Communiqué from an Absent Future

According to a perturbed Phil Batty of Times Higher Education, Oxford is falling down the International university league tables and Asian universities are on the rise:

a strong performance from Asian countries has prompted warnings that the UK’s global success is at risk without greater investment to see off such “fierce competition”.

However, we at Marxist TEFL are concerned about people not league tables. Unlike Batty, we see the so called “knowledge economy” as an exercise in capitalist speculation, an increase in misery for working people and their families. It is a central point of our analysis that English Language Teaching has become woven deeply into this fabric of debt driven lunacy and must be fought. This is not to say that working people should be denied education and training but that we should ask what they are being educated and trained for. We need education in the hands of working people to meet the needs of working people.

Imagine our joy and the joy of other socialists, therefore, to read the magnificent Communiqué from an absent future. This manifesto was written by students occupying  University of California Santa Cruz. It was wonderful to hear students again calling for a just society, throwing off the conservatism that has so dominated large sections of the student population or so long. And marvellous to hear them challenge the shibboleth of the knowledge economy in such a forthright manner.

 This is the window of opportunity of which we spoke on September 16th 2008.


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