The Need For New Laws Dealing with Frivolous And/Or Malignant Scholarship
Outlawing Critical Race Theory and other "divisive concepts" in the education system is a welcome step, but it doesn't address the much bigger problem underneath. "Divisive" doesn't necessarily mean "bad", intellectually-speaking: Galileo and Darwin were divisive; debates divide at the end to discover the result. For sixty years, academics have been pouring frivolous nonsense into social science journals. Much of it is preposterous, but a significant proportion of it is downright malicious. Objectively so, and not as a subjective matter of opinion.
The social sciences have been a serious problem for a long time, but we'vc ignored them as fringe madness; universities tend to be the best containment devices for this flavour of lunacy. It's time we addressed the problem conclusively by creating a new classification for intellectualism which has no academic value and written in bad faith with malicious intent.
This Week: Murder Fantasies, Human Parasites, Communist Campus Republics
There's an old joke that therapists tend to be crazier than their patients. But in the case of Yale medical doctor and psychiatrist Aruna Kilanani, the ironic is ineffable with her radical mental projection skin colour can make its bearer's mind inherently "psychopathic".
A few days later, Donald Moss, a teacher at the New York Psychoanalytic Society and Institute, was not to be outdone. His batty claim is skin colour creates pathology in humans for which there is not yet a "permanent cure" despite it requiring "treatment" and "intervention":
We've heard this one before, and it's particularly disturbing coming from Moss, who is Jewish:
"The German people has recognized that the Jew has crept in like a parasite not only into our people, but into all the peoples of the earth, and that it is attempting to corrupt the original racial characteristics of the peoples in order to destroy them both racially and as states, and thereby rule over them."
(The Jew as World Parasite, 1944)
We also saw the same charges of collective guilt in the 90s:
"As part of the dehumanisation process, the media for many years compared the Tutsi to insects and animals like hyenas, and in doing so managed to convince the Hutu to think of the former as less human."
At the end of the week, Oriel College Oxford became the self-appointed "People’s Republic of Worcester College" with "Red Kate" Tunstall leading a boycott of... a statue.
"Within weeks of taking up her post, she attempted to abolish the traditions of grace before meals and standing for dons, only to face a backlash from students who wanted to keep the customs intact.
Her other changes included installing an equalities officer on the governing body, setting up a new “community, equality and decolonisation” fund, and installing a multi-faith prayer room as an alternative to chapel."
What exactly do you do with "academics" who publish their advocacy of murder and racism, and glorification of genocidal regimes? Particularly those who do it in the name of moralising against others?
The Importance of Academic Freedom
Scientists need to be free to pursue the truth, no matter to how ugly a place it may lead. Galileo is the first patient, but it goes all the way through Richard J. Herrnstein and Charles Murray's book, "The Bell Curve". Science is not opinion, nor a democracy; controversial science is good science.
Academic study is a matter of speech., which is sacrosanct. Just as fiction, music, religion, political belief, and commentary are.
Science is also a matter of trial and error. A messy, chaotic sequence of iterations to uncover and reveal reality. Often it takes thousands of near-misses to get to the answer. One paper leads to another, to another, to another, until the puzzle is solved inadvertently. Penicillin was an accident. It's near-impossible to say what will lead to discovery and what won't.
The path to the truth goes through a million different diversions. Or a straight line. Or never gets there. It must remain free to take its detours and unravel its puzzles as necessary to ensure we are free to pursue any route to encounter it.
Defamation is not accepted speech. Its bastard children, slander and libel, aren't either. Threats and incitement to murder aren't. Outright lying and black legends don't qualify. White noise is not music. Licentious sexual obscenity is not art.
But what about attempting to intellectually and/or academically justify evil, such as to give it a air of "credibility" and "respectability"?
Exactly when do we draw the line at blatant nonsense - fictional, schizophrenic made-up nonsense - being advocated and cited as credible scientific fact?
Both such things might prompt a reader into an alternative study which leads them to truth, which they may not have uncovered without exposure to its antithesis or repudiation. Parody often gets in the door faster than data.
"Social science" is not science. Nor is it art. Or anything else academic. It can be best described as creative writing or social commentary.
How Bad Is The Problem?
