I assume people are reading edu-factory. If not, the archives are here:
A recent comment by Saed seemed really useful to me, deserves repetition, even out of context, and in part says:
But how will we set up autonomous universities? Running research labs requires quite a bit of very expensive equipment and infrastructure. This is a matter that is left largely implicit, but if we set up and run universities that can do nothing more than cover humanities and social sciences then we will get nowhere. Should we continue to leave the know-how, knowledge production about medicines, building structures, cropping systems, water management, etc. (basically the knowledge systems that subtend our everyday survival in industrialised contexts) to the usual capitalist institutions? In this respect, we are extremely far from building much of an alternartive. And this is not about "science" as defined in the mainstream, but science as actually practised and as involving systematic observation, knowledge production, understanding, carework, etc. about nonhuman beings and environmental processes. So, to prevent any misunderstandings, I am not talking about the scientific canon, which is largely self-congratulatory dross that reflects little more than self-serving ideologies. I refer to anyone that studies nonhuman beings and physical environments in a systematic and systematised way, which is really wuite different from studying social processes, for example. There is still hardly any interest in that on the left, which is unfortunate. But unless we get at least half among us to take the rest of the universe seriously as to be studied and as a source of knowledge for our survival, then I am afraid any autonomous anything will be easily brushed aside and eaten up. All it takes is having no one to repair autonomous university buildings, not knowing how to fix plumbing or electrical problems, not knowing how to grow food or use soils properly, and the list could go on. And then there is the not very small matter of needing land, water, and all basic necessities for survival off of the hands of the bourgeoisie, which is why we even need a wage in the first place. There is a lot more to think about and work to do, I reckon, and setting up autonomous universities, in my view, should be done with those aspects also in mind. for in the end it is a mode of production that has to be changed, not one cog of its machinery. This is not to say at all that free/autonomous universities are not a worthile pursuit. Quite the ocntrary. We should just think beyond universities when engaging in disrupting, undermining, setting up alternatives to universities as they are now.