[Marxism] Working Class Studies/Working Class Academics

Josh Saxe joshsaxe at gmail.com
Sun Nov 6 20:11:09 MST 2005


> But the institutions [of academia] will NEVER treat the beast of serious social
> criticism as intellectually valid...unless it is part of domesticating,
> milking and butchering it.

I think you're certainly right that university administrations or even
whole departments will never defect to the side of revolutionary
Marxism but I think Michael Hoover's post raises valid questions.  I
don't know that you really meant this Mark but it seems like you are
saying it would be basically fruitless to fight for a far left
"working class studies" caucus within academia.  There are people like
Staughton Lynd, Rosemary Feurer (I believe I'm misspelling her name)
and others who I have read in the anthology "We Are All Leaders" as
well as CP/social-democrat types like David Montgomery, (David?)
Lipsitz, etc, who still recognize issues of class struggle and
revolution as central.  Like most workplaces, high schools, student
bodies, ghettoes, etc, we can't expect a far-left upsurge in academia
out of the blue or as the result of individual efforts in this period
but we can expect it when new social movements arise, I think...

Actually we may be able to look forward to a greater involvement of
academics in the next upsurge given the expansion of the university
system since the 1960's and the existence of more proletarianized
part-time teachers at working class universities.  So I'm not
disagreeing with your basic point that academia as an institution is
an integral part of the military-industrial complex, reproduces the
middle-class and helps to reproduce bourgeois political, cultural and
social norms, etc, but I'm saying that I think it is worthwhile to
build far-left caucuses within academia that in the future might do
important intellectual work, fight for our ideas in the centers of the
society's knowledge production, and contribute to challenges to
capitalism.
Josh




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