B&B: Commodification of higher education | Against human capital | Shareholder Value kills innovation | History of consumer credit | Crowdfunding is about community | Austerity leads to polarisation

> The Commodification of Learning and the Decline of the Humanities: The intellectual decimation of higher education is being justified by the managerial class, which sees students as clients and feeds them with the dreams of futures careers — by Julian Vigo, an author of The Pornography of Poverty and the Politics of Development

> “Human capital is something other than the sum total of our ambition. Like other kinds of capital, its value is set by market dynamics that support a larger process of accumulation… At best, we take human capital as an indication that society values our skills and talents. At worst, we feel oppressed by constantly having to demonstrate our worth in a matrix of investments and returns.” Hadas Weiss reviews Murphy’s The Economization of Life, Zakim’s Accounting for Capitalism, and Koopman’s How We Became Our Data

> Shareholder Value ideology undermines the social conditions of innovation: strategic control, organizational integration, and financial commitment; it enriches value extractors, not value creators — by William Lazonick

> The unique value of crowdfunding is not money, it’s community — by Ethan Mollick

> “How shoppers racked up debt over the decades”, a concise history of credit card debt and consumer credit in the U.S — a podcast with Louis Hyman, an author of Temp, Borrow, and Debtor Nation

> Searching for certainty is actually the commercialization of a fantasy that the future is knowable. Lynn Parramore reflects on this Margater Heffernan’s argument presented in her book Uncharted

> In the early 1930s, austerity measures worsened social suffering and contributed to radicalisation and polarisation of the German electorate paving the way for the rise of the Nazi Party — by Gregori Galofré Vilà, Christopher Meissner, Martin McKee, David Stuckler

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2 comments

  1. What you discuss filters down through the whole education system!

    It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education.

    The neoconservative global system has failed our children and the true purpose of education. Our society reaps what it sows! We set them up to fail, we give them little to no purpose, we reward an elite few, we continually blame the victims.

    We embrace Free market ideology, the abandonment, and alienation of working people in our country,“every man for himself” and then we want people to cooperate. As larger and larger segments of society are forced because of declining economies to become outsiders, the use of coercion, under our current model, will probably become more widespread.

    Neoliberalism is one of the greatest threats to the future of progressive education, it is data-driven it works against the development of a student’s ability to think critically, thereby undermining the formative culture and values necessary for a democratic society. If we keep looking at educational policy and practice through the lens of market-based values, there is little hope that progressive education, with its aim of educating students for critical citizenship and social and economic justice, will survive.

    Education is not only about knowledge. It is about inspiration. It is about passion. It is about the belief that what we do in life matters. It is about moral choice. It is about taking nothing for granted. It is about challenging assumptions and suppositions. It is about truth and justice. It is about learning how to think. It is about, as
    James Baldwin wrote, the ability to drive “to the heart of every matter and expose the question the answer hides.” And, as Baldwin further noted, it is about making the world “a more human dwelling place.”

  2. Dear Oleg,

    I read the blog it’s been a few years and I am a mix of cultural economist and economic sociologist/anthropologist myself. I just saw the article by Ethan Mollick and very much enjoyed it.

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