Forget the Footnotes

The market-place for ideas

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An American right-wing think-tank is reported to pay students to spy on their left-wing professors. For the American right, the freedom of intellectuals to think and teach in whatever way they see fit has always been a problem. Far too many academics have left-wing leanings. Now, however, students have an economic incentive to expose their pinko professors. No doubt lists of the culprits will be compiled and pressure will be exerted on the universities to fire the names found on them.

I think this is an excellent idea. If right-wing think-tanks are so eager to buy our left-wing ideas, I think we should be prepared to sell them. Let’s embrace the market-place for ideas! Besides, the American right is clearly in desperate need of some new intellectual inspiration.

If this system spreads to England what I am going to do is to dramatically radicalise all my lectures and stuff them full of quotes from Marx and Engels and vague exhortations to students to prepare themselves for the coming revolution. Students can then come and listen, denounce me for a fee, and — and this is the business idea involved — I would split their profits with them.

The outcome of this system is that students have a nifty way of financing their studies — of far more radical ideas than previously! — and that I can go off on vacation and read up on my Gramsci. The beauty of the market!


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