‘Against the Tyranny of Intellectual Mobs’

Peter Mauney

Roger Berkowitz, director of the Hannah Arendt Center for Politics and Humanities at Bard College

To the Editor,

I write in reference to the open letter addressed to Leon Botstein and me.

The letter says I made a mistake in inviting a speaker to a two-day conference. Not one of the 56 signatories attended the conference they are criticizing. At the same time, not one person who chose to attend the conference signed the letter. For those who would like to move beyond posturing, I suggest you take the time to view the conference in its entirety. You can do so here.

I fully agree when the Open Letter argues that “there is a need to engage with a wide range of political views, including illiberal and even neofascist ones.” It was in this spirit that I invited Marc Jongen to speak. The signatories argue that Jongen is an unacceptable illiberal or neofascist thinker. Thus, they insist I must admit that inviting him was a mistake, and disavow him. My question for the signees of the letter is this: What kind of illiberal, neofascist speaker would they find acceptable?

The core claim of the Open Letter is found in this sentence: “We believe that Jongen’s participation in the conference, regardless of the organizers’ intentions, enabled him to leverage Hannah Arendt’s legacy to legitimize and normalize the AfD’s far-right ideology.” Listening to a speaker at an academic conference does not legitimize their ideas; on the contrary, it opens a space for critical engagement with those ideas. The AfD is a real-world example of the crisis facing wobbling liberal democracies. The only way to respond to this crisis is to listen to, engage, and reject these arguments. That is precisely what happened at the conference.

Hannah Arendt spent her entire life on the receiving end of mass criticism. She was mercilessly attacked for her opinions on Zionism, Soviet totalitarianism, and Adolf Eichmann, and each time she joined the fray to argue that “debate constitutes the very essence of political life.” Arendt taught self-thinking against the tyranny of intellectual mobs. She celebrated universities as fragile bastions of free thought and contestation. The role of the educator is nothing more than to present the world as it is to students for their judgment. She hated nothing more than those who assign themselves the role of censor. Which is why she wrote:

“Education can play no part in politics because in politics we always have to deal with those who are already educated. Whoever wants to educate adults really wants to act as their guardian and prevent them from political activity.”


Roger Berkowitz
Associate Professor of Politics, Philosophy, and Human Rights
Founder and Academic Director of the Hannah Arendt Center for Politics and Humanities
Bard College


  • 99Luftballons

    She was mercilessly attacked for her opinions . . .

    Does that really mean that some of her New York Upper West Side Intellectual acquantences criticized her at one time or another? And pointed out that she had only “opinions” and not facts and logic on her side? And maybe a few facts stolen from others? What “Ignorance is Strength” language calls it “merciless” and claims she “spent her entire life on the receiving end of mass criticism”? When she was a baby? Or when she was Professor Martin Heidegger’s student and lover? 😉 No. Did some criticism start when she defended the Nazi Heidegger? Offended American Stalinists? Or was it after her death when her viciousness towards certain Jews and her relationship with the Nazi Heidegger came out? Here is part of her commentary on the Jews of the Eichmann Trial in Jerusalem:

    Everything is organized by a police force that gives me the creeps, speaks only Hebrew, and looks Arabic. Some downright brutal types among them. They would obey any order. And outside the doors, the oriental mob, as if one were in Istanbul or some other half-Asiatic country.

    Yes, “opinions.” And that word “mob” again.

    Hannah Arendt tried to kill Raul Hilberg’s The Destruction of the European Jews, which was only eventually published with great difficulty by a small press, with the help of a private donor. And then Hilberg felt Arendt had stolen parts of his work in her Eichmann Trial articles and book.

    Arendt borrowed extensively from Hilberg’s work with less-than-generous attribution. He never forgave her this oversight and–what truly is unforgivable–her condescending references to his study in private correspondence and her recommending against its publication by Princeton University Press.

