"Being a teacher is like being a prison guard"

354 posts / 0 new
Last post
Boris Badenov
Offline
Joined: 25-08-08
Jul 9 2010 19:06

I've always wanted to be part of an institution tbh, preferably one that doesn't mandate a straightjacket. And now I've made it! Thanks libcom.

Yorkie Bar
Offline
Joined: 29-03-09
Jul 9 2010 19:12

Of course what f-d-g doesn't realise is that simply by posting on libcom HE HAS HIMSELF BEEN INDUSTRIALISED INTO THE SYSTEM AS PART OF THE INSTITUTION OF LIBCOP.ORG

fort-da-game wrote:
mind = blown

Hey, thanks for playing man.

fort-da game
Offline
Joined: 16-02-06
Jul 12 2010 14:51
Tojiah wrote:
fort-da game wrote:
You are no doubt right. But my preference is for engaging with ideas than with who says what. It is preferable for me to criticise 'libcom' rather than overly associate certain ideas with certain individuals and thereby reduce each. I prefer a critique of institutions to a slanging match.

In other words, you'd rather engage with a straw-man than what people actually believe in, or what arguments they actually present.

Thank you for your comment, it is not clear to me what you are trying to say... possibly that individuals are unique and beautiful and must be engaged with as such. I agree. But we are not individuals in this context, we are users of a facility, we are mouthpieces for ideas that are not reducible to our personal circumstances. We are prompted into our engagements by forces which are not entirely clear to us, therefore it seems more appropriate to engage at a higher level of abstraction than that which you seem to wish for.

I am happy to put forward my argument again, and as always contextualise it within a communist frame, with theoretical references and historical examples. I hope that you are able to support your next arguments in a similar manner.

You seem to disagree with my argument concerning the fluidity and inconstancy of individual opinion in relation to the more stable patterns that are produced at a higher level of recursion (patterns produced by what may in the widest sense be called social institutions).

Where individuals are capricious and divergent in their behaviour, generally they are not capicious and divergent enough not to positively register within the predicted scatter graphs fields of the institutions through which they pass. Even where they are, for themselves, in their own consciousness, just individuals who want to be engaged on their own terms, their ‘contributions’ are always socialised; that is, their behaviour is always patterned according to the specific systems in which they are operative. It is this pattern produced within the pre-organised context (as opposed to the pattern produced by some elective inter-subjective engagement) which is carried forward, or fed into, to re-pattern the next set of engagements between individuals (Gregory Bateson calls this ‘Learning II’). A brilliant analysis of an example of this phenomenon is to be found in Glaberman’s Marxist views of the working class

Quote:
When the ballots were counted, the membership of the UAW had voted two to one to reaffirm the no-strike pledge. It was rather reasonable to draw the conclusion that the consiousness of auto workers was that they placed patriotism before class interest; that in a major war workers should not strike; no matter what the provocation, war production had to continue. There was, however, a slight problem. Before the vote, during the vote, and after the vote, the majority of auto workers wildcatted. What then, was the consciousness of the auto workers? Were they for or against the no-strike pledge?

I think it is clear from this that the individuals involved were being patterned by two different institutions (class militancy and social partnership) and the framework of each institution was producing its own positive feedback and recalibrating accordingly as if the other register did not exist. In cybernetic theory this is described as a ‘double bind’, which is something like a subject attempting to ride two horses at the same time but where one of the horses is invisible to it – in this case class consciousness is the invisible horse within the patriotism paradigm whilst patriotism becomes invisible within the class struggle frame. Plainly, at the level of the individual worker, both horses are invisible; and if we were to look at individual opinions at the time, neither of these patterns would be discernible to us.

BigLittleJ wrote:
Of course what f-d-g doesn't realise is that simply by posting on libcom HE HAS HIMSELF BEEN INDUSTRIALISED INTO THE SYSTEM AS PART OF THE INSTITUTION OF LIBCOP.ORG
fort-da-game wrote:
mind = blown

Hey, thanks for playing man.

You are welcome, I am pleased to have enriched your life. My main interest in making my ideas public here is seeing how they engage with the pattern of ideas that are produced within the context of Libcom and how and why these ideas take a particular route instead of another. This approach seems more productive of further findings as opposed to overly associating ideas with individuals (of whom I have no other knowledge than their statements here) – I take it though that you prefer this individual by individual approach? As you suggest, there is more than one pattern produced within Libcom... no institution may be reduced to a single operating code (although it is also the case that the greater the distance from which an object is observed the more unified it appears).

Rob Ray's picture
Rob Ray
Offline
Joined: 6-11-03
Jul 12 2010 15:25

You talk as though the idea of talking to people as individuals with their own opinions rather than as homogenous masses delineated by your imagination is some kind of theoretical alien that's just landed on your nose, rather than the reality by which any open forum works.

