Universities became an element in what has been called the ideological or non-coercive apparatus of the state. They came more closely under state control and their teachings helped to tie students more closely to the existing political and social order. At the same time the growth in the size and functions of universities made them more and more resemble private corporations even though many were public institutions.
We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up