Over the weekend I read in the Guardian a book review with an interesting take on Walter Benjamin-
Groys writes beautifully about Walter Benjamin, and again proposes an eyebrow-raising idea: that Benjamin should be read as a theologian rather than as a philosopher. Benjamin certainly fits badly with a conventional version of philosophy, and Groys argues that the difference between philosophy and theology is the difference between the future and the past: the philosopher desires the truth which is just out of reach, while the theologian commemorates and repeats the transformative event which is becoming more and more distant. Groys even manages not to quote one of Benjamin's most famous observations: "This is how one pictures the angel of history. His face is turned toward the past. Where we perceive a chain of events, he sees one single catastrophe which keeps piling wreckage upon wreckage and hurls it in front of his feet". If you close only one eye, the image could as easily be product upon product lavished on the feet of Capital.
This might explain how academics see things. We live in a hell realm from which there is no escape. The creation myth for this world is one of destruction. There is nothing to do but deepen our understanding of the modernity dark side.
Presumably before modernity there was some form of paradise in which universities were much more to the liking of academics. But when this was I'm not sure.