Wednesday, December 26, 2018
Under neoliberal governance, every social relation is reduced to an act of commerce. Higher education in the sixties went through a revolutionary period in the US and other countries as students sought to redefine education and democratize it. Conservatives were frightened by this shift and did everything they could to counter it. The Powell Memo published in 1971 and later in The Trilateral Commission's report, The Crisis of Democracy' memorialize their response. Thus began their war against sound education. Administrative power was promoted and faculty power was diminished. Through rampant inflation higher education has become a privilege, not a right. Measurement is a tool used to diffuse responsibility, morality, and justice from the language and policies of education. Large scale assessments and quantitative data are the driving mechanisms in which everything is absorbed into the culture of business.
Neoliberalism takes a word like freedom and limits it to the freedom to consume, hate, selfishness and rabid individualism as the new common sense. Neoliberalism has produced an economic crisis by limiting thinking. It transforms the political state into the corporate state, and uses the tools of surveillance, militarization, and law and order to discredit the critical press and media, undermine civil liberties while ridiculing and censoring critics. Trump is just its latest promoter. Neoliberalism is at odds with any notion of democracy which it sees as the enemy of the market. Yet, Democracy cannot work if citizens are not autonomous, self-judging, curious, reflective, and independent qualities that are indispensable for participating and shaping everyday life, institutional reform, and governmental policy.
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