“I can give you my loneliness, my darkness, the
hunger of my heart; I am trying to bribe you
with uncertainty, with danger, with defeat”.
These broadened envision Orwellian campus where freedom is servitude — specifically and particularly, where intellectual servitude to the whims of education technocrats holding up their forefingers to test the winds of supposed market forces. In most industrial oriented spaces theoretically, at least—the bulk of knowledge and experienced decision making ability resides with management, so that’s where the decision-making takes place. Everything is top-down. But in higher education (and, one might argue, throughout education in general), it’s the “workers”—the professors—who know most about what should be taught and how. Thus it’s vital for them to be an integral part of the decision-making process. The process must be, if not bottom-up, then at least relatively collegial. Unless a significant portion of the faculty is tenured, there will never be enough people willing to question poor leadership decisions or speak out against administrative excess. (It’s hard enough even with tenure.) And contingent faculty members are never truly free to teach as they see fit; they’re always at the mercy of administrators who can simply take away their courses, and their livelihoods, without explanation. That’s what “contingent” means.
The values of shared governance and academic freedom, to fight for those values rather than sitting idly by as they are gradually replaced by pseudo-market-driven exigencies. The adjective ‘economic’ express the major transformation introduced by capitalism; it gives a dominant position to the economic dimension, as opposed to the dominance of political and ideological dimensions in previous systems. The reversal in the order of things can be expressed by saying that under the capitalism wealth is the source of power while under previous systems the reverse was the case. Or, to put it in another way, the law of value governs not only the economic aspect of capitalism but all aspects of its social life. The prominent bend or a permanent systemic tendency of the system ‘to produce more than can be consumed’: downward pressure on wages has tended to generate a volume of investment relatively in excess of the investment level required to satisfy the effective demand of the system’s products. From this viewpoint, the threat of relative stagnation is the chronic ailment of capitalism. Crises and depressions do not need to be explained by specific causes. On the contrary they are each produced by their own particular circumstances.
But ever since the end of the second world war, when regulation of the system by competition gave way to a historical compromise between capital and labour, which provided the basis of Keynesianism and the welfare state, and the peripheral areas began to complete in industrial production, the regular periodic movements of the business cycle gave way to a shorter, more smoothed-out but also more irregular cycle. And thus, began the untold legacy.
Enakshi Sharma (Mayukhi0511@yahoo.co.in)
#contractual teaching, Project at CCS.
http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2013/11/hyperemployment-or-the-exhausting-work-of-the-technology-user/281149/ This might help in illuminating, the above extract.