[Marxism] realities of academic labor vs. G's fantasies

Mark Lause MLause at cinci.rr.com
Mon Jul 24 20:33:38 MDT 2006

Of course, if I had worked in industry, I'd share Mr. Godena's expertise on
both industry and academe.  I labor under the disadvantage of having done
both.  Blue collar work is physically very hard and demanding, and when
you're done for the day, you're done.  What I do now is not at all so
physically demanding, but today, I got to work at 7 am on a documentary
collection on Greenbackism (4 hours), read some secondary sources (1 1/2
hours), researched on a future publication (2 hours), and worked over drafts
of several articles (4 hours...actually about 4 1/2 counting periodic breaks
for email).

I'm not complaining, but this really hasn't been an atypical day during the
summer when professors "get to do nothing."

Godena asks, "if there were no tenure, wouldn't people who 'didn't' publish
or otherwise distinguish themselves be denied the opportunity to refuse work
to the more deserving?"

Absolutely not.  And how what is the mechanism by which our hyper-Marxist
comrade thinks such a thing would happen?  The natural meritocracy of
capitalist institutions?  The free market of ideas?  Or does he think the
Easter Bunny and Jesus H. Christ intervene to keep things all squared away?

As to apprenticeship in academe, you'd start with 4+ years for an
undergraduate degree, another 1 1/2+ for a master's, then another 2+ years
for a doctorate.  That's without the almost inevitable snags that slow the
process, particularly if you're not middle class and have to work while
you're in this process.  If, at the end, you are lucky enough to land an
academic job and are serious about wanting to do solid work in a field, you
have to continue investing time and energy and effort into it.  

And, in the background, you get to hear to State Representative
Thunderbottom interviewed about how useless you are.  And, if you're on
Marxmail, you get to read Mr. Godena in harmony.

So it goes.....


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