James and Allegra hit the airwaves with special guest Yoni who channels the spirit of the Situationist International in his polemic paper ‘On the Poverty of Student Life’.
Originally a text by University of Strasbourg students and members of the International, 10,000 copies of the pamphlet were printed by the student union (or a couple of well placed students) using uni funds. The copies were distributed at the official ceremony marking the beginning of the academic year and the student union was promptly closed by court order.
The pamphlet (the original and Yoni’s version) goes beyond the traditional leftist critique of the university as a site of privilege under the old liberal bourgeois model or a site of instrumental knowledge disseminated through the ‘degree factory’ under the neo-liberal model. It questions the possibility of a free, open university in a capitalist society. in this way the pamphlet is a useful intervention into the debate around higher education, where the radical left increasingly defends a social-democratic line. Rather, the paper argues that the ‘extreme alienation’ of the student ‘can be contested only through a contestation of the entire society’. Check out the paper on our pages link.
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