    It’s claimed that she

    “became, for a time, American Jewish Public Enemy Number One”

    This in reaction to material taken from Hilberg’s book that she had tried to crush. But American Jewish Intellectuals reacting to Eichmann in Jerusalem hardly counts as “mass.”

    Reading other accounts of Eichmann and his trial, it is clear that Arendt botched her assignment as a journalist–let alone scholar. The State of Israel vs. Adolf Eichmann by the Israeli scholar Hanna Yablonka and Becoming Eichmann: Rethinking the Life, Crimes, and Trial of a “Desk Murderer” by David Cesarani provide sharply different evidence than Arendt’s “opinions.”Eichmann was the Harvard MBA of mass murder and surprisingly, Jewish freedom in 1938 as he rearranged the system in Vienna to get 150,000 Austrian Jews to freedom (with the rich robbed to pay for the freedom of the poor), without the formal education that Arendt deemed so vital.

  • 99Luftballons

    This article misuses language when it claims “mass criticism,” “mercilessly attacked,” as well as “tyranny” and “intellectual mobs.”

    Hannah Arendt was criticized in writing at particular times by particular groups of American intellectuals, and others. Were they all factually wrong in criticizing her “opinions”?

    She did rile elements of the American Jewish community who were angered by what they read in her Eichmann in Jerusalem articles as:

    1. Her callous attitude and lack of pity, sympathy, or empathy for the victims of the Nazis who did “engage” with them, unlike Arendt who repeatedly escaped from them, to avoid “engagement” of any kind.

    2. Her blaming elements of the European Jewish leadership who did “engage” and whose “engagement” made the task of the Nazis, especially Eichmann’s tasks, so much easier. Lines like “Dr. Leo Baeck, chief rabbi of Berlin, who in the eyes of both Jews and Gentiles was the Jewish Fuehrer. . . .” were likely to be controversial, in addition to being false.




    Were her critics factually wrong? They didn’t even know of her being the lover of the Nazi professor Heidegger, or her dislike of the Sephardic Jews of Jerusalem or the Sabra ( the “New Jews” born in Israel/Palestine) Jews guarding Eichmann, who only spoke Hebrew, according to her letter to Karl Jaspers. But then she seemed generally to dislike those who weren’t highly educated intellectuals so was easily duped by the Harvard MBA of Death, who did it without the education.

  • 99Luftballons

    In response to: https://disqus.com/home/discussion/thechronicleofhighereducation/against_the_tyranny_of_intellectual_mobs/#comment-3583925998

    I Replied to the post regarding Arendt’s open letter attack on Menachem Begin’s 1948 US visit, but CHE Moderation Removed it just as they Removed the other posts that I have copied here:

    DanK48, but in 1948, many of the readers of The New York Times would regard “terrorism” and “thugs” as being stalwarts of freedom, especially the Irish Catholic and Jewish readers who remembered that it was “terrorists” who freed both Ireland and Israel from British Imperialism. It was “terrorists” and “thugs” who had fought and killed Nazis and Nazi collaborators across Occupied Europe. It was “terrorists” and “thugs” that the West was trying to help in Soviet Occupied Europe.

    Many NYT readers on December 4, 1948 would also remember all the articles about Israel in 1948 with the British deciding to withdraw, UN Partition, the Israeli Declaration of Independence, President Truman’s recognition of Israel in defiance of the State Department, the next day invasion by the Arab armies next door, and the First Arab-Israeli War that was still continuing at the time of the letter.

  • 99Luftballons

    Even after its unprecedented success in September, when it won 12.6 percent of the national vote, the Alternative for Germany (AfD) appears to be facing an internal crisis as more and more representatives leave the far-right party citing the growing influence of its extremist, nationalist wing.

    Even party members have issues with the ideology without needing any “education” by American academics.

  • 99Luftballons

    My Reply (Removed by CHE) to: https://disqus.com/home/discussion/thechronicleofhighereducation/against_the_tyranny_of_intellectual_mobs/#comment-3586303580

    DanK48, I don’t agree that your 2nd paragraph leads to your 3rd or that your 3rd leads to the 4th. Often students don’t want to read much of anything–let alone anything challenging or that disagrees with them. But this is a case where there is plenty to read and analyze, which I find far more productive than being gulled by a skilled speaker, sophist or politician.

