Thursday, May 15, 2008

Why My Political Science Degree is Useless.

As if i need more evidence against academia...
I just spent an hour and a half working on a new start to the direct statement of my philosophical / political theory, a manifesto of sorts. Every time i try to fucking write this two things happen:
First, i get caught up in bashing the opposition, talking about the "patched black denim anarchists" or the "loose-woven hemp idealists" who are so "bogged down in the morass of utopian idealism and obsolete moral altruism" to honestly puruse the "goal of challenging or even understanding the capitalist system" When i read this shit back to myself, it seems well-stated and cutting, but also incredibly petty and isolating. Like a double-negative.
Second, i get really really pissed off whenever i'm interupted. It's like i feel somehow entitled to spew off on my political opinions. When i'm interupted while writing a play i react to it as a reminder of how lucky i am to have a job where i have so much free time. When i'm writing philosophy, i scream inside my head and clench my jaw whenever the door opens, the phone rings or a truck arrives to deliver something.
In these ways i fall into exactly the kind of assholery that i'm trying to critique. if the medium is the message, then the message of polemical debate is inevitably bitter whiney bitching, and thus a political philosophy education is merely training for how to be a snarky little shithead who's whole purpose in life is to eat other peoples shit and then throw it back at them. fucking pointless.
I want to have this manifesto to distribute on tour with Paint the Town, I want to refer people to a direct statement of what i think or see happening, of what we're trying to do, but i can't get the tone right. I try to make it a wholly positive statement, but i worry then that it won't distinguish itself from the prevailing (and useless) ideologies. i envision legions of hippies nodding their heads, saying "right on, man, right on!" and then going on with their perspective and their actions entirely unchanged. I'm describing a radically different approach or mindset, and can't do so without critiquing the present approach as a point of contrast. I also can't do it without providing supporting evidence or reference to somewhat esoteric texts which are horribly misunderstood by our present society. I'm talking about Marx. Between the USSR and the Red Scare further development or critique of Marxism is really nigh impossible today because you have to correct all the wrong prevailing notions about Marx (the ones that led him to say "i'm not a Marxist") before you can then correct the things Marx himself was actually wrong about. By the time you're done with that people are either staring at you with a glazed look on their face cuz they just don't give a shit, or they're thinking, "well, he obviously must be confused, does he agree with Marx or not?"  


All things Portsmouth said...

Unfortunately a Political Science Degree is worse than useless - it just says that you`re going to sit on your a$$ for 3-4 years while not doing much at all.

Cut your losses and try to get into economics / science / law or something where you won`t end up flipping burgers.

Trust me, I took a Politics Degree (UK, Southampton Uni 1989-1992) and it was one of the worst things I ever did!!

Pcube said...

I agree with the above comment by All things Portsmouth entirely. Really, these people do nothing but debate 24/7 and blither on about bullshit nobody cares about. Usually they have something of merit to say, but any discussion QUICKLY turns into a rather useless debate, just for the sake of debating. I used to think that the point of arguing was to reach a consensus so that progress could be made, but the whole crux of the political science major is to debate the living shit out of whatever topic it is, just to blow hot air and never reach a conclusion.

Oh, and apparently "engineers are useless within 10 years", that brilliant conclusion was reached by a friend of mine in poli sci. Hmm, somehow I doubt that engineering will become obsolete - I don't remember the last time debating a rock to turn into a toaster or piece of computer hardware actually worked. On the contrary, I can see how the position of someone who does literally nothing but flap their lips in the wind all day is beyond expendable. Oh well.

brando said...

I couldn't agree more. When I first went into this major, I thought "Well, it is college. I must be learning more about politics as well as get some real job skills." But lo and behold, 4 years later, I don't really know a whole lot more about politics than I did before. Sure, some classes did have an effect on me. But I knew a lot about politics coming in already.

Fuck this major!! Dammit! And now I'm graduating in just a few months, and I'm fucked. I can't find a fucking job in this area or my hometown, which are both fairly large. Poli-sci is fucking useless. What are the job skills??

And of course, I HATE lawyers and courtrooms. I could never see myself doing that, so pre-law is out of the question. That shit bores me to death. And I can't afford to take out more debt to pay for grad school.

I'm fucked, I guess.
Oh well. Here's to 4 great years outside of class, at least.

Ben Turk said...

I've found more good information on the stuff i'm concerned about in infoshops and zines in the last two years than i did for the whole 4 years of college, and it's all free.

Recently heard about tuition hikes and lending practices at trade schools. Seems even going to school for something practical to get a decent paying job in the service economy and then learning philosophy in your free time is a rip off.

All arrows point to dropping out of school and jobs. To living in large collective houses, eating out of dumpsters and community gardens, and working odd jobs (or scams) in order to get by and spend most of your time seriously confronting capitalism on a root level.

John said...

Warden has already done some impressive analysis of this data at an aggregate level, and I know researchers would love to get their hands on it. And like the “Tastes, Ties, and Time” Facebook project, Warden wants to release the dataset to the academic community.

political science degree | adult education associate degree

All things Portsmouth said...

I`m even more of the opinion that a political science degree is completely useless than I was back in 2008! (Man, time flies!!!)

Charles Darwin said...

social sciences: hoax sciences




social sciences is the Hoax-science around.

all material is Free Free Free at
public library/public internet.

Free Free Free

Charles Darwin said...

Folks: most material in the social sciences/humanities if Free Free Free.

Even the great science lectures by Richard Feynman is $100 at the

Free Free Free at public internet.

Only items missing are Experiment/Labs.

Only missing item is labs.

All else Free Free Free.