Of course there are tendencies of ideas, but we're not talking about something like the ICC here which has a cohesive political platform*, and tbh treating it as such seems like a blind alley which will undermine your arguments and irritate people rather than providing a method of streamlining discussion, certainly if this thread is anything to go by.

* And even within specific platforms there's always shades of thought

Armed Sheep
Offline
Joined: 21-03-09
Jul 14 2010 15:50

Not prison guards but inmates graduated to ad-men:

Quote:
Beyond what is properly secret, spectacular discourse obviously silences anything it finds inconvenient. It isolates what it shows from its context, its past, the intentions and the consequences. It is thus completely illogical. Since no one can contradict it, the spectacle has the right to contradict itself, to correct its own past. The arrogant attitude of its servants, when they have to make known some new, and perhaps still more dishonest version of certain facts, is to harshly correct the ignorance and bad interpretations they attribute to their public, while the day before they themselves were busily disseminating the error, with their customary assurance. Thus the spectacle's instruction and the spectators' ignorance are wrongly seen as antagonistic factors when in fact they give birth to each other.

With the destruction of history, contemporary events themselves retreat into a fabulous distance, among its unverifiable stories, uncheckable statistics, unlikely explanations and untenable reasoning. For every imbecile who has advanced spectacularly, there are only the mediatics [ad-men] who can respond with a few respectful rectifications or remonstrations, and they are miserly, for besides their extreme ignorance, their personal and professional solidarity with the spectacle's general authority and the society it expresses, makes it their duty, and their pleasure, never to diverge from that authority whose majesty must not be damaged. It must not be forgotten that all mediatics, through wages and other rewards and recompenses, has a master, and sometimes several; and that every one of them knows he is dispensable.

All experts are mediatics – Statists – and only in that way are they recognized as experts. Every expert follows his master, because all former possibilities for independence have almost been reduced to nil by present society's conditions of organization. The most useful expert, of course, is the one who lies. Those who need experts are, for different reasons, falsifiers and ignoramuses. Whenever individuals lose the capacity to see things for themselves, the expert is there to offer a formal reassurance.

It is permitted to change a person's whole past, radically modify it, recreate it in the manner of the Moscow trials – and without even having recourse to the clumsiness of a trial. One can kill at less cost. Those who govern the integrated spectacular, or their friends, surely have no lack of false witnesses – though they may be unskilled – but what capacity to detect this clumsiness can remain among the spectators who will be witnesses to the exploits of the false witnesses or false documents, which are always highly effective? Thus it is no longer possible to believe anything about anyone that you have not learned for yourself, directly. But in fact false accusations are rarely necessary. Once one controls the mechanism that operates the only form of social verification to be fully and universally recognized, one can say what one likes. The movement of the spectacular demonstration proves itself simply by going round in circles: by coming back to the start, by repetition, by constant reaffirmation on the unique terrain where anything can be publicly affirmed, and be made believed, precisely because that is the only thing to which everyone is witness. Spectacular authority can similarly deny whatever it likes, once, or three times over, and say that it will no longer speak of it and speak of something else instead, knowing full well there is no danger of any other riposte, on its own terrain or any other.

When the spectacle stops talking about something for three days, it is as if it did not exist. For it has then gone on to talk about something else, and it is that which henceforth, in short, exists. The practical consequences, as we see, are enormous.

The individual who has been marked by impoverished spectacular thought more deeply than by any other aspect of his experience puts himself at the service of the established order right from the start, even though subjectively he may have had quite the opposite intention. He will essentially follow the language of the spectacle, for it is the only one he is familiar with; the one in which he learned to speak. No doubt he would like to show himself as an enemy of its rhetoric; but he will use its syntax. This is one of the most important aspects of the success obtained by spectacular domination. – Guy Debord

Valeriano Orobó...
Offline
Joined: 12-05-10
Jul 14 2010 16:26

Yeah i too love that excerpt from the Comments, nevertheless not all of us have like old Guy a cinema producer to support us or are masters in scamming like he was, which of course doesn't diminish the value of his work in the slightest.

Garco
Offline
Joined: 27-02-10
Jul 17 2010 04:52

The words from Guy Debord remind me of another passage which I have read just recently, from Henry Thoreau (in 1854).

When you read this quote think of all workers; all modern day people; and especially those who have defended the Education System on this thread; as well as all those who defend science or any other specialism of the economy.

“Most of the stone a nation hammers goes towards its tomb only. It buries itself alive. As for the Pyramids, there is nothing to wonder at in them so much as the fact that so many men could be found degraded enough to spend their lives constructing a tomb for some ambitious booby, whom it would have been wiser and manlier to have drowned in the Nile, and then given his body to the dogs. I might possibly invent some excuse for them and him, but I have no time for it.”
(Henry Thoreau, 1854)

Valeriano Orobó...
Offline
Joined: 12-05-10
Jul 17 2010 09:32

Sure, iliteracism and cable tv will set us free

Garco
Offline
Joined: 27-02-10
Jul 18 2010 01:10

Your comment above (post 250) implies a lot of things.