    I typically only attend academic conferences and lectures outside my field when I have read up and can question/challenge the speakers knowledgeably and have some open questions. As Plato once observed, a written work doesn’t answer the questions you ask of it.

    But some conferences and lectures design their Q&A so that the speakers can pick and choose which questions to answer and which to ignored. Mine frequently get ignored because I am questioning the professor’s facts or logic, using the books and articles of other professors and their own.

    Some professors answer difficult questions with the responses of a politician, spokesperson, or administrator. Some others attack. I especially enjoy those since as Cicero said “When you have no case, abuse the plaintiff.” At least they don’t stab my tongue and display my decapitated head, as Antony’s crew did.

    Other professors are quite gracious, even if they disagree, and respond to the meat of the matter in a proper fashion, even if it is to admit that the issue is disputed among the experts and briefly give their counter-argument in an honest fashion. They pass my test. It didn’t happen here.

    Whatever the merits of the original Open Letter, this response is entertainingly self-convicting, and intemperate, which suggests there is a case against at least the author. “With friends like [him], who needs enemies?” Picking 5 Lower Saxony AfD voters at random would have meant a better chance at getting at the truth than having any German politician–including Angela Merkel. And the 5 could have attended via teleconference.

    • 99Luftballons

      Now a comment that I didn’t try to post at CHE.

      For one critical assessment of the event: https://thebaffler.com/latest/hannah-arendt-center-ganz
      which quotes a Bard College student attendee:

      She felt like there was a deliberate effort to tamp down the heat of the debate: “I felt like Roger Berkowitz intentionally called on faces he recognized and cut down on the amount of questions they were taking. This seemed like an attempt to keep certain confrontational conversations from happening, which I take issue with.”

      This links to my comment about conferences designed to let speakers decide what questions they want to answer, except this time it was the Moderator (the author of this article) who decides.

      This is especially bad this is the context:

      A brief Q&A section was held with the concerned audience, and then Berkowitz thanked the participants, complimenting Jongen by saying he had thought about the issues “incredibly deeply.”

  • 99Luftballons

    Part of a post that was Removed by CHE Moderation. Other parts were adapted for a post that was accepted or in another attempted post that was again Removed that I have posted previously at this site.

    This conference seems a bit like the 1938 Munich Conference that had its critics (who didn’t attend and weren’t invited) but got rave reviews from its attendees and even praise from some who didn’t attend like President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who continued to support the supplying of the war machines of Germany and Japan–he was “engaged.”

    The 1936 Berlin Olympics seemed very popular with most of its attendees and many world leaders were quite impressed when they met and spoke with the German Chancellor. Some elite American college administrators defended continued friendly relationships with the regime’s academic institutions, while punishing those who objected. The Rockefeller Foundation helped fund Joseph Mengele, PhD. as part of its larger project of aiding Germany. The American hero Charles Lindbergh was quite impressed when he “engaged.”

    • 99Luftballons

      An additional set of thoughts is that you can criticize the invitation of a speaker without attending a conference based simply on the previously recorded writings and speech of the speaker, and especially when you discover that a deal has been cut with the speaker to not question them or raise certain things.

      You can also know about the content of the speaker’s speech from reading the tweets of the speech that Bard College tweeted, watching the webcast of the speech, or reading accounts of what was said and how the audience and the organizers reacted. In fact, you can do a better job of evaluating the content if you don’t attended since you are less likely to be influenced by the audience (see the Nuremberg Rallies, though, the carefully cut Triumph of the Will can be a problem, though a must see for budding propagandists of all stripes).

      The position of the article is akin to criticizing those who criticize the 1938 Munich Conference and its 1938 Munich Agreement as Appeasement and betrayal because they weren’t in the room with Hitler and Chamberlain and so didn’t attended the conference.

