Sunday, February 24, 2013

Are Schools Prisons?

Though potentially alarmist, this documentary points to a process that really started with the advent of the american education system as a part of the rise of industry. Our modern school system, though it has been vastly successful compared to many earlier systems as bad as it is, is indeed based on the whistle-blowing, mechanized and behaviorist perspective of humanity that was popular in the 1920s-50s.

Instead of changing with the times in terms of making kids into machines, and to produce "good workers," we might consider trying to help create human beings. Because of all the school shootings, in many ways now we are facing a PKD style "thought police," No Tolerance rule toward what someone might do. How does this lack of trust effect the people within the system?

I certainly wouldn't have made it through this system. Not at all. I barely slipped through in the 90s, until I became an undergrad at Bard and I found an environment that was better suited to my disposition overall (despite issues there as well.)

I imagine that there are more "freaks" like me. They are the ones with capacity for both a type of personal greatness and atrocity. Are those the people you really want to alienate? Bullying is a serious problem in schools.

It was when I was in 'the system,' and it certainly is today. But there are more than one approach. And school shootings as I mentioned have also terrified this nation, but our reaction to that fear has been as wrong-minded as the fear reaction that resulted from 9-11. We got so angry and afraid as a nation that we attacked a country that had nothing to do with the attack. We are producing terrorists in the middle east just as we are creating criminals and possibly even terrorists at home. As Aaron Sorkin pointed out in the West Wing episode "the War at Home," this also has resonance with the war on drugs. "The war is at home. It's in our classrooms."

Are our children the enemy? 

It comes down to a matter of trust. We have to take a hard look at what we are becoming as individuals and as a nation, keeping in mind that it is the fascist within that produces the fascist without.

The drive behind fanaticism, and fascism — which is an affliction not unlike fanaticism — is psychological, not material. William Reich explored this in The Mass Psychology of Fascism.
Consider this, taken from a chapter appropriately named Ideology as a Material Force,
"Those who followed ... the revolutionary Left's application of Marxism between 1917 and 1933 had to notice that it was restricted to the sphere of objective economic processes and government policies, but that it neither kept a close eye on nor comprehended the development and contradictions of the so-called 'subjective factor' of history, i.e., the ideology of the masses. [26]
The extremists driving ideological conflicts are borrowing from mere echoes of myths originating thousands of years ago, catalyzing the existential fear, hate, or desire latent in a culture, and more pointedly, within the individuals that comprise that culture. Again borrowing from Reich's study on fascism, or Deleuze and Guittari's examination in Anti-Oedipus, the principles of personal psychology also control mass-psychology. [27] The fascist of the state is the fascist within. This alchemy produces poisonous splinter factions, fundamentalist groups that cause many of the pathological habits our cultures otherwise exhibit, in concentrated form. The atrocities perpetrated by the State far exceed those any one individual could account for, but the will to those ends must be spread through a sufficient public body for any of them to occur.

We have designed the books and articles on this site to provide a form of much needed education in terms of reading symbols in our daily lives as well as literature, to look at metaphor as something more than a literary device, after we've learned how to understand it as literary device. These seem like incredibly rudimentary things, but they are lacking. I'm happy we've been able to be a part of the curriculum of 5 or 6 200-level college courses so far (SUNY Binghamton), and hope to see more of that in the future.

See this article on Gaming and Education.

How would you like to see the education overhauled? More importantly, how can you effect a change where you are, with what you have available to you?

[Where is the fucking counterculture? Mythos Media.]

1 comment:

  1. Zappa is right, schools are rigid and need to have windows. Teach your children well. No Dogma and all co-operation with our young ones. Have fun in learning.



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