education and social inequality

9 posts / 0 new
Last post
drake
Offline
Joined: 7-11-13
Feb 2 2018 20:32
education and social inequality

For those who are familiar with the old saying “knowledge is power,” it seems that it only applies to some. Unfortunately, the privileges of education are not equally shared or available for everyone, therefore, there is something fundamentally wrong with this system. The quest for knowledge and information is as ancient as man itself. Its roots can be traced back to the caveman era which included learning how to hunt, farm, and build all of which were passed down from person to person.
Education is fundamental to a prosperous, enlightened, successful society. However, I am opposed to the outrageous cost of higher education. If you are rich or able to afford the exorbitant fees, then you’re in the game. If only acquiring a good education were more affordable it would open doors to many people who have extraordinary potential. During the Roman Empire, education was only offered to the rich, the privileged elite. This also takes place in our society today. Primary education was mandated by the church in 1179 A.D. The first university was founded in Bologna, Italy, in 1088. But think of all the self-taught geniuses who emerged over the ages! Leonardo da Vinci, William Shakespeare, William Blake and Thomas Hardy, all gifted individuals.
The education system has a monopoly in place. People with admirable gifts and talents are excluded because government, educational boards want money, power and control. Education has become a humungous profit-driven business venture. The cost of tuition fees for students who need loans translate into personal debts which take years to pay off. If post-education were less costly it would open avenues to many under-privileged gifted individuals. One way to make this possible would be to apply taxes to the public, businesses, etc. for the purpose of making education available at a reasonable cost, better still at no cost. In Cuba, for instance, education is free, subsidized by the government. Higher education in Cuba and in other socially progressive countries is completed in less than 5 years compared to developed countries. Decades ago one could become a social-worker, even a councillor without a degree. This fully indicates that just because a person may have a degree, doesn’t necessarily prove that they’re adequate or competent to do the job. There is a saying from a late East Indian philosopher named Kurpal Singh which states: ‘’ Knowledge without wisdom is like useless weight off a donkey’s back.” Together as a whole we must promote and advocate alternative methods of learning so that people can be educated and learn based on their own circumstances. Then and only then can the fruits and wonders of education be utilized and fulfilled by all.

jef costello's picture
jef costello
Offline
Joined: 9-02-06
Feb 2 2018 22:17

IF you are arguing that the education system is not designed to actually educate people then no-one here is likely to disagree with you.

The problem with th current system is not that it is a monopoly (in control of all education) but that its goals are capitalist.

There is also a fundamental problem, capitalism requires innovation that capitalilists don't want to pay for, and the elite-dominated service model ultimately prevents capitalists from actually learning the skills required to protect their capital. So while capital will buy in talent where necessary, it alsoo is often obligated to fund 'risky' education in order to maintain its position in world capitalism.

Rommon's picture
Rommon
Offline
Joined: 23-03-17
Feb 5 2018 10:25

I really really hate this argument for a couple of reasons.

It's kind of like when People say "oh we shouldn't have universal Healthcare, People should just eat healthy and workout" ... as though these are different issues.

1. If EVERYONE got a PHD there would still be a Limited amount of top employment opportunities ... and all that would happen is some other justification would come for excluding the majority of People as is necessary in a Capitalist system.

2. Getting a good education is somtimes good individual advice ... but that is NOT a social policy and not an answer to a question regarding social policy, just like the question of whether or not Healthcare should be a market commodity as opposed to a Public service is not a question of whether or not People should live a healthy lifestyle.

3. It Depends what you mean by an education ... so I think everyone should read more ... would that help People make more Money in a Capitalist system? perhaps a bit, but in this case an education (Reading more) is more just living a more fulfilled life.

Getting an MBA will definately help you make more Money, but is that a "good" education? I would say no; I would much rather live in a society where getting an MBA is marginal and Reading Tolstoy is more valued.

I don't want an MBA educated society, in my book that's a crap society, but the way to change that is to change the system and incentive structures.

4. Education, is a Public good, and Access to it is a social/political issue not a personal issue.

5. Saying "education is the solution to poverty" is like saying "the solution to feudalism is if more peasants got swords and became Knights." it's nonsense.

zugzwang
Offline
Joined: 25-11-16
Feb 6 2018 05:45
Quote:
One way to make this possible would be to apply taxes to the public, businesses, etc. for the purpose of making education available at a reasonable cost, better still at no cost.

"Free education" is not really an adequate political goal if the purpose is still to learn skills, some completely useless and socially harmful like management and marketing (or useful skills/knowledge implemented in harmful ways), and find employment within capitalism to obtain what you need, or become an entrepreneur yourself and be forced to compete and profit or go out of business. I wouldn't attempt to say what education untainted by capitalism should look like (hopefully without all the silly rituals and ceremonies), but I would hope people would pursue learning because they wanted to and not because they have to survive.

ajjohnstone
Offline
Joined: 20-04-08
Feb 6 2018 08:28

An old SPGB pamphlet but still tells the basic truths about education

https://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/pamphlets/schools-today

pi
Offline
Joined: 9-04-17
Feb 6 2018 21:24
jef costello wrote:
the elite-dominated service model ultimately prevents capitalists from actually learning the skills required to protect their capital.

What does this mean?

jef costello's picture
jef costello
Offline
Joined: 9-02-06
Feb 6 2018 21:48
pi wrote:
jef costello wrote:
the elite-dominated service model ultimately prevents capitalists from actually learning the skills required to protect their capital.

What does this mean?

The elie pays a premium for the 'best' education, but does not want to risk not receiving what has been paid for, so the risk etc gets eliminated and the incentive to actually learn is reduced. So qualifications are treated as services provided, people demand value for money, ie getting the required qualification, but ultimately this pressure means that they are basically buying their qualifications and not actually picking up the skills that they are supposed to need to get them. So they can't actually manage their capital because they haven't actually learnt how.

shug's picture
shug
Offline
Joined: 12-11-06
Feb 7 2018 16:09

Diane Reay’s new book ‘Miseducation’ is an excellent analysis of how a capitalist education system is weighted against the working class.

Spikymike
Offline
Joined: 6-01-07
Feb 8 2018 11:16

Just on the costs and student debt related to the UK capitalist education system there is also this on the site:
https://libcom.org/blog/ten-years-financial-crash-what-price-education-29092017