[lbo-talk] posh as fuck

Wojtek S wsoko52 at gmail.com
Mon Dec 5 18:17:24 PST 2011

James: "What seems pretty improbable to me is that anyone could make an egalitarian case for universities."

[WS:] Yes indeed. I agree with most of your post, but I would like to add one more twist to it - the intellectual labor performed within academic institutions. Far from being uniform, the intellectual labor within the university system mirrors that of the neoliberal economy. On the one hand there are those who either own the means of production i.e. the research projects that they lead, or are highly paid academic stars whose brand name attracts tuition paying clients. On the other hand, there is the army of intellectual labor power, the academic cognitariat if you will, of research assistants, instructors, adjuncts etc. working for hire, underpaid, and whose work benefits the star faculty or institutions who own the brand names of the intellectual commodity. I see no reason disparaging the latter anymore than, say, disparaging a factory worker producing riot gear that is used to maintain social inequality.

However, I do not quite get your comment on the "intellectuals having a massive guilt/inadequacy feeling towards the working class." What does this mean, exactly. Or is it just a throat clearing device?


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