More Bad News

“In May 2012, I received my PhD, but I still do not know what to do with it. I struggle with the closed off nature of academic work, which I think should be accessible to everyone, but most of all I struggle with the limited opportunities in academia for Americans like me, people for whom education was once a path out of poverty, and not a way into it.

My father, the first person in his family to go to college, tries to tell me my degree has value. “Our family came here with nothing,” he says of my great-grandparents, who fled Poland a century ago. “Do you know how incredible it is that you did this, how proud they would be?”

And my heart broke a little when he said that, because his illusion is so touching – so revealing of the values of his generation, and so alien to the experience of mine.”

Aljazeera recently published a depressing article entitled The Closing of American Academia.


About jleavittpearl

Philosopher and Theologian out of Pittsburgh PA.

Posted on August 21, 2012, in News and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. I think many PhDs can relate. It’s still something to be proud of, though.

  2. This is now the sad fate of thousands. Capitalism for a time needed an intellectualised workforce. But as in all things it has overproduced them in terms of what the capitalist and pro-capitalist classes wish to absorb. In terms of capitalist economics, academic production no matter how useful (and in weapons manufacture etc no matter how harmful) it is unproductive and becomes a burden on revenue as do all forms of unproductive labour, such as the ‘service’ sector in general. It is the result in a structural change in the ratio of productive to unproductive labour under the capitalist system. Higher education and its certification is no longer a passport to high-status, high paid occupations derived from the revenue of surplus labour created from productive labour. [see ‘Productive and Unproductive labour’ at]
    However, the capitalist and pro-capitalist classes have produced a generation of citizens who are capable of grasping the contradictions of capitalism, breaking through the illusions promoted by it and turning their intellectual abilities into weapons of criticism. This would mean the effort of using the education gained and intended for the benefit of capital and some individuals, for the benefit of all humanity in pursuit of a post-capitalist form of social production in which all forms of labour would be ‘productive’ in the social sense and none productive in the capitalist sense. Regards, Roy

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