Historically, radicals have come from the ranks of the 
scientific-technical intelligentsia as well, as arch-reactionaries from 
the humanities. When I was in elementary school and high school, English 
and history teachers were the worst reactionaries. I hated these 
subjects, loved math and science. Who knew I would turn out occupied 
with the former rather than the latter? Thanks for nothing, schoolteachers!

However, the business model that has overtaken universities, coupled I'm 
guessing with financial retrenchment, is gutting various programs, 
notably philosophy, I think in Britain, but also look out for the USA.

Howard University plans to ax its philosophy department, which is pretty 
small as is. In my view, there's too much Africana crap in it, but 
Howard is conservative enough without having to eliminate one of the few 
outlets for critical thinking in it.

On 12/19/2010 8:45 AM, Jim Farmelant wrote:
> http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/dec/17/death-universities-ma
> laise-tuition-fees
> The Guardian
>   17 December 2010
> *The death of universities
> Academia has become a servant of the status quo. Its malaise runs so much
> deeper than tuition fees*
> Terry Eagleton
> Are the humanities about to disappear from our universities? The question
> is
> absurd. It would be like asking whether alcohol is about to disappear
> from
> pubs, or egoism from Hollywood. Just as there cannot be a pub without
> alcohol, so there cannot be a university without the humanities. If
> history,
> philosophy and so on vanish from academic life, what they leave in their
> wake may be a technical training facility or corporate research
> institute.
> But it will not be a university in the classical sense of the term, and
> it
> would be deceptive to call it one.
> Neither, however, can there be a university in the full sense of the word
> when the humanities exist in isolation from other disciplines. The
> quickest
> way of devaluing these subjects – short of disposing of them altogether –
> is
> to reduce them to an agreeable bonus. Real men study law and engineering,
> while ideas and values are for sissies. The humanities should constitute
> the
> core of any university worth the name. The study of history and
> philosophy,
> accompanied by some acquaintance with art and literature, should be for
> lawyers and engineers as well as for those who study in arts faculties.
> If
> the humanities are not under such dire threat in the United States, it
> is,
> among other things, because they are seen as being an integral part of
> higher education as such.
> When they first emerged in their present shape around the turn of the
> 18th
> century, the so-called humane disciplines had a crucial social role. It
> was
> to foster and protect the kind of values for which a philistine social
> order
> had precious little time. The modern humanities and industrial capitalism
> were more or less twinned at birth. To preserve a set of values and ideas
> under siege, you needed among other things institutions known as
> universities set somewhat apart from everyday social life. This
> remoteness
> meant that humane study could be lamentably ineffectual. But it also
> allowed
> the humanities to launch a critique of conventional wisdom.
> > From time to time, as in the late 1960s and in these last few weeks in
> Britain, that critique would take to the streets, confronting how we
> actually live with how we might live.
> What we have witnessed in our own time is the death of universities as
> centres of critique. Since Margaret Thatcher, the role of academia has
> been
> to service the status quo, not challenge it in the name of justice,
> tradition, imagination, human welfare, the free play of the mind or
> alternative visions of the future. We will not change this simply by
> increasing state funding of the humanities as opposed to slashing it to
> nothing. We will change it by insisting that a critical reflection on
> human
> values and principles should be central to everything that goes on in
> universities, not just to the study of Rembrandt or Rimbaud.
> In the end, the humanities can only be defended by stressing how
> indispensable they are; and this means insisting on their vital role in
> the
> whole business of academic learning, rather than protesting that, like
> some
> poor relation, they don't cost much to be housed.
> How can this be achieved in practice? Financially speaking, it can't be.
> Governments are intent on shrinking the humanities, not expanding them.
> Might not too much investment in teaching Shelley mean falling behind our
> economic competitors? But there is no university without humane inquiry,
> which means that universities and advanced capitalism are fundamentally
> incompatible. And the political implications of that run far deeper than
> the
> question of student fees.
> Jim Farmelant
> http://independent.academia.edu/JimFarmelant
> www.foxymath.com
> Learn or Review Basic Math
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