Agreed. I decided not to surface capitalism in the summary because Freire didn’t really surface it either, but I think most scholars that have followed Freire believe that capitalism is at the heart of it.

That said, at least in the context of access to majors at UW, it’s only partly capitalism, and in a surprising way. A truly capitalist university financial model would result in our school having more resources to serve demand, and in fact, that’s exactly what’s happening. It’s only that those resources are insufficient for building more office space that we can’t grow. And at other universities, where students are free to declare any major they like, regardless of resources, there is a sort of anti-capitalist system that meets demand without offering resources. That results in access but also erodes many other things we value at UW: community, mentorship, learning. So I won’t pretend that solutions are some simple pro or anti-capitalist stance—it’s much more complicated than that.

Professor of programming + learning + design + justice at the University of Washington Information School. Trans; she/her. #BlackLivesMatter.

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