Inside the Teaching Machine: Rhetoric and the Globalization of the U.S. Public Research University

Inside the Teaching Machine: Rhetoric and the Globalization of the U.S. Public Research University

Inside the Teaching Machine: Rhetoric and the Globalization of the U.S. Public Research University

Inside the Teaching Machine: Rhetoric and the Globalization of the U.S. Public Research University

Excerpt

Historical Materialist Rhetoric and
the Hermeneutics of Valuation

Capitalist production is not merely the production of commodities, it is,
by its very essence, the production of surplus-value.… If we may take
an example from outside the sphere of material production, a school
master is a productive worker when, in addition to belabouring the heads
of his pupils, he works himself into the ground to enrich the owner of the
school. That the latter has laid out his capital in a teaching factory, instead
of a sausage factory, makes no difference to the relation.

—Karl Marx, Capital

It is not only that lines separate ethnic, gender, and class prejudice in the
metropolitan countries from indigenous cooperation with neocolonialism
outside, in the Third World proper. It is also that arguments from cultural
ism, multiculturalism, and ethnicity, however insular and heteromorph
ous they might seem from the great narratives of the techniques of global
financial control, can work to obscure such separations in the interests of
the production of a neocolonial discourse.

—Gayatri Spivak, Outside in the Teaching Machine

Raymond Williams defines culture as “one of the two or three most complicated words in the English language” (Keywords 87). Cultural studies disputes since this proclamation bare the truth of his statement, but another term, one that Williams does not define, seems to qualify as the other one or two most complicated words in our vocabulary. Among the oldest intellectual and practical arts, rhetoric consistently eludes definition. I emphasize this uncontainable understanding of rhetoric in order to reit-

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