While this particular case has its own (ostensible) reasons, it’s clearly part of a far larger drive
to purge the culture of all sources of contrary thought and, therefore, democratic activism. This
drive started in the early Seventies, as David Brock and others have explained, with–to
use a quaint old phrase–Big Business setting out to take the culture back from the then-
rampant movements for peace, environmental sanity and civil rights for everyone. At first,
that plutocratic counter-effort focused mainly on the media, and quickly moved on to undo
the unions; and, then, a little later (the media and unions largely broken as dissenting
institutions), it started taking aim at the Academy, and public education overall.
And so Prof. Dominguez is threatened with the revocation of his tenure–which is to say,
with unemployment–for his disruptive activism. If he were a “good” academic, offering
a version of “resistance” comfortably abstract, his output would, of course, be (modestly)
rewarded and his job security assured. But as he’s been devoting his professional attention
to explosive public matters, they have moved to shut him up by threatening that security,
which is to hit him, hard, right where he lives (and set a pretty frightening example for his
peers, especially the younger ones).
Whatever happens next (and if you scroll down toward the bottom of the second item
here, you’ll find a link to a petition, and some pertinent addresses for your use), we can
at least take chilly comfort in the fact that the authorities at UCSD have bluntly reconfirmed
Prof. Dominguez’s main argument: i.e., that California’s universities (like many others coast
to coast) have been simultaneously privatized–not only budgetarily, but in spirit–and politicized, their managers allowing rightist politicians to define what’s intellectually acceptable,
and what is not.
Support grows for ‘activist’ UCSD professor
By Eleanor Yang Su, UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
UCSD Professor Ricardo Dominguez works in the field of electronic civil disobedience, and has become the target of two investigations related to his work, including scrutiny from three conservative congressmen from San Diego County who question his work helping illegal border crossers find water stations in the desert.
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