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On some level I think my Explanation in Geography professor wants to be persecuted. I don't mean that it's some big driving force for him, but it shows through sometimes that he would be invigorated by a little effort to silence him. After making particularly radical or controversial statements, he tends to turn to Dai or Mohammad and say "I bet I wouldn't be able to get away with saying that in China/Iran!" and he seems a bit disappointed when Mohammad says that the Iranian thought police have loosened up a bit in recent years. He also keeps telling us about how last semester he disparaged God, and some students in the class filed a formal complaint with the Dean.

I suspect it may be partly because he's a Marxist. Radical leftist theories tend to fit things into a paradigm of hegemony and resistance, and make a point of siding with resistance. So these theories work best when they're repressed, because repression validates their hegemony/resistance schema. Reading the chapter in this professor's book that describes the rise of Marxist geography, I got the distinct sense that in his opinion the worst thing that could befall Marxists is for them to be successful.


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