Scientific research, academic knowledge production, and higher education are under an obscene and direct attack today in Argentina. Milei’s attack is not an isolated case. To a certain extent, it is part of a global phenomenon, i.e. the rampant anti-intellectualism of the “new” right-wing movements and governments, which has certainly accelerated its spread with the last pandemic. Regarding this, I have written about the relationship between anti-intellectualism and the elitist conditions of knowledge production, focusing on our real practices and material conditions as workers of science and higher education here (in Spanish). In this entry I want to stress a different aspect of today’s anti-intellectualism, its consequences vis-à-vis neoliberalism’s own goals.
By attacking higher education and public scientific research, any openly capitalist government is shooting itself on the foot. The purpose of Milei’s government can only be pushing Argentina into an even more subaltern position regarding the global knowledge production. But I think that knowledge production is, like nature, politics, and social reproduction, an area of the “non-economic” sphere of reality without which capitalism cannot survive for (too) long in a given place and time and (in the long run) in general, globally, so this latter aim is also a suicidal decision wherever it is carried out. [click to continue…]