From Czeslaw Milosz’s The Captive Mind:
Professional Ketman is reasoned thus: since I find myself in circumstances over which I have no control, and since I have but one life and that is ﬂeeting, I should strive to do my best. I am like a crustacean attached to a crag on the bottom of the sea. Over me storms rage and huge ships sail; but my entire eﬂlort is concentrated upon clinging to the rock, for otherwise I will be carried off by the waters and perish, leaving no trace behind. If I am a scientist I attend congresses at which I deliver reports strictly adhering to the Party line. But in the laboratory I pursue my research according to scientiﬁc methods, and in that alone lies the aim of life. If my work is successful, it matters little how it will be presented and toward whose glory. Discoveries made in the name of a disinterested search for truth are lasting, whereas the shrieks of politicians pass. I must do all they demand, they may use my name as they wish, as long as I have access to a laboratory and money for the purchase of scientiﬁc instruments.
Ketman is a concept originally from Islam. It’s the practice of carefully hiding your true motives and beliefs while publicly proclaiming support for dominant beliefs in order to avoid persecution.
I think I know a lot of people that practice professional Ketman, including myself at times. Every engineer working at Google and Facebook that keeps on supporting their companies with this labor despite know that they are part of institutions that harm people is practicing professional Ketman. “This company may be misinforming billions, but this is my chance to work on ML models at this scale, so I’m going to do what I can to meet these OKRs.”
Of course, these people have far more choice than the scientists under Stalin’s regime, which makes it particularly cowardly.