Well, how bad would a problem have become after being ignored for sixty years? We could start with the fact the most cited scholar in history is Michel Foucault, who was a serial, homosexual child rapist: https://www.aljazeera.com/opinions/2021/4/16/reckoning-with-foucaults-sexual-abuse-of-boys-in-tunisia
Immorality and psychopathy in science has been discussed for a long, long time, despite all of us now needing to "follow the science": https://www.onlinepsychologydegree.info/unethical-experiements-psychology/
After that we could do a quick search for things like this:
It's so bad, there are even parody Twitter accounts on the subject: https://twitter.com/academicssay?lang=en as well as entire essay generators: https://pdos.csail.mit.edu/archive/scigen/ and awards: https://www.improbable.com/ig-about/
One way we can quantify it to look at the papers actually rejected or retracted: https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018/10/what-massive-database-retracted-papers-reveals-about-science-publishing-s-death-penalty and https://retractionwatch.com/.
This horrific stultification has been documented extensively since the 90s, starting with the "Science Wars" and Alan Sokal's hoaxing of garbage journal "Social Text":
"Anyone who believes that the laws of physics are mere social conventions is invited to try transgressing those conventions from the windows of my apartment. (I live on the twenty-first floor)."
Much of the faecal matter deposited in literary journals can be written off as absurdity clogging up shelves, which no-one will ever read (e.g. https://www.online-phd-programs.org/bizarre-research-paper-topics/). There are 2 exceptions to that rule: a) pedagogy, or the study of education itself, and b) medicine.
Let's start with some of the most egregious examples.
One of the worst threads is the minimization of sexual abuse and paedophilia, which is a disturbing concept the American Psychiatric Association are unable to understand the moral and psychological ramifications of:
"In 1999, after being rejected by several publishing houses, the University of Minnesota Press published "Harmful to Minors" by journalist Judith Levine, including a foreword by former Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders, who was asked to resign by President Bill Clinton after she endorsed making masturbation part of the public school curriculum."
This theme is almost endless. It's staggeringly how often academics publish discussion of child sexuality: https://www.palgrave.com/gp/book/9781137033406
Most of which started with Freud, and the LGBT activists favourite report in 1948:
"Kinsey worked to lower penalties for sex offenders and said he couldn't understand why children were harmed by being sexually touched by adults," Knight continued. "He based this on a series of sex experiments on children as young as 2 months of age. A chapter in Sexual Behavior in the Human Male reports on the molestation of hundreds of boys, with Kinsey concluding that the victims enjoyed the activity."
Back in the 70s, economist Gary Becker's great idea was to stop bothering with law enforcement as it cost too much, which politicians actually cited in their policymaking:
"Becker’s paper, “Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach,” looks at criminals as rational individuals, just like anyone else. Criminals, like ordinary citizens, seek to maximize their own well-being, but through illegal instead of legal means."
Naturally, the record-breakingly-stupid "Defund the Police" movement offered ideologues the chance to offer the world's most preposterous idea intellectual backup: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10428232.2020.1852865
A few years before Becker, Dr Lauretta Bender's notes on torturing children were being collected for "research":
"Child psychiatrist, Dr. Lauretta Bender, began her experimental electroshock “treatments” in children in 1942 at Bellevue Hospital. She experimented extensively on helpless children whom she “diagnosed” with “autistic schizophrenia.” Some of the children were as young as 3 years of age. She used multiple electroshock (ECT) “treatments” at Bellevue Hospital (NYC) and then added LSD and other hallucinogenic drugs experimenting on children at Creedmoor Hospital with CIA funds."
This noxious, evil pattern is found throughout the entire canon of "women's" disciplines. A classic example is that textbook study in serious cluster B mental illness, lesbian feminist Kate Millett, and her book "Sexual Politics" from 1970, which popularised the concept of "Patriarchy" as a Marxist cause and campaigned for the destruction of the family:
"The complete destruction of traditional marriage and the nuclear family is the 'revolutionary or utopian' goal of feminism."
https://heinonline.org/HOL/LandingPage?handle=hein.journals/chknt75&div=37&id=&page= (Hi, Lenin!)
Many of these are tame when compared to some of the outliers:
- "mechanisms of traumatic rectal injuries in patients who had anal sex with animals to those who were butt-fisted by human sexual partner" (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28763709/)
- "Fart molecule could be next Viagra" (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0262407909606230)
- "Fellatio by fruit bats prolongs copulation time" (https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0007595)
- "Fuck Nuance" (https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0735275117709046?journalCode=stxa)
- "The first case of homosexual necrophilia in the
mallard Anas platyrhynchos" (https://www.hetnatuurhistorisch.nl/fileadmin/user_upload/documents-nmr/Persberichten/Persberichten/persberichten_2013/DSA8_243-248.pdf)
Then we have the American Medical Associations' Mengele-esque discussions of how and when to suppress puberty in children, where they openly admit they have absolutely no idea about anything - in the midst of straight up lying:
"Research has shown that suppression of puberty is safe, causing minimal side effects. If parents become concerned about this treatment, they can safely and easily stop treatment and allow development to restart normally in the biological sex." (LIE)
Of course, abortion is a regular topic, which medical personnel apparently think is a "positive" experience in the third trimester, because killing a foetus avoids its pain:
"Conclusions: In a highly specialized center, professionals had positive opinions on feticide, expecting it would avoid fetal or neonatal agony and pain."
