The neoliberal fur strike at USP

Image: Tom Fisk


We cannot ignore the strength of groups that seek the privatization of USP, as well as the clandestine action of their representatives

We know, from reading the classics, that the intentions of the powerful, in each era, are also the dominant thoughts of the entire society: the class, which holds the material power of the means of production – or today is at the top of the pyramid of rentier (and unproductive) financialization – also dominates the intellectual sphere, determining people’s consciousness.

Since the last quarter of the XNUMXth century, with the triad of Augusto Pinochet, Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan, neoliberal privatism has been the dominant thought. We no longer think about class struggle, equality or the common good, but rather about the diversity of individual entrepreneurship – resulting in a pseudo-citizenship that is reductive to precarious work. Thus, we must remember that an essential concept as a problem in the political struggle of the decades prior to neoliberalism, as is the case of the skin, is also solemnly forgotten. Are there no more skinflints in our times? Or is understanding its meaning irrelevant to neoliberal doctrine?

Originally, a skin was a piece of wool placed on the saddle between the rider and the horse, which ensured a more comfortable ride. In the middle of the XNUMXth century, the metaphor emerged: the term pelego began to designate a union leader at the service of the powerful or even considered a traitor to the workers. Several USP colleagues have already demonstrated, with their recent articles, that this strike is a shot in the foot.

I allow myself to go one step further: we have to insert the condition of the skinner into the episode – it is, in fact, a new appearance: that of the neoliberal skinman. We know that there are clandestine parties in Congress and the Senate, which bring together deputies and senators from the most diverse party groups, but which serve the interests of specific groups in the neoliberal context. We cannot, therefore, disregard the strength of groups that seek the privatization of USP, as well as the clandestine action of their representatives – wouldn't they also already be infiltrated within USP's staff?

It is clear that USP needs to resolve the lack of teachers in old courses, as well as review the interrupted installation process in some new courses. Even so, at USP, there are mechanisms of representation and broad participation, which can and should be used to make demands. Truth be told, dialogue has never been impeded by the current Rectory. The sectarian attitude of the strike – which should only be taken in extreme cases, for example, if dialogue had ceased – is in no way justified: instead there is a disproportionate and violent reaction.

Not surprisingly, this deceptive abstraction of history belongs to the furry's stance: it pretends to be left-wing, but in fact it is right-wing. The neoliberal fury, on the other hand, looks like a kind of moral bulwark of good identity customs, even though it also serves the destruction of the social state. However, its degree of civility is a deception: its truculence brings it closer to fascism – we know that neoliberalism and fascism go together like chickens in a barnyard (with all due respect to chickens).

The obvious strategy is to harm USP's image – it even amounts to sabotage. This neoliberal skin pretends to be fighting for USP, but behind the scenes, it favors the movement for its privatization – they are at the service of the big lords of the education market. Finally, we know that the neoliberal market prioritizes distance learning, without teachers or research, without critical thinking or potential for transformation. This is not what we want for USP, especially in this neoliberal situation hostile to the arts, sciences and philosophy.

This is not a moment of discord, but of an essential union of uspians in defense of a public university, free of charge, for all and operating in all areas of knowledge.

*Rubens Russomanno Ricciardi He is a professor in the Department of Music at FFCLRP-USP.

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