“I’m going to engage in intellectual inquiry wherever it may take me, even if it goes straight into the the very existence and bowels of the University of California, Yale, you name it.”-Darrell Hamamto
On this week’s edition of Real Politik James is joined by University of California Davis Professor Darrell Hamamoto, The two discuss academic politics, the ideological correctness that tends to characterize professional life within the modern American university system, and how such orientations impede the quest for knowledge and truth. They also consider the challenges faced by the younger generation, and the major influences on modern social thought, such as the work of C. Wright Mills and Herbert Marcuse.
Professor Hamamoto’s recent research has culminated in the exciting new book, Servitors of Empire: Studies in the Dark Side of Asian America. He is presently embarking on a set of new endeavors to advance his conceptualization of “New World Order theory.”
On Hamamoto’s new intellectual and research paths, Hamamoto recollects, “Around 2005 I had to rethink the premises upon which I was functioning as an intellectual, as a would-be scholar, as a professor and classroom instructor. I had to relearn. I had to reeducate myself, and it’s a difficult process as you might imagine.”
“The very fields that I helped to pioneer have been visited by the Rockefeller Foundation boys and the Gates Foundation,” Hamamoto remarks concerning the subversion of genuine activist-oriented and propelled scholarship. “This is what happens. You do pioneering work, and then you get the knock on the door and the invitation to be brought in to the fold. Ethnic Studies and Asian American Studies in particular have had those visits. We’ve been taken over. We’ve been co-opted. In place of the organic leadership has been placed these people who I call the ‘servitors of empire.’ That’s a midpoint between servants and … the wielders of true power–the great Anglo-American families.”
On challenging academic orthodoxies and forging new ground, Hamamoto remarks that the conventional academic publishers, some with whom he had long-standing relationships, shunned his most recent project. “Servitors of Empire is operating on many levels, and one of them is the parodic. That doesn’t mean it’s not serious. But it’s also sort of like the distorted self-reflection of academic jargon and silliness that we engage in … I didn’t stick with the canonical literature in academia that you’re supposed to [cite]. As you know, there’s a politics of citation involved; you have to cite the right people, otherwise you’re not taken seriously. I wanted to implicitly challenge that while I was doing my own work.”
Those who are in academia will get it and will look at the bibliography and go, “Wow, this guy is really way out there.” But on a practical level I think it’s going to open up space for a variety of perspectives that don’t come from the academic world. A great example is the fine work of the Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth.
Concerning deep agendas involving modern eugenics, Hamamoto observes,”Just like I got to see more [students] coming in on psychotropic drugs, I’ve been able to see the greater feminization of the male population over the years. I wanted to ask questions why. It didn’t take too long to figure out that the male species in the Western world and places like Japan and South Korea, and definitely Southeast Asia, are being purposely re-engineered into a new type of gender orientation. The university,” Hamamoto continues, “has purposely come up with this whole GLBT intellectual, scholarly, and student services agenda to act as a smokescreen for a more fundamental and nefarious attempt to engage in a massive eugenics exercise in effecting human reproduction.”
(There is 3 minutes of silence from 27:00 to 30:00 for ad spots on the audio file below.)
With regard to tenure protection of university faculty,
unfortunately, I have to say that we still need tenure, because there are people like us who use it for its original intents. The other people use it to go on cruise control. You go to any institution and it’s true. There’s mostly dead weight. I go by the 90-10 rule: You’ve got ten percent of the faculty doing 90 percent of the scholarship and the work.
Hamamoto notes that the freedom to uninhibitedly examine controversial ideas and research afforded through tenure is comparable to the liberties realized under the US Constitution, and must therefore be exercised for their continued realization and preservation. “I’m helping [my colleagues]. I’m creating more space and freedom and protection for them. Because if you don’t flex your muscles in these tenure examples, then you’re going to lose it.”
Darrell Hamamoto holds degrees in political science, popular culture, and sociology, and is a graduate of University of California at Irvine’s Comparative Cultures doctoral program. A Fullbright Scholar (Japan) Hamamoto is presently the senior ranking professor in the Department of Asian American Studies at UC Davis. Throughout his 30 year academic career he has become a major figure in the study of media, race, and popular culture. Professor Hamamoto is also the author of Monitored Peril: Asian Americans and the Politics of TV Representation (University of Minnesota Press, 1994) and Nervous Laughter: Television Situation Comedy and Liberal Democratic Ideology (Praeger, 1991).