In 2016, a paper was published "by Breanne Fahs and Michael Karger, [which] favorably compares feminists to viruses like HIV and Ebola":
"In this essay, we first posit how the metaphor of the virus in part exemplifies an ideal feminist pedagogy, and we then investigate how both women’s studies and the spread of actual viruses (e.g., Ebola, HIV) produce similar kinds of emotional responses in others. By looking at triviality, mockery, panic, and anger that women’s studies as a field elicits, we conclude by outlining the stakes of framing women’s studies as an infectious, insurrectional, and potentially dangerous, field of study. In doing so, we frame two new priorities for women’s studies—training male students as viruses and embracing “negative” stereotypes of feminist professors—as important future directions for the potentially liberatory aspects of the field.
What is being recommended here, for those who don't speak nutjob, is weaponising disgust: selling the "rebelliousness" of womens' studies to young boys by training female teachers to radicalise and indoctrinate them.
There is unquestionably, undoubtedly an evil character to this paper. And it's not an obscure one-off.
Patient Zero: Antisemitic Literature
The misuse of "academic" work has a long and revolting history going back at least hundreds of years. And sadly, it leads back to the church.
In 1543, German Reformation leader Martin Luther published "On the Jews and Their Lies" as a theological polemic.The Nazis circulated it, and it's still found everywhere in libraries and political groups. Luther's aim was Jewish conversion to Christianity. It's a staggeringly malicious publication.
"Since they live among us, we dare not tolerate their conduct, now that we are aware of their lying and reviling and blaspheming. If we do, we become sharers in their lies, cursing and blasphemy. Thus we cannot extinguish the unquenchable fire of divine wrath, of which the prophets speak, nor can we convert the Jews. With prayer and the fear of God we must practice a sharp mercy to see whether we might save at least a few from the glowing flames."
This aggressive defamation continued with the Russian fraud of the supposed "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" in 1903, which entrenched conspiracy tales for hundreds of years by purporting to be historical fact.
"the reactionary “Union of the Russian Nation” or Black Hundreds organization sought to incite popular feeling against the Jews, who they blamed for the Revolution and the Constitution. To this end they used the Protocols, which was first published in a public edition by the mystic priest Sergius Nilus in 1905. The Protocols were part of a propaganda campaign that accompanied the pogroms of 1905 inspired by the Okhrana."
Fifty years before that, a young (antisemitic) Jewish radical named Karl Marx had been spending time in Paris with anarchists and published the "Communist Manifesto" as an economics document full of quasi-religious rhetoric. He was unequivocal throughout his canon his "analysis" was "scientific".
“Modern bourgeois society with its relations of production, of exchange, and of property, a society that has conjured up such gigantic means of production and of exchange, is like the sorcerer, who is no longer able to control the powers of the nether world whom he has called up by his spells.”
Academic writing had become political as early as Rousseau, expressing "truth" as subjective political statements.
At the poisonous apex of academic pretence, Adolf Hitler, of course, published "My Struggle". Mein Kampf is a book so venal it is still studied today as a manual for radicalisation. One trend continues: it's high-minded "academic" linguistic style:
"The application of force alone, without support based on a spiritual concept, can never bring about the destruction of an idea or arrest the propagation of it, unless one is ready and able to ruthlessly to exterminate the last upholders of that idea even to a man, and also wipe out any tradition which it may tend to leave behind.”
https://archive.org/stream/AdolfHitlerMeinKampfENGLISH/Adolf Hitler - Mein Kampf ENGLISH_djvu.txt
This blatant exploitation of politicised academic publishing continued with Italian communist leader Antonio Gramsci, who was imprisoned by Mussolini and wrote 30 notebooks still circulated today as a manual for destroying liberal culture in order to prepare it for communist takeover:
"Socialism is precisely the religion that must overwhelm Christianity. … In the new order, Socialism will triumph by first capturing the culture via infiltration of schools, universities, churches and the media by transforming the consciousness of society."
Political rhetoric and inflammatory materials have a clear precedent in racial demonisation, which is what makes academic papers claiming certain people are "parasitic" so disturbing. Their power has been exploited by groups across the spectrum to establish credibility to political causes. We know it as epistemological authority.
