Sep 28, 2022
"Increasing Numbers of US Students Look for a ‘Real’ World,"
read a 1965 headline from the magazine Moderator.
"Academics: Get Real!," the Harvard Business Review
implored in 2009. "‘Defund the police’ runs into reality," the
Washington Post warned in 2021. "As Latin America Shifts
Left, Leaders Face a Short Honeymoon," the New York Times
declared in 2022.
We're often reminded that anyone who espouses some degree of left-wing politics – whether a student, activist, political leader, or anyone in between – is at odds with the "real world." Academics, especially those in the humanities, sit in their ivory towers. Organizers and demonstrators against state violence have their heads in the clouds. Elected leaders campaigning on elevating living standards don’t know what they're in for.
But who's in charge of determining what’s ‘realistic’? Or what
"the real world" is exactly? Why is studying theory, fighting for
better healthcare, or working toward poverty reduction any less
‘real’ than plugging away at a spreadsheet for a weapons
manufacturer or venture capital firm? And how did this pat and
folksy concept of the "real world" emerge as a go-to dunk on
eggheads and activists?
On this episode, we seek to answer these questions, as we examine the canard that anyone to the left of a Goldman Sachs executive isn't living in or contributing to the "real world."
Our guest is Street Fight Radio's Bryan Quinby.