The Painful Truth of GCAS
Julie Reshe, PhD
Today's globalizing capitalist world is undoubtedly fucked up. There are so many reasons to seek refuge in the imaginable "outside" realm separate from the present order, in some transcendental principles and pure ethical ideas or hope for someone — scientist, philosopher or politician — who would impose the new just order and guide our lives in a right direction.
Criticizing present order, no matter how brilliantly we do it, is just stimulating a rightful anger aimed at nothing else except for ruining it, offering nothing instead. But there is no other world or order “outside” of this one, it is the world we are destined to live in.
Those who are offering the prospects of new just order that could be imposed from “outside” of the already existing order or the idea of a final revolution that will, finally and miraculously change things are manipulating us by appealing to a desire to instantly cure our anxiety – the hope of which seems so irresistible. However, the failure to resist our cruel reality works in a similar way as a drug addiction — detaching us from reality and possibilities to influence it, an encapsulation into the pure illusions. Instead of empowering us it deprives us of power, since those who are detached from reality are not dangerous for the existing state of things.
To change the order we should abandon our hopes for a messiah or a miracle, for the possibility of a final revolution that will install a just order and full harmony. What we have is only ourselves and our common (globalizing capitalist) world that we share without the option to escape through a “backdoor” to the "outside."
The Global Center for Advanced Studies (GCAS) is a massive movement that unites common forces deprived of any illusions and ready to take matters into their own hands.
It is an experiment, initiated 5 years ago, and already brought to collaboration more than 10K people including the world's most well-known intellectuals, activists, artist, startapers and hackers (to list a few Alain Badiou, Antonio Negri, Luce Irigaray, Slavoj Zizek, Catherine Malabou, Jean-Luc Nancy, Bracha L. Ettinger, Jean-Luc Nancy).
Within the established terminological framework GCAS posits itself as an experimental advanced education, but really it’s so much more than this. It claims (while playing by the present rules) no less than to overthrow the dogmatic distinction on research, education, paid labor and leisure by establishing new before unthinkable ways of productive collaboration.
It’s inscribed in the present order by providing affordable high-quality Bachelor's, Master's Degrees and PhDs as well as offering low-cost or free academic programs with a live on-line engaged platform and at multiple on-campus locations all over the world (New York, Paris, Dublin, Athens, Santiago, Havana, Maribor, Le Caillou, France, Philadelphia to name a few)
GCAS aimes to hack the system from the inside, it follows the rules at the minimum required level (not to be recognized as illegal and to meet the accreditation requirements) everything else goes wildly “inappropriate” in normally functioning terms.
It deploys the most progressive practises, innovations and technologies and turns them into a tools for productive subversive collaboration. For instance, GCAS was the first in the world deploying 4D VR teaching, and implementing instant translation-learning being capable of bringing together millions of people who speak different languages.
Most importantly, GCAS runs on a blockchain network and empowers students (they are called “researchers”) and its activists with the capacity to earn funds while pursuing degrees or participating in GCAS activities. Just imagine earning funds by reading books! Impossible, but possible for GCAS. GCAS activists and researchers upon graduating become co-owners of GCAS. In this way GCAS is not only the first provider of higher education that break away from student debt cycle without gimmicks, but also the first who gives graduates the opportunity to co-own their college by converting the tuition into ownership shares.
GCAS is deploying profitable start-up incubators (self-guided or guided by a world-class advisers) and is open to other forms of mutually advantageous common cooperation. Moreover, it employs decentralized principle of education offering students possibilities to teach and exchange knowledge. It is experimentally proven that the most effective way to learn is to teach or at least imagine that you are preparing the lesson, this also means that standard distinction on the process of learning and teaching is highly conditional and obsolete. Furthermore, the idea that one has to first learn and then teach or work to monetize their knowledge is also obsolete and unfair, why shall one wait following the imposed order if learning is also a work which has the capacity to accumulate funds?
GCAS is first of all the nomadic collaborative community-possibilities. Philosophy is the key to GCAS. However, we believe that philosophy detached from reality is lifeless and does more harm than good supporting the escapism into the “fake news” called “the transcendental”. Instead of limiting itself to theory GCAS is practising philosophy, engineering and implementing innovative forms of common life.
On the interpersonal level it is a space where we learn to cohabit, work and acquire a knowledge together, care and support each other, recognizing the painful truth that no salvation will come from outside, that it is the “us” called “GCAS” that is all we are left with and firmly taking the initiative in our own hands.