“Radical” and “Political” as the Fast Tracks for Success in Academia , the Arts, and Cultural Analysis

It often feels as though in the general broader bobo/creative class milieu (which I’m part of for better or worse), but especially the subset of that milieu with substantive Academic interests or aspirations in Continental Philosophy or Cultural Studies; being “radical” is one of the only ways to be “political”, and being “political” is the only way to have a meaningful contribution, per the current artistic-intellectual discourse. I’m not radical and I’m not that interested in politics in the old-fashioned and governmental functioning sense of the word, but in the academic-aesthetic world a centerist to center-left person like me who could and should be much more informed about politics and current events can be considered both radical and political by virtue of my interest in radical thinkers and provocative ideas and rethinkings of social ontology. Which is definitely good for me, especially since I’m considering an academic career, but I’m not sure how good it is for serious politics, serious radicalism, or for the integrity and heterogeneity of academia (both in terms of people who are not at all radical making pretenses to radicalism and their being a sort of conformity to a predetermined idea of radicalism which excludes both real radicals AND people who are not radical or are unable to market themselves as such).

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