Category Archives: Movement

Agenda for that January meeting

1. Amendments to Constitution, per letter from B.T. (Post restructuring — to fit with idea of sections, address relationship between chapters including national chapter, conference, and section.)

2. Discussion of what Conference can do. (Powers of conference, why we need a functioning one.) One is make sure all chapters, and ideally Senates, try to get handbooks in line with AAUP principles. Another is inspire people to get on board with campaigns like the anti-privatization one, which is important.

3. Nominating committee.

4. Decision on date for April meeting.

5. RESOLUTION and more — my earlier list was:

– reports from chapters, chapter leaders meet each other, discussion of organizing statewide

– the resolution as organizing tool [individuals need to be empowered to use it this way, and there may need to be a coordinating committee; the $66 fix is a California campaign on state funding and it may have concepts and language that are useful to us]

– Committee A liaisons, on campuses without chapters

– Committee A training opportunities

– grant and other funding opportunities through the conference

– 2020 summer institute scholarships

– the summer national meeting, processes for credentialing representatives, creation of sections

6. Anti-privatization campaign and possible visit of Monica Owens; this is a good project to undertake

Axé.

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Old notes on another topic

This was part II of the first organizing workshop, and it was on positive messaging. [Avoid getting caught in manipulative tactics because you are trying to understand (and also trying to create bridges, get along).]

  1. Get a good marketing firm, they said, and know what messages you want to put out.
  2. Create a site like CSU Connects — an alternative to an organ like La Louisiane. They have it for every campus. The stories on the site would also go out to a PR wire service, and posts would be promoted on Facebook.
  3. Remember you are always selling your story, not your organization.
  4. Monday morning is a good time to get things into the paper.
  5. Bring stories to life with visual elements.
  6. Tie events you may hold to the current calendar or a current issue.
  7. Choose and train spokespeople, and choose them well, they must be animated.
  8. Even if you are complaining, remain positive: emphasize positive goals.
  9. Write and publish my article (the language and … article) in the CHE.
  10. Events and campus commitments to support them — educational events, consciousness raising events.
  11. Letters to all new faculty.
  12. Labor day social.
  13. Orientation packet.
  14. Reception after orientation.
  15. Problems we have: hostility, demoralization, fragmentation.
  16. The message is always that you are supporting students, faculty and the educational mission of the university.

I really doubt anyone else would lift a finger to start something like this and also it presupposes such a different political culture. But there is an organizing plan, or a good part of one.

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Action alert!

Here’s an action alert: write The Nation and complain about their faux-lefty piece. The Arnautoff murals are not there to “remind black people of oppression.” They are there as a critique of the canonization of George Washington and yes, they remind one that this progenitor of American liberty held slaves. They don’t have any of the really gruesome scenes, like pulling their teeth out so he could use them in his own dentures, which he also did.

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Kropotkin and more.

I really should have spent all the time I wasted reading Marxist and other Left theory, simply for the sake of mental health — although it would have been good intellectual exercise as well, and a good political education. Here’s an article on Kropotkin, mutual aid and anarchism that is worth reading. Here is a good book-length study of Kropotkin, and here is a key paragraph from it.

I bought the biography of Victor Arnautoff, although I should not buy non-essential books. And my essay on the language of neoliberalism will start, I believe, by pointing to Kezar’s observations (which are also mine), including the fact that we do not seem to know where we are. And one of the reasons we do not is language.

(I want to come alive again, that is, I seem to be coming alive again after decades of sleepwalking and rare flashes of light.)

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M. D. Y.

I stole this from someone’s page that seems to be public, but I am not sure, which is why I do not identify the author except by initials. It is too good not to share.

Did the New Deal, so nostalgically cited by our democratic socialist intelligentsia today, break the power of these capitalists, who sat at the pinnacle of the economy and the politics that helped enable their wanton accumulation of capital? Did the social democracy of the post-WW2 “golden age” do so (of course, new capitalists came to be and shared power with the old money and supplanted it in a few cases)? Did the social democracy of Europe and Scandinavia, far, far more developed than in the US, break the power of the great houses of wealth there? Did it even end the influence of Nazis in West Germany? Did the power of the working class last long enough to permanently countervail that of its class enemy? Is the world today at all comparable to that of the heyday of social democracy? Is there any longer a socialist world large enough to strike fear into the heart of capital, one that could force concessions in favor of workers in the social democracies and even the United States?

Is Bernie Sanders, the hope of the fanatics at Jacobin magazine and in an important faction of the DSA, even one-tenth the politician FDR was, or even LBJ? In a global world, hasn’t the power of capital multiplied and become almost immune to the weak-tea socialism of Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez, et. al.? And most of all, is not the ecological crisis facing us so great and so daunting, that only something far more radical than a Green New Deal has any chance of coping with it? And if the power of capital is global to an unprecedented degree, how will anything but a global movement, led by workers and peasants in the Global South, have any hope of ending capitalism and birthing a full-blown eco-socialism, built upon a foundation of agro-ecology and substantive democracy and equality?

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El futuro

“Great comparison to the Elsevier model. Also, LSU-BR now has outrageous targets for online enrollment: 5,000 students. If we think of the twenty or so other campuses that have their own targets and if we take a very conservative number of, say, 1,500 per campus, we end up with 30,000 online students. This raises two points. The first is that such numbers would constitute another major campus, indeed one bigger than LSU in Baton Rouge. That would be a major institution that is operating in a variety of unregulated spaces. The second point is that, in my judgment, such projections have something Malthusian about them. I doubt that the population and the market in Louisiana can even remotely sustain them. When we consider that every other state in the nation is doing the same thing, we quickly conclude that the online thing is a bubble.  Or, more likely, a kind of propaganda tool by which administrators try to look with-it and active even when the numbers won’t support that impression.”

“Think the Elsevier model as opposed to publishing? Good grief!” 

“LSU-S has perhaps the largest MBA program in the USA, 3000 students. It was covered in the Washington Post recently. In my opinion, Academic Partnerships, their recruiter, has created a diploma mill. It has NOT led to prosperity at LSU-S. Beware of Academic Partnerships.”

Axé.

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An argument I will not have again

1/ All institutions need more tenure track hires. That doesn’t mean everyone has to emphasize research to the exclusion of everything else; it means everyone deserves to be on some form of tenure track.

2/ If you have your NTT people on FTE, with benefits, pensions, offices, telephones, and representation in shared governance, that is good (and forsooth, you should have accomplished it by now), but it is not enough.

3/ If you are one of those people who says, “Gosh! We should really start saying hello to our NTT people in the halls, it is so rude of us to ignore them, as we do!” you were clearly very poorly brought up, what can I say. But don’t start greeting them and congratulate yourself for having taken important political action. When you start greeting them, all you will have done is take a small step toward minimal politeness.

4/ Don’t think you’re going to be able to run a program, or a quality program if you relinquish all your TT lines. Realize as well that you may not be attractive enough to move to unless you can offer the TT; and that even if you are, many others are not.

5/ People who say there is no difference between the M.A. and the Ph.D., and that an NTT job with perks is good enough, are neither serious nor sincere. They are just trying to get away with continuing to overburden and underemploy, while representing themselves as heroic champions of the downtrodden.

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