Welcome to The Valve
Login
Register


Valve Links

The Front Page
Statement of Purpose

John Holbo - Editor
Scott Eric Kaufman - Editor
Aaron Bady
Adam Roberts
Amardeep Singh
Andrew Seal
Bill Benzon
Daniel Green
Jonathan Goodwin
Joseph Kugelmass
Lawrence LaRiviere White
Marc Bousquet
Matt Greenfield
Miriam Burstein
Ray Davis
Rohan Maitzen
Sean McCann
Guest Authors

Laura Carroll
Mark Bauerlein
Miriam Jones

Past Valve Book Events

cover of the book Theory's Empire

Event Archive

cover of the book The Literary Wittgenstein

Event Archive

cover of the book Graphs, Maps, Trees

Event Archive

cover of the book How Novels Think

Event Archive

cover of the book The Trouble With Diversity

Event Archive

cover of the book What's Liberal About the Liberal Arts?

Event Archive

cover of the book The Novel of Purpose

Event Archive

The Valve - Closed For Renovation

Happy Trails to You

What’s an Encyclopedia These Days?

Encyclopedia Britannica to Shut Down Print Operations

Intimate Enemies: What’s Opera, Doc?

Alphonso Lingis talks of various things, cameras and photos among them

Feynmann, John von Neumann, and Mental Models

Support Michael Sporn’s Film about Edgar Allen Poe

Philosophy, Ontics or Toothpaste for the Mind

Nazi Rules for Regulating Funk ‘n Freedom

The Early History of Modern Computing: A Brief Chronology

Computing Encounters Being, an Addendum

On the Origin of Objects (towards a philosophy of computation)

Symposium on Graeber’s Debt

The Nightmare of Digital Film Preservation

Richard Petti on Occupy Wall Street: America HAS a Ruling Class

Bill Benzon on Whatwhatwhatwhatwhatwhatwhat?

Nick J. on The Valve - Closed For Renovation

Bill Benzon on Encyclopedia Britannica to Shut Down Print Operations

Norma on Encyclopedia Britannica to Shut Down Print Operations

Bill Benzon on What’s an Object, Metaphysically Speaking?

john balwit on What’s an Object, Metaphysically Speaking?

William Ray on That Shakespeare Thing

Bill Benzon on That Shakespeare Thing

William Ray on That Shakespeare Thing

JoseAngel on That Shakespeare Thing

Bill Benzon on Objects and Graeber's Debt

Bill Benzon on A Dirty Dozen Sneaking up on the Apocalypse

JoseAngel on A Dirty Dozen Sneaking up on the Apocalypse

JoseAngel on Objects and Graeber's Debt

Advanced Search

Articles
RSS 1.0 | RSS 2.0 | Atom

Comments
RSS 1.0 | RSS 2.0 | Atom

XHTML | CSS

Powered by Expression Engine
Logo by John Holbo

Creative Commons Licence
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

 


Blogroll

2blowhards
About Last Night
Academic Splat
Acephalous
Amardeep Singh
Beatrice
Bemsha Swing
Bitch. Ph.D.
Blogenspiel
Blogging the Renaissance
Bookslut
Booksquare
Butterflies & Wheels
Cahiers de Corey
Category D
Charlotte Street
Cheeky Prof
Chekhov’s Mistress
Chrononautic Log
Cliopatria
Cogito, ergo Zoom
Collected Miscellany
Completely Futile
Confessions of an Idiosyncratic Mind
Conversational Reading
Critical Mass
Crooked Timber
Culture Cat
Culture Industry
CultureSpace
Early Modern Notes
Easily Distracted
fait accompi
Fernham
Ferule & Fescue
Ftrain
GalleyCat
Ghost in the Wire
Giornale Nuovo
God of the Machine
Golden Rule Jones
Grumpy Old Bookman
Ideas of Imperfection
Idiocentrism
Idiotprogrammer
if:book
In Favor of Thinking
In Medias Res
Inside Higher Ed
jane dark’s sugarhigh!
John & Belle Have A Blog
John Crowley
Jonathan Goodwin
Kathryn Cramer
Kitabkhana
Languagehat
Languor Management
Light Reading
Like Anna Karina’s Sweater
Lime Tree
Limited Inc.
Long Pauses
Long Story, Short Pier
Long Sunday
MadInkBeard
Making Light
Maud Newton
Michael Berube
Moo2
MoorishGirl
Motime Like the Present
Narrow Shore
Neil Gaiman
Old Hag
Open University
Pas au-delà
Philobiblion
Planned Obsolescence
Printculture
Pseudopodium
Quick Study
Rake’s Progress
Reader of depressing books
Reading Room
ReadySteadyBlog
Reassigned Time
Reeling and Writhing
Return of the Reluctant
S1ngularity::criticism
Say Something Wonderful
Scribblingwoman
Seventypes
Shaken & Stirred
Silliman’s Blog
Slaves of Academe
Sorrow at Sills Bend
Sounds & Fury
Splinters
Spurious
Stochastic Bookmark
Tenured Radical
the Diaries of Franz Kafka
The Elegant Variation
The Home and the World
The Intersection
The Litblog Co-Op
The Literary Saloon
The Literary Thug
The Little Professor
The Midnight Bell
The Mumpsimus
The Pinocchio Theory
The Reading Experience
The Salt-Box
The Weblog
This Public Address
This Space: The Fire’s Blog
Thoughts, Arguments & Rants
Tingle Alley
Uncomplicatedly
Unfogged
University Diaries
Unqualified Offerings
Waggish
What Now?
William Gibson
Wordherders

