ax-grinding tends to proceed apace

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Senior Member
HI.Everyone.The following is from Crisis in the Academy: Rethinking Higher Education in America by Christopher J. Lucas @1996

Whether the focus is on "political correctness," academic standards, minority access and affirmative action, equity issues related to gender or ethnicity, gay rights, escalating costs, sexual harassment, collegiate athletic scandals, disputes over tenure, funding problems, claims of curricular fragmentation and overspecialization, or internal governance, ax-grinding tends to proceed apace, accompanied by growing bewilderment, anger, and confusion, on the part of the general public.

I wonder what the word 'ax-grinding tends" means here? and what the whole phrase " ax-grinding tends to proceed apace" means?
  • Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    It refers to this idiom:
    • have an ax to grind, to have a personal or selfish motive:I have no ax to grind, so I'm willing to listen to all sides.

    Ax-grinding tends to proceed apace means that people vigorously pursue their own ends and interests.


    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    No matter what exact topic they complain about (different people have different complaints) they all just keep complaining, generally thinking their complaint is the most important of all. Instead of cooperating and solving problems, they just complain and try to get attention on their problem.

    That upsets the general public, who think it doesn't help make things better.
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