This blog is about living the American Dream at the dawn of the new millennium! I am a nameless, mid-20s, bottom 150 Law School Graduate who finds himself marginally attached and awash in a sea of overeducated but underpaid, indentured peers who feel, and were, duped by the promise of a better life through debt and modern chemistry. Let's get to the point. The Law School Industrial Complex is a scam that has destroyed a generation out of greed. Vendettas were once legal and the pursuit of one was seen not only as moral, but necessary. This newly minted lawyer is going to continue the practice. DON'T GO TO LAW SCHOOL YOU MORONS! Ce qui suit est ce qui reste!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

No Shit Sherlock: Professor Wendy Brown Has Huge Brass Balls

"When is a crisis reached? When questions arise that can't be answered." ~ Ryszard Kapuściński


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There's really no other way to describe the following video which I first caught on one of my favorite blogs out of some kind of useless, non-corporate sponsored field of vital human inquiry sociology program entitled Sociological Images: Seeing is Believing



Some of the salient points that Professor Brown makes are as follows, just in case you're too fucking lazy or uninvested to watch the whole thing.

10 things that happen when you bring privatizing market values into the public university system -- thus destroying it, i.e. what is at the root of the law school scam (important to note as the speaker does, these things already exist in the system it's just a matter of degree...which is steadily reaching dominance).

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1) Decreased Commitment to Education - Shift from Meritocracy to Plutocracy, a turnaway from equal opportunity, the rush for out of state tuition for revenue purposes 


2) Increasing Inequality in Every Strand and Strata of the University - A diminished sense of shared purpose - concretely it means huge salary differentials between faculty within and between departments


3) Decreased Support for All Elements of the University that are NOT entrepreneurial - i.e. decreased support for all aspects of curriculum and research that are that are not readily applicable or commodifiable (especially humanities, arts, social sciences, etc. but a huge focus on "business" or "human resources")

4)  Deteriorating Support for Basic Research as Opposed to Applied Research - if it doesn't have the potential for generating money in a market then fuck it.  No Einstein, Darwin, Aristotle but by all means let's find the next Bill Gates, Genetic Modified Foods, Campaign Strategists (what Peter Thiel is likely doing with his "dropout" program)


5) Research Increasingly Contoured By and To Corporate & State Funders - risks compromise/corruption by need to attract funders (i.e. big pharma in med schools, military funding for anthropologists in counterinsurgency efforts, etc.)


6) Privatization Means Restricted Academic Freedom on Many Levels - pressure for application & sponsorship, silencing "troublesome" faculty, 


7) Increased Exploitation of Workers - privatized & privatizing institutions are historically & practically more hostile to unions, more effective at breaking them, fewer labor regulations, more likely to use part time workers to keep unions weak


8) Shrinking from Public Values & Concerns - monitoring work conditions in sweat shops becomes verboten because corporations are behind endowments & gifts to leverage interests, Harvard Medical School has 3 professorships sponsored entirely & exclusively by the money derived from sleep medicine rather than something like malaria which is a huge public good for a great number of people....but not profitable.


9) Replacing Shared Governance with Business Management Principles - increased influence and participation by non-academics (funders) in academic matters, admin setting the standards over the faculty for the money game rather than education


10) Education Increasingly is Organized to Produce "Efficient Instruction Delivery Systems," what used to be called teachers, to generate "human capital," who would be the students - does not represent education that develops, deepens, broadens the mind with perspective, discernment, historical conscience, diverse knowledge and literacy BUT instead of producing thinkers it produces cogs for the machines...new bits of linked in human capital who do not question but consume...who do not dream but obey


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In sum it means narrowed access, expanded inequalities, destroyed shared purposes, devalued knowledge & research, research that is contoured towards corporate rather than public ends, and education that leaves debt ridden husks rather than enlightened human beings in search for truth and the greatest goods.  It means a systematized law school complex that does not teach the practice of "defending liberty & pursuing justice" but rather a set of cultural myths and false expectations created to lure unsuspecting lambs to the slaughter.

Till Next Time!!! You fight the fights that need fighting!!!

4 comments:

  1. I especially like the cartoons on this one. Where do you find them?

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  2. Great illustrations, as usual. Finally! Someone understands what is crippling "higher education." Well, Cryn Johannsen does as well.

    I see too many ass-hats on JDU put the ENTIRE blame on federal intervention via student loans. Sure, providing loans to any dunderhead who wants a degree in Feminist Literature from Beavis University results in a huge exodus to college. This will cause tuition to increase, as schools will argue that they need to hire more "professors." (The $chool$ fail to mention that they will rely more on adjuncts, TAs, graduate students, and part-time teachers, to meet the increase in demand.)

    Treating "higher education" as a commodity - and the students as customers - is hurting students. Building gigantic, 18,000 seat basketball arenas for your third tier college basketball team affects the price tag. So does constructing expensive student housing - decorated with lavish furniture. Turning the student union and dining hall into state-of-the-art centers doesn't help either.

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  3. Great article and illustrations as usual.
    I went to University in Paris in 1980. (Yes, that is old.) Very different culture of learning when compared to the US schools. At the time it was free or minimal cost if you made the entrance exam cutoff. Housing/ food and living expenses were the primary expense and the freedom to explore created a richer experience and a different end-result person.

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  4. I like #4 especially. As a former engineer, I get sick of the "math and science only" mantra, as if there is no value whatsoever to other aspects of education or study. If it can't be immediately monitized, eff it. That's why, for exampler, the Large Hadron Collider is in Europe, not the USA.

    What, pray tell, are all these "math and science" kids going to do anyway? Design the iPad 17? Please. Math and Science (and patents) are continuesly going the way of the gizmo, not something actualy profound.

    Maybe because the humanities got evicerated along the way.

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