If u steal my books they are free that’s how it works
Big ramble; critique of university, academia, reform
Becoming settled in a college town I've found myself thinking a lot about the institutional management of class privileges. The way that Universities which appear at the very least benign are one of the most powerful manipulators of class dynamics. There is a more or less obvious dynamic where anyone who is capable of proving themselves in the academic machine is awarded the privilege of credentials and with that the potential of middle class income. It's never a guarantee, merely a carrot-on-a-stick leading to further humiliation and different forms of suffering which in itself push individuals through predetermined avenues of their chosen field or firm.
The deeply draconian aspect of the University shows itself in face of resistance from students and faculty. It will pride itself in the allowance of the free flow of diverse ideas, but the moment that ideas are brought to life, the rug can be pulled out from underfoot, no academic privileges or potential for advancement with all the debt still in place. This appropriately weeds out those who truly wish to stir dissent from those who believe that words are everything. When collective bargaining has been used to counter this form of retaliation, the University always has the upper hand in terms of resources and can simply wait out a strike as unions and individual students burn through their own reserves waiting for demands to be met. Even if this institution could be reformed, it would only become reformed to the extent that it tangibly increases the privileges of it's graduates. Resistance only crops up in mass because the value of a degree has been eroded so deeply and tuition has only increased. The more base function of the University as simply another process of domesticating dissatisfaction, and weeding out disobedience is revealed in a time where modern dormitories look much more obviously like jail cells. The University is not reformable, nor should it be; it has nothing left to offer and it's false promises are just that, but it's mythology holds strong on those who think there is a decent place for them in the refined offices of the middle class. Buying into it, even as a self-conscious radical; becoming a communist academic or working at the desks of a non-profit, is just further diverting one's dissatisfaction into a morally justifiable do-gooder position instead of directly addressing what is dissatisfying about everyday life. Its more wishful thinking to believe life can really be grasped without risk, without dispensing ones useless baggage. If your degree really is just a piece of paper to you, then prove it by leaving the path it led you down.