Are you saying:

People are more intelligent than they used to be (say 50 or 100, or 200 or more years ago)?

People were 'stupid' prior to the advent of fully fledged capitalism (or the 'Enlightenment', or the 'Renaissance', or the Rational age, or whatever)?

People were 'primitive' before capitalism and it's institutional wonders?

Do you think that mediaeval folk were stupid compared to folk now?
(What is more important? Knowing how to build your own house, grow and find your own food, or knowing the name of the Current President of the USA, or how to spell the word, 'illiterate'?)

Let's go further back (or only just over a hundred years ago where I currently live) and ask: do you think that people who lived in pre-civilisation societies were stupid compared to modern day people? (see my article in the Library here: The Last Train has left the Station.)

Are you saying that illiterate people are stupid?

Are you saying that people who waste their lives watching cable TV as opposed to people who waste their lives consciously enhancing and strengthening the institutions of capitalism are stupid?

Do you think that the 'progress' that has led to today is a good thing?

Wow, your little comment really does imply a lot of things - everything, in fact, that we are supposed to believe in...

Progress is necessary.
Education is fundamental.
Progress is necessary.
Education is fundamental.

Where do such mindsets lead us?

cobbler
Offline
Joined: 22-12-09
Jul 18 2010 13:57
Garco wrote:
The words from Guy Debord remind me of another passage which I have read just recently, from Henry Thoreau (in 1854).

When you read this quote think of all workers; all modern day people; and especially those who have defended the Education System on this thread; as well as all those who defend science or any other specialism of the economy.

“Most of the stone a nation hammers goes towards its tomb only. It buries itself alive. As for the Pyramids, there is nothing to wonder at in them so much as the fact that so many men could be found degraded enough to spend their lives constructing a tomb for some ambitious booby, whom it would have been wiser and manlier to have drowned in the Nile, and then given his body to the dogs. I might possibly invent some excuse for them and him, but I have no time for it.”
(Henry Thoreau, 1854)

Do you take this to mean that they did this work voluntarily, without coercion? Perhaps they did, but I somehow doubt it.

I think I've asked this before to no avail, but can you indicate where in this thread the current educational system has actually been defended? I've read it all and I recall no such defence.

cobbler
Offline
Joined: 22-12-09
Jul 18 2010 14:02
Garco wrote:
Your comment above (post 250) implies a lot of things.

As does this one of yours, and your previous post.

For my own clarity of mind, would you count your self as a primitivist, desiring a return to a pre industrial age with no 'science'?

Would you prefer there to have been no scientific advances? No antibiotics, no anaesthetic, no people educated and skilled to use them? No tools and machines to make lives more comfortable?

Armed Sheep
Offline
Joined: 21-03-09
Jul 18 2010 16:48
Quote:
For my own clarity of mind, would you count your self as a primitivist, desiring a return to a pre industrial age with no 'science'?

Would you prefer there to have been no scientific advances? No antibiotics, no anaesthetic, no people educated and skilled to use them? No tools and machines to make lives more comfortable?

This is just a great example of the regimented product from the ethnocentric educational factory. From where else (educational T.V.?) would propagate this medieval myth that prior to the Euro-american Industrial "revolution" there was no literacy, medicine, science or technological (or any other) invention or innovation? These 'predate' even feudal society as well as "classic" civilisation! The whole idea is preposterous and demonstrates a diminishing (or refusal of) independent investigative skill as well as reflective thought. I won't even discuss the level of literate comprehension required to misinterpret Garco's quote as endorsing a lack of coercion involved in building the "Great" pyramids of Egypt's "New Kingdom". If this is the product of education, I'd think primitivism would be a giant leap forward!

Progress, my ass. Judged only by their consistent effect, teachers not only emulate (consciously or not) prison guards (do as you're told, get with the program) or shop-floor supervisors (assessed productivity levels must be achieved prior to advancement), but low-level priests (and nuns) in the state ideological apparatus charged with reproducing the religio-mythology of progressive civilisation itself, with all its moralistic assessments and emotional attachments (all else is nasty, brutish and short)!

Valeriano Orobó...
Offline
Joined: 12-05-10
Jul 19 2010 16:37

That's for Garco:

Before answering I, myself, want to ask you some questions too:
Do you think that people should learn something that come out of books?
If yes, do you think that people should learn “learning skills”, contents or both?

"Illiteracism" goes with double "l", well spotted. If you had taken notice of my previous posts you’d had noticed that english is not my mother tongue so it's easy that now and again some mistakes would slip into.
No, i'm not implying that people 4000 years ago were more stupid. Neither I imply that an illietare person is stupid. On the contrary in my life I’ve found dozens of literate morons.

