Language and the entrepreneurial university

I told you language was key.

Dispossession, infantilization, and depoliticization are central to the discourse of neoliberalism in which language is central to moulding identities, desires, values, and social relationships. Within this fog of market-induced paralysis, language is subject to the laws of the capitalism, reduced to a commodity, and subject to the “tyranny of the moment, . . . emaciated, impoverished, vulgarized, and squeezed out of the meanings it was resumed to carry” (Bauman & Donskis, 2013, p. 46). As Doreen Massey (2013) observes, within the discourse of neoliberalism, the public are urged to become highly competitive consumers and customers, while taught that the only interests that matter are individual interests, almost always measured by monetary considerations. Under such circumstances, social and communal bonds are shredded, important modes of solidarity attacked, and a war is waged against any institution that embraces the values, practices, and social relations endemic to a democracy. Neoliberal public pedagogy, in this instance, functions as what Hannah Arendt (1968) calls a form of “totalitarian education,” one whose aim “has never been to instill convictions but to destroy the capacity to form any” (p. 468). One outcome has been a heightening of the discourse of narcissism and the retreat from public life and any viable sense of worldliness.

Axé.

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