Communique from an Absent Future

Unattributed, we want everything, Sept 28, 2009
Commentary by Stephen Downes

This is one of those documents that will be recalled and relinked over the years. "Like the society to which it has played the faithful servant," it begins, "the university is bankrupt. This bankruptcy is not only financial. It is the index of a more fundamental insolvency, one both political and economic, which has been a long time in the making." It's a pointless treadmill in preparation for a dystopian future. "We work and we borrow in order to work and to borrow. And the jobs we work toward are the jobs we already have." The Communique is set as part of the stage of the walk-out at California universities. "Though we denounce the privatization of the university and its authoritarian system of governance, we do not seek structural reforms. We demand not a free university but a free society." Sadly, the manifesto lends itself to parody, as it argues, "All of our actions must push us towards communization; that is, the reorganization of society according to a logic of free giving and receiving, and the immediate abolition of the wage, the value-form, compulsory labor, and exchange."
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