But given that, taking the whole world as a sample, up until no more than 100 years ago most population in the planet were peasants, it's quite obvious that they lived lives that enabled them to reach a practical knowledge good enough to maintain them and their families. A kind of social formation (the peasants world from the middle and the modern ages) that, at least in the western world IS GONE, HAS DISPPEARED. There is no direct contact to agriculture and a social life informed by agriculture anymore. The contact with land as a factor of production and the means to be able to extract food from it has wether disappeared or is more mediated than ever and means nothing to any citizen in the western world. On the contrary life for a functionally illiterate person has become hard as fuck in our current world, let alone for a purely illiterate.

The current situation has nothing to do with the past you are talking about and the opposition between book culture and popular culture was entirely different in the past to what you apparently presume: it was common in the low middle ages that the illiterate in a village got to listen to one of them that knew how to read to inform them about things they couldn't know only out of oral transmission. This literate person was not necessarily an "enemy" in class terms, someone who wanted to control them (Carlo Ginzburg's The cheese and the worms gives a good account of one of those events)

Well now there is no autonomous popular culture as there was in the past but one that is fully mediated if not directly produced by tv and videogames at least in the western world that is what i more or less know. And the control on this kind of culture has gone much, much further than before 1945, roughly speaking. Besides, contrary to a biased foucaltian interpretation writing does not only serve power but the dissolution of this power as well. Just the same tool, as the catholic church saw quite precisely when lutherans used a translated bible and needed no priests to interpret it, as the lutherans too discovered horrified when they had to fight the peasant war in germany, as the anglican church found out to her dismay during the english revolution when she had to fight all the nonconformist dissenting groups.

No, I don’t believe in progress. I don’t need to believe in the necessity of education. It’s the state itself who don’t believe in its necessity. That’s the reason it degrades the curricula more and more, cuts funding incessantly and privatises or close as much schools as they can. See? They are the actual vanguard of your thesis.

I don’t believe in these things cos I’m an atheist. I know for a fact that being able to read and understand a text is useful, that to know how to write something without looking in the dictionary constantly lacking of words is useful, i know that being able to read a map is practical, I know that being able to read and understand the tiny words in a contract before you sign it It’s ACE.

Probably you think these kind of things are not taught in school anymore. Well I use in class even a history from below approach and I’ve tried to show that one man’s progress is another man’s burden. Of course if you do these kind of things you should expect some problems coming from the management. Up until now I managed. We’ll see. Maybe you should look at yourself if you can’t do anything useful in the position you are. Perhaps I am a cretin thinking that I do something of value but then you are something worse: you are a cynic if you keep on teaching while thinking what you do is crap.

But in reality what I find deeply lacking in your approach it’s not to consider what will happen when your desire finally becomes factual (as it surely will more than likely in two generations or so ), when most of state schools disappear and will be replaced with programs on-line: will we finally see the bright dawn of revolution once the people are liberated of the disastrous influence of teachers and books?

To think that a teacher who actually takes the effort to teach as good as he can it’s enhancing the capitalist institutions is the same as saying that a good physician, a good bricklayer or a good electrician are objective supporters of capitalism, let alone the willing spectator of cable tv: this one reinforces passivity too. We can take it further: don’t buy a computer, a pair of shoes, a coat, daily food…every time you do it you are necessarily reinforcing capitalism; just open your classroom door to the kids to go free, steal and starve cos it’s the only proper anti-capitalist stand.

Instead of the usual ultra-libertarian rousseanian broad generalizations and antihistorical clichés (with a quite surprising and strange smell of French structuralist stalinist althusserian we-can’t-do-nothing-everyone-is-coopted shite attached to it), maybe we should focus on a more pressing issue: if schools are shite and will be suppressed wht’s gonna take their place?

I expect i stated my position clearly and don't have to engage anymore in a thread that was imo clearly ill-intentioned from the beginning.

cobbler
Offline
Joined: 22-12-09
Jul 19 2010 20:07
Armed Sheep wrote:
This is just a great example of the regimented product from the ethnocentric educational factory. From where else (educational T.V.?) would propagate this medieval myth that prior to the Euro-american Industrial "revolution" there was no literacy, medicine, science or technological (or any other) invention or innovation? These 'predate' even feudal society as well as "classic" civilisation! The whole idea is preposterous and demonstrates a diminishing (or refusal of) independent investigative skill as well as reflective thought. I won't even discuss the level of literate comprehension required to misinterpret Garco's quote as endorsing a lack of coercion involved in building the "Great" pyramids of Egypt's "New Kingdom". If this is the product of education, I'd think primitivism would be a giant leap forward!

