Universities (att; Jim Craven)

Philip L Ferguson PLF13 at SPAMstudent.canterbury.ac.nz
Mon Dec 13 19:20:20 MST 1999

Jim wrote:

>And of course we need to expose the organizational agenda,
>interests and intentions of the academic/policy wonk/ politician
>pimps/whores of imperialism (e.g. see "The Cold War and the University" or
>"Universities and Empire: Money and Politics in the Social Sciences During
>the Cold War" etc)

I just checked our university library (Canterbury, NZ) and it has the first
book (which is by Chomsky) but I can't find anything for 'Universities and
Empire'.  Jim, can you post details of author, publisher, city, date of

As a tutor (teaching assistant) I get to go to the dept staff room for
moring and afternoon tea.  It is quite interesting hearing the
conversations that go on there.  Academics on $100,000 a year, and with no
dependents, complaining that they can't save any money.  Academics
discussing the elections and being terrified of the Alliance, because it
wanted to tax people earning over $60,000 (which is over twice the average
income) a few cents more in the dollar.

By and large, these academics are Labour voters - which will give people in
the US an idea of what the NZ Labour Party is like!

I am certainly becoming discouraged about finishing my PhD and becoming an
academic.  I already find it hard not to start chundering (throwing up) in
such company.  (The only reason I go there for tea and coffee is that it's
free.  Which is also amusing in a sick way - students, who are becoming
worse and worse off here, accumulating huge debts since Labour and National
in 80s and 90s pushed thorugh enormous fee rises, have to pay for coffee
and tea; academics get it free!)

It is also amusing to hear these people pontificate about the university as
the social conscience of society, although it is relatively rare for them
to do so.  None of the people here who do this have ever spoken up about
the 'new right' economic restructuring which devastated the working class
here in the 1980s and early 1990s - about half the jobs in manufacturing,
for instance, were wiped out.  The only time academics at this university
start talking about 'university as social conscience' is when their little
patch is intruded on.  Society can go hang, as far as they are concerned.

This is a subject which I want to start writing a bit on, so references to
good books and papers on the subject would be appreciated.


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