In 2018, The Grievance Studies trio did something extraordinary and alarming. They copied and pasted Chapter 12 of "Mein Kampf", and submitted it for publication in feminist journal "Affilia: Journal of Women and Social Work".
"One of the papers, “Our Struggle is My Struggle: Solidarity Feminism as an Intersectional Reply to Neoliberal and Choice,” was written under the alias Maria Gonzalez, PhD, who claimed to be based out of the fictitious Feminist Activist Collective for Truth (FACT).
According to the real-life authors, “The last two-thirds of this paper is based upon a rewriting of roughly 3,600 words of Chapter 12 of Volume 1 of ‘Mein Kampf,’ by Adolf Hitler, though it diverges significantly from the original. This chapter is the one in which Hitler lays out in a multi-point plan which we partially reproduced why the Nazi party is needed and what it requires of its members.”
In what world is it acceptable to submit and publish Nazi ideology because feminism is fashionable?
The same year, a separate "study" was published in a German journal by an Israeli Foucault disciple, titled - unbelievably so - "Critical Whiteness Studies and the“Jewish Problem”. James Lindsay summarises how this crashes into that worst politicised form of academic material, Critical Theory, and its evil child, Critical Race Theory:
"Critical Social Justice has a theory—if we’ll allow the term—of race and racism called Critical Race Theory. It posits that race is a wholly political contrivance of white European people that was socially constructed specifically for the twin purposes of identifying who deserves the spoils of society (themselves) and who will be barred from them (everyone else). Those who qualify are designated as “white,” which means they are in possession of a form of sociocultural “property” called “whiteness,” as the “Critical Whiteness Studies” division of Critical Race Theory holds—and as we heard all summer over the clamor of looting and riots and the roar of burning buildings just behind them. White people and “white-adjacent” people who can benefit from the “system of oppression” (systemic racism) that results from this contrivance are said to have a vested interest in maintaining it and therefore remain willfully ignorant of the “realities” of race and racism, as Critical Race Theory believes them to be."
So here we are, again. Are Jews white? Are they guilty? Do they deserve to be exempted, or are they the worst form of life at the top of the pyramid?
The Absolute State of Social Science
You could spend weeks on it. Thousands upon thousands of insane, ludicrous story-told "ideas" masquerading as reality which are completely indistinguishable from fiction. There is a place for creative writing, and the academic world is not it.
The rundown of absurdity which prompted the "penis as a social construct" is a horror story of public-funded waste as openly ridiculed on Twitter as "pathological idiocy" (https://twitter.com/realpeerreview?lang=en):
- The relationship between gender and glaciers, for "improving human-ice relations": http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0309132515623368#corresp-1
- Menstruation as a "social construct": http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0891243216672662?journalCode=gasa
- Gender being "undertaken by women and men whose competence as members of society is hostage to its production": https://campus.fsu.edu/bbcswebdav/institution/academic/social_sciences/sociology/Reading Lists/Social Psych Prelim Readings/IV. Structures and Inequalities/1987 West Zimmerman - Doing Gender.pdf
- A need for a "feminist critique of the scientific method," because science is "sexist, racist, heterosexist, and classist": http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/027753959580031J
- Zoos being sexist: https://www.scribd.com/document/322950743/Naturalizing-Gender-Through-Childhood-Socialization-Messages-in-a-Zoo
- Curing erectile dysfunction "reinforcing hegemonic masculinity": http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1097184X00003001004
- Fat men's penises not existing: http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1363460716640734
- Wikipedia being sexist for excluding "feminist ways of knowing": http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S8755461515000547
- "Less competitive teaching methods and grading profiles" for girls: http://nsuworks.nova.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2467&context=tqr
- Donated blood being a "social construct": http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09581596.2017.1297384?src=recsys&journalCode=ccph20
- Pilates exercises teaching "white privilege": https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/dance-research-journal/article/div-classtitlethe-pilates-pelvis-racial-implications-of-the-immobile-hipsdiv/2CDDDB16BFD648003DCAB3DD0634FF81
- Male lactation as an invention: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2916660
- Racism and sexism against squirrels: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/0966369X.2017.1314949?journalCode=cgpc20
- Ejaculating on Reddit pictures: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/2056305120905644
- Racist dogs: https://academic.oup.com/hwj/article-abstract/doi/10.1093/hwj/dbaa003/5734672?redirectedFrom=fulltext
- "Crime, conservation, and corporatization in Paw Patrol": https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1741659020903700?journalCode=cmca
- My diary: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/1077800420960157
- "Duration of Cunnilingus Predicts Estimated Ejaculate Volume in Humans: a Content Analysis of Pornography": https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40806-016-0057-5
