Academic response to radical paper: fire him!

Pioneer cover

From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.

Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.

The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.

He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.

Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit.

Fascist academia: A professor writes a paper suggesting that colonialism wasn’t all bad, and the academic world responds by calling for censorship, a boycott of the journal for publishing it, and demands that the professor be fired and blacklisted.

It appears from the academic responses to the paper, very carefully documented in the article, that none of the protesters bothered to read it. From their perspective, the professor dared say something that is simply not permitted, and therefore must be silenced and destroyed.

But then, how do you have an open marketplace of ideas if some ideas are “simply not permitted?” You don’t. This article illustrates the fascist culture that now permeates many academic fields, totally counter to the concepts of open debate, freedom, and individual liberty that western civilization is founded on.


Every July, to celebrate the anniversary of the start of Behind the Black in 2010, I hold a month-long fund-raising campaign to make it possible for me to continue my work here for another year.

This year's fund-raising drive however is more significant in that it is also the 10th anniversary of this website's founding. It is hard to believe, but I have been doing this for a full decade, during which I have written more than 22,000 posts, of which more than 1,000 were essays and almost 2,600 were evening pauses.

This year's fund drive is also more important because of the growing intolerance of free speech and dissent in American culture. Increasingly people who don't like what they read are blatantly acting to blackball sites like mine. I have tried to insulate myself from this tyrannical effort by not depending on Google advertising or cross-posts Facebook or Twitter. Though this prevents them from having a hold on me, it also acts to limit my exposure.

Therefore, I hope you will please consider donating to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar below. Your support will allow me to continue covering science and culture as I have for the past twenty years, independent and free from any outside influence.


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  • eddie willers

    What would India be like without the British? I shudder to think.

    America turned out pretty well too.

  • wodun

    But then, how do you have an open marketplace of ideas if some ideas are “simply not permitted?”

    Colonialism wasn’t an open marketplace of ideas but it was a cultural exchange. The colonial powers were successful to one degree or another and adopting things that made them successful could be good for any society.

    It would be an interesting discussion on what colonial powers should be emulated based on how those societies turned out. I am not sure that Spain would hold up very well. But even here, Spanish influence has been very successful.

    All of human history is one of cultural exchange and adopting things people find beneficial. That academics think that there should be no cultural exchange or that some societies specifically shouldn’t be the source of cultural exports doesn’t speak much to their intelligence or ethics.

  • Commodude


    There is no “Open marketplace of ideas”. History education is completely devoted to the idea that western civilization is an abhorrent cancer on the human race, as evidenced by the numerous run ins I have had with the staff at the schools my children attend.

    The Holocaust was bad. Okay, agreed, but what about other atrocities committed against others, the holodmor, Armenian genocide, the cultural revolution, Pol Pot, ad nauseum? (Again, not downplaying the Holocaust in the least, it was an evil event in an evil era)

    My daughter got an A on the paper she wrote about the Holodmor which she used to challenge the teacher’s statements that the Holocaust was a unique event.

    European Colonialism? Utter evil, per the history teacher(s). I sent a note challenging that statement, asking which form of European Colonialism he was referring to? Belgian? French? Spanish? Dutch? British? All had different aims and different means, but that discussion evidently isn’t allowed. European=evil.

    This pap is being taught at all levels, and isn’t education, rather, it’s indoctrination. It’s sad that I have to teach the children a major negative lesson, which is regurgitate the pap for the grade, but know that beyond the math and hard science, it’s a twisted form of reality based on indoctrination.

  • Commodude: I would homeschool. Or arrange a private small school arrangement, which the Orthodox Jewish communities always do. It is no longer acceptable to have one’s children subjected to this stuff.

  • Cotour

    I am reposting my last comment again here because it seems a better fit as it relates to how we understand history and education and the history that is understood and taught:

    I just listened to William F. Pepper, lawyer, journalist, writer, communist (?), he knew Castro, Che, Chavez, M.L. King, the Rockefeller’s, the Kennedy’s, was in Viet Nam etc, etc. This is a very interesting interview / talk. See what you think, a very interesting, detailed and credible witness to history? : Play Guns And Butter, Wednesday, Sept. 20th. Well worth the hour investment.

    What Mr. Pepper illustrates is S.O.M. exercised in the real world. We are all at some point “useful idiots”. What we must endeavor to do is understand these things both in the objective and the subjective and balance them in real time. Pepper is a moral idealist / journalist / lawyer and tells a very credible and believable story about how power, real power, deadly power, is exercised. “Climate Change” IMO can certainly be filed at some point within these issues.

    For Trump to be successful and survive the experience he will also have to somehow balance the line that he draws. Too idealistic and he may not survive. Draw the “correct” line and he has the potential to go into the history books as one of the greatest presidents. History is written by the victorious, I must assume that Trump understands that.

    Government / Power is Amoral, We The People are moral, and some way, some how we must understand. What are the great story’s in history based in? Where did Shakespeare get his best material? Real life, and we are living it. We just may not be able to see it correctly in real time because we are immersed in it.

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