[lbo-talk] [SPAM_ISU] :Re: posh as fuck

Carrol Cox cbcox at ilstu.edu
Wed Dec 7 10:47:11 PST 2011

-----Original Message----- From: lbo-talk-bounces at lbo-talk.org [mailto:lbo-talk-bounces at lbo-talk.org] On Behalf Of Doug Henwood Sent: Wednesday, December 07, 2011 10:49 AM To: lbo-talk at lbo-talk.org Subject: [SPAM_ISU] :Re: [lbo-talk] posh as fuck

On Dec 7, 2011, at 11:24 AM, Michael J. Smith wrote:

> On Wed, December 7, 2011 10:53 am, Doug Henwood wrote:
>> But in most senses, the
>> factory is an authoritarian regime. They don't even pretend to embrace
>> free expression.
> Of course they don't. But they have to put up with
> a lot of it. Or did, back in the day, when people had
> unions. I'm sure it's much worse now. But it's worse
> in Academe too -- just part of the general race to
> the bottom.

When I got to the UVa English department in 1976, the departing star was one Fredson Bowers, bibliographer, and author of the claim that the apple in Eden was not your Delicious apple, not your Macintosh, but a real English pippin. Sometimes, you think that some things have gotten better.


Bowers wrote another silly essay on Milton, published in PMLA. But what the fuck. Is the university the one and only capitalist institution or capitalist practice which, if it has a single defect, is immediately the very worst capitalist institution. This whole thread makes not the least bit of sense. It's seriously loony.

Everyone on this list is highly educated, and almost everyone on this list seems to think that while everyone else has been corrupted by that ultimately corrupt creation of capitalism, the University, they, forsooth, escaped the corruption. They, forsooth, were superior to the Institution which corrupted everyone else, and hence they are in that wonderful Olympian height from which they can look down on the mortals below and say what fools these mortals be. Instead of staying decently illiterate and never hearing of Sophocles or Marx or a disagreeable scholar rested in perfect or other corrupting influences -- horrors, Professor X mistreats her grad students and doesn't understand Marx -- .......

There is no fucking reason that the university or professors should be one bit better, less corrupt, than any other institution within capitalism. So no matter how many charges you can correctly make against any or most professors or students or particular universities, you are still being utterly a-political in your criticisms.

It's a mere fart rather than a political criticism. Leave such farts to Wojtek and come back down to this corrupt earth. Universities are major pillars of capitalism; they are also, at their worse, one of the major sources of resistance to capitalism

A lot of capitalists have reached the conclusion that they don't need universities or education as much as they used to, and therefore they don't need any longer to nurture this hotbed of resistance, and therefore they have (as a central part, and perhaps the major motive of the Austerity drive) launched a major attack on higher education and America. And leftists who use higher standards for the university than for any other capitalist institution, including the IMF and the U.S. Air Force, leftists waste their time and make fools of themselves with eternal bellyaching because Professors are not demigods.


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