Origins, originality, and the privileges of nature
in The new treason of the intellectuals
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The prevailing cult and culture of managerial audit and measurement systemically translates qualities into quantities. Further, it requires that those measurements be inserted into a form of warfare that we normalize as ‘league-table competitiveness’. The system as a whole then operates in a neo-Hobbesian state of war of all against all, which serves the interests of none and which damages the world’s intellectual and natural ecologies. Ecology is subsumed under economics. This chapter considers what must be done to construct a new model of the institution that will help not only to shape the good society but, even more fundamentally, to preserve and sustain the society itself in a time of ecological disaster. What should be the University’s proper relation to the state of nature? The chapter argues that the contemporary institution must reject all forms of political fundamentalism – including especially the dominant prevailing modes of market fundamentalism – if it is to work against any and all forms of political terror. The chapter situates the question of the survival of the University within the abiding question of the survival of the species and of our social existence.

The new treason of the intellectuals

Can the University survive?

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