A Forum for Vigorous Debate, Cornerstone of Democracy

[For the journal (guidelines, focus, etc.), go to www.theamericandissident.org ].
Encouraged censorship and self-censorship seem to have become popular in America today. Those who censor others, not just self, tend to favor the term "moderate," as opposed to "censor" and "moderation" to "censorship." But that doesn't change what they do. They still act as Little Caesars or Big Brother protectors of the thin-skinned. Democracy, however, demands a tough populace, not so easily offended. On this blog, and to buck the trend of censorship, banning, and ostracizing, comments are NEVER "moderated." Rarely (almost NEVER) do the targets of these blog entries respond in an effort to defend themselves with cogent counter-argumentation. This blog is testimony to how little academics, poets, critics, newspaper editors, cartoonists, political hacks, cultural council apparatchiks, librarians et al appreciate VIGOROUS DEBATE, cornerstone of democracy. Clearly, far too many of them could likely prosper just fine in places like communist China and Cuba or Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Russia.

More P. Maudit cartoons (and essays) at Global Free Press: http://www.globalfreepress.org

Monday, January 16, 2012

Jen Day Shaw

Democracy in Peril
Open Letter to English-Department Professors, Lecturers,

and Adjunctors of the University of Florida: 

[N.B:  Not one English professor contacted deigned to respond to this open letter.  The student newspaper editor did not respond.  The dean of students and assistant dean of students did not respond.  The University of Florida is a PUBLIC university.]

This open letter, published on The American Dissident blogsite, constitutes a plea for you to become responsible citizens by removing your heads from the sands of comfortable, conformist oblivion, then by educating yourselves as to the unconstitutional policies or speech codes in effect at your very own university (see http://thefire.org/article/14053.html), and finally by activating yourselves to vigorously protest against them in the name of freedom of speech, freedom of expression, vigorous debate, and democracy. Those enacting such policies and codes should be openly lampooned, if not demoted or even discharged.  Yet they seem instead to be congratulated and promoted.  Because they rescind a policy here or there does not necessarily mean they have changed their way of thinking. 

Such speech-restricting policies and codes clearly serve the university established order by reinforcing a generalized state of self-censorship (often referred to as collegiality and civility) and thus radically reducing the free and open expression of ideas, as opposed to encouraging it. 

This open letter is a plea for you to consider inserting an instructional component of democracy and dissidence into your writing and literature courses.  Likely, you’ve already been obligated to include a diversity-multiculti component.  So why not do the same for democracy?  If you would like to constitute an entire course on the subject, see my attached proposal for an idea of what such a course might comprise.  It was created several years ago for Tufts Experimental College, which sadly is not very experimental at all.  The course was rejected without reason, though evidently due to the fact that freedom of speech and expression do not mix well with authoritarianism. 

Finally, students should be made aware that criticism of the established order (including and especially those who created UF’s speech codes) can constitute valid literature in the form of poetry, essays, and novels.  Let students, professors, lecturers, and adjunctors, poets and writers make waves of democracy, buck the system of self-censorship, and go against the grain of speech-stifling civility! 

Thank you for your attention.


Tim said...

It seems that most academics are too ambitious to speak out against the corruption among their own kind. I am not saying that being ambitious is a bad thing, if everyone was as indolent as I am then society certainly stagnate, but their ambitiousness has its by-products. If they are going to succeed then they must, as a matter of coarse, turn a blind eye. Consequently we have rampant corruption.

But when it comes to tuition hikes they will gladly march in protest.

They are notorious for protesting against things that are safe to protest, things that they are permitted to protest, things that they can protest and still climb the academic ladder. Thus they are often erroneously considered to be dissidents.

Tim said...

"Likely, you’ve already been obligated to include a diversity-multiculti component. So why not do the same for democracy?"