The Anti-Authoritarian Academic Code of Conduct
The Anti-Authoritarian Academic Code of Conduct (updated) – Daily Nous
People are wondering how authoritarian the United States government will become under a Trump administration. There’s no way to know for sure. Perhaps the answer is: no more than it already is. Or perhaps Trump, who seems to be some combination of much less knowledgeable of and much less respectful of the limits of executive power than any previous U.S. president (even in this era of the “imperial presidency”), will attempt to pursue his illiberal aims via a wide array of means, including issuing directives to or putting pressure on the institutions and individuals of academia. Under conditions of uncertainty, how do we identify the line between panicked overreaction and responsible preparation? That’s a tough question, in part because preparation and precaution are almost never without costs or tradeoffs. At the very least, we could look for and assess minimally costly means of preparation. One option along these lines is to try to mentally prepare ourselves to refuse to cooperate with illiberal or immoral government initiatives. To that end, Rachel Barney, professor of philosophy and classics at the University of Toronto, has drafted an Anti-authoritarian Academic Code of Conduct—“to keep the bright lines visible” she says—which she wishes to share with philosophers and others in academia. I post it below, with some slight edits. Feel free to make suggestions for revisions in the comments, keeping in mind the purpose and limits of such a document. I will not aid in the registering, rounding-up, or internment of students and colleagues on the basis of their religious beliefs. I will not aid in the marginalization, exclusion, or deportation of my undocumented students and colleagues. I will, as my capacities allow, discourage and defend against the bullying and harassment of vulnerable students and colleagues targeted for important aspects of their identity (such as race, gender, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, etc.). I will not aid government or law enforcement in activities which violate the U.S. Constitution or other U.S. law. I will not aid in government surveillance. I will not inform. As a teacher and researcher, I will not be bought or intimidated. I will present the state of research in my field accurately, whether or not it is what the government wants to hear. I..