Re: academia/organizing (multiple posts)
Tue, 5 Aug 1997 16:04:36 -0400


Speaking of the changes that DID come out of the sixties/(seventies) in
universities (black studies, women's studies, etc.), Jonah Raskin says
(approximately) that nevertheless "Those of us who thought we were building a
revolution, and that there would be a revolution, were obviously wrong."
Yes, now it's obvious. But it wasn't, then, and my original question is
how could we have done more--not only re organizing in universities, or in
education generally, which as Raskin notes aim to reproduce their society,
but re organizing workplaces generally? Of course, my real question is,
with all the expert scholarship and experience in the '60s among this List
whom Kali Tal has gathered here, can we figure out how to nudge "the kids" or
otherwise organize a bit of progressive social change now?
Paula Friedman

From: "Ron Jacobs" <>

Jonah Raskin <> wrote in reply to a post by
> ...But universities
> are better now then they were in 1966, 1967, 1968, 1972. There was
> no women's studies, no black studies then, and colleges were even
> more hierarchial racist and sexist, so something changed for the
> better. NO? Jonah Raskin
I would respond that yeas, they are better than they were in the
60s/70s in some ways but they are worse in more insidious ways. For
examle, the current consciousness among students is that school
should be primarily (if not only) for job training. Those who use
the space as a forum for critical questioning of the society the
universities serve are looked on as either throwbacks or just plain
pains in the ass. I work as a non teaching staff at the University
of Vermont and we are currently conducting a unionization drive (for
the past 16 months)--the arrogance of some of the faculty toward this
drive is to be expected. What is surprising, however, is the
hesitancy of otherwise progressive faculty to sign anything
approaching a public letter of support. Additionally, the student
support has come from primarily leftwing students who are able to see
the necessity of across-the-board campus support for the drive. Most
students just don't care and others are planning to be management
when they graduate so are opposed to unions as a matter of principle.
I attended six different colleges before I finally received a BA,
beginning with Fordham University in 1973, and finally graduating
from Evergreen State College in Washington (an alternative college)
in 1990. In between I bummed around, worked shit jobs, and dropped
out. Consequently, I have been able to experience firsthand as a
student the difference in attitudes among the different generations
of students and faculty. My own beleif is that the current
university does more that serve corporate America-it is corporate
America and what with the cost of higher education so
exorbitant, fewer working class students are able to attend, thus
enhancing the "training for management" climate which dominates
today's education.. We need a new Daniel Cohn-Bendit to shake things

Ron Jacobs\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\Lost my boots in transit, babe
Bailey/Howe Library,\\\\\\\\Pile of smoking leather
University of Vermont\\\\\\\\\\Nailed a retread to my feet
Reserve desk\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\And prayed for better weather...\\\\\\\\-Robert Hunter/Jerry Garcia
Burlington,VT USA\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\