The radical University in excerpt

The ongoing protests in recent months at American universities are not an isolated phenomenon.

They may be focused right now on the Palestinian genocide, but they are the latest manifestation of a broader radicalism that emerged in 1964-65 (Berkeley-Michigan), spread across the country, and is still going strong.

Apart from its political and social dimension (e.g. occupations and demonstrations), this radicalism also has a major scientific and educational dimension.

University knowledge and research have now changed radically. Traditional disciplines and methods have been overcome, the myths of “objective” and “all-human” education have been dispelled.

In classes and workshops today’s protestors infuse their disciplines with issues of class, race, gender, biopolitics, power, colonialism, ecology, minorities, and more. Their current political claims echo the revolution that has taken place in all fields of knowledge and must be understood in this wider context.

For sixty years there has been a daily “occupation” of the scientific and teaching space by extremely daring forms of knowledge and creation. At all stages of their studies, students are concerned with issues of nationalism, imperialism, patriarchy, surveillance, immigration, genocide and discrimination.

Thus, Palestinian is not at all unrelated to their studies, but concerns issues that are extremely familiar and interesting to them. Science has never been more thoughtful, humanistic and democratic.

The conservative forces have fully understood the radical transformation of modern knowledge, and that is why they every now and then declare “culture wars” both in education (schools, universities, libraries) and in culture (museums, galleries, concerts).

The same forces that this week are sending police to universities are banning books, courses, artworks, lectures and research aimed primarily at the radical university, which systematically cultivates criticism, questioning, revision and experimentation. It is remarkable that we find similar reactions in all the conservative regimes of the world.

It is a global targeting of ground-breaking, disruptive knowledge.

Since 1981, the American university has been in a state of war, as the groundbreaking, subversive research that emerged in the previous decade suffered severe backlash.

Feminism, Marxism, deconstruction, genealogy, psychoanalysis, semiotics, skepticism and many other theories and methods were relentlessly and slanderously fought but ultimately prevailed thanks to their philosophical and pedagogical ideals.

Seeing this week the forces of repression violently storming the universities and imposing the order of normality, we realize that they have been trying to do the same for sixty years, suppressing the radical university in every way.

Their violence shows that deep down they know well that they can dissolve the occupations of natural spaces but they cannot do anything about the “occupations” of the sciences because they have lost the battle of ideas and ideals a long time ago.

About the author

The Liberal Globe is an independent online magazine that provides carefully selected varieties of stories. Our authoritative insight opinions, analyses, researches are reflected in the sections which are both thematic and geographical. We do not attach ourselves to any political party. Our political agenda is liberal in the classical sense. We continue to advocate bold policies in favour of individual freedoms, even if that means we must oppose the will and the majority view, even if these positions that we express may be unpleasant and unbearable for the majority.

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