Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Meet U.T. Professor Robert Jensen

"Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?”
Genesis 3:1

From today's Statesman, this guy sounds like a real winner:
But I hold what are considered extreme political beliefs in today’s mainstream political dialogue, even though the conclusions I’ve reached are not only sensible but strike me as essentially conservative, though not in the way that label gets used today.

I believe that the United States should be held accountable for its past and current violations of international law and basic moral principles. I believe that capitalism is incompatible with democracy and basic moral principles. I believe that the high-energy/high-technology fundamentalism of the modern industrial world is unsustainable and, therefore, unacceptable if we want to live in a world in which basic moral principles are possible.

These political positions are not really extreme; they are measured and cautious, reflecting an essentially conservative view of the world:

On international affairs: A commitment to the rule of law and international organization that the United States played a central role in constructing, the United Nations, is crucial for building a stable world order. When the U.S. ignores that law, we should be accountable. Such honesty would help us acknowledge that the current chaos in the Middle East is a direct result of the unlawful U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, along with decades of morally indefensible policies. A conservative position would support a rigorous application of the law to avoid the threat of unchecked power.

On economics: While capitalism is the most productive economic system in history, it also puts extraordinary economic power in the hands of relatively few people. This distorts the equality principle at the heart of democracy, as well as creates social divisions that undermine the dignity principle at the heart of any decent moral system. That’s why, in the world’s richest country, the influence of the wealthy on public policy grows along with the need for homeless shelters and soup kitchens. A conservative position would advocate a distribution of wealth that makes real community possible.

On ecology: Capitalism has been so wildly productive in large part because of the cheap energy available in fossil fuels, which at the start of the Industrial Revolution offered great promise for progress. Drunk on that energy and the short-term materialism it has encouraged, we live now with the dark side of progress


Jensen is a journalism professor at the University of Texas and the author of“Plain Radical: Living, Loving, and Learning to Leave the Planet Gracefully.”Email: rjensen@austin.utexas.edu
It gets better, from his UT biopage:
Robert Jensen

Robert Jensen is a professor in the School of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin.

Jensen joined the UT faculty in 1992 after completing his Ph.D. in media ethics and law in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Minnesota. Prior to his academic career, he worked as a professional journalist for a decade. At UT, Jensen teaches courses in media law, ethics, and politics. He received the 2014 University of Texas Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award.

In his research, Jensen draws on a variety of critical approaches to media and power. Much of his work has focused on pornography and the radical feminist critique of sexuality and men's violence, and he also has addressed questions of race through a critique of white privilege and institutionalized racism.

In addition to teaching and research, Jensen writes for popular media, both alternative and mainstream. His opinion and analytic pieces on such subjects as foreign policy, politics, and race have appeared in papers around the country. He contributes to local organizing in Austin, TX, through his work with the Third Coast Activist Resource Center. http://www.thirdcoastactivist.org/

Jensen is the author of Arguing for Our Lives: A User’s Guide toConstructive Dialogue (City Lights, 2013); All My Bones Shake: Seeking a Progressive Path to the Prophetic Voice, (Soft Skull Press, 2009); Getting Off: Pornography and the End of Masculinity (South End Press, 2007); The Heart of Whiteness: Confronting Race, Racism and White Privilege (City Lights, 2005); Citizens of the Empire: The Struggle to Claim Our Humanity (City Lights, 2004); and Writing Dissent: Taking Radical Ideas from the Margins to the Mainstream (Peter Lang, 2002). He is co-author with Gail Dines and Ann Russo of Pornography: The Production and Consumption of Inequality(Routledge, 1998); and co-editor with David S. Allen of Freeing the First Amendment: Critical Perspectives on Freedom of Expression (New York University Press, 1995).
Bottom Line: Your tax dollars at work....


  1. Indeed. I love, LOVE hearing academics explain their world views as if somehow Star Trek society UN / United Federation....) really IS the future.

  2. Well, from the three paragraphs you have here, I don't disagree with him, they are truthful and well stated. though I would have to read more of his work to have a better idea of his positions.
    Can you point out what problems you have with him based on the three positions he has here?

    1. - Binding the United States via "international law"

      - "a distribution of wealth that makes real community possible."

      These pretty much speak for themselves.

  3. Professor Jensen is what is so wrong with our campuses..... it is hard to believe that such a hard core communist is allowed in the UT system. Thank you, President Powers. Mr. Jensen should be well-suited to NY or CA universities...try emigration, please.....I'm embarrassed to have 3 degrees from this once-excellent university. The clap-trap this professor is teaching our college kids is not only unAmerican, it is a waste of these precious moldable minds and an embarrassment to an alumnus like me. What did his mother and father feed him to get him so jaded on American exceptionalism? Another anachronistic hippie more comfortable with anarchists and other 60s dropouts.

  4. He has written one of the most brilliant books on sexuality pornography called getting off that every Christian man should read. better then the unintellectual renderings from our Christian circles.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.