- Sabrina the Teenage Witch: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14680777.2020.1791929?journalCode=rfms20
- Goth Biology: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/0969725X.2020.1754021?journalCode=cang20
- Amateur gay porn in China: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/23268743.2020.1776150?journalCode=rprn20
- Feminist student covens: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/0966369X.2019.1681367
- Lesbian ghosts feminism: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/1464700119871219?journalCode=ftya
- Infertility caused by demons: https://lupinepublishers.com/reproductive-medicine-journal/pdf/OAJRSD.MS.ID.000120.pdf
- Becoming a black Wakanda superwoman: https://www.ideals.illinois.edu/handle/2142/104844
- Not being able to grope Speaker Paul Ryan: https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/politics-and-gender/article/abs/fagchild-tools-softening-the-body-politic-and-sexualizing-paul-ryan-in-a-pussygrabbing-era/0F49A0FF9C7F93EEC70580504820341D
- Fictional diseases in Game of Thrones: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamadermatology/article-abstract/2542703
- Poems: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1077800419857753?journalCode=qixa
- Identifying as a hippopotamus: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/0969725X.2017.1322822?journalCode=cang20
- "competitive relations between drug taking Irish men": https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/0966369X.2019.1609427?journalCode=cgpc20
- Human bipedalism being an oppressive social construct and teaching people to walk upright reinforces ableist norms: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09687599.2016.1188767?journalCode=cdso20
- Feminist "masculinities" in drag king performance: https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/abs/10.1086/702034
- "Queer walking tours": https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1474474019842888?journalCode=cgjb
- "Cartographic violence": https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14791420.2019.1572905?journalCode=rccc20
- Killing with drones producing: queer moments of disorientation: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10
- White teeth identity: https://doi.org/10.1177%2F1077800407308905
- The "lies" of male erection and ejaculation: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/0277539584900797
- Why i hate my dad: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14623943.2016.1265494
- Paedophilia as a right-wing "social construct": https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00918360802345073
- Obesity diagnoses being harmful: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/21604851.2016.1213066
1000 more: http://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/peerreviewedgarbage/real_peerreview.html
When Does Academic Freedom Cross The Line Into Abuse? Naming It.
Anyone can write what they wish on their own private time. Even prepare it for distribution to friends. It might be the worst diatribe imaginable. But it merely sits on a shelf and doesn't go anywhere. Individual behaviour has constraints.
Nor is it a matter of "platform" and being able to distribute what you have to say. If you distributed a pamphlet to every household in the country claiming the aliens were talking to you, it wouldn't matter. 300 million families would throw it in the bin and you'd be infamous in all the wrong ways.
What it arguably amounts to is fraud: purporting to be reliable academic material which people trust as fact, or can suspend disbelief to treat as fact, i.e. faith. If it looks academic or is misrepresented to give credibility as something academic, most ordinary people treat it as authoritative. Webster defines fraud as "a deception practiced in order to induce another to give up possession of property or surrender a right."
Material which is written with the intention of, or callous disregard for, injurious consequences, can be described in many ways:
Malicious, malignant, malevolent, malefic, malign, nefarious, inflammatory, seditious, venomous, evil-minded, rancorous, belligerent, vitriolic, etc.
Many of these terms describe character or behaviour on a personal level, whereas scholarship is some-thing; an object or instrument.
Perhaps the best of these at describing the spreading nature is malignant.
According to Oxford:
1. Evil in nature or effect; malevolent.
2. (of a disease) very virulent or infectious.
According to Webster:
1. tending to produce death or deterioration.
2. evil in nature, influence, or effect.
3. passionately and relentlessly malevolent : aggressively malicious.
According to Dictionary dot com:
1. disposed to cause harm, suffering, or distress deliberately; feeling or
2. showing ill will or hatred.
3. very dangerous or harmful in influence or effect.
We can also see the meaning of the term when comparing narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) with malignant narcissism. Narcissism becomes malignant when it is dangerous to others.
"Hence, malignant narcissism is a combination between the most pronounced narcissism and that antisocial behavior so common in psychopathy."
These attempts at scholarship are meaningless and technically harmless as long as they sit in the back cupboard on a shelf somewhere gathering dust. They become malignant when they are actively dangerous to others.
Malignancy is characterised as having a deleterious effect on others, not just to oneself, or in and of itself. It implies unattended growth and having a pernicious effect on entities and objects surrounding it.