Thank you for your polite reference to my literacy skills. With regards the pyramids, you may not that I phrased a question: I expected some clarification. Were they degraded enough to think they were building something worthwhile, or were they degraded sufficiently to be subject to coercion regardless of the worth of what they were doing? Or is there an element of both? Since Garco was clearly trying to make a point the answer to this is relevant as far as I am concerned.

With regards science and medicine, yes I agree that have been around for far longer than the industrial age. I was curious why Garco was attacking science in his post, or those who defend it: since we've clearly benefited from it for a long time.

Therefore, since education and science have been around in some manner since ancient history, what is it he is really meaning to oppose?

Quote:
Progress, my ass. Judged only by their consistent effect, teachers not only emulate (consciously or not) prison guards (do as you're told, get with the program) or shop-floor supervisors (assessed productivity levels must be achieved prior to advancement), but low-level priests (and nuns) in the state ideological apparatus charged with reproducing the religio-mythology of progressive civilisation itself, with all its moralistic assessments and emotional attachments (all else is nasty, brutish and short)!

And yet, surely you must also admit that in times and places, those who have chosen to pass on knowledge and skills in whatever format have been beneficial?

This is what I'm asking in this respect: what is it that is being opposed?

No need to become so uppity.

Garco
Offline
Joined: 27-02-10
Jul 20 2010 13:29

Just a short response to the above posts. Firstly, I think that Armed Sheep has replied very well to Cobbler.

Secondly, to V.A. : when I wrote the word "illiterate" - I just wrote it because you had written it, I didn't notice you had spelled it incorrectly, and I would not bring such a thing up unless we were talking about spelling - I used that word for the meaning of it, not to point out that you had spelled it wrongly, which I am not concerned about. Spelling is far less important than comprehension!

In response to your questions: I love the idea and practice of learning. I think that students minds, in terms of school should be treated as fires to be lit rather than vessels to be filled - but this does not deviate beyond manistream 'lefty' educational ideology. I think that students can only learn if they are confident in the learning situation, but this is not radical either. I think many teachers traumatise students. I think the capitalist Education system is set up not for the benefit of humans. I don't think it has ever been to the benefit of humans. I think some teachers are very nice people who do a good thing for their students in the difficult circumstances. Read my first post. I do not think that much learning goes on in school - apart from learning how to survive as an alienated being. As Mark Twain said, "I never let school get in the way of my education."

I think you are right that you have stated where you stand and that is enough, it should be clear to everyone. One thing you said, though, which really got my interest:

"We can take it further: don’t buy a computer, a pair of shoes, a coat, daily food…every time you do it you are necessarily reinforcing capitalism; just open your classroom door to the kids to go free, steal and starve cos it’s the only proper anti-capitalist stand."

Maybe you are right with this. If you disagree with your suggestion then why do you disagree with it?

Valeriano Orobó...
Offline
Joined: 12-05-10
Jul 20 2010 17:33
Garco wrote:
One thing you said, though, which really got my interest:

"We can take it further: don’t buy a computer, a pair of shoes, a coat, daily food…every time you do it you are necessarily reinforcing capitalism; just open your classroom door to the kids to go free, steal and starve cos it’s the only proper anti-capitalist stand."

Maybe you are right with this. If you disagree with your suggestion then why do you disagree with it?

Because you can't expect people to live like this except in the short revolutionary raptures that emerge now and again. I should have written "most of the people" because certainly there has been persons that decided to live like that, even organised groups like Os Cangaçeiros. But to do this you need skills that i lack. Besides i don't have a petty criminal bent and that's another problem: when you decide this in my opinion you end up taking crime as a job. As long as i don't need to do it i prefer not to prove myself if i measure up to the task.

If you truly think that only taking this position that i find life-stylish, you are doing true revolutionary politics, then i understand perfectly that you consider us (me and you) perform a cop function. I disagree. I don't think the only true anticapitalist answer is to live in a squat, make a life out of shop lifting and starve. Os Cangaçeiros were a true anticapitalist force and one that did not shop lifted for a living certainly, but not all people involved in illegalism are, not in the slightest.

A very different thing is when your position and the circumstances push you to enter now and again in illegalism. But that's not purposely accepting a life out of crime, is it?

You suggested in this thread that the only job worth taking and not cooperative with the state of things was a job you don't have anyone below you to supervise. I find this absurd: you don't have jobs there to be chosen by you, do you? I don't, i've worked in a lot of different jobs that were the ones at hand, and only recently started with the one i have. You find a thing and you take it as long as it fits you and/or you find another one. It's not actually that dramatic because i think that we are no cops, for you it might be.

Yours seems to me a moral individualistic approach and taking the IS or Os Cangaçeiros or any illegalistic position as a map, it's a very harmful approach cos it's very demanding and you are always lacking. I know the score and don't want that for me anymore. Prefer a diesel approach, slow, low profile but constant and with the occasional bursts of fury.

