The rise of the managerial class has effected a fundamental reversal of priorities in the university sector, such that faculty now exist primarily in order to serve the demands of management as such. With managerial jargon in the ascendancy, political argument about the nature of the sector falls into cliché; and cliché precludes the yielding of any knowledge that is based in thinking, because it reduces thought to prejudicial clichéd banalities. Inn this state of affairs, there can be little legitimacy for a critical position that might challenge the supposed primacy of economic rationalisation of all aspects of university life and of knowledge. The result is that the privatisation of knowledge and the attendant commercialisation of information assumes a normative force. The university is complicit with a general political trajectory that leads to the corruption of politics and of intellectual work through the improper insertion of financial rationales for all decision-making. The chapter explores the pre-history of this in Thatcherism and Reaganomics; and it demonstrates that the logic of university privatization is essentially a state-sponsored subsidy for the wealthy, and for the ongoing protection of existing privileges.
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