The Fordist Academic

Scathing assessment of prevailing academia by Binoy Kampmark, well and truly caught between a rock and a hard place. On the one hand, higher education institutions are encouraged to be functional to market requirements (ROI, translational research); while on the other hand, so much of the university is given over to ideological indoctrination, activism masquerading as disinterested inquiry—i.e. the emphasis being on not how to think but what to think, underwritten by an ever expanding bureaucratic slum. The first quote from Kampmark reminds me of Taleb’s observation that these academics are merely rent-seeking parasites.

The Fordist academic is a spineless, compromised product, an offspring cowardly in meetings, a lazy collaborator seeking to maximise production gains with minimal effort and one suspicious of individuality.

The Fordist academic, insecure and compromised, loathes individual aptitude and sterling initiative and loves the sharply cut corner, the quick fix, the rapid option.

Take “digital humanities” with its vaguely grounded offshoots such as “digital criminology”, “digital ethnography”, “digital bollocks”.

One of the most conspicuous casualties of the Fordist academic are students, designated as clients and consumers rather than learning pupils with curious minds.