From Archives: Addresses Neoliberal thinking

The future economy: No future in it? June 16, 2013

As an educator I constantly have to wonder what it is that schools are and should be preparing students to be able to do.  It seems obvious to me that helping ready them to face the world they will face is of critical importance.  It is also absolutely necessary to prepare them to know and be able to do what is necessary to have a say in their own destinies.  Such is the democratic form of governance.  While it is difficult to tell what the future holds job wise, as the stories linked below seem to tell us, it is not necessarily true that the future of work as portrayed in these pieces is inevitable or in any way enviable.  Robert Reich has written several books now about how capitalism has triumphed democracy as a force in the lives of citizens of the U.S. and as bad as this is, it gets worse when the form of capitalism taking the place of democracy is a pernicious one.  As I said in an earlier post, schools, for the most part fail to help students understand the economic realities they face and this is because schools refrain from pointing out the bad people, particularly when the bad people hold political power.  When economic power becomes political power, those without money have neither and their destinies are determined without their consent and for others’ benefits rather than their own.  The situation is getting worse and without an education that allows people to read the world and make sense of it for themselves, they are limited to hearing the truths others want them to hear and believe.  And what those currently in power want they to hear is that things are as right as they can be considering the reality that exists, a reality that serves those with power and money much better than those without either.  That those with power and money are the ones who are gaining ever more control over the educational system should chill the rest of us to the bones.  That state governments, many of them are allowing for the privatization of education, that educational programs are now delivered to schools in packages created by the big media companies, that the goal of education is primarily to insure the perpetuation of an economic system that works much better for the few than the many, that this is the best possible of possible situations is what students should know to be what is real and even good despite the fact that they are likely to be victims of the system.

It is a time that we, the people, take back what is ours by creed, the right to participate in decision making processes of our society and we need to demand that the educational system teach students how to get at what is real and how to become players in determining what the future of real will be.  The people are not to be treated as cogs in the economic machine that spits out the most of us to sustain those who have more than they can possibly need.  This is not about class warfare.  It is what is about what is just, right, and fair.

By lafered

Retired professor of education concerned with thoughtfulness

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