Based on personal experience, some people in academia have no interest in you as an individual and human being; rather, they value your work because for them your scholarship is what affirms your humanity and dignity. Once you’re unable to produce, your personhood is erased.
There has to be a way to humanize the academia and not to treat people as commodities. People are not mere objects or machines. They have intrinsic human values that are not comparable with the system of production and the institutions that maintain their dehumanization.
Interestingly, the same individuals (professors, administrators, etc) who complain about the inhumane character of academia have no interest in transforming it nor do they have any guts to say NO to the unethical structures that make people feel like objects to be exploited.
Power is a central reason why some people are resistant to change as they continue to maintain the status. Suffice it to say such power is hierarchical and sovereign and is often linked to knowledge and the circulation and production of knowledge (Rolph-Trouillot).
Untamed power creates alienation and isolation in the workplace and intellectual violence in academic circles and professional societies.
Untamed power also creates a network of aggressive and selfish individuals and educators whose influence is exercised through various networks, what Foucault termed regimes of power, to maintain control, dominance, and power over one group.
Is this the kind of life and human relations we as professors, educators, and administrators want?
Moral leadership urges all of us to think critically about how some of us have been silent on those unfortunate practices and damaged relationships in academic institutions and societies. They redefined our friendship, our values, and shared humanity.
The most damaging effect (on us) is both mental and psychological, which actively influences our thought-process, practices, and production and circulation of knowledge.
What most academics do not do well or simply do not know how to do is to take their stock of knowledge and rich theoretical mind and transfer them into practical reality to change their respective community and create another world toward human flourishing and the good life.
If an idea is good, it must be good enough to help us breathe anew and improve our politics, leadership governance, economy, human relations, philosophy of life, and our living conditions.