Radical professionalism (1): it is not neutrality

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This is the first of a series of posts. It started with a preamble, two weeks ago. “Radical professionalism” is an idea that goes above and beyond “professionalism” and that returns “professionalism” to its deep true conservative sense. I’ll start by looking at what professionalism is not, in two posts on false values that will be very familiar to readers of Medieval allegory and satire: neutrality (false balance) and appearances (seeming, or: false being). The third post looks at what professionalism is; and what, in the shape of a radical professionalism as modelled by radical academic professionals, it could be.

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Professionalism has been in the news recently. Even before then, I’d been worrying about the term for a while, in relation to our work as faculty at a university, and to “professionalism” being perceived as a positive value.

I’d been worrying about why I was worrying about “professionalism” for a while. I’m aware that this worry is the same kind of worry I have about other words, a prickling discomfort that something isn’t quite right, though it’s not a very clear obvious big Wrong. At least, it felt that way until I saw how the word was being used in these examples. This is a word that—like many words—has changed sense over time, and has changed recently so as to change the idea behind it. It is that disjuncture between les mots et les choses that causes irritation; with the addition of (philological, ethical, and political) perversion and corruption, that irritation grows into full allergic reaction. Into raging rash, but trying to avoid rash rage.

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So.
How are the words “professional (adj.), professionally, professionalism” being used?
What would be wrong about them, attributes associated with them, and how they’re used?
How do “professionalism” and neutrality feed the evil of white supremacist neo-Nazis and other forms of fascism?

9-13 AUGUST 2017: CHARLOTTESVILLE

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14-15 AUGUST 2017: AFTER CHARLOTTESVILLE

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15-17 AUGUST 2017: “BOTH SIDES”

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15-21 AUGUST 2017: A “BOTH SIDES” FALSE BINARY OF “ALT-RIGHT” VS “ALT-LEFT”

And neutrality, balance, tolerance, free expression, and academic freedom; includes good examples of what a university can say and do: carefully yet caringly, and above all intelligently.

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