And that's a proper derailng of the thread.

cantdocartwheels's picture
cantdocartwheels
Offline
Joined: 15-03-04
Jul 20 2010 18:06
Garco wrote:

Do you think that mediaeval folk were stupid compared to folk now?
(What is more important? Knowing how to build your own house, grow and find your own food, or knowing the name of the Current President of the USA, or how to spell the word, 'illiterate'?)

Don't worry sunshine the last government or two here in the UK agree with your pathetic reductionist ideas about what constitutes learning, it thinks we're all getting far too much education and will be steamlining it all, making sure large chunks of the population only have access to a more menial curriculum and cutting and closing down large amounts of non-vocational departments in further education. This way even more kids can leave school undereducated thus ideologically justifying the low wages that capitalism needs to dole out to a lot of us to keep itself going.
Also its cutting ESOL so all those bangledeshi women in tower hamlets can enjoy the full freedoms of illiteracy in their own homes. Afterall you're right whats more important for them, cooking their husbands dinner or being able to spell the word illiterate?

Oh and seriously ''grow your own food''??, why on earth would i need to do that you miserable primmo, we have farms in an industrial society, i'm not growing my food in my back garden. Frankly i like a bit of greenery, some shrubs and few flowers there like, not rows and rows of spuds.

Boris Badenov
Offline
Joined: 25-08-08
Jul 20 2010 19:22
Quote:
Do you think that mediaeval folk were stupid compared to folk now?

So Garco is really a Ruskinite? How quaint.

cobbler
Offline
Joined: 22-12-09
Jul 20 2010 19:49
Garco wrote:
Just a short response to the above posts. Firstly, I think that Armed Sheep has replied very well to Cobbler.

But nothing to answer my question, which as far as I can recall has been the form in this entire thread.

I'm sorry the question I ask don't seem to give you the platform you desire and so remain unanswered, but without clarification of ideas and responses there's not really much point reading on.

It seems to me that the agenda here isn't to really discuss anything honestly and openly at all.

Shame.

Armed Sheep
Offline
Joined: 21-03-09
Jul 20 2010 21:33
cobbler wrote:
Garco wrote:
Just a short response to the above posts. Firstly, I think that Armed Sheep has replied very well to Cobbler.

But nothing to answer my question, which as far as I can recall has been the form in this entire thread.

I'm sorry the question I ask don't seem to give you the platform you desire and so remain unanswered, but without clarification of ideas and responses there's not really much point reading on.

It seems to me that the agenda here isn't to really discuss anything honestly and openly at all.

Shame.

Sorry I appeared uppity to you. I thought you were being a bit of a dick with leading questions meant to entrap. But it wasn't your literacy skills specifically I was questioning as much as the general "skill" level you and I both represent, coming out of the education system which seems to teach communication as a martial art.

As to the Egyptian workers, I'm sure they were little different from ourselves where it comes to justifying not revolting. There may have been more religious reasoning than legal, however both are moralistic. Obedience is always a conservative stand and perhaps one of our most rationalised behaviours.

Finally, the topic of the thread has been the education system as we know it. No one suggested that "teaching" or "learning" themselves are the problem. Quite the contrary!

Valeriano Orobó, I find the whole idea of revolution-by-the-law fascinating. By all means, don't break any laws! As far as I know, crime does pay, it is the blokes who work for a living who are, as you say, "lacking".

Can'tdocartwheels, you should run for parliament. Get out the vote for a true Platonic republic where everyone knows their place, especially those miserable primo types and farm-workers. Have you read Plato's version of utopia? Right up your alley, I'd think.

cobbler
Offline
Joined: 22-12-09
Jul 20 2010 23:41
Armed Sheep wrote:
Sorry I appeared uppity to you. I thought you were being a bit of a dick with leading questions meant to entrap. But it wasn't your literacy skills specifically I was questioning as much as the general "skill" level you and I both represent, coming out of the education system which seems to teach communication as a martial art.

Not to mention Newsgroups in Usenet and internet bulletin boards: I've spent enough time on contentious boards where winning points and sniping is more important than finding clarity in any discussion. (Not that I can't still be disingenuous at times)

Quote:
As to the Egyptian workers, I'm sure they were little different from ourselves where it comes to justifying not revolting. There may have been more religious reasoning than legal, however both are moralistic. Obedience is always a conservative stand and perhaps one of our most rationalised behaviours.

Finally, the topic of the thread has been the education system as we know it. No one suggested that "teaching" or "learning" themselves are the problem. Quite the contrary!

That's what I was trying to get at regarding the Egyptians: Yes, we are repressed to the point that we allow ourselves to be enslaved to the state, to the capitalist, to the status quo. Even to mindlessly teach in schools conformity and obedience thinking that in this we do good.

