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Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Thought for the Day

Today's rather pointed thought comes from A. Gouldner's The Coming crisis of Western Sociology (London, 1970), p.503:

The man who can voice support for Black Power or who can denounce American imperialism in Latin America or Vietnam, but who plays the sycophant to the most petty authorities in his university, is no radical; the man who mouths phrases about the need for revolution abroad, but who is a coiled spring ready to punish the rebels among his own graduate students, is no radical; the academician who with mighty oaths denounces the President of the United States, but subserviently fawns upon his own Department Chairman, is no radical; the man who denounces opportunistic power politics, but practices it daily among his university colleagues, is no radical.  Such men are playing one of the oldest games in personal politics; they are seeking to maintain a creditable image of themselves, while accommodating to the most vulgar careerism.  Such men are seeking neither to change nor to know the world; their aim is simply to grab a piece of it for themselves.
This 'thought', I admit, has a specific target (indeed it has several), but, in the immortal words of Men Without Hats, 'everybody look at your hands'.