For true dissidence today is perhaps simply what it has always been: thought.
- Julia Kristeva "A New Type of Intellectual: The Dissident"
If ‘true dissidence’ is thought then why is it paid for in blood?
If ‘true dissidence’ is thought then are the people mown down by gunfire or armoured cars (a) ‘thinkers’ or (b) ‘false dissidents’? If (a) then what is thought?
If ‘true dissidence’ is thought then the most immobile, self-satisfied lump of an academic can pretend to breathe the air of rebellion from whatever air conditioned room they hunker down in.
One cannot be a ‘dissident’ while suckling from the very system that one claims to disdain.
This is not a reason not to be an academic; it is just an exasperated reflection on faux-radical platitudes.
This is not a reason to give up and do nothing; it is just an urge to recognise that writing books (or, even more, journal articles!) does not in and of itself make anyone in the least bit 'radical' in their politics.
Politics includes but is more than thought.
No one is of the radix when atop the tower.