This question has been in my mind for about an year. Finally, I am asking it here. I don't know I would be getting knowledge about it anywhere else. I think it is on topic here. Kindly help.

I live in a 3rd world country which has a fascist culture. I am not one of the communities that is marginalized due to it, In a lot of spheres my community has an advantage due to the system, but in academia my community is also marginalized. Blasphemy is punishable by law here. Freedom of speech is also limited. I am atheist, rationalist and advocate of freedom of speech. I haven't read much about communism but I think it might be better If people of my country takes some of it's characteristics. I haven't told my views to anybody except my family. Communists are persecuted here. Fascism is rising again since 5 years , despite being from an operessor community my heart goes to the operessed. Academia and media is absolutely dominated by operessors. Minority religion have their own fascist leaders and ideology.

I have depression and skizoid personality disorder since 8 years , along with anger issues. Psycaterist is fine and helpful. But therapy is very poor. Health system in country is Kaput. This psycaterist which is good was found after I changed 3 other psycaterists. ( Greed in medical profession is very common in the country). I am in good mental health now. So, I studied a lot of self-help books myself. My parents haven't talked to me since a year because of my illness. My father was very distant and passive and mother is herself in depression and my brother is so addicted to netflix and online games that he is twenty years old and despite that spends 14-16 hours daily on mobile ignoring studies completely. No-one in family says him anything.

No-one in Academia in my country, talks about political situation be it STEM or humanities. Infact, a lot of academics that I know, regularly post on social media in favor of fascist leaders and their ideology.

I have done my masters in math and I am applying for Europe for PhD in session 2022. I teach school students part time and read advanced courses in math in the time left. I am hopeful that I will get a place if my health remains good and I don't become a target of fascists. I have worked extremely hard in my life till now given the scarce guidance that was available to me. I don't want to become a leader to bring a social change. I don't have resources or that much interest in politics. I am an introvert who never spoke even in an audience of 10 and have a very less social circle. There are at-least 2 -3 days in a week when I don't talk to anyone except students I teach. ( I work remotely). But when I read about history of my country and critique of social system, It really pained me that people are suffering so much and how deep fascism is in my country. I have stopped reading that and seeing tweets of recent hate crime incidents in my country and stopped reading philosophy or history or about commnism as I already suffer from mental health issues and law is against the victim in case of speech against religions and state and leaders and there is very less privacy in the country. I love math and this is what I want to do all my life. Few Professor which speak against the system are marginalized very quickly.

I am not adding any news items or articles about any of the incidents mentioned above as I want to be discreet.

** Question :How should in this case in a conservative and authoritarian society, I not get in trouble in academia as a student due to my political views and what should I avoid in order to continue my career? **

I think it is a really good idea to avoid discuss politics, read philosophy, history , see news of hate crimes

There is no prof. or my parents or any well -wisher to guide me. This question was on my mind since a year.

I shall be really thankful for any help recieved.

  • It looks like you've buried your question in a blockquote; blockquotes are used for identifying text in your question that is quoting from someone else. You'll get better responses if you A) Edit your title to be a question, B) Edit the body of your question to make clear what the specific question is, and include only the necessary details for someone to understand your question; personal details about yourself may not be relevant if you're asking about other people, and C) Limit your post to one question only.
    – Bryan Krause
    Feb 16, 2022 at 15:15
  • @BryanKrause I hope edit is fine now.
    – user135061
    Feb 16, 2022 at 16:17
  • I still feel like there's a lot of personal details that aren't really relevant to the question, and further I don't think "how should I thrive" is really the sort of question that is well-answered here: it depends too much on personal factors and is vague/broad rather than specific (what "thriving" means is very different to different people, for example). SE Q&A should at least theoretically be broadly useful, rather than personal help. There are also still things in block quotes that don't seem to be quotes.
    – Bryan Krause
    Feb 16, 2022 at 16:20

1 Answer 1


I'm not sure this is on-topic here, but I'll give a bit of background. In any authoritarian state (and they vary by degrees), academics, like everyone else, need to keep a low profile on any "sensitive" topics. That is just for their own safety. And, as you note, some people with a public presence feel the need (cooption) to support the regime, independent of their personal views. The book 1984 presents a pretty stark picture of this.

In free societies (and they also differ by degree) people are free (more free) to openly express their opinions and feelings as there are few consequences as long as certain taboos are avoided (racism, for example).

But, I would guess that even in an authoritarian state that academics are somewhat more open to others, since the nature of academia tends to push toward a sense of community and "openness" rather than separation and intolerance. That isn't true of everyone, of course, no matter the political climate. And, those with agendas and some power will push those agendas mercilessly. And some people will be open in one area but closed in another.

But, in your own case, if you manage to land a position in a country with more accepted freedom of expression, you will find a better environment, though there is, for example, religious prejudice everywhere. And, make sure that you keep vigilant about any mental health issues and seek professional help when you need it no matter where you are.

And, if you wind up in academia as a student in an authoritarian state, keep your views to yourself until you have a way to evaluate the local situation and what might be required to maintain your own safety - physical and mental.

  • 1
    It's indeed heartbreaking that academia - always looking forward to greater understanding - can nevertheless become embroiled in politics and agendas. We're still debating 80 years after the fact whether or not it's ethical to use Nazi medical research because it was willingly sourced from Holocaust victims. Personally I can't imagine what XaXa's going through - but he/she has my greatest condolences.
    – JBH
    Feb 17, 2022 at 11:57
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    @JoinJBHonCodidact Thanks!
    – user135061
    Feb 17, 2022 at 13:08
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    @JoinJBHonCodidact - I presume you meant "...unwillingly sourced from Holocaust victims."...? Mar 1, 2022 at 8:30
  • @MrWonderful No, but I see your point. I meant "willingly" from the perspective of, "some scoundrel was willing to do that to another human being just to advance science." I suspect the back of my brain was assuming that it was obvious the Holocaust victims were unwilling subjects and that the point needed to be made that someone choose, willingly, to act with the lowest degree of morals and ethics. Unfortunately, what was actually written is, as you've discovered, not as grammatically clear as I thought.
    – JBH
    Mar 2, 2022 at 0:45
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    @JoinJBHonCodidact - Ah, I see your point! Perhaps 'forcibly sourced'... Anyway, thanks for the response! Mar 3, 2022 at 2:23

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