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Nettime on Thu, 9 Oct 2003 10:53:00 +0200 (CEST)


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Date: Thu, 09 Oct 2003 05:31:55 +0100
From: Benjamin Geer <ben {AT} socialtools.net>
To: Kermit Snelson <ksnelson {AT} subjectivity.com>
Cc: nettime-l {AT} bbs.thing.net
Subject: Re: <nettime> New Media Education and Its Discontent

Kermit Snelson wrote:
> Patronage is an affair of the Úlite.  If their employees,
> the intellectuals, have higher prestige among the "common people" in
> Europe than they do in the USA, that is probably because titled nobility
> and aristocracy are still present there as they are not in the USA,
> which was in fact founded by a revolution against that sort of thing.

It seems strange to characterise the American revolution as an effort to 
eliminate the privileges of elites, since it was conducted by the 
wealthiest men in the colonies.

By contrast, the King of Yugoslavia surrendered in 1944 to communist 
partisans, whose leader, Tito, came from a peasant family.  Yet when my 
Croatian friends talk about the education they received in Yugoslavia in 
the 1970s and 80s, it sounds much like what exists in Western Europe 
today: it was taken for granted that the judgement and opinions of 
students were vastly inferior to those of professors.  Until 1987, free 
university education was available to anyone who could pass the 
requisite exams.  And despite a certain amount of censorship, it seems 
that intellectual life flourished.

In France, I think it's safe to say that high intellectual standards are 
widely considered to be a key element of *republican* (i.e. democratic) 
principles, and are strongly associated with the Englightenment 
intellectuals who are seen as having inspired the 1789 revolution.

Ben

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