Heresy: why I support school vouchers

Patrick Bond pbond at
Mon Aug 2 01:06:37 MDT 1999

I once studied with a progressive historian (probably the leading
critic of US turn-of-the-20th-c. education policy) who was quite
friendly to historical materialism, Michael Katz of U.Penn. He
surprised and disappointed me by endorsing vouchers. I don't know if
he's written about them. I doubt he'd have as nuanced a line as Jose.

But Jose, if you mean 100% vouchers, you mean free universal
public education (Michael Perelman's position). And if you
(correctly) attack liberals for fruitlessly throwing money at
structural problems associated with CLASS (overlaid with race)
segregation, you also have to get deep into US housing/neighbourhood
processes. That also means going after banks, developers and the real
estate industry. And ultimately, addressing territorial consciousness
amongst populations whose consciousness of community is being
ever distorted by communitarian, apartheidesque sentiment
(undergirded by a petit-bourgeois awareness of property valuation
which never fails to stun me).

A tall order for a popular education movement?

Patrick Bond
email:  pbond at * phone:  2711-614-8088
home:  51 Somerset Road, Kensington 2094 South Africa
work:  University of the Witwatersrand
Graduate School of Public and Development Management
PO Box 601, Wits 2050, South Africa
email:  bondp at
phone:  2711-488-5917 * fax:  2711-484-2729

More information about the Marxism mailing list