- Propositions for Collective Action – Towards an Ethico-Aesthetic Politics
1. Move Education Out of the Cycle of Debt and Credit
2. Not the Individual: the Group-Subject
The project of neo-liberal capitalism targets the individual over what Félix Guattari calls the group-subject. Think the group-subject not as a many-faced group of individuals, but as the force of what emerges when the group exceeds the individuals in its midst. By keeping to the individual, by enforcing a battle of individuals, as the Charest government has incessantly done since the beginning of the strike, a splintering of the nascent collective discourse is sought that gives voice to the fracturing of the field of political activation. This is a tactic that understands well that an emergent politics never grows from an individual. The Maple Spring has made this abundantly clear: individuals were repeatedly heard in courts as regards their “individual” right to study, individuals were repeatedly targeted in political demonstrations (think CLASSE spokesperson Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois). By remaking the political in the frame of the individual, the complexity of the emergent collectivity is backgrounded to foreground the already-known. The discourse returns to that of the consumer: student as consumer of knowledge pre-packaged (think PowerPoints). The cycle of debt cannot exist without the individual, and without the enforced notion that thought and data are one and the same. Don’t be fooled: you are paying not for thought but for the instrumentalization of knowledge in the name of course codes and degrees.
3. Don’t Underestimate the Force of Thought
The students in Québec have given voice to a systemic problem across universities both local and international. We professors owe them our support, for it is we who will otherwise continue to work within a system that increasingly does not facilitate the necessary conditions for environments of learning. With months spent each year trying to secure grants that are one of the few ways we have to fund our overworked and underfinanced students (80% of students in Quebec hold jobs on top of studying), with class-sizes ever increasing, with the chill in...