, I don’t think it should be supported. I know this is controversial, but it’s true. 11/11

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More from @AsheeshKSi

1 May
What should be a fascinating conversation on whistleblowing starting right now between Daniel Ellsberg, Edward Snowden, and Amy Goodman, which can be viewed here: umass.edu/ellsberg/confe… #twitterstorians @UMassHistory @umassph
As a historian of early modern bureaucracy, what fascinates me about this conversation is how & why state servants decide that they have a responsibility that requires them to turn against the state
Snowden states that there is an idea that there's a proper channel of whistleblowing within the government if you find a problem. #EllsbergConference
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