      It seemed like extreme restraint that they waited until after the conference to issue the Open Letter. There really should have been action when the speaker list was available. Prevention is better than Cure.

      I didn’t try to post this on the CHE thread.

  • 99Luftballons

    Professor Berkowitz gave Marc Jongen a flattering intro at the Bard College conference. Jongen was born in Italy. He went to university in Austria. He immigrated to Germany. He only became a German citizen in 2011!

    Click on the “Does Democracy Need to be more Populist?” in the Program Box to jump to Professor Berkowitz’s introduction and the Jongen speech:

    Jongen quotes Carl Schmitt, without mentioning his role as a key Nazi jurist.

  • 99Luftballons

    This Bard College article and its website’s quotes finally enabled me to understand the strangely twisted defects of Arendt’s Eichmann in Jerusalem. As you can see in my previous post, I suspected that this was due to unconscious forces of dislike, but it could also have been premeditated attack, negligence, mischief making, irony, or something else.

    I tend to use “Clichés, stock phrases,” including slogans, proverbs, sayings, and quotes (altered or not) to inflict “reality” on the few who recognize them, their context, and their “reality” because they are more easily understood and evoke memories, unlike something novel or original. My frequent failure to follow “standardized codes of expression” in spelling, grammar, and punctuation reflect inadequate education and my incompetence, but I don’t think that if I was competent, that it would be “protecting us against reality.” Again, Arendt is promoting falsehood.

    To discuss German immigration/emigration/migration, I might use “Stadtluft macht frei,” “Drang nacht Osten,” “Lebensraum,” “Gott mit uns!” or other high school level “stock” history terms/slogans, but how many students at Bard College would understand their meaning (not literal translation)–not that it matters since they are not part of the tiny demographic that I am trying to reach. What luck with them would I have with the Goth refugees destroying the Eastern Roman Empire’s army at Adrianople killing Emperor Valens and 60,000 soldiers on a single day in 378, the fall of the Roman Empire,Teutonic Knights, Sudetenland, or Danzig?

    On hearing Germans saying “Gott mit uns!,” many Bard College students might wonder why they are going on about mittens (“got mittens”). 😉



    So it goes.

    – Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five
    Vonnegut was an American soldier captured in the 1944 Battle of the Bulge, who as a POW survived the 1945 firebombing of Dresden in a slaughterhouse meat locker. Dresden is in Saxony. It was Saxony, not Lower Saxony as I have been incorrectly writing, that voted heavily for the AfD in 2017.

    • 99Luftballons

      It is interesting that there is “a need to engage with” “illiberal and even neofascist ones,” but not with an independent like me.

      Only DanK48 engaged by Replying on the CHE thread. But maybe everyone else was Removed by CHE Moderation? You can compare my posts here that were Removed by CHE Moderation with those that weren’t and suggest to me with a post here what determined Removal or Acceptance. My theory is there are different moderators with different tastes at different times of the day.

      With all the talk about “freedom of speech” in the college context, it is interesting that there is this kind of Moderation at a site for colleges. How many Replies to my posts were Removed? How many posts by independents were Removed? Factional supporters and opponents seem survive Moderation better, but other perspectives have more trouble.

      Most telling is that the author of the CHE piece, Professor Roger Berkowitz, hasn’t posted Replies to his CHE critics, but this seem typical of CHE academic authors who not only don’t Reply but also may not even read the critical posts or any posts. Is it because they are so used to dealing with people (students, staff, the untenured) who are too afraid to be critical?

  • 99Luftballons

    The one week deadline for commenting has past and so CHE has shut down commenting for this article.

    Carthage must be destroyed!

    – Cato the Censor

    After the Second Punic War with Carthage, Cato visited Carthage and saw for himself its recovery and growing strength, and thus, its growing danger to Rome. He didn’t bother inviting intellectuals or politicians to an academic conference in Rome, instead, he engaged in unmediated reality on the ground in Carthage.

