Some interesting feedback on my recent post about universities funding, from discussion lists and private contacts. Two or three people thought that the situation I described isn’t crazy but a logical result of the way capitalism works. As one comment put it, state support of higher education is part of the social wage, and it makes perfect sense for capitalist interests to try to push down the social wage when profits are at risk; and when there’s little organized or effective opposition, there’s nothing to stop them. Yes, but by calling it crazy I wanted to register, first, how angry it makes me, and second, that this way of running the world is meshuga, because it can only make matters worse. As my brother Gabriel once put it, capitalists are rarely as intelligent as they would be if they were designed by Marxists.
It’s also necessary to correct the impression given by the Guardian letter that I quoted about the way different countries are approaching things. For a better idea, look at Universities in Crisis, the blog of the International Sociological Association.