Saturday 16 March 2013

The Impending Social Sciences A.P.O.C.A.L.Y.P.S.E.

Remember Rick Scott? The Florida State Governor, Rick Scott? The Rick Scott who as much as said that anthropology is about as valuable to society as screen doors on a submarine? That Rick Scott? Yes.

Florida Governor R. Scott. The Bloomberg caption reads: "Florida Governor Rick Scott proposed linking more than $167 million of the state university system’s $3.8 billion budget to performance standards that include the percentage of recent graduates with jobs, the cost of their education and their salaries."
Our collective ass is grass.
"Anthropology Mocked as U.S. Governors Push for Employable Grads"
That headline in announces the impending doom of the affordable liberal education. If, that is, Rick Scott and like-minded politicians get their way.

Just feast your eyes on this thinly veiled misogynist, anti-intellectual bullshit from out the mouth of North Carolina's governor [I refuse to call him by his given name's diminutive] McCrory.
“If you want to take gender studies, that’s fine,” McCrory, 56, said in a January radio interview. “Go to a private school and take it. But I don’t want to subsidize that if it’s not going to get somebody a job.”
I'm sorry. Did I say thinly veiled? I meant bald-faced. This dick-head and many more like him are hoping to turn public universities into vocational institutes.

But, get this. If you looked up 'ironic' in the encyclopaedia there'd be a picture of this guy looking back at you. From the Bloomberg article:
McCrory, a graduate of North Carolina’s Catawba College, a private liberal-arts school, defended the type of education he received yet said the state shouldn’t subsidize some courses -- gender studies and philosophy -- now offered at Chapel Hill.
And the shoe drops. This salient member of the North Carolina upper class could afford to take his own advice. He went to a private college. They're really expensive and none but the very best applicants receive financial aid. Something tells me McCrory wasn't one of them, if, an indeterminate number of years afterward he can gleefully work to turn public universities into glorified apprenticeships.

It's not all gloom and doom. The Bloomberg article also includes this:
[McCrory's] comments prompted critical newspaper editorials, an Internet petition and a letter from faculty inviting McCrory to learn more about the university.
Ooooooh. I'll bet the 1% are shakin' in their Gucci loafers. Okay. It doesn't really come close to dimming the gloom or the doom. Letters? Petitions? I'd think torches and pitchforks are needed! After all, how far is righteous indignation gonna go to slow the already precipitous decline---the dumbing of America? The answer may lie in this very telling bit of background. The implications don't make me feel any safer. You?
The university has been a target of Republican criticism before, including by the John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy, founded by the family foundation of McCrory’s budget director, Art Pope. One headline on the center website reads: ‘‘Teaching Marxist Subversion at UNC.’
It's the same Republican shit: "liberal" equals "socialist" equals "Marxist-inspired" equals "We don't want any uppity women or [must be said with barely disguised contempt] 'people of colour' either!"

Wish all of us in the 99% "good luck." We're gonna need a big fat pile of good fortune to surmount the even bigger pile of crap that's being thrown into the path of those who'd like, eventually, to become members of an informed electorate!

Have a look at what McCrory, Scott and their other U.S. of A. Republican gubernatorial pals have been doing to the public [read 'affordable' and 'accessible to minorities'] universities in the past decade or so. Be very afraid.

Copyright belongs to Bloomberg
Linking funding to jobs. That's gonna be hard to do if there aren't any god-damned jobs! Oh. Yeah. Sorry. That's beside the point.

Kayso, let me see. Gender studies is out. Anthropology, too, no doubt. Whaddayathink? Economics? No sense letting the rank and file know how badly they're being screwed by the banks. Sociology? Prolly on the chopping block, too. After all, who needs a bunch of effete, bleeding-heart do-gooders telling us how ass-backward our penal and other social systems are, or worse, suggesting that medical marijuana is a good thing?

I know that the 'slippery slope' argument is fallacious, philosophically speaking. But as a metaphor it's still a very powerful one. How far down this slippery slope will the U.S. [and other fascist governments] take the populace? I shudder to think of it.

Clench your buttocks. Looks like it's gonna be a bumpy ride.

SA announces new posts on the Subversive Archaeologist's facebook page (mirrored on Rob Gargett's news feed), on Robert H. Gargett's page, Rob Gargett's twitter account, and his Google+ page. A few of you have already signed up to receive email when I post. Others have subscribed to the blog's RSS feeds. You can also become a 'member' of the blog through Google Friend Connect. Thank you for your continued patronage. You're the reason I do this.

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