John Loxley has just gotten inducted into the Academy of Science of the Royal Society of Canada (I think that’s what it’s called. They like to stick “Royal” in front of of things in those colonies.) It’s very prestigious. It really cheers me up about moving to Canada.
Can you imagine a radical getting highest national scientific prestige honors in the US? No freakin way.
Really, I’m finally fully realizing how the decades-long Cold War campaign just wiped the US of alternative intellectual and research approaches. I grew up in Minnesota, and back in the day you didn’t see the virulent anti-socialism there that you find elsewhere in the US; so it took me until I had worked my way up to the PhD level before I could really see the crusade in action–where good jobs and prestige are at stake. I mean there was stifling thought and speech control when I worked for corporations, but I thought that was just because they were totalitarian, capitalist organizations. I didn’t realize the crusade was an ongoing secular program.
I see the blanket of bourgeois dogma starkly in researching political measures discourse, and, even more amazing, you see that really brilliant socialist analyses of the economic and ecological challenges facing forests and forest communities–and incisive and innovative policy proposals–were forwarded by forest service employees and leaders at the beginning of the twentieth century.
And then the Cold War hit and these brilliant people were just hunted down for their “incorrect thought” and fully removed from jobs, public discourse, etc. in the US.
What I didn’t realize completely until some new professors started arriving in the Soc Dept at UO is that there are people still taking up the mantle of the decades-long holy crusade against alternative thought and research. Maybe it’s just in the interest of career self-promotion, but they’re full-on crusaders none the less. And they’re not necessarily Beltway neocons.
It’s helpful to get a better understanding of the swampy pitfalls of American worklife, and know where your friends and the opportunities to do good work are. And it makes me more interested in working with folks outside of the US.