Letter to the newspapers (addressed to Mr. Bachand)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


Mr. Bachand,

I just watched your interview on Tout le monde en parle and I would like to return to a few points.

You claim that we, as students, are not doing our fair share, and this is true.  We are not doing our fair share in this world that you, along with your Liberal friends, have turned into a commodity.  You have only one word on your lips, profitability.  You no longer bother to hide, you think you have won and after some fifty years of hard work, you have almost succeeded in transforming the university into a business.  And yes, it is true; we have not done our fair share for the society that you would like to bring about, a frenzied society that destroys the ecological and the social with the unbridled overconsumption of human and natural resources.

We say stop, Mr. Bachand.

While Quebec has seen record high temperatures for the month of March, while Europe suffers through an early dry spell this season, while the hurricane season in the United States continues its destruction, while Africa is still dying, you want to transform the north of Quebec into a polluting, open-pit factory, you want to transform the Quebec landscape into a vast highway crowded with trucks to extract every last drop of oil, every last molecule of natural gas, all for the benefit of private companies and banks.

We say no, Mr. Bachand.

You want to complete the transformation of the universities into employee and administrator production sites, designed to work in your businesses.

You want to transform the university into a private business, managing the most profitable programs by taking over the boards of governors.

We say no, Mr. Bachand.

We will fight with all our might and all our resources so that the university remains a place of emancipating and not merely practical knowledge, where we come to take the time to engage with complex ideas and not just to reproduce techno-scientific procedures for application, where we come to develop a general knowledge, a creativity permitting the evolution of critical thought, all this requiring time, reflection, discussion, basic research, conditions not permitted by the obligation you intend to impose to work more than twenty hours per week, the obligation to produce results, and your sacred fear of error.

I like errors, Mr. Bachand – they make the world go forward, they transform the world while truths, certainties, are often nothing but more of the same, a sameness that is very worrisome under the circumstances.

You want a people that is submissive and ignorant, Mr. Bachand, and it is clear that you are not alone.

You want a people educated by television and by bad literature, feeding itself on stupidity.

Everywhere in the world, education is dropping in value, everywhere in the world popular culture is becoming more and more one-dimensional, prefabricated, predigested, mediocre, but profitable.

An educated people is a people that criticizes, that sees the flaws in your discourse, in your models and I can easily understand that you and your friends want to avoid this.

I will not refer you to the (overly?) great number of studies done over the years on the ties between level of education and health, level of education and critical abilities, on the reproduction of social inequalities in school and the need to reform education as a result of the high dropout count in disadvantaged milieus, you would not read them anyway.

I will not speak to you of the rising numbers showing that the revaluing of loans and bursaries will above all help the banks get richer; you have throngs of pseudo-intellectuals paid to claim the opposite.

Nor will I speak to you of the health problems, the piles of medications, of drugs, of antidepressants, of anxiolytics, of alcohol consumed in worrisome proportions in our profitable and productive societies to make it through the week; you will probably not see the connection.

I will not speak to you of the high burnout rates and rates of suicide, in the big businesses you so value, since already you have stopped reading this.

No, I will not get into this game of numbers with you, Mr. Bachand and I will not produce another useless study left to die on a bookshelf, seeing as you have already socially constructed a population that prefers reading cookbooks.

But the population is sick of cookbooks, Mr. Bachand, the population is starting to understand.  We will not do our fair share and on the contrary, we will fight to reverse growth, we will not talk anymore, we will shout in the streets, Mr. Bachand, we will stop your narcissistic, sadistic kind from killing us, and we will fight to ensure that the university is returned to the scholars and not to the administrators, so that education does not become a business training site, but creates responsible, critical citizens and so that we can fight effectively against an ideological and atmospheric pollution that is now killing us.

It is time to wake up.

Maybe it is already too late.

Michel Sancho,



Desperately human

Original published here: http://lechantdurampant.blogspot.ca/2012/03/lettre-aux-journaux.html?spr...