UCL Students Against Students Fragment #1: We Are Trapped And Dying

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si
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Nov 14 2006 14:12

academic separation vs academia: the former strikes me as a more complete idea, containing as it does both the separation between disciplines and the separation of the academy from the rest of the world. And in the finest communist tradition it nominates something already emerging in the world as a concrete reality.

si
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Nov 14 2006 14:14
the button wrote:
si wrote:
deal. got to write an essay on hegel's dialectic for wednesday (eep)

What? All of it? Fucking hell. eek

tbh it's only a thousand-word introductory essay for a tutorial. But foolishly I've set myself up as the continental hegelian marxist, so I've got to pull the rabbit that I've been insisting has been there all alongout of the hat...

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the button
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Nov 14 2006 14:15

Kojeve is your friend. wink

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cantdocartwheels
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Nov 14 2006 14:28

Firstly the idea that ''nothings changed'' for a studnet between 1968 and 2006 is mental. Secondly what do you mean 'becoming proletarianised'' that was what was happenning in the UK in 1968 (principally at good old red essex i might add), but now they already are ''proletarianised' and have been for decades. Most students have limited job prospects and fill up a vital part of the demand in the temp-casual job market because they'll except crap hours and crappier wages. ''On the poverty of student life'' was great when it was put out, but its about as relevant to your average students life and future prospects as the finer details of the bretz litovsk treaty. In short situationist stuff is amusing and could be great if done in a tongue in cheek way, but that isn't done tongue in cheek enough.

The focus on the courses and the lecturers is a bit silly also, you can take the piss out of them in an off hand way, but every BA student knows their course is a bit shit, and the critique doesn't apply to anyone doing a bsc, so whats the point. Most of the best stuff you could be doing campaigning wise would be joint student-staff anyway.
I mean you've got the students union http://www.uclunion.org/student-union/ and god knows what other university bureacracy to take the piss out of, and a whole wealth of material to parody so why waste time copying a critique of a philosophy lecturer. Afterall the bulk of the SU and the uni bureaucracy (i specifically mean the vice chancellor, estates management bosses and so on here btw) are who you'd likely to be who your lined up against in any campaigning stuff you'd be doing, not ''academia', who gives a monkeys about academia anyway, its just an amusing irrelevance most of the time.

Not saying don't do situ stuff, but like a shift in focus is deifinitely neccesary and a slight appreciation of the changes in capital in the last 40 years would be goood innit

Mind you it made me laugh and it makes me wish me and my mate had actually stuck it out and done that university of basildon parody site we were going to do though.

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Joseph Kay
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Nov 14 2006 14:35

i think the shift today is away from any vestige of education 'for its own sake' towards more explicitly production-line fare - 'personal transferable skills', work placements etc. Coupled with the individualisation of payment via fees, this means both the cost and the risk of educating tomorrow's bored immaterial workers is shifted onto the workers themselves and away from capital - they want us to see education as a capital investment in our own knowledge that secures a rung on the career ladder.

si
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Nov 14 2006 14:42

cantdo: the claim is that nothing much has changed for the student qua student: of course the social role of the student has shifted but that's a different matter. And this is determinedly a //fragment// of a critique not a total one, not a manifesto: it's clear that the union, management etc are other targets.

revol: I //do// think there is something new about this shift, in the way I've laid above. The only person to whom this would be scandalous would be someone who holds onto the delusion that academic value was anything but a more-or-less confused mediation of capitalist value anyway. There is certainly a tightrope to be walked here - I'm not remotely interested, as I said back a page, in fighting a reactionary rearguard struggle for academia.

I think that in brushing aside academic value as it is capital exposes itself to fragments of a decomposing ideology which could yet wander or be helped onto the terrain of a radical and unitary critique.

Obviously it is mainly lecturers and research students who are going to feel this. The academy is being objectively recomposed into a management class who directly mediate capitalist value and a proletarian class subjected to that value. Subjectively to name that recomposition now is potentially to steal a march before the new organisation can be sanctified/normalised...

si
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Nov 14 2006 14:44

and on the topic of 60s fetishism - we all have a little of that. But the text above was written almost automatically as a fragment of my current subjective standpoint.

Whether or not it resonates remains to be seen. If it is too late then it will be abandoned and replaced with something else.

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Steven.
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Nov 14 2006 14:46

Er, si, not meaning to be flippant, but do you actually talk like that? I'm getting definite echoes of vaneigemappreciationclub circa 2003, albeit who's read a few more books...

si
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Nov 14 2006 14:50

no, it was written primarily as a self-reflexive joke when we failed to write something really substantial. It was only when it was commended yesterday by a friend I respect that it occured to me to actually release it.

My normal written style is different to my spoken, of course - the Gemma Tumelty leaflet is an example of something written precisely for public consumption.

Tbh I'm having increasing doubts about the suitability of the above for circulation, even on the transient grounds I've specified above... have to think about it.

