Staunton, November 10 – Because of their natures, the humanities and authoritarian regimes are invariably in conflict, with the former promoting the kind of questioning that undermines those who seek to rule without reference to others or higher laws and the latter viewing those who engage in humanities education and research as their enemies and a threat.
Periodically, authoritarian regimes attack the humanities in the hopes that they can bring them to heel. That is now happening in Putin’s Russia, with the Kremlin using the case of Gasan Guseynov to launch a broader offensive against humanities education, according to Andrey Kolesnikov in a New Times commentary (newtimes.ru/articles/detail/187420?fcc).
The academic commission of the Higher School of Economics in a manner that recalls Soviet times condemned Guseynov for his criticism of the Russian language. It demanded that he apologize in the same way that a communist party organization would have in a Soviet institution. (For the text of its “deliberations,” see hse.ru/our/news/316393628.html