In Detroit, the teachers' union is the most active and radical union there is.

On Tue, Dec 21, 2010 at 12:41 PM, c b <> wrote:
> I certainly didn't mean all teachers or humanties people and artists
> and philosophers are radical or liberal.   Ezra Pound, for example,
> was a fascist.  Classcists have a lot of conservative ideas, not
> surprisingly. Hell, Platoism is reactionary today, and Plato invented
> "The Academy" for which academe is named.  At least in the "sixties",
> colleges seemed to be hotbeds and more a source of peace activists
> than other segments of society.  The college sections are called
> "liberal arts", and liberal are now redbaited as socialists.
> Community colleges are the locus of a lot of radicalizing nowadays.
> On Tue, Dec 21, 2010 at 12:00 PM, Ralph Dumain
> <> wrote:
>> 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:
>>> 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
>>> Learn or Review Basic Math
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