for Matiur Rahman, Editor of Prothom Alo, Influential Model Journalist
Sexuality is considered the privileged place where knowledge and power are expressed. Since religions such as Christian, Hindu, Buddha or Muslim, the Western world or the East has never stopped to say, to know who humans are, to know what their sexuality is. Sexuality has always been the forum where the future of the human species and its ‘Will’, Knowledge’ or ‘Power’ are decided as human subjects.
It has been continuous argued to draw a dividing line between the Christian practice of confession, which is never simply a means of prohibition, but a means of linking the problems of salvation to the discursive production of a certain type of power over the world, that is, human body and clearly modern discourses. On the sexuality of children since the beginning of the eighteenth century on homosexuality, sexuality of women and sexual liberation, with regard to this latter aspect, it also highlights the paradox that, while apparently promoting the overcoming of repression and restrictions on the sexual practices of persons, that is, truly liberating individuals, the reverse occurs, produced at other speeches, on the aforementioned sexuality. This type of speech is really a great tool for control and power. As always, what people say, feel and expect has been used. It is also exploited as an attempt to believe that to be happy, it is enough to cross the threshold of speech and eliminate certain prohibitions. But in reality, sexuality can end up repressing and dispersing the movements of revolt and liberation.
If a discourse apparently aims to protect the human race from the supposedly debilitating effects of masturbation in children, or the disease of the sexual instinct manifested by homosexuality, or the presence that induces sexuality in women or, on the contrary, it seems to favour the liberation of hypocrisy and prohibition, the productive effects of power. Needless to say; not only control, but also in the way of producing certain modes of behavior sometimes new. Most importantly, this particular type of power and knowledge of a particular discourse induces these effects, gives a role to the role of today’s intellectual, and confers on the political status of universities the status of institutions of knowledge, an exception, this means for such intellectuals in South African universities. This question is even more important given two factors that influence the autonomy of universities: worldwide, but especially here, because of the compromising implications of the formula for financing universities in South Africa. Corporatization of universities and, at the same time, its bureaucratization in the context of discourse, authority and power, that the process of corporatization, as well as bureaucratization, is articulated in powerful speeches, sponsored by the state or at least supported by the government be approved. The corporatization of universities, here and in other parts of the world must be understood in the context that, as we have said, at the present time, the dominant social sphere is economic, in areas such as religious and policy, dominant in the Western Middle Ages and modern times, respectively, hierarchically subject to its priority status. What this means for universities is that, as spaces for learning, they are also subordinated to the current discourse of economics. Therefore, it should not be surprising that the recognized autonomy of universities has given way to their economically determined heteronomy.
This development is underscored in the management’s speech, where vice-chancellors, registrars, deans, principals, and university department heads are now known as executive presidents, administrative and academic directors, or line managers. This reduces academics and students to mere resources, in order to maintain and strengthen the hegemonic economic system. Ultimately, this process of revising universities like capital makes even the group of managers and others become mere leaders of the new discursive regime. However, the important question, which is rarely formulated with critical intent by disillusioned academics or the public and likely to be misleading, is whether a university is a place where levels are reached. Higher education, learning and research supposedly self-critical, are able to become an institution of this type if they are compromised by the economic imperatives that drive the transformation of today’s universities. The supposedly free and open university space of universities, where emancipatory epistemic and scientific practices are developing, is effectively erased by forcing universities to serve the economy. In South Africa, universities are doubly compromised by the blatant reduction of their academic-intellectual function to economic criteria and by the imminent governmental audit carried out by bureaucratic means and justified by a call for standardization adopted according to the norms.
The bureaucratization of universities along with authoritive or academic realm occurs at the same time as their corporatization and is a symptom of the pact between the political sphere, the government and the economic sphere, where the latter is currently attracting attention.
All that individuals must do is to read the specifications, for example, of the higher education standards generation in higher education in South Africa or Asia especially Indonesia, India or Bangladesh, in order to measure the scope of the panoptic operation of this document. For the generation of the South African type of knowledge the needs of the economy at this stage of its development, as they are determined by the narrow objective of the government’s technological development and are designed to promote them at the discursive level. This stems from the technical description of the generic competencies required at different levels of cognitive complexity, as conceived in the approach that governs the priority, that is, the critical thinking capacity cultivated and promoted by the humanities, nature, they cannot speak. In such a long-term generic discourse, it is more conducive to a type of global development based on humanity’s consideration of humanity, rather than its potential as a mere resource for technological development. The way in which the process of promoting a certain type of education is produced through the discourses of corporatization and bureaucratization seems innocent, almost imperceptible, which is not surprising, since the advent of modernity, the power has worked more effectively where virtually invisible.
The power in the West is most obvious and, therefore, what is best hidden: what people in society have called political life since the nineteenth century is the way in which power presents its image. As a court in the monarchical era, the power is not there, nor how it works. Power relations are perhaps among the best things hidden from the social body. The network, in its compact or dispersed forms, with its insertion, distribution, monitoring and observation systems, has been the greatest support of modern or post modern society for the power of standardization. The texture of society guarantees both the actual capture of the body and its perpetual observation; by its very nature, the punitive apparatus adapts more fully to the new economy of power and the knowledge-building tool that the economy needs, and the panoptic operation allows him to play this dual role. By its methods of organization, division and registration, it has proved to be one of the simplest, most difficult and most concrete conditions, but perhaps more indispensable for the development of this immense review activity for human behavior, not only the West, but also in the East.
Hamid Rayhan is the editor at FREE THINK NOW, covering security, consumer technology, and anything else that seems interesting. Also, he writes fictions, poems and essays on culture, literary theories and philosophy.