Monday, January 12, 2015

A Rebel's Guide to Eleanor Marx

A Bookmarks Shop Event
Friday 16 January, 6.30pm
With Siobhan Brown
Bookmarks Bookshop
1 Bloomsbury Street, London, WC1B 3QE

Admission £2, Reserve your place here or call 020 7637 1848

Eleanor Marx was an agitator, an organiser and a writer. At a time of extraordinary upheaval, she was at the heart of world-changing movements. Whether organising support for refugees fleeing France after the crushing of the Paris Commune, or galvanising support for the new unionism in the 1880s, her belief in the power of workers to organise and change the world for the better remained central. Her words and actions have helped change our world.

A passionate writer and translator, her texts crackled with outrage at the desperate living and working conditions of London’s poor. She was inspired by the thousands of women workers who struck back and she developed new and important insights on questions of sexual equality and socialism.

Much more than the daughter of Karl Marx or the lover of a feckless academic, Eleanor Marx was a remarkable and revolutionary woman. This addition to the popular Rebel's Guide series places her back alongside other revolutionary leaders, where she belongs.

A Rebel’s Guide to Eleanor Marx
Siobhan Brown
Published By Bookmarks Publications
ISBN: 9781909026773


‘Human Herbs’ – a song by Cold Hands & Quarter Moon:

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Sunday, January 4, 2015

The Academic Manifesto


Willem Halffman and Hans Radder

First published in Krisis: Journal of Contemporary Philosophy, 2013, Issue 3 (in Dutch)
Now available in English: translated by Jan Evertse

Willem Halffman and Hans Radder
The academic manifesto: From an occupied to a public university

1 The occupied university

The university has been occupied - not by students demanding a say (as in the 1960s), but this time by the many-headed Wolf of management.1 The Wolf has colonised academia with a mercenary army of professional administrators, armed with spreadsheets, output indicators and audit procedures, loudly accompanied by the Efficiency and Excellence March. Management has proclaimed academics the enemy within: academics have to be distrusted, tested and monitored, under the permanent threat of reorganisation, discontinuance and dismissal. The academics allow themselves to be meekly played off against one another, like frightened, obedient sheep, hoping to make it by staying just ahead of their colleagues. The Wolf uses the most absurd means to
remain in control, such as money-squandering semi- and full mergers, increasingly detailed, and thus costly, accountability systems and extremely expensive prestige projects.
This conquest seems to work and the export of knowledge from the newly conquered colony can be ever increased, but inland the troubles fester. Thus, while all the glossed-up indicators constantly point to the stars, the mood on the academic shop floor steadily drops. The Wolf pops champagne after each new score in the Shanghai Competition, while the university sheep desperately work until they drop2 and the quality of the knowledge plantations is starting to falter, as is demonstrated by a large number of comprehensive and thorough analyses.3 Meanwhile, the sheep endeavour to bring the absurd anomalies of the occupation to the Wolf’s attention by means of an endless stream of opinion articles, lamentations, pressing letters and appeals. In turn, the Wolf reduces these to mere incidents, brushes them aside as inevitable side effects of progress, or simply ignores them.
Although our description and evaluation were written from the perspective of Dutch universities, the gist of our account (and quite a few details) applies to other countries as well, especially in Europe.4 While management’s occupation may not be as advanced in the Netherlands as it is in England (Holmwood 2011), it has already established a powerful continental bridgehead (De Boer, Enders and Schimank 2007). To show how these developments are more than just incidents, we list six critical processes and their excesses below. We will then proceed to analyse causes and suggest remedies.

This article is a slightly updated and edited translation of the Dutch original, which appeared in Krisis: Tijdschrift voor actuele filosofie 2013 (3), pp. 2-18. We are grateful for helpful commentary on that version by the Krisis editorial team, in particular René Gabriëls. We would also like to thank Ilse and Jan Evertse for translating the Dutch text into English.
2 According to accepted clinical norms, a quarter of Dutch professors of medical science (especially the younger ones) suffer from burn-out (Tijdink, Vergouwen en Smulders 2012).
3 See, e.g., Ritzer (1998); Graham (2002); Hayes and Wynyard (2002); Bok (2003); Washburn (2003); Evans (2005); Shimank (2005); Boomkens (2008); Gill (2009); Tuchman (2009); Radder (2010); Krijnen, Lorenz and Umlauf (2011); Collini (2012); Sanders and Van der Zweerde (2012); Dijstelbloem et al. (2013); Verbrugge and Van Baardewijk (2014).
4 See Lorenz (2006 and 2012); Krücken (2014). In line with the situation in most European

Krisis: Tijdschrift voor actuele filosofie: 


‘Human Herbs’ – a song by Cold Hands & Quarter Moon:

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