James Pasto (pasto@UMBSKY.CC.UMB.EDU)
Tue, 7 Nov 1995 12:14:04 EST

I think this is a matter of perspective. PC is important, but it has
not had any effect on the growth of the corporate dictatorship that is taking
place in our society. Intellectuals in the academy have not united to stop
or at least massively protest the growth of what J. Jackson calls the "jail
industrial" complex; instead they have helped divide resistance by breaking
it down into a multitude of private interest groups. The academy reflects
the political institutions. Women have advanced in the university and that
is very good; but at the same time the funds for education ('lower' and higher
are being cut. This will curtail women's advancement much more than the fears
of men on campus. Yet, we are paralyzed it seems, and cannot mount an effective
resistence to this.

The last election needs to be seen as a wake up call to academics. There
has been a tremendous amount of selfish indulgence of academics over the last
years -- again this reflects the behavior of our corporate and political
leaders. We wonder why our children are lost, look at the role models they
have. Youth after youth in the community centers I work in keep asking
how adults expect them to get along when the adults themselves can't. I have
seen youth speak outs disrupted by adults arguing in the audience. That is
what the academy has become in some ways, a big argument that our children
see and imitate. But the arguements are now over who has the right to speak
and what can be said. This plays right into the hands of conservative
intersts. We need to open debate and discussion (not argument). We need
to forge a consensus that is built upon priorities (at this point if our
children are not a priority we are in big trouble) and effective resistance.
Academics need to work out their personal problems in therapy, not in the
classroom. Things are real serious. We need a serious response. Perhaps we
can start a discussion here about what that may be. But let's begin by seeing
what unites us not what divides us. That is the difference between resistance
politics and power-play. Peace

Jim Pasto
Anthropology/UMass Boston