The voice of capital declares war against "information

Chris Brady chris_brady at
Thu Jun 1 13:54:43 MDT 2000

About Carrol’s comment:

“A cultural product the value of which I would like to see made
vanishingly small is the textbook. This would not, I would assume,
be possible on an individualist basis -- but given some radicalization
of large sectors of the educational work force  interesting
possibilities open up.”

In the context of capitalist economy/bourgeois society, “formal”
education for social change must be viewed –at best—
as a form of re-form-ism.

This does not mean that we must give up hope for the radicalization
of educational workers, or of their material.  This is an important
part of the whole project of developing a revolutionary hegemony.
But I am reminded of the efforts to change society perpetrated by
Progressive educationists and more importantly by social
reconstructionists in the 1930s USA.  Some fairly sophisticated
Marxists were counted among the latter grouping, including those
who initiated Science & Society in 1936 directly because the
Progressives tried to shut them up and out.  In a fateful act of poetic
justice, if not comedie noire, even the Deweyan Progressives were
ultimately crushed by reaction by the mid-1940s.  (Capitalists don’t
give a shit who is trying to take their stuff or how, whether by
well-mannered, well-heeled social democrats with tax proposals
 or jungle Maoists with machine-guns, successful capitalists will do
all in their power to keep what they have, and get even more).

Having spent a little time in an education union, you would be
amazed and/or amused to understand just what my fellow teachers
thought was radical and what was “just too extreme.”  I suspect that’s
because there is an inherent progressivist tendency among pedagogues,
as opposed to revolutionary, ameliorative rather than confrontational.
Now, as I have said, there is a time and a place for everything, but
you can also have too much of a good thing whether it’s ice cream
or striving to find a happy medium.  What makes the wolf happy,
makes the sheep dinner… (i.e., on the menu for the smiling wolves).

Chris Brady

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