Lin Yuan: The upper echelons of Chinese academia are full of villains


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The upper echelons of Chinese academia are full of villains

Author: Lin Yuan

Someone asked a question on a website in China: Why are there so many scumbags in the upper classes of society? There are different answers.

There are indeed many “scumbags” in the upper echelons of Chinese society, whether in the political, military, business or academic circles. Here we focus on the academic world, which has received less attention from the public in the past. Let’s not use “scum” here, but use the word “villain” in the Confucian classics.

As far as the Chinese academic circle of humanities and social sciences is concerned, the upper class is full of villains; the situation of the academic circle of natural sciences may be slightly better, but there is no essential difference. “The Analects of Confucius” has: “The gentleman is compared to righteousness, and the villain is compared to profit.” The book also has: “The gentleman is compared without comparison, and the villain is compared without consideration.” These villains at the top of the academic circle are indeed “compared to profit ” and “comparison without consideration” are typical.

As those who hold academic power, they not only use various methods to support related clients, but also suppress unrelated persons (including strangers who have no conflict of interest with them in the past). For example, as reviewers of core journals, they will deliberately pick faults and give negative comments to the contributions of scholars and students outside their “circle”. Some core journals in China do not adopt the anonymous review system, and some core journals seem to implement this system, but it is not strict. These villains who have the right to review manuscripts strongly recommend the manuscripts of related households and greeters. As for other manuscripts, whether or not they know or infer who the authors are, it is difficult for them to get good reviews.

In addition, the editors-in-chief of core journals will use the excuse of “too many manuscripts” for unrelated manuscripts, even if they pass anonymous review, and will not publish them. For the submissions of related households, they will be published soon after passing the anonymous review (for those with strong relationships, they can even bypass the anonymous review and publish it). The editor-in-chief of core journals is also at the top of the academic circle and holds important academic power – after all, teacher evaluation titles and (most colleges) doctoral students need to publish papers in core journals to obtain a degree.

The little people who seem to be academic authorities often become experts in the evaluation of social science fund projects, and they will use similar methods when evaluating projects. The project declaration form seems to be anonymous, but due to the need to list the previous research results, the review experts can know who the applicant is. For those who have nothing to do with them and those who have not given gifts, these villains in the cloak of academic authority will magnify the shortcomings of the declaration form and deliberately give negative comments; for those who are related to them and who have given gifts, on the contrary, they will highlight their advantages and give priority to praise. Even without compliments. Even if they were not reviewing experts that year, they could still “did up” their apprentices and grandchildren (and other related households, including students who are lovers, mistresses, or young colleagues, etc.) to other reviewing experts. If their children, nephews, nieces, etc. (or can be called “second-generation students”) are mixed in the academic circle, they should try their best to cultivate them, including using all kinds of illegitimate means.

They have continued this kind of operation for years, and eventually those who are related to them (children, relatives, apprentices and grandchildren, other related households, etc.) gradually occupy a more important position in the academic world, and separately control some of the power and resources of the academic world. In this way, the “school” was formed, and the school valve appeared. As some commentators have pointed out, the “Nine-Rank Zhongzheng System” of the ancient Wei, Jin, Southern and Northern Dynasties has appeared in Chinese academia. However, the ancient clansmen followed Confucianism, while most of the contemporary clans were full of Marxism-Leninism and full of male thieves and female prostitutes.

Most of these deans, secretaries, editors-in-chief, review experts, doctoral supervisors, professors, researchers and other academic leaders, academic officials, and academic authorities lack the basic morality of being a human being. There is no “fairness”, “decency”, “gentleman”, “reading manuscripts without looking at people”, etc. in their dictionaries, but there are “relationships”, “human feelings”, “interests”, “dinners”, “generous gifts”, etc. There are “quick success and instant benefit”, “moral appearance”, “saying one thing and doing another” and so on.

The highest level of the CCP can say that the anti-corruption has no restricted areas, full coverage, and zero tolerance – it seems like a joke now. As far as academia is concerned, after years of so-called anti-corruption, the reality is that there are many forbidden areas instead of no forbidden areas, “micro-coverage” rather than full coverage, and “99% tolerance” rather than zero tolerance. If the highest level of China does not want to let the “movement-style” anti-corruption hastily withdraw its troops, it should at least change the focus area and start by investigating the misdeeds of Chinese scholars, academic officials, and those who hold academic power in the past 20 years – which is likely to involve illegal ( Such as bribery, etc.), not only the lack of ethical issues.

China should not become such a country: although the major players in the academic world, big players (even small and medium-sized players) are generally involved in academic corruption, employment corruption or economic corruption and other issues, except for a very small number of “unlucky ones”, the vast majority of them are not suffer any punishment. Justice should be realized as soon as possible for all kinds of corrupt academics, so that many innocent scholars who have been marginalized by them will no longer hold a pessimistic attitude towards the status quo of the academic world.

In the end, the reason why we need to criticize Chinese academic cliques and academic authoritative villains is not only because they represent academic corruption, but also because they serve the CCP regime. In the process of consolidating and developing the CCP regime in recent years, these villains have played a special role by offering suggestions, singing praises, and they are willing to serve mainly because they can obtain various benefits. Criticizing Chinese academic villains and villain scholarship should be closely combined with criticizing political villains and villain politics. The villains in the upper echelons of academia, like the villains in the upper echelons of politics, military, and business, will sooner or later be swept into the garbage heap of history.

Lin Yuan, Ph.D. in history, commentator, researcher on contemporary China issues.

(The article only represents the author’s personal views and positions, please indicate the source for reprinting, thank you)