Student as Producer: how do revolutionary teachers teach? – redrafted book abstract


I am continuing to work on my book Student as Producer: How Do Revolutionary Teachers Teach?  The content is being brought up to date to include the participation of students and young people in the 2017 UK election, and research undertaken at the University of Mondragon, a co-operative university in the Basque country in Spain, informed by the work of Andrej Grubacic on ‘non-state spaces’.



Student as Producer is a manifesto for revolutionary teaching that emerged from inside an English university at the start of the 21st century. Grounded in a pedagogy derived from Marxist social theory (Postone 1993, Clarke 1991, Dinerstein 2015, Holloway 2002), Student as Producer provides a practical and critical response to the ongoing assault on higher education by the social power of Money and regulations of the capitalist State, with a focus on Police (Neocleous 2000). The book is set within the period marked by  the student protests that erupted in England at the end of 2010 against the massive rise in fees, which appeared as a defeat of the student movement,  and the powerful democratic expression of students and young people in the 2017 UK General Election in support for a no-fee higher education and other progressive social polices, that looks like an important part of a new socialistic political project. This book explores the intellectual origins of Student as Producer (Benjamin 1934, Debord 1977, Weil 1952), as well as  a critical engagement with the work of  major writers on radical and revolutionary education (Freire 1970, Allman 2010, Ranciere 1991). Student as Producer’s revolutionary curriculum is  framed around unlearning the law of labour as a critique of capitalist work and the institutions through which the law of labour is enforced, including the capitalist university (Neary and Winn 2009, Neary and Winn 2017, Winn 2015, Hall 2014, University of Utopia n.d.). The answer to the question how do revolutionary teachers teach lies not in  critical pedagogy:  the ‘deceptive immediacy’ (Adorno 1968) of classroom teaching ( Neary 2017), but by remaking the knowledge economy as knowledge production at the level of society. This means reconfiguring the space occupied by higher education, through the dissolution of the power of Money and the State, to create a Co-operative University as the foundational principle for a non-state, non-party political settlement  (Grubacic and O’Hearne 2016) .


Adorno, T. (1968) Late Capitalism or Industrial Society. Address to 16th German Sociological Conference:

Allman, P. (2010) Critical Education Against Global Capitalism: Karl Marx and Revolutionary Critical Education, Sense Publishers, Rotterdam

Benjamin, W. (1973)  The Author as Producer. Understanding Brecht,  New Left Book, London [1934]

Clarke, S. (1991) Marx, Marginalism and Modern Sociology: From Adam Smith to Max Weber, Palgrave Macmillan, London and New York

Debord, G. (1977) The Society of the Spectacle, Black and Red, Detroit

Dinerstein, A. (2015) The Politics of Autonomy in Latin America: The Art of Organising Hope, Palgrave Macmillan, London and New York

Freire, P. (1970) Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Penguin, London

Grubacic, A. and O’Hearne D. ( 2016) Living at the Edge of Capitalism: Adventures in Exile and Mutual Aid. University of California Press.

Hall, R. (2014) ‘On the Abolition of Academic Labour: The Relationship Between Intellectual Work and Mass Intellectuality’, Triple C: Communication, Capitalism and Critique, Journal for a Global, Sustainable Information Society, Vol 12 (2)

Holloway, J. (2002) Change the World Without Taking Power, Pluto Press, London

Neary, M. (2015) Educative Power: the Myth of Dronic Violence in a Period of Civil War. Culture Machine.

Neary, M. (2017) Pedagogy of Hate. Policy Futures in Education.

Neary, M. and Saunders, G. (2016) Student as Producer and the Politics of Abolition: Making a New Form of Dissident Institution. Critical Education.

Neary, M. and Winn, J (2017) Beyond Public and Private: A Model for Co-operative Higher Education. Open Library of Humanities. [pre-publication version

Neary, M. and Winn, J. ( 2009) Student as Producer: Reinventing the Undergraduate Student Experience of Higher Eduction. In Howard Stevenson, Les Bell and Mike Neary (ends). The Future of Higher Education, Policy, Pedagogy and the Student Experience. New York and London: Continuum, 192 – 210.

Neocleous, M. (2000) The Fabrication of Social Order: A Critical Theory of Police Power, Pluto, London

Postone, M. (1993) Time, Labour and Social Domination: A Reinterpretation of Marx’s Critical Social Theory, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge

Ranciere, J. (1991) The Ignorant Schoolmaster: Five Lessons in Intellectual Emancipation, Stanford University Press, Stanford

University of Utopia ( n.d.) On Sharing: Anti-curricula – a course of action

Weil, S. (1952) The Need for Roots, Routledge, London.

Winn, J. (2015) ‘The Co-operative University: Labour, Property and Pedagogy’, Power and Education 7 39-55


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