Triggering the Academic Lynch Mob

In his indispensable volume of essays The Captive Mind, Polish-American poet and intellectual Czeslaw Milosz developed the concept of “ketman,” borrowed from Arthur de Gobineau, which he defined as the false stance adopted by a person “in order to find himself at one with others, in order not to be alone,” to experience “a feeling of belonging.” Ketman “brings comfort, fostering dreams of what might be, and even the enclosing fence affords the solace of reverie.” Milosz elaborated a related idea named the Pill of Murti-Bing, which people may swallow to relieve themselves of anxiety The characteristic feature of the unctuous academic, sycophantic intellectual or administrative toady is precisely ketman, “his fear of thinking for himself.” Thus he surrenders to the tawdriness of hive comfort and herd security. Such apple-polishers are legion. “They do not know what one buys, and at what price,” Milosz continues,...(Read Full Article)
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