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Education, Science and Knowledge Capitalism

Creativity and the Promise of Openness


Michael A. Peters

We live in the age of global science – but not, primarily, in the sense of ‘universal knowledge’ that has characterized the liberal metanarrative of ‘free’ science and the ‘free society’ since its early development in the Enlightenment. Today, an economic logic links science to national economic policy, while globalized multinational science dominates an environment where quality assurance replaces truth as the new regulative ideal. This book examines the nature of educational and science-based capitalism in its cybernetic, knowledge, algorithmic and bioinformational forms before turning to the emergence of the global science system and the promise of openness in the growth of international research collaboration, the development of the global knowledge commons and the rise of the open science economy. Education, Science and Knowledge Capitalism explores the nature of cognitive capitalism, the emerging mode of social production for public education and science and its promise for the democratization of knowledge.
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Chapter Thirteen: Manifesto for Education in the Age of Cognitive Capitalism: Freedom, Creativity and Culture


Transform the world, said Marx, change life, said Rimbaud. These two watchwords for us one only.

—André Breton

The social revolution of the nineteenth century cannot derive its poetry from the past, but only from the future. It cannot begin with itself, before it has shed all superstitious belief in the past. Earlier revolutions needed to remember previous moments in world history in order to numb themselves with regard to their own content. The revolution of the nineteenth century must let the dead bury the dead in order to arrive at its own content. There, the phrase exceeded the content. Here the content exceeds the phrase.

—Karl Marx, The 18th Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte

In the Manifeste du Surréalisme, Breton defines Surrealism as ‘pure psychic automatism with which one proposes to express, either orally or in any other manner, the real process of thought, in the absence of any control exercised by reason, outside any aesthetic or moral concerns’.1 Surrealist poetics revalues and reconsiders the irrational element in human creativity and the will to express itself through art at a subconscious level. Freud, Marx and Rimbaud are the guiding lights for Breton as he derives a form of (‘fleeting’) modernity after Baudelaire that is truly revolutionary and which is based upon total freedom of expression that goes beyond (bourgeois) reality to uncover the super real. In this revolutionary overthrow Breton and his surrealist compatriots utilize all the aspects of the unthought...

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