    It is said that he ended each of his subsequent speeches in the Roman Senate with the above directive. With the Third Punic War, Carthage was destroyed and its ground salted. Understanding the enemy, assessing its strength and its threat, and then striking hard to destroy it, if necessary, is prudent policy. Firebombing Hamburg in 1933, instead of waiting to 1943’s Operation Gomorrah would have saved a lot of trouble, as would have the permanent partition and annexation of the Ruhr by Belgium and France in 1923.

    • 99Luftballons

      Which reminds me that 8 days ago,I had a CHE Removed Reply to wahoo’s post here: http://www.chronicle.com/article/Against-the-Tyranny-of/241541#comment-3584747014
      wahoo, actually, as with WW II, killing them as a clear demonstration that they aren’t superior often works quite well. Burning the cities of Germany and Japan, military occupation, and war crimes trials and executions did help avoid the post-WW I myth of the stab-in-the-back. Though admittedly, the Japanese weren’t properly punished as their leaders continue to honor Class A war criminals at a shrine.The true lesson is that the fire bombings of Hamburg and Tokyo should have happened in 1933, if not earlier, and that the Occupation of the Ruhr was too soft. Stop talking and use the “big stick,” to update Teddy Roosevelt.

      Eisenhower sending the elite paratroopers of the 101st Airborne with fixed bayonets to Little Rock to protect the Little Rock Nine and drive off the mob sent a message. Federal judges attacking Jim Crow and Segregation with the power of the Federal government helped.

      Nazi paraphernalia and propaganda are outlawed in Germany. Slow learners [of these rules] need to be hunted down. Interestingly, a lot of the political strength of the AfD is in parts of the ex-Communist former East Germany. But they aren’t illegal. They are free to campaign and free to vote. American “free speech” is not allowing the government make laws against it, though it has (the Alien and Sedition Acts and the Espionage Acts come to mind). There is no need though for the government or private individuals to provide a platform for any idea; hence, the limits on religious symbols on public property. There is no need to make Mein Kampf compulsory reading in the 5th grade.

  • 99Luftballons

    The strength of the AfD has been linked to its disproportionate support among Russian immigrants:


    But others say they get the support from ethnic Germans who emigrated from Russia as a result of the collapse of the USSR, so really Russian-Germans.

    But what about all the descendants of all those ethnic Germans who went to Nazi Germany thanks to the 1939 Hitler-Stalin Pact who were used to “Germanize” large parts of Poland? Or the ethnic Germans who fled the advancing Red Army or who were expelled from Eastern Europe (Czechoslovakia, Poland, former Prussia, Baltics . . . ) for supporting the Nazi Occupation?

  • 99Luftballons
  • 99Luftballons

    I wonder how much of conversation occurred at the Nov 2 Bard College event: “A Conversation to Discuss Marc Jongen’s Invitation”


    The background material consists of a series of attacks on the Open Letter that suggests criticism is not handled well by some important people at Bard College.

    • 99Luftballons

      It is interesting that the CHE “Abusers and Enablers in Faculty Culture” piece and extensive comments makes no mention of Professor Berkowitz’s hysterical and dishonest response to the Open Letter and the failure of academics to make an issue of his grievous abuse of language. Think what he is like in private with anyone who disagrees with him on anything. But maybe Bard has already eliminated anyone who might show signs of thinking for themselves?


      • 99Luftballons

        Peter Baehr’s missive that starts with “The Soviet style collective letter . . . ,” to describe the Open Letter, suggests a Bard College pattern.

        • 99Luftballons

          Note also the response to President Botstein’s use of “Soviet era” in his reaction to the Open Letter.

  • 99Luftballons

    On a related Free-Speech controversy theme Replying to http://www.chronicle.com/article/What-s-Fueling-the/241728?cid=wcontentgrid_hp_6#comment-3609821385
    This one was Removed by CHE Moderation, but several others in that thread made it.
    maw57, did you notice norn_100’s dual-use antifa “dog-whistle” usage of the atypical “chicken-hearted” in your first quotation?