I've struggled to come to grips entirely with the point being made, which is why I've tried to question it at times. It has appeared at times that the argument has at times been with teachers 'per se' rather than with the current system: as I've said, I don't think I've really seen anyone defend the current system, although there are probably various views of how learning might possibly operate in our glorious free society. I'm not sure, in the end, what was being argued for.

One question which seemed to get lost in the mix regarded whether it was appropriate for teachers (or educators?) to be members of workers' unions. I thought that interesting for pursuing, but it got lost in there somewhere.

Time for me to log off. More later.

Valeriano Orobó...
Offline
Joined: 12-05-10
Jul 21 2010 04:03
Armed Sheep wrote:
Valeriano Orobó, I find the whole idea of revolution-by-the-law fascinating. By all means, don't break any laws! As far as I know, crime does pay, it is the blokes who work for a living who are, as you say, "lacking".

Ha Ha Ha Ha ha Ha Ha

Now tell us matey, how do you do to earn your living?

Armed Sheep
Offline
Joined: 21-03-09
Jul 21 2010 06:03
Quote:
Now tell us matey, how do you do to earn your living?

Earn? Well, I don't know about that. But there is something to be said for draining wealthy art patrons and sharing the proceeds with fellow scammers. Just kidding. I recall someone said this about Debord, not, of course, to discredit his works. In lieu of symbiosis, parasitism may be the next best thing. It uses the same muscles.

To rephrase your question, how do I live? Except for a brief stint as a public school counselor in the mid '90's, I've been a sheepherder, migrant, farmworker and off-and-on goat herding squatter for the last thirty five years. When I was young and even more naive, I thought I was supporting a job search after I completed my education.

Scamming money is only for luxuries like beer and smokes, so it really doesn't take much. That should be enough to discredit anyone. Back in the day, I asked an old communist this same question, to which he answered: "By profession I'm a sign painter, but out here on the range, that's living".

On that other note, how could anyone dis teachers for unionising? If it gets an extra loaf of bread or milk for the kids? As with any scam, it's very relevant to the immediate situation (as long as one is committed to employment or 'legitimate' enterprise), but shouldn't be confused with social revolution in any broader sense.

fort-da game
Offline
Joined: 16-02-06
Jul 21 2010 12:16
cobbler wrote:
I'm sorry the question I ask don't seem to give you the platform you desire and so remain unanswered, but without clarification of ideas and responses there's not really much point reading on.

It seems to me that the agenda here isn't to really discuss anything honestly and openly at all.

Shame.

Not really. 'We' are no more dishonest than you are. The real problem here is not with honesty but rather with a different register of argument. You do not want to appear on the terms that 'we' have set anymore than 'we' want to appear within the terms that you have set... in either case, the political costs are too high. 'We' simply refuse to see things 'your' way, and therefore every (what we take to be) loaded question you ask, you will get the same response. 'We' don't expect to convince you, on the contrary. But 'we' won't let this go because we would like those anarchists and communists who retain a critique of state capitalist institutions to find a positive reference point in this context.

To recap, the main points are these:

i. School teachers are social managers not proletarians.
ii. The education system was developed at an early stage of the capitalist social relation as part of a wider disciplinary apparatus organised by the state (which began its modern form at the same time via its institutions) and which also included the prison system (which also did not exist before this juncture). In other words, it has no history independent of capitalism.
iii. The purpose of the integrated disciplinary/reproductive system is to reproduce the proletariat as compliant with capitalist production.
iv. The damage done by school to individuals' capacity to critically engage with their conditions far outweighs the meaningless quantity of literacy (which without an integrated critical component simply offers a further faculty through which they may be exploited and mystified).
v. There are no means by which (as Bourdieu demonstrated) a state-capitalist educational institution may educate students to critically evaluate that institution... it may only inculcate conformity to its practices (hence the marginality of any compensatory attempts made by individual teachers).
vi. For a communist society to escape the tendency to continued reproduction of the capitalist social relation after the revolution state institutions must be dismantled. By extension, school must be abolished along with the capitalist role of teacher.

cantdocartwheels's picture
cantdocartwheels
Offline
Joined: 15-03-04
Jul 21 2010 15:31
fort-da game wrote:

To recap, the main points are these:

i. School teachers are social managers not proletarians.
ii. The education system was developed at an early stage of the capitalist social relation as part of a wider disciplinary apparatus organised by the state (which began its modern form at the same time via its institutions) and which also included the prison system (which also did not exist before this juncture). In other words, it has no history independent of capitalism.
iii. The purpose of the integrated disciplinary/reproductive system is to reproduce the proletariat as compliant with capitalist production.
iv. The damage done by school to individuals' capacity to critically engage with their conditions far outweighs the meaningless quantity of literacy (which without an integrated critical component simply offers a further faculty through which they may be exploited and mystified).
v. There are no means by which (as Bourdieu demonstrated) a state-capitalist educational institution may educate students to critically evaluate that institution... it may only inculcate conformity to its practices (hence the marginality of any compensatory attempts made by individual teachers).
vi. For a communist society to escape the tendency to continued reproduction of the capitalist social relation after the revolution state institutions must be dismantled. By extension, school must be abolished along with the capitalist role of teacher.

