One anonymous commenter alerted me to the important event of David Graeber's firing at Yale. The interview I'm linking to is over a week old - I'm not that good at keeping up with Counterpunch. However, it's very important to go there, read the article and sign the petition supporting Graeber, an anarchist anthropology prof. who's just been fired at Yale - probably because of his involvement with GESO, DAN and other groups unbeloved by the tenured fac. at Yale.
He says: If you'd asked me six months ago, I would have probably said "academics can be activists as long as they do nothing to challenge the structure of the university," or anyone's power within it. If you want to make an issue of labor conditions in Soweto, great, you're a wonderful humanitarian; if you want to make an issue of labor conditions for the janitors who clean your office, that's an entirely different story. But I think you're right, something's changing. I mean, I'm sure it's not like there's someone giving orders from above or anything, but there's a climate suddenly where people feel they can get away with this sort of thing, and the Ward Churchill and Massad cases obviously must have something to do with that. I've been hearing a lot of stories, in recent weeks, about radical teachers suddenly being let go for no apparent reason. They don't even have to dig up something offensive you're supposed to have said any more - at least, in my case no one is even suggesting I did or said anything outrageous, in which case, at least there'd be something to argue about.
I haven't seen that much hoopla about this case because Graeber doesn't have tenure. (I can't wait to read the interviewer, Joshua Frank's new book, Left Out: How Liberals Helped Re-elect George Bush.) If you want to see who's behind the wicked war on leftie profs, go look at the "students for academic freedom" website. I won't link here. It's easy enough to find - David Horowitz and assorted toadies and cronies. One of the most odious pieces there is a typically politically naive piece by that intellectual poseur Stanley Fish. rggh.