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View Diary: Anti-Capitalist Meet-up: The Development of a Cooperative Economy in Practice (80 comments)

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  •  Did you read the part where the External (6+ / 0-)

    white middle class leadership wants to keep control.  Of course, they have to blame it on the low income minority people they are "teaching."  "they just can't learn, so we can't turn it over to them.  In that respect, the State model, at least in Venezuela, has been somewhat better in trying to stay grassroots and serve the people they were designed to serve.

    BTW, I agree with you on the reason for compulsory education.  However, education is not a constitutional requirement, so the old compulsory system did end up providing basic education for a whole nation which many immigrants without money who came from countries where education was privatized have been very greatful for the compulsory education. Now, of course, you have a choice of home schooling or other choice alternatives (charter schools).  As a teacher, I detest the despicable way public education is run, but I am worried that eventually the charter schools as a whole (except for a few good ones for the rich), will not be any better (and as research grows, that is proving to be true). I'm afraid the right wing is just trying to use charter schools to end public education altogether by privatizing it. Hope not.

    •  I don't think they want to end public education... (5+ / 0-)

      It's been so useful to them. It is a person's first submission to authority. But teachers like you have made it hard for them to control education and make it do what they planned--provide docile workers. You d--n teachers keep actually teaching and making students think for themselves. That's what they want to destroy.

      The teachers who actually teach should go to the rich kids charter school and the burned out, underpaid barely capable teacher stays with the poor teaching submission to authority only. That is what it is really about.

      De air is de air. What can be done?

      by TPau on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 04:28:42 PM PDT

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      •  I am not sure as what it seems that they (4+ / 0-)
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        TPau, Geminijen, DawnN, tardis10

        want to do is to shift responsibility for education to corps and religious groups rather than the state; the result would be similar, but would remove the middle man and would save them direct money. That seems to have been the motive for the so-called foundation schools and academies that were introduced under Blair over here.

        When I was doing research for the thesis many years ago, I ran smack into the debate on education for the working class (adults and children) and what that education should consist. One position that seems to be making a resurgence was that working class people should be educated such that their education met the needs of their employers (and that they should be ideologically conditioned, see the society for the diffusion of useful knowledge for example). While people like Thomas Hodgskin supported the idea that working people should run their schools and learn what they wanted from a perspective that they chose (he established the london mechanics institute), this was deemed a serious threat and they were taken over by liberals that insisted on a rather different idea (see the above) of what the working class and their children needed from education. This has always been the predominant mainstream idea of the role of education, however they chose to disguise it; what is happening is that they are openly discussing this again and this was apparent in discussions of continuing education and what working class universities taught to students as subjects.

        "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

        by NY brit expat on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 04:38:05 PM PDT

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        •  But think how much easier it would be to... (5+ / 0-)

          control corps and religious groups than elected school boards.

          We should have a post on this subject as well. Perhaps even a guest post from someone doing for education what Mondragon does for business. Maybe someone from a Democratic Free School.

          De air is de air. What can be done?

          by TPau on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 04:48:51 PM PDT

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          •  agree, that would be a great diary (1+ / 0-)
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            perhaps we can get a volunteer that would be willing to write on this subject?

            "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

            by NY brit expat on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 05:09:44 PM PDT

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            •  I'd take a stab at it but I have at least 4 (3+ / 0-)
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              NY brit expat, Geminijen, Justina

              diaries on the boiler plate right now and STILL trying to finish the cursed manuscript.

              De air is de air. What can be done?

              by TPau on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 05:26:31 PM PDT

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              •  let's see if we can get some new people (1+ / 0-)
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                writing, at this point, it is primarily you, justina, geminijen and me with some support from a few others like geomoo and justjennifer and shanty sue. We have a great group of people that are members from a variety of perspectives, I am certain that there are those that have knowledge and information about this and it would take them far less effort to pull something together as they are starting from a base of knowledge.

                "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

                by NY brit expat on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 05:32:28 PM PDT

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        •  Even some of the new charter schools -- those that (5+ / 0-)
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          NY brit expat, TPau, mint julep, DawnN, Justina

          are geared for the underclass -- seem to want to educate children for a specific job.  On the other hand, I don't think everyone wants to be a doctor or lawyer (what the young Ivy league yuppies who come to teach in the ghetto cause they can no longer get a job in management believe).  There has to be respect for all types of honest and necessary work in society -- and that is definitely missing.  Everyone should get the education they want and need.  We have to stop stereotyping.  I'm all for education -- I was the first in my family to go to college -- but many of the jobs that now require a college at great expense would be better taught through an apprenticeship program -- education has just become another capitalist commodity -- especially now that they are trying to privatize it.

          •  back when we were young (I cannot believe (4+ / 0-)
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            TPau, mint julep, Geminijen, DawnN

            that I wrote that) there were high schools dedicated to teaching trades and not only those geared towards pushing kids into university. I think that these type of schools served an important and useful purpose; I am wondering why they were abandoned by the powers that be. Many kids do not want to go (or are lacking the skills for) university and their needs are not being met. Schools need to provide for the interests and skills of students and not the interests solely of employers; those would be schools that serve the needs of those attending them. I agree with T'pau that an examination of the discussion of education should be undertaken and would be a great diary. Now we need to get a volunteer for the diary.

            "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

            by NY brit expat on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 05:13:24 PM PDT

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          •  Why is it education is limited only to the young?- (3+ / 0-)
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            NY brit expat, DawnN, Justina

            If education was truly important to our society, we would offer it all the time to anyone who wanted it. If you did not force people to go to school, we could probably even financially achieve this.

