Just Wait Until I Get Tenure


MR Online | 03 April, 2017

A Facebook friend, Steven Salaita, recently wrote a post about academe arguing that tenure-track professors are kidding themselves if they say they will become more radical once they get tenure. Given Steven’s vicious treatment by the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, whatever he writes about higher education is worth reading. I agreed with his post, and I made a long reply. Here, I incorporate what I said into a more coherent commentary.

The first thing to understand about colleges and universities is that they are workplaces. And like all workplaces in capitalist societies, they are organized as hierarchies, with power radiating downward. From the Board of Trustees, to the top administrators, to the tenured faculty, to the tenure-stream faculty, to the vast mass of adjuncts and short-term contract faculty, to the administrative staff, clerical workers, custodians, groundskeepers, and cafeteria employees. Those at the top have as their central objective control over the enterprise, so that their power can be maintained, that revenues from tuition, grants, money from various levels of government, and the like keep flowing in, that the prestige of the college or university grows. And, of great importance, that those below them do not and cannot make trouble by challenging their authority.Read More »


Class, Caste, and Venezuela’s Opposition: Political Realignment at a Conjuncture


venezuelanalysis.com | 08 November, 2016

Upper class Venezuelan opposition protesters. (@Pmvesga/twitter)

Upper class Venezuelan opposition protesters. (@Pmvesga/twitter)

Around three and a half million Chavistas between 2012 and 2015 have become disaffected from the official politics offered by the government. This is the number of votes that the PSUV (United Socialist Party of Venezuela) and its allies have lost in the same period. But it is also the atmosphere that you can breathe, day in day out, in hegemonic Chavista areas (electorally speaking).

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