11 April 2015

Still an ideological closed shop

In 2007, someone commented, on my colleague Dr Fabian Wadel’s blog, about one of my books which they had bought, and its apparent history: being presented to the library at the Institute of Education in London, then being immediately dumped on the used book market. The book (Advice to Clever Children) being to some extent about the real-life educational experiences of a high-IQ person, one might have thought the Institute of Education would consider it at least of empirical interest, but evidently not so.

The person who bought the book wrote that, having read it,
I can tell you that — if what you describe is true — any academic library would rather accept 10 complimentary copies of Mein Kampf than anything by Celia Green — an ideological closed shop after all.
At the time, I wrote on my own blog about the ‘ideological closed shop’ and about the way the commenter seemed to regard it as objectionable but unsurprising. It has always struck me as strange how many people accept radical features of the modern ideology — the restriction of liberties, the obvious bias of the academic establishment, the withdrawal of rights such as paid-for pension entitlements, and so on — as though there was nothing very shocking about them.

There seems to me to be a danger in being too ready to accept, even regretfully, a negative situation simply because it appears to derive legitimacy from being endorsed by those in power.

I was recently reminded of my 2007 post about this (‘Are my books ideological anathema?’) by the fact that it seemed to receive a large number of hits for some reason. My blog seems to attract increasing numbers of visitors these days. However, as I commented to an academic acquaintance this week,
although the number of hits on my blog has more than trebled since the blog piece was posted, the discrimination against us remains as entrenched as ever.