Uniwersytet i problem krytycznego intelektualnego obywatelstwa

Jan P. Hudzik


Jan P. Hudzik

University and the Problem of Critical Intellectual Citizenship

The article aims at showing the powers engaged in the struggle for the creating of the identity of the university and intellectuals in Poland. It is tantamount to revealing the theoretical and political grounds on the basis of which the process of the social construction of their meanings rests. This process takes place in the power relationships, which might be called (just like in the previous communist system) the democratic centralism, within the strongly centralized state and with strongly party-dependent politics. The author asks the question about the critical intellectual citizenship of Polish academicians/intellectuals (the phrase I have borrowed from Dominick LaCapra). The text has been produced by applying a critical discourse analysis to the documents on the current reform of the higher education as well as many, randomly selected, fragments of the public debate connected with the reform in question and the so-called world of science in Poland.
The study identifies the situations in which government clerks/bureaucrats (Ministry of Science and Higher Education) and their collaborators, regime intellectuals, regardless of their political orientation, consistently have resorted to the techniques of marginalizing the academic community in the last quarter century – they not only bureaucratize, but also paralyze it through preventing it from creating the version of it very self. They use false and illusive images of university (or science community in general) to seize hegemony over it. viz., the control and domination of political center.
The paper is no systematic – “objective” – elaboration of the subject. It is based on some selected literature and some considerations drawn from the public critical debate and discussion. The article aims at enabling intellectuals to better understand their condition and structural obstacles they meet on their way of creating their surroundings, place of work and, consequently, their social identity. The university under control mechanisms (as unveiled in the paper) does not mould the critical intellectual citizenship at all. The academic community, economically disadvantaged and deprived of the idea of its very self is an easy prey to state control and supervision, and is no match for the state in the public game.

Keywords: intellectuals, critical intellectual citizenship, party dependent politics, university, social identity of university, academic field, academic environment, demobilization of academic environment, structural nonmaneuverability of the system of higher education, official / white-collar discourse, critical / civic discourse, fictionalization of pathology (at university).

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