            You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink. If a teenager doesn't want to sit in school and learn Algebra, fine. Let them go out a dig ditches for a while. When they are ready and attentive it will take a lot less time to teach them.

            With remote education and peer to peer teaching we could have a much more useful education system for the same cost as this one.

            De air is de air. What can be done?

            by TPau on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 05:34:50 PM PDT

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          •  My Theory: Everyone Should Have Manual Skills and (2+ / 0-)
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            Geminijen, tardis10

            Intellectual Training

            My 9 weeks of a typing class in 9th grade earned my living through college and law school.  This was coupled with the benefit of having excellent public school teachers from kindergarten up.  But the typing class actually still feeds me fifty years later.

            An auto mechanics or electrician/plumbing course would probably have fed me more opulently as I wended my way through college and law school, but those courses didn't exist in my high school, especially for girls.  Boys who wanted to learn those trade skills were shunted off into the local technical school which offered them, not girls, those programs, leaving the girls to beautician and culinary courses and  leaving the college bound kids with the good academic teachers.

            I'd vote for mandating the 12th grade of high school as a "Manual and Computer Skills" year, in which all kids would learn a trade and how to navigate electronic communications, repair hardware and write computer programs.

            One of the things I think our new, socialist economic system needs is citizens who are fully educated as whole persons, with minds and bodies.  

            Capitalism truncates human beings, allocating the vast majority to be mindless workers, cogs in a martially-run chain of production, while the chosen few get to use only their minds and not dirty their hands.

             We need to smash the notion that the vast majority are dumb and incapable of creative thinking, while the chosen, academically educated few make all the decisions about production and distribution, while the even fewer get to enjoy the majority of the profits..

            Workers cooperatives, at least those operating on the ideal Venezuelan model, do the thinking,  the labor and the owning and administering their cooperatives.   The worker as doer and thinker reunites the human qualites we all share, working and thinking together as a community, jointly determining what and how things are produced as well as where and how they are distributed, and how the profits are shared.

            Capitalism is an awful system, not only because it impoverishes the majority monetarily, but because in the very act of production it alienates man from himself, refuses to respect a worker's mind and creativity, while subjecting him to absolute external controls, be that of a human boss or a mechanical one that controls his every action.  

            We have to end this alienating, capitalist labor process. That is why it is not sufficient merely to re-distribute the profits of capitalism more equitably, we have to abolish a system whose end goal is making profits, not serving the needs and aspirations of live, breathing, thinking human beings.

            To create a new, human economic system, everyone must be educated to think and to do.

            Convict Bush, Cheney and their torture cabal. Support single-payer health care,unions, and WikiLeaks.

            by Justina on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 09:45:54 PM PDT

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            •  I have always found it an interesting class (2+ / 0-)
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              Justina, tardis10

              distinction that people think there is no intellectual effort in manual work -- have they ever tried trouble shooting car repairs?  Do they know that those of us who come from craft families are sometimes amused as people who cannot fix anything themselves unless they can do it with a delete key?
              I totally agree with you, Justina.  I have personally found my favorite people are "cross class" who tend to value both types of labor.

      •  One of the most fun things I was able to do (5+ / 0-)
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        TPau, NY brit expat, mint julep, DawnN, Justina

        teaching was expose the capitalist system (I taught history and economics to both k-12 and union workers.  I frequently got away with it because I was a nice white middle-aged lady by the time I went into the system, so I just closed the door and did my thing.  Sometimes, I would get caught and chastised -- pleaded innocense and naivete as long as I could. You should have seen it when I had the Dead Presidents in my class. Eventually, they figured it out.  but in the meantime, my students and I had some fun.   Nothing is more satisfying than getting past the propaganda and waking young people up to the realities of life.

      •  Or we should use public school choice schools (5+ / 0-)
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        NY brit expat, mint julep, TPau, DawnN, Justina

        that are publicly funded and run by the unions (they exist) and set them up as cooperatives (with all the teachers, parents  and students being coop member - one vote each).

        •  When my daughter was young and we had just... (4+ / 0-)
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          NY brit expat, Geminijen, DawnN, Justina

          moved to Oregon, we had a choice of two schools. The traditional public school or the community supported "hippie" school. I got her to try the hippie school. The class consisted of three grades taught in a single room. The room was furnished with cast off bean bag chairs and couches and had a paper mache tree growing out of the floor to cover the ceiling with painted leaves. The teacher brought her dog to class every day.

          Every day started with circle where the students past a talking stick. History, math and English were taught by the students digging up an archeological site the teacher had planted the summer before with archeological finds. The students dug them up, researched what they were, categorized them and wrote scientific articles on their finds. They then created a museum for the parents.

          When the school board finally destroyed the school, by daughter went to the public school. She told me before she went she was glad because the hippie school had been just a bunch of games and she didn't think she had learned anything.

          A week later she was board to tears. We bumped her up a class and she was still board. Of the 12 kids in her hippie school class, we have kept in touch with 5. All of them were at the top of their public school class and are now in college. My daughter is on the Dean's roll and is doing Grad work on microbial DNA in her 3rd yr of Undergrad.

          We could have a different system.

          De air is de air. What can be done?

          by TPau on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 05:45:15 PM PDT

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          •  I went to a similar school for the first three (1+ / 0-)
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            grades -- my parents, along with our other neighbors, fought for the school because the "big" school was too far away for young children to walk to alone (this was in Chicago). Interestingly, it was Public School and paid for by the Public Education system.  What they don't tell you it that their are a number of innovative "choice" schools (at least in new York) which are alternative, but fully public (teachers paid union wages, open to all children for free).  

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