John Gatto has been a life-long educator in New York City and has garnered considerable acclaim for his skeptical views regarding formal public education. Gatto has observed the natural emergence of industrial strength education beginning with the utilization of coal in Western nations at the advent of industrialization. Destroying the coal gradient in the nineteenth century had to be accomplished with greatly expanded tool and distribution systems along with a workforce capable of building and working with new tools in a factory setting. To accomplish the new technological growth it was necessary to standardize the human RNA that would be synchronized with their tools in the production process. Formal schools at scale, previously unknown in the relatively rural and undeveloped areas came into being as a feeder system for the technological system. A “graduate” would possess the ability to manipulate information, at least at a basic level, allowing functioning within the technological sphere. Like most “good ideas” this was a feature of the self-organizing system that pursues the Maximum Power Principle or Maximum Entropy Principle. It was simply a matter of good “economics” and good economics is simply a matter of growing to do things faster and in greater amounts at a greater profit.
I’ve written on this topic before in the “Nucleolus” post, the place where rRNA go to be built and finished before release into the cytoplasm for attachment to an appropriate organelle to construct new protein tools from various information. Schools represent a finishing area for RNA, not primarily for student edification, but to prepare individuals to function within the economy.
This clip could also be titled “Convert Human Beings into Human RNA.”
As things developed there may have been other motives too, besides just provisioning the industrial process with technological RNA. The public school system provided the fodder for the factories while the private schools up East provided what would become the inheritors of capital with a liberal arts education, not so they could be functional in a factory, rather for managing the overall system to their own advantage. After all, those “workers” can’t be trusted to deploy capital effectively and there simply isn’t enough capital to go around, so they must be kept in their place. “Workers” were sold the American Dream, consumerism and numerous entertainments including sports to keep them distracted from the real accumulation of capital that was occurring in the upper echelons. It seems that significant capital accumulation by the middle and lower classes never was in the cards.
As time has gone on there have been new ways to recapture wealth once found in the middle-class such as wage arbitrage and putting citizens in such deep debt they could never accumulate much wealth. When the average Joe tries to emulate Warren Buffet they are likely to do so with substantial debt, buying markers of wealth that soon depreciate leaving them with little net worth. It is very lucrative for government to encourage people to become wealthy, but the only ones becoming wealthy are those that have already accumulated significant capital. There is also substantial propaganda thrown around about starting one’s own business and that its “your fault” if you haven’t taken this path to success. The truth, as it seems to me, is that most people are educated and prepared only to become employees, to accept wages for their labor that are largely inadequate while the rich gloat over their good fortunes to have inherited substantial sums which they use to further rake wealth from the middle-class. Jobs are moved to China and India and Pay-day loan businesses sprout like mushrooms.
Perhaps these older students are being modified for a new work assignment. Generally, students must specialize in one area of knowledge and will receive a certificate from the nucleolus to prove they have undergone formal training.
Gatto was correct, the public school education with its ringing bells and whistles, authority and structure, daily attendance, watched closely, is simply factory fodder preparation. And those people that somehow escape the the fate of others by luck or effort, can often then be found striving for acceptance with the wealthy in-crowd, buying horses and farms, a jet, Ivy League educations for the kids and so on. Unfortunately, at this point in our societies, the economic court viziers have failed to read the tea leaves correctly as unbridled exponential growth will soon fall over the edge into unbridled exponential contraction of the most horrendous kind. The grand viziers of capitalism have been giving the impression that they are in control of the situation and undoubtedly much of the political class has believed them. The factory class only wonders why eight people have as much wealth as the least wealthy three billion people on the planet. Maybe they should get some loans, go back to school and give it another shot. That’s what the financiers would like. (Also buy a bigger house and take-out a big mortgage – the price of houses always goes up.)
Portrait of Ben Bernanke, former Chairman of the Federal Reserve. With his magic wand in hand (No. 2 pencil) he prepares to conjure-up a few trillion of Keynesian dollars to spur further suicidal growth.