[Marxism] Behind the attack on tenure

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Thu Aug 19 11:37:15 MDT 2010

As has happened in past economic crises, the ruling class is using 
this one as an opportunity to drive down the cost of labor. In a 
highly revealing article on the Mott Apple Juice strike, the NY 
Times reported:

Tim Budd, a 24-year employee who belongs to the union’s bargaining 
team, said he was shocked by one thing the plant manager said 
during negotiations.

	“He said we’re a commodity like soybeans and oil, and the price 
of commodities go up and down,” Mr. Budd recalled. “He said there 
are thousands of people in this area out of jobs, and they could 
hire any one of them for $14 an hour. It made me sick to have 
someone sit across the table and say I’m not worth the money I make.”

While there are no obvious similarities between college professors 
and such blue collar folks at first blush, there are growing signs 
that the people who run the United States do put them in the same 
category, at least on the basis of a gathering storm against 
tenure, an “entitlement” that the rich bastards would like to get 
rid of, along with Social Security and all the rest.

As is increasingly the case, the propaganda against tenure is 
coming from nominally liberal sources in tune with the Obama 
agenda. On August 11th, Christopher Beam, a snot-nosed Columbia 
University graduate from the class of 2006, told Slate readers:

	As tuition climbs and universities struggle to pay their bills, 
tenure is starting to look unaffordable. Keeping a professor 
around indefinitely—tenure means they can’t be forced to 
retire—simply costs a lot.


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