    Millions of chickens are imprisoned in tiny cages, repeatedly raped, and eventually killed (white skinned) and eaten. Chicken Genocide! And later this month is the annual Thanksgiving Day Turkey Genocide. Notice how they always show the knife and fork slicing and stabbing the white meat. So, given the context of the original post, we have:

    All I [antifa provocateurs] want for Christmas[, Thanksgiving, and everyday] is White [Meat] Genocide

    The SS mass murderer Himmler was previously a chicken farmer! And German for “poison” is “Gift”!

    “But wait! There’s more!”

    The odd use of “chicken-hearted” reminds us that normally “chicken” or “yellow” might be used instead. And that strangely, “yellow” is also used as a derogatory term for some Asians. Chickens are actually originally Asian immigrants descended from Jungle Fowl. Millions of unborn chickens (eggs) are killed and eaten: the whites and the yellow yolks at the center. Their shells are typically white, but the more expensive, better ones are brown (Asian link).

    Chicken infants (chicks) are yellow! Half of them are tossed into the meat grinder because they are male (triple-play!!). So the second whistle use is Yellow Genocide, likely because of the lack of South and East Asian involvement in most of these controversies and how their establishments are preferentially robbed, while also being preferentially vandalized, looted, and burned during civil disturbances.

    Kill [Target] two birds [three enemies of the antifa] with one [“dog whistle”] stone!

    These antifa “ain’t [dog] whistling Dixie”


    [end of Humanities or Social Sciences prof interpretation parody translated into common English from “Interpretative Community” or post-structuralist lingo. Obviously, not anyone at Drexel. ;-)]

    • 99Luftballons

      In a “Free Speech”/”Academic Freedom” related CHE thread some of my posts were accepted but some were Removed. Here are some that were removed, with the newest first. Sometimes sarcastic and combative works, while logic doesn’t. Other times it is the reverse. I am unable to predict.
      Reply to http://www.chronicle.com/article/The-Wrong-Kind-of-Famous/241701?cid=wcontentgrid_hp_9#comment-3614099167

      Maybe, Hamas etc., as well as the rest of the world, have realized that he never deserved tenure anywhere–let alone a full-time job, ever. His only value has been as a stick to beat others. And to illustrate the defective nature of tenure and academic hiring in America, or at least at one institution.

      Unfortunately, institutions seem to have changed nothing about improving tenure, hiring, discipline, social media, firing, and especially legal defense processes. How could they spend $1.3 million before even getting to trial–compared to his $275K? Or was most of that related to their own misconduct?

      And it seems part of a pattern of heavy spending related to Personnel issues. Intense legislative and Congressional investigations would seem justified along with changes to the Board.
      @James Kelley
      Reply to http://www.chronicle.com/article/The-Wrong-Kind-of-Famous/241701?cid=wcontentgrid_hp_9#comment-3614083147

      James Kelley, it’s now a tossup between parody English prof and dullard Bannon follower.

      My factual rebuttal was Removed by CHE Moderation. Only about half get through.[It turned out be worse than that in this thread]

      Thank you. You and totalitat have been amusing.

      Anna Toyo, better yet, “We eagerly await credible evidence against any professor or employee since we seek the Truth because we know that even a habitual liar, fabricator, or paranoid can sometimes tell the truth as the National Enquirer sometimes does.”
      Reply to http://www.chronicle.com/article/The-Wrong-Kind-of-Famous/241701?cid=wcontentgrid_hp_9#comment-3614083147

      James Kelley, thanks for clearly demonstrating to readers that I was completely right about you and totalitat. Academically Adrift, Higher Education in America and other surveys and books on American students, including those in the University of California System, support my summary assessment of 90% of them.