Scheming for the cult indoctrination of students is personally malevolent; advocacy of it as academic theory in writing is something malignant.
Sedition: The Endless Political Grey Area
Sedition is, put simply, conduct or language inciting rebellion against the authority of a state (https://www.british-history.ac.uk/statutes-realm/vol5/pp304-306). Seditious conspiracy is planning it (https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/2384) and Seditious Libel is encouraging it through speech or writing (https://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/C-46/section-61.html#docCont).
Sedition laws are abused by dictators to stifle dissent. They are also targeted for repeal by revolutionaries.
In the UK, they were quietly abolished by the governing socialist party in an obscure act about coroners around 2009 as "arcane" artifacts superseded by the Human Rights Act. The original aims are fascinating now, when we consider the chaos which has followed:
The sedition laws date back centuries and were originally designed to protect the Crown and government from any potential uprising. The laws prohibited any acts, speech, or publications, or writing that were made with seditious intent. This intent is broadly defined as “encouraging the violent overthrow of democratic institutions.” (R v. Chief Metropolitan Stipendiary (Ex Parte Choudhury),  1 QB 429). A range of actions that could be considered seditous, if they are conducted with the intent to cause violence, are frequently listed as:
causing hatred or contempt, or incit[ing] disaffection against the Crown, the government, constitution, either House of Parliament or the administration of justice;
to incite subjects to unlawfully attempt to alter matters of the church or state that were established by law;
to incite crime or disturbances of the peace; raise discontent or disaffection amongst the Crown’s subjects; or
to promote feelings of ill will and hostility between different social classes of the Crown’s subjects. (Blackstone’s Criminal Practice 2010, ¶ B18.9)
Notice the precise wording: violent overthrow, and of democratic institutions.
Marx got around these provisions by angling his writing as futurological analysis, as if he were describing an inevitable eschatological event. But there's no getting around it: the doctrines of extremism (socialism, communism, Nazism, fascism, theocracy) are all seditious worldviews driven by deliberate agitation.
It's hard to argue an obscure academic publishing a journal article advocating the overthrow of the government is much of a threat.
But what about its soft targets and culture ("infiltration of schools, universities, churches and the media")? Collective defamation in the form of constructing black legends? Organised conspiracy to suppress historical information, pervert educational literature, or de-legitimise national institutions?
Sedition is, sadly, something which qualifies under freedom of expression. You are free to call for the destruction of your own country. And doing so without being arrested is proof others are free to speak their minds.
But it has it's limits. For example:
"in 1918, socialist activist Eugene V. Debs gave a speech in which he urged the public to physically prevent access to military recruiting stations during World War I. He was convicted of sedition under the Espionage Act of 1917 and appealed his conviction to the U.S. Supreme Court on First Amendment grounds. In a unanimous opinion by Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, the Court upheld Debs’ conviction because “the natural and intended effect” and the “reasonably probable effect” of Deb’s speech was to interfere with the government’s lawful right to recruit troops during a time of war."
See also: https://www.thoughtco.com/schenck-v-united-states-104962
You don't have a right to publication or distribution in the academic world, or the ability to fraudulently misrepresent your material as academic work in order to lend it credibility to promote your ideas. This isn't the case of "having a platform", but judged on the quality and merit of the material itself, and its intent.
Defining Frivolous And/Or Malignant Scholarship
A painter doesn't get a slot in a gallery for picking up a brush. A work needs to be qualified as possessing merit or value. Pornography, for example, may be free expression, but it is disqualified as art on the basis it appeals to prurient interest rather than edifying its observer. Obscenity and turpitude describe an intrinsic defilement of what is beautiful and holy. It vitiates its subject.
Academic drivel, pseudoscience, magical thinking, defamatory propaganda etc have much in common with pornography, including the difficulty in defining it: we know it when we see it.
It is entirely possible to define and qualify what constitutes possessing academic merit, without politicising it by suggesting a definition is subjective. Laws often act as disincentives; the threat of breaking them and incurring penalties is enough in and of itself.
As with all laws, the most paramount concern is how they could be abused, and their unintended consequences. The obvious one in prohibiting the publication of specific types of materials in specific ways and places is the definition could be subjectivised, therefore it must be so narrow and forensic it is is too difficult to try.
A potential definition of frivolous scholarship might read something like this:
Material intended to be published or perceived as academic discovery or commentary,
a) lacking scientific/intellectual merit or rigour, and
b) is extremely unlikely to provoke further interest, wider study, or development of derived practical applications, and
c) could. by its distribution, damage the reputation and legitimacy of its field.
