How academia can be saved from within

To the editor:

While I think Peter Bonilla is spot on in his article “The Biggest Threat to Academic Freedom?  We Don’t Teach It.”, I think a more macro view reveals how uncontained the problem is to academia and that what is threatened is all Human thought; what is threatened is Humanity.

When it becomes intellectually and socially expected to dismiss thoughts and ideas the moment they deviate from the popular narrative, when Human Intellect is a one lane road and danger becomes not to label all else as “Racist”, “Uncredentialled”, “Science denying”, “Armchair {Philosophy, History}”, “Pseudoscience”, etc., when only dissidents, conspiracy theorists, and the uneducated disturb the echo that is progress, when a stranglehold reaches all but the most remote avenues of information…then we have already passed the 50-yard line in the march towards extinguishing the human intellect by snuffing out its light in a pool of authoritarian truth.  The rabid dogs have the stage, while Greed, Power, and Dishonesty hold their strings.

Unless it self-destructed, at this point I think the system might only be stopped from within the construct it created for its victory – meaning maybe a sophist society can only be reached by the things sophistry says to value, and so only the most credentialed (who will be supported by the other most credentialed) can reinstate questioning as sacred in the quest for knowledge and give back the unqualified right to question to everyone, hopefully saving the defining characteristic of our species by doing so.

Nick Staff
New York, New York