Transition Stroud

This is a shared history blog. Together we can write the history of our process of transition as it happens.

Saturday, 14 June 2008

Emancipate yourself from mental slavery

Lovely to see Helen's pictures of the Stroud Communiversity launch. Please come forward and offer your skills and knowledge - it's your university. We already have offers of visioning the future, keeping chickens, a sixties-style teach-in and death rituals. Now how Transition is that!

Here's a bit of what I had to say about why we need the Communiversity:

Our universities are not free. In this late phase of global capitalism our institutions are being captured by the market and the university has not escaped. Our academics are trapped between seeking politically motivated research funding and achieving market-driven targets. I won’t go into the arcane lore of journal rating agencies or the metrics that are used to assess what should be creative and inspiring intellectual work. It is clear enough to those who work in universities that we are now a wing of the capitalist state, whose duty is to produce minimally skilled and maximally compliant economic production units.

The role of the universities in questioning and in inspiring a critical attitude in young people is now actively discouraged. This would be serious at any time, but in an era when we are facing such serious problems it is a disaster that the very places where creative solutions should be developed are so neutered and contained. This is why we need alternative structures where intellectual creativity can flourish.

Since we’ve made the idea of the Communiversity public many people have asked me: what is it? The answer is: whatever we want it to be! It is a collaborative educational project to help us develop the knowledge and skills we need to make our transition to a sustainable future. It will be a living example of how higher education should be in the future we want to live in. Our learning and teaching will be based around co-operation. Our goal will be sustainability. Other than this we are open to ideas. We wouldn’t be much of a Communiversity if we weren’t!


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