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Steven.
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Nov 14 2006 15:03
revol68 wrote:
Why do all situa fanboys have to use such obtuse and abstract language. I mean i'm not against complexity if it's needed but when it is serves to obscure meaning, what's the point?

Yeah that's kinda what I mean si. I mean even in your posts here, I'm quite a smart guy but I can't easily understand what you're saying, I don't think many people would put in the time to try to work out what you were saying...

Oh and I meant to say Vaneigemappreciationclub circa 2003 pre getting-a-job wink

si
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Nov 14 2006 15:07

challenging, revol. first off it's definitely true that I tend to jargonise my theory a little. a weakness I acknowledge and would like to escape.

But what's really challenging here is that I appear to be completely incapable of saying (or perhaps only communicating) my complete opposition to the academic form //in an historical sense//. The argument is that the hard proletarianisation of the lecturer/researcher is a relatively //new// phenomenon based in the removal of the academic value that previously mediated capital in the university.

This proletarianisation isn't to be fought but rather to be acknowledged. The cartoon cuts both ways in that sense. Any struggle must be on the basis of this clear consciousness. But that it is happening //now// makes it both more apparent and more vulnerable than if it had happened already. (please no dialectical critique of the 'Now').

Exactly how and if the present process points towards communism rather than reactionary academic ideology is beyond me for now. It's just a feeling, and one I intend to test along with those I'm organising with.

more some other time. must write hegel essay.

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cantdocartwheels
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Nov 14 2006 15:07
si wrote:
cantdo: the claim is that nothing much has changed for the student qua student: of course the social role of the student has shifted but that's a different matter. And this is determinedly a //fragment// of a critique not a total one, not a manifesto: it's clear that the union, management etc are other targets.

What are you campaigning issues at the uni? What about the new NUS extra card, drink prices or rent prices, wages for bar work at the uni etc etc? How does this fragment of a critique fit into any issues that affect students and staff on a day to day basis.
Unless your critque relates to these and other issues, its meaningless, it becomes just an empty moral posture at the totality.

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the button
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Nov 14 2006 15:25
revol68 wrote:
They have no illusions that the university exists as nothing more than a gold plated apprentices shop.

The key difference being that with an apprenticeship, you were pretty much guaranteed a job.

Thora
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Nov 14 2006 15:33
John. wrote:
Er, si, not meaning to be flippant, but do you actually talk like that? I'm getting definite echoes of vaneigemappreciationclub circa 2003, albeit who's read a few more books...

He so does talk like that grin (but it's TOTALLY cute).

Vaneigemappreci...
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Nov 14 2006 15:55
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vaneigemappreciationclub circa 2003, albeit who's read a few more books...

cheers mate

Quote:
Oh and I meant to say Vaneigemappreciationclub circa 2003 pre getting-a-job

in light of the first comment i suppose i should be taking this as a compliment neutral

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Steven.
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Nov 14 2006 16:04
Vaneigemappreciationclub wrote:
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Oh and I meant to say Vaneigemappreciationclub circa 2003 pre getting-a-job

in light of the first comment i suppose i should be taking this as a compliment neutral

That was pretty much when you stopped talking funny, no? Sorry I was just kidding, but hmm I do think si is pulling off the situ poseur better than you. I mean he did a guy with a speech bubble...

si have you got an overcoat and a scarf for the winter?

Vaneigemappreci...
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Nov 14 2006 16:09
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I do think si is pulling off the situ poseur better than you

embarrassed

*hands over situ-poser of the year trophy to Si*

cry

Vaneigemappreci...
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Nov 14 2006 16:24

in all fairness i can only think of one or two trully awful posts (that dont need to be revisited here wink ) and while its gone down in enrager, sorry, libcom folklaw that i was some sort of arrogant, posturing student who'd quaffed down half of society of the spectacle without chewing, the truth is i was actually instrumental in giving the anarchist scene a much needed kick up the arse grin

Mike Harman
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Nov 14 2006 20:13
pingtiao wrote:
Really- you guys think that this would appealto arts students? I thought that this style was only something that people like us (i.e. politicos au fait with situationist-style over-verbose pretension) would appreciate. It reads to me like a thinly-disguised attempt to get girls into bed by appearing intellectual (sorry si!)

Its not far off what art students get taught to write for their "artists statements" and other exhibition paraphenalia.

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Jacques Roux
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Nov 14 2006 20:28

Yeah surely it depends on what kind of students you are appealing too.

This wouldnt work for students i know, but then neither do the Sparts selling Workers Hammer once every couple of months grin grin

Pepe
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Nov 20 2006 18:28
Jack wrote:
I accidentally found much more embarassing stuff for other posters

Do a new thread in libcommunity!

Caiman del Barrio
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Nov 23 2006 00:12

To be honest, none of the art students I've been exposed to dug the Situationists. They're really really really passe actually and have been superseded. By who I dunno, I don't listen to those wankers... wink