The cartoon ‘Lio’, [Father’s bringing stuff from the back-to-school savings store
You see cartoons about this all the time – Peanuts, Sally Forth… People chuckle and ignore them, even though they are strong socialpoliticaleconomic statements.
Age segregation is a brutal control against us all regardless of our age. Have you figured out its singular purpose? It has only one.
All the texts explaining that the 7 year old does this, the 13 year old does that, etc etc only garner plaudits to their authors… who’re making it up! The results of their examinations of behavior are skewed to follow a system of regulation of us that disregards that we all always learn – and teach. The degree to which we’re disallowed from doing these perfectly reflects Marx’s identification of our alienation in the profit and slave society.
You can pull up a list on-line of the many renowned or successful or famous people who eschewed school for living.
Meanwhile, articles explode telling of another cheating action at school.
In my Berkeley voter pamphlet statement I tell you of a Harper’s magazine article and another on-line article describing the many falsifications of credentials by people who get successfully employed, attain admiring recognition and position and high income through communities’ believing what the person proves to be the case, that they can do the jobs they’ve so well lied to get, even though they haven’t been awarded the degrees documenting their passages through the uncomfortable, the oppressive institution, school.
In many cases, as well, their performance has been destructive.
School is one of the many institutions that serve this age old brutal system, the system of people and business entities owning the right to devastate Earth and us people, through armed and legalized controls, legalized by the governments our Owners, The Rich, buy.
Truancy is young people’s recognition – sensed, barely argued – of this contradiction; the contradiction of the institutions whose impositions on us we accept as the way it’s supposed to be: “The Way It S’pozed To Be” James Herndon; get it through your library. See also T.E.T. .
Innumerable publications detail the problems of school. Jonathan Kozol is known for his work. Paolo Freire, another offering. What people don’t get about Freire is, his idea is specific to a highly deprived and persecuted society, denied enjoyment of their arts and cultures and ability to find rewarding experiences except exceptionally within their enslavement to their particular Owners.
The assistance touted as school reform results in retention of the underlaying structure, the same system, and ostensibly fixing it, revising maybe one or some elements of it, imposing it on the occupants – children and staff, and telling them and their community that now the system is improved; meaning, if you don’t do well in it it’s your fault.
People then chastise themselves for not succeeding in it, unable to insist what the community insists on being oblivious to, suspending the disbelief that nothing basic’s changed.
Like capitalism, school can’t be reformed, repaired … or as the t-shirt says: The system’s not broken; it’s fixed.
It’s the system that’s the overarching control against our best interests, against our tastes and comfort, against our communities’ needs, requirements, and tastes.
School does winnow out who goes where. You can tell. Not everyone can be a doctor – or at least, what USEd to be a doctor, before capitalism’s theft of that job. When it seems that MIght happen – get a good degree, become an established, well paid, highly regarded worker, the opportunity to do that is reduced. That kind of a job diminishes in number. There become not enough doctor positions, or engineer, or teacher or nurse, etc. jobs.
That goes along with the capitalist system. Keep wages low by various devices, including over-populating people trained in one or another field of labor – that the newspaper’s business section’s front page told you a year or two ago needed people trained as.
Ask why immigrant labor lives under such duplicitous orders.
Be persecuted at home by imperialist – previously European, now led by U.S. – policies. Emigrate in order to get work. Be undocumented. Be excess in numbers. Work at lower, unorganized wages.
As for doctoring, not enough people are allowed to train to be medical practitioners; the schooling costs are out of reach; people are forced to borrow to get the training; doctors, through their capture by Insurance, are now salaried at significantly reduced wages, reimbursement of those loans controlling doctors’ actions, keeping them from pro-bono work, and from organizing their own group to resist the monopoly-controlled system.
School is an elitist arrangement. Children are taken into an embrace told to them as protective, from which my daughter for one, stills suffers 40 years later, the shock of going from a private school where at least the child who attacked another was sat down and talked to, imposed on by their little, local system to not be allowed to keep being brutal. When it began to seem public school was the same as the private – after all, they both used spelling books, which I’ve long, as a teacher and parent, despised as the fastest tool to mind control, I took her out and put her in private school at 4th grade. It took decades before I could understand she’d been traumatized, brutalized by the cruelty, poor darling. I should’ve told to knock the crap out of those little brutes.
Oh, and if you wonder how children, people should learn to spell, they should read, and read, and read, and write; write their ideas because of what they read. Read it with other people. Other people read with each other – and write beCAUSE of what they read. Useful spelling will be used – and changed as necessary.
Reading takes a moment to learn. Writing takes two. Spelling is learned all my life.
Students are passed through the many life-filters – school, neighborhood, income – to create who fits into prison, into janitoring, into bank-clerking, into … as you can see all around us. Most of the jobs serve our Owners’ profiting. Our Owners, the people who run the militaries around the world for their conquests, are not connected to this constraint, school in this form. The ruling class, the electing class – they have a direct line for their progeny into the boardrooms.Boardroom crime is ignored. Street crime – (it’s caused by boardroom crime) – street crime is a – well, you know about street crime; it is a distraction from looking at the cause of world-wide anguish. It is a distraction from understanding our place in society, from seeing our value to our Owners, the cause of their profiteering, of their power. We’re deflected by local media and community gatherings to look at local crime, rather than at the cause. We accept that crime is – genetic?!, natural to some people …?!, to whole neighborhoods!?, to CIties!?
People forget that people are not born criminal.
And so much of destructive activity is not criminal, anyway, but made so to keep the prisons stocked, to keep our Owners’ slaves controlled.
…a direct line from school – to prison…
Life is not supposed to be this uncomfortable arrangement – bad working conditions making even good jobs undesirable – too much time at the job, not enough with loved ones, or for doing what one enjoys, or needs to get done besides that job. It’s not supposed to be about sitting in the classroom feeling and smelling the spring come in through the open window, or knowing the new-fallen snow needs to be enjoyed, and having to deal with the classroom content no matter how much student feels compelled to be out and about.
There is the possibility to devise study in the way that feels good to do and is eminently the right way to do it. I want to create that seat on the board for that discussion. I want us to be able to stop thinking people need to be remediated. The need to remediate comes from being forced to fit our Owners’ jobs – or not.
We are all teachers and students all our lives. I want us to look at the present structure, identify how it does what serves our Owners, and begin to work to live together substantially, to repudiate school’s role creating dulling life as study.
Education occurs through our living life, given half a chance. The classroom needs to be an ADJUNCT to living. Compulsory education – school – is the opposite – the opposite of education, the opposite of community, of doing what we need and like together. The root of the word is educe. This means who comes has content that we respect. We exchange and expand our content together. We live together; we work – yes, 2 year olds and 90 year olds want to be part of work; we question – and answer together. Those are our nature – if we’re allowed it.
In ‘Communitas’ Paul and Percival Goodman, devising city planning in 1947, explained that if the available labor force were allowed to work, a 4 hour work week!! would overproduce what we need and like.
I want us to work out how to be guided by that datum. It doesn’t mean you’d only get to ‘work’ 4 hours a week. It does mean we’d be doing things VERY differently. How is our challenge. How would we move toward ending the suppression and building the opposite – the comfort, the meaning for us all – no privilege; no stratification by work; no stratification by income; just enjoying ourselves in the effort to achieve this justice, and ultimately, in utilizing it.


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