A recurring question that students raise is, in one way or another, a question about the relationship between social structures and human agency (e.g. the regulatory power of state education and the agency of teachers). I encountered this again at a recent conference, where the discussion about the progressive potential of co-operatives became a discussion about the power … Continue reading Postone on power, structure and agency
My question is: In undertaking a degree, does a student exchange their labour power for anything? i.e. Is student learning/studying a form of labour? These are just some initial notes. Comments welcome. Quoting from Chapter 6 of Capital: 'The Sale and Purchase of Labour-Power'. Translation of online version differs from Penguin Classics/Fowkes version below. My … Continue reading Is student learning a form of labour?
As I noted recently, Marx explicated the 'value-form' in four published texts. Although the texts can be demanding of the reader at times, the resulting theory is relatively straightforward. When discussing Marx's work, some writers try to illustrate the progression of his argument, which I think is a good idea. Here are three illustrations I've … Continue reading Illustrating the value-form of the commodity i.e ‘the economic cell-form’
This week, I'm reading as much value-form theory as I can in preparation for an article I want to write on the 'Student as Consumer'. Marx's theory of the "value-form of the commodity" was developed over four different published texts. I have linked to them below in chronological order. It's very interesting to read them … Continue reading Four versions of the value-form of the commodity i.e ‘the economic cell-form’
When numerous labourers work together side by side, whether in one and the same process, or in different but connected processes, they are said to co-operate, or to work in co-operation... Co-operation ever constitutes the fundamental form of the capitalist mode of production. (Marx, Capital Vol.1, Ch. 13) I think that what is key to … Continue reading Marx on co-operation
I'm drafting an article based on a series of blog posts I wrote on early hacker culture. I discuss four methods by which scientific research has been 'valorised' within US higher education since the late nineteenth century: Land grants and consultancy; Patents; War-time funding; and Venture Capital. Here's my first attempt to outline what I … Continue reading The Valorisation of the Academy
There is an understandable tendency among critics of the current crisis in higher education to want to restore the university to what it once was, to defend the university from changing into something else, to resist the subsumption of academic labour under capital. I think this misunderstands the university as a means of production and … Continue reading Helplessness