Higher Education for Hire
The Capitalist University: The Transformations of Higher Education in the United States since 1945
Publisher: Against the Current
Date Written: 01/11/2017
Year Published: 2017
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX21722
Book review of Henry Heller's The Capitalist University: The Transformations of Higher Education in the United States since 1945.
While one cannot deny the influential and ideologically helpful categorization of the Soviet Union and Nazism under the heading of totalitarianism, Arendt's body of work lies in many ways outside mainstream political science's push for quantitative methodology on which Heller otherwise focuses.
While Heller acknowledges this, the rapidity with which he moves through his sequence of thinkers necessarily has its limitations. Sometimes his descriptions are a bit facile. He describes Arendt as "a German Jewish refugee, lover of the philosopher and Nazi and anti-Semite Martin Heidegger and ultimately married to a Marxist professor at Bard College." The description of her relationships isn't particularly illuminating, and Heinrich Blucher wasn't particularly a Marxist.
The field of psychology already had a long history with the American state prior to the Cold War, when it only intensified as "psychology professors...with few exceptions...enthusiastically and unabashedly participated in defense-related research...No other discipline showed itself so un-self-consciously and unquestionably loyal to the state." Heller speculates that in addition to careerism, this was connected to the use of individualist methodologies that led to some level of naivety.