Thomas Docherty
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Why ‘University’?
in The new treason of the intellectuals
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Education involves the search for good judgement, and thus also institutes the principles of criticism. It does this in the interests of extending the range of human possibilities and of extending and distributing those possibilities democratically. In this, it is structurally opposed to the logic of privatization. This chapter explores how it is that existing social and class privilege has tried to prevent the University from extending such democratic engagements, in the interests of protecting those very privileges. The Browne Review was central to this project. In a peculiar self-contradiction, Browne fundamentally reconstructs the University as an ‘ivory tower’ institution, one that legitimizes privilege by radically reducing the scope and ambit of the University’s roles and social responsibilities. After Browne, the University seeks to entrench the very ideology of privilege, by translating the demands for justice or good judgement into a logic of self-advancement via competition. It institutes the culture of acquisitive individualism or greed over the extension of democracy and freedoms.

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The new treason of the intellectuals

Can the University survive?


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