The Japanese government is moving forward with plans to scrap humanities programs from public universities by withholding funds from “non-performing” universities and research centers engaged in activities that subversively undermine the profit-generating imperatives of a burgeoning, neoliberal fascist state. Shusuke Murai of the Japan Times cites various government sources on this latest scheme to transform public institutions from centers of intellectual activity into taxpayer funded vocational training centers for corporate employers.
You don’t need advanced studies to decipher the latest Imperial proclamation being issued from Nagatacho. In fact, it’s better to discourage genuine literacy altogether in order to prevent some uppity serf from reading into the implications of the Abe government’s latest assault on the democratic institutions that don’t advance the cause of his ruling Liberal Democratic Party or its feudal “reforms”. This time, America’s shadow puppet PM is warning national universities that they won’t receive crucial subsidies unless they scrap their unproductive, money-wasting humanities programs entirely. If you want “to build a system to produce human resources that match the needs of society by grasping accurately changes in industrial structure and employment needs, you’re not going to accomplish any of the above with the current system that favors “theoretical” mumbo-jumbo above more “practical” concerns of industry. Roughly translated: Less thinking in the brains and more elbow grease! And off the record, of course: Chew on that, you bespectacled, pointy-headed sociology major! Here’s a “three-pronged economic growth strategy” for your indolent, non-productive life – one for each orifice.
In other words, the nation’s “wealth creators” have figured out a cost-saving measure to fill entry level positions in their white collar sweatshops with a workforce already trained by the nation’s public universities, which, if Abe and Co. get their way will “conduct more practical vocational education that better anticipates the needs of society”. Having already checked one item off their wish list of government acquiescence to their demands in the form of a recently passed labor bill in the Lower House that gives companies carte blanche to hire temporary workers without ever having to hire them full-time, corporate Japan now seeks further de-regulation of itself and harsher oversight for the public institutions that are “failing” to meet its needs.
And just what are those needs for a newly re-minted aggressor nation poised to reassert declining American power in the face of a Chinese “threat”? According to the Finance Ministry, which studies this sort of thing, but without books, knowledge or insight, Japan has a severe shortage of venture capitalists and lawyers well-versed in intellectual copyrights. Never mind its ancient traditions of skilled and disciplined artisans, its cutting edge innovations in engineering and electronics, or even its poised and sophisticated service industry workers, a dearth of “dynamic” developers and other bullshit-based, bottom feeders is what it takes to drive an economy forward and advance a nation’s interests. Never mind, either, that it’s the US’s interests we are advancing here. Japan’s “nationalist” rulers believe in essence, that in order to rouse the nation out of its unpatriotic complacency, it first needs to rid itself of its pesky tendencies towards pacifism and perfection, and instead, harness its brain trust to ensure that American entertainment behemoths are not cheated out of royalties.
Why squander precious resources better used to enrich shareholders when you can get the taxpayer to foot the bill for training up “industrious” workers while they attend one of the 90 already partially privatized institutions of higher learning put on notice to divest themselves of the non-performing assets among their faculties, staff and student bodies? After all, literature and philosophy and all that other mind-expanding, brow-furrowing rot isn’t going to produce a “shovel-ready” chain gang to dig the nation further into a ditch and install its vast network of brain drains. Nor is it going to recall any historical antecedents of wartime hubris when its constitutionally unrestrained military forces venture into other US-occupied countries to counter China’s diplomacy-based inroads towards procuring the resources necessary for a super-power with a GDP that has quietly overtaken both Japan and the US.
Emperor-in-Chief Abe and his Ministry of Finance cohorts have, in effect, declared war on critical thinking to produce a malleable, non-questioning work force of vocational trainees who will submit to their neo-Imperial masters upon entering their places of employment in paper hats and construction helmets. They will compete with cheap foreign labor for part-time, temporary work and won’t shun uncompensated overtime or workplace harassment. Ideally, they will perform unpaid internships until retirement, at which time they will join thousands of other feral senior citizens without full pensions for coveted spots to lay down a sheet of cardboard in the nation’s parks. The more affluent ones will venture boldly, pedigree in hand, into McStart-Up businesses where largely useless phone apps are developed by contract workers “skilled” in taking orders from some jargon-spewing MBA, who just happens to be the son of an Abe crony.
Meanwhile, Abe Inc. will get its monolithic fascist stadiums, and costly non-essential infrastructure built in time for the Olympics without the interference of business-hating, egg-headed aesthetes. With more enhanced measures of stifling opposition to nuclear power and US bases in Okinawa, the government’s latest mandate to transform an already compliant citizenry into a “servant race” will prove in the end, a race to the bottom.
by Jennifer Matsui