      For both of you, “Ignorance is Strength,” as you aren’t even capable of coming up with “Fake News” or fabricated evidence or slanted sources. Both of you seek the gullible and ignorant who are easily swayed by your parroting of slogans and self-serving propaganda, so no wonder you aren’t interested when you find that I can’t be bullied, bludgeoned, or intimidated by you. “You can’t handle the Truth!” or even my “sarcastic or ironic” responses.
      Reply to http://www.chronicle.com/article/The-Wrong-Kind-of-Famous/241701?cid=wcontentgrid_hp_9#comment-3611344972
      Some overlap with a later post that was accepted.

      totalitat, so when did the US “government” indict, arrest, rendition, drone, “terminate with extreme prejudice,” or ship to Guantanamo Bay Salaita or the other American professors mentioned? The “government,” through the court process has made Salaita rich and victorious, without even an attempted physical scratch, again thanks to the government. He had big lecture tour. When was he called to testify before Congress or a legislative committee? Sounds like the opposite of “use the government to impose.”

      He was happily in Beirut, though it now it seems that he is so “very smart” that not even Hamas, the Palestinian Authority, Syria, the Gulf, the Saudis, Cubans, Venezuelans, nor the North Koreans will hire him. Not even the Israelis or “Zionists” have taken a “pitchfork” to him. But he has plenty of money to retire on and maybe another lecture tour and money from his supporters?


      He even got this article in the Israeli press: https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.630098

      Compare that to the treatment of Jehovah’s Witnesses, which was eventually stopped. Or the Palmer Raids, HUAC and Joe McCarthy’s hearings. Or how Jews were excluded from elite universities, the professoriate, of refuge in America during the 30s and 40s thanks to “very smart” people.
      Or the arrest and imprisonment of those who spoke against America joining WW I and its draft. That was the work of the “very smart” ex-president of Princeton and professor Woodrow Wilson. He also signed New Jersey’s forced sterilization law, one of a set of laws endorsed by some “very smart” professors.

      And then there is the “Spoils System” in which each party removes the government employees and appointees of the other party when they gain power.
      I could go on and on.

      We are not talking about “metaphor,” not even a rabid dog paranoid gross exaggeration, but deliberate paranoid “Big Lie” of successful propaganda. But totalit, given your moniker, it may be that you are writing for the North Korean politburo, which explains your original use of “people’s speech” since they call themselves the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, without any trace of irony or sarcasm. And they consider themselves “very smart” and intellectual and think about the mob, so they work hard to ensure their people don’t have “pitchforks,” food or energy. An appropriate “metaphor” might have been “without being disturbed by angry barking corgis outside the wall.”

      If you have looked at the debt loads and job security of many Humanities grad students, PhD adjuncts, and non-TT PhDs you would know many are quite stupid, not “very smart.” But maybe you are thinking of the “very smart” tenured ones who lure and exploit them ruthlessly?

      But some are “very smart” at writing either parody or self-parody. 😉
      Reply to http://www.chronicle.com/article/The-Wrong-Kind-of-Famous/241701?cid=wcontentgrid_hp_9#comment-3612961815

      James Kelley, your parody continues since there were examples in the post you Replied to and also in this post:


      Plus for those few serious about knowing, there is also this very important part. If actually part of “scholarship” the plan should have been documented in a grant/funding/project/research proposal, as well as documented for and approved by the appropriate Institutional Review Board (IRB), Independent Ethics Committee (IEC), Ethical Review Board (ERB), or Research Ethics Board (REB). If this has not been done then the academic should automatically be stripped of tenure, fired, and civilly prosecuted to full extent of the law by all those deceived, defrauded, or harmed.

      Criminal prosecution should also be assessed depending on the funding rules and evidence of fraud. This is especially important since the experiment was done on human subjects without any consent or warning, which seems unethical and in violation of Research Ethics and Compliance rules at most institutions.

      Of course, the true intentions could be faked if there was enough premeditation or if the IRB was in on the plan. In which case, criminal and civil prosecution would be the way to make a determination with appropriate interrogations all those involved, especially Twitter followers and retweeters.