Fetishized and degraded academic labor

The precarity of academic workers, far from being a merely local or institutional problem in academia, indicates the foundational contradiction of universities’ missions in neoliberalizing times: the university becomes an instrument for fetishizing labor, fetishizing work at the same time as it degrades and undermines labor, degrades and undermines work, making it unavailable, destroying it. It destroys precisely that which it calls for creating. Though of course some would argue that the neoliberal desire for labor is precisely for precarious, flexible labor, so in that sense the university produces that which it models.