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The Protests are Great, But Not the Violence That Has Sometimes Surfaced: Why I Agree with Everything Deva Woodly Says, And Yet Need to Say Something More

Deva Woodly’s just-published “An American Reckoning: The fire this time,” is a terrific essay, smartly argued, beautifully written, and perfectly timed. I agree with everything she says. And yet, in a friendly rejoinder, I would add one thing that is missing from her piece, deliberately and perhaps even justifiably so: a critique of the violenceContinue reading “The Protests are Great, But Not the Violence That Has Sometimes Surfaced: Why I Agree with Everything Deva Woodly Says, And Yet Need to Say Something More”

The rulers of IU imagine that they can transform students into virtuous and sober citizens by regulating campus life. But what about what happens OFF campus?

Every day there are a few more COVID cases in Monroe County, Indiana. We are now at 166 cases and 12 deaths. This doesn’t seem like much. But what happens when there is further “opening” in the state, and then TENS OF THOUSANDS of undergraduates (20,000? 30,000?) and their families descend upon the city andContinue reading “The rulers of IU imagine that they can transform students into virtuous and sober citizens by regulating campus life. But what about what happens OFF campus?”

If socialists don’t want Trump to win, then they should stop throwing shade on Joe Biden, his only real opponent

Bhaskar Sunkara declared in yesterday’s New York Times that American socialists such as himself are walking a “perilous tightrope,” determined to avoid “teetering off into the abyss of conventional politics on the one side or falling to sectarian irrelevance on the other.” He explains that “we may not like” Joe Biden, “but we don’t want Trump to win”; reportsContinue reading “If socialists don’t want Trump to win, then they should stop throwing shade on Joe Biden, his only real opponent”

The Disturbing Reopening of Indiana University Campuses in the Fall: A Tale of Two Messages

Yesterday, May 27, the three-month U.S. death toll from COVID-19 exceeded 100,000. The death toll in the state of Indiana exceeded 2000. And Michael McRobbie, the President of Indiana University, sent out a letter to all faculty, staff, and students that began thus: “I am very pleased to write to you to inform you of our plansContinue reading “The Disturbing Reopening of Indiana University Campuses in the Fall: A Tale of Two Messages”

Indiana University, Caught in the Pincers of Economic and Moral Conservatism

Indiana University, and especially its Bloomington campus, has been wrestling for months with the question of whether or not to reopen campus to undergraduates in the Fall. A decision by President Michael McRobbie and his circle of administrators and advisers is apparently imminent. In a number of recent pieces which apparently have gone viral, I have criticizedContinue reading “Indiana University, Caught in the Pincers of Economic and Moral Conservatism”

Further Thoughts on Why The Culture of Campus Life Would Make A Premature Reopening a Disaster

Yesterday I posted a critique of the “Indiana University Restart Committee Recommendations Report.” Among other things, the Report rests on truly heroic assumptions—assumptions that bring to mind the five-year plans of high Stalinism!– about the moral transformation of IU undergraduates into scrupulous rule followers who prioritize “personal and public hygiene” and place the well-being of othersContinue reading “Further Thoughts on Why The Culture of Campus Life Would Make A Premature Reopening a Disaster”

Reopening Indiana University? Troubled Reflections of a Wayward Professor

Yesterday–Thursday, May 21—I received an e-mail from Indiana University President Michael McRobbie addressed to all IU colleagues. The message shared news about the “phased reopening” of IU campuses and planning for the fall semester. It also shared with readers the “expert” Restart Report put together by the Restart Committee charged with recommending “when and under what conditions the university canContinue reading “Reopening Indiana University? Troubled Reflections of a Wayward Professor”

Securing the November U.S. Election: The Urgent Task for All Democrats

“To support the Ins when things are going well; to support the Outs when they seem to be going badly, this, in spite of all that has been said about tweedledum and tweedledee, is the essence of popular government. Even the most intelligent large public of which we have any experience must determine finally whoContinue reading “Securing the November U.S. Election: The Urgent Task for All Democrats”

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