1. A piss poor sociological understanding of class. The workers uprising in oaxaca last year for example was lead broadly speaking by teachers workplace organisations, no doubt they should have realised their socal role and stayed at home because of the inane notions of some anti-organisationalist internet scribbler.
2. This arguement is frankly just beyond moronic, lots of things have no history before capitalism. Like railways, combustion engines and automated production lines.
3. Yes the entirety of capitalist society ends up functioning to reproduce itself, as any society would. Likewise healthcare as it stands 1) reproduces labour obviously and 2) is often based around cure rather than prevention, because the cause is often overwork or porr diet and so on, so should we tear down hospitals? Or change them?
4.A ridiculous generalisation, easily shown to be false by the social conditions prevalent in countries with poorer standards of education. A clear example being say sex education in souh africa, the education of women in islamist states or the fact that capitalism regularly hyper-exploits migrant labourers who can;t speak the local language and are thus isolated..
5.A banal generalisation that workers are too stupid to criticise the institutions they work in.demonstrating how rapidly anti-organisationlism degenerates into vacuous indiviidualist notions about everyone in any form of organistion being some sort of ''sheep'' or some similar shite.
6. An idiotic piece of rhetoric that means nothing when confronted with the reality of an industrial scale society. If we are in a communist society performing some form of necessary labour for 25 odd hours a week (on average, no doubt some occupations would have week on week off type set ups instead), we do not want or have the ability to spend the rest of our time teaching our children even if we had the knowledge of all subjects to do so.
Thus our children would need to be educated elsewhere, by trained and security checked individuals, with say a number of children being taught by one teacher in a room, which we'll call a classroom.
How else exactly do you imagine children are going to learn science or maths? How would a dockers son become a doctor or vice versa? Ignoring the sub foucaultian babble you usually spout please explain in simple practical langauge how you personaly would envisage a million or two children in the UK being brought to a level of understanding and knowedge where everyone could have a chance of doing further training for any job they wnated after they reach 18/19 or so.
Seriously explain how you think education should be conducted in a communist society. Cos maybe i'm wrong but all i can se from your assertions is some hippy bullshit about kids learning everything themselves and homeschooling.

Boris Badenov
Offline
Joined: 25-08-08
Jul 21 2010 15:37
FDG wrote:
The damage done by school to individuals' capacity to critically engage with their conditions far outweighs the meaningless quantity of literacy (which without an integrated critical component simply offers a further faculty through which they may be exploited and mystified).

So it'd be better if workers didn't learn to read? Wow.

fort-da game
Offline
Joined: 16-02-06
Jul 21 2010 16:28

Wow indeed.

P.S. The soldiers who marched into certain death on the Somme could read, their education and their health functioned for the state not for themselves, don't you agree? Or are you continuing your blunders from yesterday?

Boris Badenov
Offline
Joined: 25-08-08
Jul 21 2010 16:30
fort-da game wrote:
Wow indeed.

P.S. The soldiers who marched into certain death on the Somme could read, their education and their health functioned for the state not for themselves, don't you agree?

The (vast majority of the) soldiers who marched into certain death for Napoleon couldn't read; their lack of education functioned for the state and not for themselves; don't you agree?

Quote:
Or are you continuing your blunders from yesterday?

What are you talking about?

motownhometown
Offline
Joined: 17-07-10
Jul 21 2010 16:30

Fort-da game,

In which text by Bourdieu does he write about that? I'd be interested in reading it.

fort-da game wrote:

v. There are no means by which (as Bourdieu demonstrated) a state-capitalist educational institution may educate students to critically evaluate that institution... it may only inculcate conformity to its practices (hence the marginality of any compensatory attempts made by individual teachers).

fort-da game
Offline
Joined: 16-02-06
Jul 21 2010 16:56
mateofthebloke wrote:
The (vast majority of the) soldiers who marched into certain death for Napoleon couldn't read; their lack of education functioned for the sate and not for themselves; don't you agree?

I agree. These were peasants undergoing the process of proletarianisation through war at the beginning of the modern state.... the outcome of these wars and the state of the soldiers would have a huge impact on the re-disciplining of the workforce. However, the workers of the 1st WW had made 'material gains' (i.e. education, political and health reforms) as the working class but despite this 'power' they were unable to meaningfully process their resistance to capital even when their very lives depended on it. Even 'objective' gains are not objective.