The bar is extremely low: work would not count as frivolous if it could be successfully argued to have any at all, and only receive sanction if it were intended to be perceived as academic.
An example of a paper which could not be published academically under those terms would be "Exposing the white avatar: projections, justifications, and the ever-evolving American racism" (https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13504630.2015.1093470#.V1tKNdkrJD8) where three researchers of “Critical Race Theory and Critical Whiteness Studies” find the “hegemonic power of whiteness” is entrenched by the avatars people use while playing Xbox:
Publish it on Amazon, print it for your friends, or plaster it on doors. Not in academia.
A potential definition of idea laundering might read something like this, taking it from the parent definition of money laundering:
the process by which political material is converted into accepted academic knowledge which appears to have a legitimate origin, so that it can be canonised permanently in mainstream opinion or recycled for use in further political enterprises.
Under these terms, Sokal's hoax would actually be criminalised, and intent would be extremely tough to prove, if you could at all. However, if we apply the other two definitions - frivolous or malignant - it becomes slightly clearly. A pattern can emerge once individual works are categorised as such.
It is difficult, but not impossible, to trace citations and staff, as well as public mentions of terminology and concepts resulting from such a process. In money laundering, for example, first the material is placed, then it is layered, and finally it is integrated. Placement is easy (journals), layering consists of citations and publication, and integration could be classified as use in political activism.
A potential definition of malignant scholarship might read something like this:
Material intended to be published or perceived as academic discovery or commentary,
a) possessing for the significant proportion af its content a malevolent or rancorous tone or character identified by excessive disparagement or vitiation, calumny, vituperation, unlawful use of force or coercion, denunciation, and
b) lacking scientific/intellectual merit or rigour, and
c) intending to further political causes or political activity, or advocating for involuntary indoctrination in the same, and
The most interesting part of this type of definition is it helpfully covers materials which are using for terrorist training and cults. The Anarchist Cookbook is not the same as ISIS training manuals or cult programming.
The words here are carefully chosen:
- Rancor: bitter deep-seated ill will.
- Vitiation: to make faulty or defective; debase in moral or aesthetic status.
- Calumny: the act of uttering false charges or misrepresentations maliciously calculated to harm another's reputation.
- Vituperation: sustained and bitter railing and condemnation.
An example of scholarship which would be prohibited from publication in an academic context would the aforementioned "On Having Whiteness" by Moss:
"Whiteness is a condition one first acquires and then one has—a malignant, parasitic-like condition to which “white” people have a particular susceptibility. The condition is foundational, generating characteristic ways of being in one’s body, in one’s mind, and in one’s world. Parasitic Whiteness renders its hosts’ appetites voracious, insatiable, and perverse."
Murder manuals, rape fantasies, paedophilia advocacy, indoctrination planning, incitement to seditious revolutionary violence, racist or misandric rants, detestable sexual practices - none of these belong in the academic corpus.
Again, publish it for yourself if you like; paint it on the road. But not in academic journals or as academic material. It goes in the political crankery section.
Identifying Elements and Techniques of Malignant Sophistry
Academic language is high-minded, abstract nonsense on its best days. Intellectual people think in broad, ideological terms. A look at many articles makes it clear political language is used for camouflaging what would otherwise be entirely unacceptable anywhere else.
The terms above (rancor, vitiation, calumny, vituperation) are useful to indicate tone, but in wider sweeps, these are some of the patterns one can observe.
Obscurantism is deliberate vagueness or abstruseness; semantically overloading the reader with jargon to hide what you are saying. Frankfurt school and Postmodern philosophical authors are notorious for it.
"The move from a structuralist account in which capital is understood to structure social relations in relatively homologous ways to a view of hegemony in which power relations are subject to repetition, convergence, and rearticulation brought the question of temporality into the thinking of structure, and marked a shift from a form of Althusserian theory that takes structural totalities as theoretical objects to one in which the insights into the contingent possibility of structure inaugurate a renewed conception of hegemony as bound up with the contingent sites and strategies of the rearticulation of power." (Judith Butler)
Err, what? What she's - apparently - saying is our idea of common sense gets in the way of us challenging our assumptions. It doesn't.
Persistent & Intrinsic Paralogic
Sophists were ancient Greek teachers of rhetoric and philosophy who taught things which seemed plausible on a superficial level but are actually unsound, or use reasoning to deceive. Intellectual con-men. What we might call populist reasoning.
