[lbo-talk] posh as fuck

Michael Smith mjs at smithbowen.net
Mon Dec 5 08:45:25 PST 2011

On Mon, 5 Dec 2011 06:52:37 -0500 Doug Henwood <dhenwood at panix.com> wrote:

> For most people, college is a good experience.

As it mostly was for me, as a matter of fact. But I viewed it as an opportunity for shameless self-indulgence, and spent my time and the family's money on things like mediaeval music and Celtic philology. I was fortunately able to treat the credentialling sector as if it were a romp through Arcadia. The degrees meant nothing to me at the time, though of course they did come in handy later on. I certainly would want anybody to have the same experience who *wanted* to have it; and I would want it to be entirely unaccompanied by grading and degree-granting and entirely funded by the public purse. Treat it completely as an amenity, like the national parks.

What I very much object to is the credentialling sector's gatekeeper role, and the idea that everybody has to submit to it for, what, sixteen to twenty of the best years of their lives. Unfortunately that seems to have become the essence of the thing in the world we actually live in.

It's a bit like the police and prisons, isn't it? Most of us probably believe that as a practical matter, almost any society we can envision would need some kind of law-enforcement and some kind of sanctions for bad actors, but equally we have no use at all for the *actually existing* police and prison systems. Nobody on the left is interested in the pay and pensions of prison guards and cops.

College used to be a playground for the sons of the elite, and then for a short moment it became a playground for some 'umbler folk like me, if they chose to treat it that way. But now it's a feedlot on the way to the corporate slaughterhouse.

Under those circumstances, fuck it. If it could become a playground again, I'd support it to the hilt. Hell, I'd go back into teaching.

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Michael J. Smith mjs at smithbowen.net

http://stopmebeforeivoteagain.org http://www.cars-suck.org http://fakesprogress.blogspot.com

Any proposition that seems self-evident is almost certainly false.

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