University campuses across the United States were implacable scenes of angry debate and protest. There were clashes with helmeted police in adjoining streets. In April 1968, students occupied administration buildings at Columbia University, one of the causes being the university’s conducting of classified war research. There is an iconic photograph of student leader Mark Rudd sitting defiantly at the university president’s desk…
The corona crash has done nothing to shift this mining-town view of education. If there are no international students to exploit, what’s the point of funding universities? Do we keep digging when we run out of gold?
Over the past half century, neoliberalism has all but erased the potential for the survival of any value other than that promoted by the capitalist market—an amoral competitive individualism and a consumer culture that have undone the family and community that d’Abrera celebrates.
Whole sections of departments in our universities are now staffed by temporary workers. The casualisation of the workforce by university managers means that the lives of these women and men are held in suspension…
If antiracism can be switched on and off as a principle—repeatedly asserted in print, but abruptly suspended when the question of Palestine is raised—then its expressions are degraded into mere performances.
Our challenge is to see our predicament for what it is: the displacement of class conflict between staff and senior management into the day-to-day interactions and inequities among different groups of staff—a divide-and-conquer strategy that keeps us all under the thumb.
As universities competed to attract student dollars, advertising, once unheard of, consumed progressively larger proportions of stressed budgets. It also adopted the play of illusion and conditioned reflex practised by its forerunners in more commercial quarters, trafficking in fatuous slogans like ‘Dream Large’, ‘I Believe’, and ‘Worldly’ (huh?).