"If you’ve spent any amount of time debating the merits of socialism versus capitalism, you’ve almost certainly witnessed this move. In the face of objections to socialism based on its (allegedly) typical practical consequences, defenders of socialism simply deny that the examples cited are instances of bona fide socialism."
It's also particularly apparent in the exception vs rule debate (a mass shooting justifies seizing all firearms from those who had nothing to do with it, etc).
Reification is the act of referring to something imaginable or unreal as if it were ordinarily-present in reality. Treating unicorns as real animals; nature having a mind; the sea having a voice. Human creativity bridges imagination with reality, but when artifacts of imagination are wrongly referred to as existing in reality, things go wrong. All artists depict what is in their imagination as a physical manifestation (e.g. music, painting, sculpture etc), but referring to something imaginary as scientifically observable truth is essentially what defines schizophrenia.
"Race and racism are basically baked into everything we do in our society. It’s embedded in our institutions. It’s embedded in our minds and hearts." (Angela Onwuachi-Willig)
You mean, sin?
Freud and almost all the social sciences are disciplines dedicated to this practice, as they revolve around imaginary "theories" which are scientifically unfalsifiable, i.e. cannot be definitively proved to be true or false.
Pathologising political enemies has a long history in communist countries, where detractors from the "correct" orthodoxy were smeared as suffering from psychiatric conditions requiring a cure. The American Psychological Association is particularly bad as resisting politicisation. "Homophobia" was an instant classic, but times have moved on to men in general.
"The guidelines support encouraging positive aspects of “traditional masculinity,” such as courage & leadership, and discarding traits such as violence & sexism, while noting that the vast majority of men are not violent. Traits of so-called “traditional masculinity,” like suppressing emotions & masking distress, often start early in life & have been linked to less willingness by boys & men to seek help, more risk-taking & aggression -- possibly harming themselves & those with whom they interact."
Nietzsche described resentment as the most powerful motivating factor in human nature. Extremists are experts in agitating vulnerable people by pressing their buttons. Often they manipulatively describe adversity as "oppression" whilst appealing to their sense of vengeance as "justice". Mao's strategy was straightforward: destroy the "Olds" of Chinese society by inflaming divisions to such an extent the whole house came crashing down and had to be replaced.
"Heterosexism and patriarchy collude to create an expectation of pregnancy for all women. In addition, the bodily production of pregnancy has been socially gendered as feminine because of its association with female-bodied people. These two ideological codes—that all women should become mothers through pregnancy and that pregnancy is a femininely gendered endeavor—suggest conundrums for masculine lesbians."
Again, we find a common thread: embittered, psychopathic women.
Wanting to degrade, defile, dismantle, destroy, deconstruct something involves animus; a sense of one's righteous justification to do so through injury or heroic character. Using academic reasoning to "prove" someone or something's lack of worth is an attempt to persuade the reader to consider it discredited or illegitimate; lower its reputation. We find this in Gramsci particularly, as well as in racially-motivated essays on colonialism and the Postmodern Frenchies' antics.
"‘To be a man’ means a certain kind of genital functioning which can and must be rejected, for it is based on two lies. The first is the lie of the male orgasm, which is experientially neither synonymous with ejaculation nor at any point inevitable or uncontrollable. The second is the lie of the male erection, which is necessary only for the penis to be used as a weapon in rape, for, experientially, hard erections are neither comfortable nor pleasurable nor anything other than symptoms of the aggressive tenseness and rigidity of the macho man."
Political Apologism/Radicalism (Manifesto Laundering)
A manifesto is a public declaration of principles, policies, or intentions, especially of a political nature. Science describes observations derived from hypotheses. Crucial to Critical Theory's framework and definition is the requirement to make a prescription for activism which can rectify the Marxist dilemma being created out of thin air.
Radicalism means disruptive force which significantly differs from moderate thought or what we might call "typical" opinion. In its worst form, it is the advocacy of willfully subverting or negating consensus reached though negotiation for unilateral totalitarian aims: my way, or the highway.
“Despite the popular perception that race is “natural” or “timeless,” the biological notion of race is a modern European invention. When race was invented, however, it was invented as “the child of racism, not the father,” as Ta-Nehisi Coates points out, and “the process of naming ‘the people’ has never been a matter of genealogy and physiognomy so much as one of hierarchy.”442 Whiteness has never existed independent of its location at the top of the racial hierarchy. Thus, as Joel Olson explained in The Abolition of White Democracy, “ ‘White’ or ‘Caucasian’ is not a neutral physical description of certain persons but a political project of securing and protecting privileges…”
Of course, this has its genesis in Marx.
Is It Time?
It was time one hundred years ago, in Lenin's day.