Thursday, November 05, 2009

The Audacity of Audacity

Posted by Marc Bousquet on 11/05/09 at 12:01 PM

x-posted: howtheuniversityworks.com

The 2000 students sitting in at the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts ignited occupations at a handful of neighboring buildings and campuses, then leapt across Austria and into Germany (where already last summer a quarter million students, faculty, teachers, and parents struck to fight various sleazy American-model* initiatives being pushed by the aptly-named “Bologna Process").

Californians are mad as hell too. Over 600 militants from every sector of California public education--K-12, CSU, UC, the community colleges--met last week to plan a rolling series of actions in a statewide mobilization.

The first statewide event is a planned massive, open-ended and systemwide UC strike beginning November 18, the day that California regents vote on a 30% increase in tuition and faculty/staff furloughs. The planners vow to stay out if the regents vote to support Yudof’s proposals. Future mobilizations will include all education sectors--stay tuned. 

Left vs. Left: Debating the Occupations

Speaking of California militance, there’s an interesting discussion of one of the UCSC occupation manifestos over at the AK Press blog, featuring its authors and some of the New School occupiers. They’re in dialogue with Brian Holmes, who sparked the conversation by saying, essentially, students can’t be workers.

AK’s Charles Weigl does a fantastic job of capturing the differences between Holmes and the student-movement intellectuals by posing three nicely-turned questions:

1) Whaddya mean the management class is being proletarianized!?! Isn’t this somehow an insult/misrecognition regarding the REAL proletariat?


2) Does addressing the university student as the potential revolutionary subject get us closer to revolution? How? How not?


3) What would a non-reformist goal for a university be, if one exists?

Hint: The students are right and Holmes, an otherwise smart guy, is wrong on this one.

Come back to the United States, Brian, and smell what happens to the majority of students who are spat out as nondegreed failures, not to mention the decade or more that the “successful” students among the 80% working an average of 30 hours a week spend earning low wages and acquiring debt.

Sure, the university does reproductive labor.

But it ALSO EXTRACTS VALUE INNOVATIVELY AND ON A SCALE THAT ALL POST-FORDIST EMPLOYERS ENVY AND EMULATE. Bowles and Gintis and Marx were right.

But today’s university needs to be understood as a direct employer and as a site of massive accumulation, not just as a womb for the PMC.

I’m jumping on a red-eye (again), but will get into this conversation next week.  If you can’t wait, download the free pdfs of HTUW’s Intro and/or ch 4, Extreme Work Study.

My reply in a nutshell, for those who can do their own unpacking?

The professional-managerial-class (PMC) isn’t being uniformly proletarianized: some traditional professions (especially teaching) are.

At the same time, some managers are being hyper-professionalized--through the ascendance of the business curriculum, and the way management theory supplants so much intellectual discourse. In connection with this, many workers are being treated as management (Yeshiva--faculty and nurses who don’t supervise anyone--food service supervisors denied overtime, etc) or indoctrinated in cultures of self-management (Randy Martin, others).

Furthermore, the “proletarianization” of a profession doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s been turned over to the actual proletariat.  Poorly waged work with little professional autonomy can be performed by the philanthropic class.

Take the example of higher-education teaching, where deprofessionalization has meant that persons who need a reasonable return on education (ie, they work to live) increasingly leave faculty work to those who have another source of income.  This means that campus employers sort for persons who can subsidize themselves, or find a corporate sponsor. 

Even from a straight-up liberal perspective, this has major harms, advantaging corporate-driven curiousity--see Washburn.

Similarly, turning college teaching (back) into philanthropy functions as a significant economic discrimination that, in the U.S. also works to segment campus labor by gender, ethnicity, and age. In turn, this affects student learning, and the nature and quality of research.

*By “American model” they mean the sort of junk education-as-job-training that Obama and Duncan have been cheerfully pushing from pre-school to PhD: privatization, standardization, and control by high-stakes assessment.

The great thing about education as job training is that it provides a rationale for the super-exploitation of the largest workforce on campus: students.  For Obama and Duncan “affordability” means more of what we’ve been doing for three decades: turning out students as disposable short-term teachers, short-term journalists, short-term office workers, short-term nurses and social-service labor--as long-term but replaceable workers in retail, package delivery, food service, day care, elder care, housekeeping, and maintenance.

And then, when the same student workers can’t find employment (much less those who dropped out, or those who didn’t go), wondering, “huh, where did all the jobs go?" 

Gee, fellas, you turned the jobs into “financial aid,” or “service learning,” or “internships,” or just good old “working your way through--it’s good for ya."  As I’ve written before, you want to create several million jobs overnight, at a reasonable cost? Just withdraw students from the workforce. For a bonus few hundred thousand jobs, you could guarantee full employment for teachers.

 

 

 


Comments

Add a comment:

Name:
Email:
Location:
URL:

 

Remember my personal information

Notify me of follow-up comments?

Please enter the word you see in the image below: