Beware totalitarians among us 1

April 23, 2004

Thank you very much for bringing Anthony Glees' wicked arguments to the scrutiny of a wider public ("Scholars thwart spies", April 9). I am horrified by the thought of how the paranoia of George W. Bush, Tony Blair and the like influences academic freedom and standards.

What Glees calls "liberal" is the totalitarian call to hand over our (academic) conscience to political spin doctors.

Glees' academia would certainly help to crack down on criticism of the actions of the government of this country. I doubt that it would help us to develop a world of diversity, tolerance and understanding. We have always seen totalitarian governments being dismissive of critical thinking that is nurtured in academia. And we have always witnessed conspirators within academia who give up academic standards for their own political gains.

So does Glees hope to become the Heidegger of 21st-century Britain?

Peter Troxler
Aberdeen University

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