An interesting discussion has broken out between PTC and esoskin under “Upcoming Concerts at Clark”. It is about monopolies, the extent of control eventually achieved, and the role of government.

While scrip has not yet been introduced in Williamstown, it is the lede to catch your attention. And some mention of the College attitude toward the Pownal Biomass plant has been cited,

This discussion occurring as it does within comments about events at Chapin deserves to be set out as a post. In no way is this perceived as a distraction from the Winter Seminar below. In fact it might be an interesting ‘compare and contrast’ between the published views of the governance of pedagogy by those responsible and the perceived governance of the college community by those same worthies.

Your comments are welcome. The starting discussion is below the fold.

esoskin:
The Town and Williams are linked (luckily for both) for eternity. Many here will argue that the town would be worse off without Williams… well duh! That is not the issue, the issue is how much better the town could be without complete dominance. The control of the mode of production/ monopoly is the core issue.

PTC says:
I’d like to add… that the above also impacts the students. Students and faculty today seem to take less risks outside of the school, speak less openly outside PC bounds… make less friendships outside of the school. Fight and question authoritative systems less.
Same is true for the staff. Much harsher realities. Capitalist principles. Less benefits over time, more part time hires, buy outs, cuts- complete control.
The ability to block local legislation, completely halt or control local growth, control of local industry, increased control of the press and the narrative… local governance- all stemming from one single fact- control of capital and a departure into the realm of industry and away from Education, or should I say- the development of an educational industrial complex.

esoskin says:
PTC – There’s a good case to be made that the privileged position of colleges & universities is a failure of regulation/government intervention, as opposed to one of capitalism. Like the “military-industrial complex”, what you’re really looking at is an unholy alliance of government and industry.

PTC says:
eso- You are saying the same thing I am. An unregulated entity that controls the mode of production will eventually control every part of the superstructure of a society as well, including (especially) government. That is why regulation is so badly needed.
Good case in point is the front page here. Notice how fast local governance in Williamstown is to interject to stop biomass in Pownal… halting any risk to the established monopoly, and killing hundreds of local jobs.

esoskin says:
No, I think the relevant unit of governmental analysis here is the federal government, and its policies that funnel resources and power to colleges and universities. And there’s not an educational “monopoly” at the national level, just a collection of like-minded elites that are confusing “education” and “credential.”

Gentlemen, start your engines …

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