Creating a System without Contradictions-
The History of American Educational Reform
From the very beginnings of educational reform, four goals have arisen in the school place: the pursuit of academic and intellectual skills in the domain of knowledge; vocational skills to promote student readiness for productive work and economic responsibility; social and civic responsibility in order to address preparedness for entering into a complex society; and the development of personal responsibility, including talent and free expression. (Goodlad 37) These four goals are impressed upon students at an early age until the time they exit the educational system, creating for those who have left an individual character intended to provide the Social, Political, and Economic Systems with a prepared citizen and effective worker who has the ability to be mobile inside the Class System that absorbs him. Essentially, education provides society with capable individuals who contribute to all aspects of life. It is in this way we can realize that though the Educational System is a microcosm of the Social System -- which is broken down into the Political and Economic Systems -- it recreates and restructures the Social System as well. Students learn the knowledge that society has created for itself and in turn researches, develops, and produces new knowledge. This is how civilization becomes more efficient and generally advances. If all of these Systems are working together in harmony, every one is undoubtedly provided success. The Educational System supports the Economic and Political Systems, which creates an efficient Social System, which in turn feeds the Educational System.
But what happens when one System is privileged over another system? If one System is in contradiction with another, a chain reaction is set off reminiscent of throwing a wrench into the cog of a giant machine. The gears are all shut down which effectively shuts down the surrounding System. And what happens when this System shuts down? History is the story of the resulting collapses of Social Systems and the new Systems that arise out of them. The Roman Empire, Feudal System, and System of Slavery were all social structures that broke down because of the inherent contradictions within them. The Roman Empire needed to keep expanding in order to collect more taxes to pay for its maintenance. When it stopped expanding, it didn't have enough money to pay for itself and broke down. The Feudal System ended when "rule by divine right" and "absolutism" was ended by the freethinking movement of the Renaissance. Feudalism was based on a System of Slavery, which has recreated itself throughout history. Slavery collapsed when men and women asserted their autonomy and political and economic equality.
All of these Systems once made up the unifying Social System- the result of human relations to each other. After their collapse, a new system established itself. The creation of a system, its collapse, and eventual recreation has led up to the final system we find ourselves in today.
Unfortunately, there is a basic systematic flaw that inherently contradicts itself in this one as well, thus leading its inhabitants toward a complete disintegration of the System that they know. Because of this flaw- this contradiction- every working system is pitted against itself, leading to the eventual collapse of the larger Social System each one constitutes. It is not a matter of debating whether or not the System will collapse, but rather when it will. The Flaw, as we shall call it, lies at the heart of the pursuit for Social Mobility. Through this lone contradiction, the other "gears" of the Educational System (Social Efficiency and Democratic Equality) are pitted against each other, creating fundamental stresses in the Economic and Political Systems, which in turn destroy the Social System from within.
Thus, we must investigate the goal of Social Mobility. Labaree tells us in his essay, "American Struggle Over Educational Goals," that students must adapt to the existing socioeconomic structure by obtaining the necessary credentials needed to "get ahead"- meaning the ability to make more money. This is where the contradiction lies. Social Efficiency demands that competent people fill necessary jobs. Whoever gets those jobs is irrelevant in the eyes of the Social System at large. This represents the Top-Down approach. However, from an individual perspective, the focus is on Individual Status Attainment, representing the Bottom-Up approach. This contradiction (Top-Down vs. Bottom-Up ) is also representative of the Public Good (Social Efficiency) struggling against the Private Good (Social Mobility). People see each other as competition, and education as the ammunition needed to win the desired social position. This creates a stratification of education. The increased universality of education directly affects the increased demand for social distinction, which means that there is an ongoing effort to establish and maintain relative educational advantage. So, those jobs requiring more education (and so, higher credentials) are then paid more, since less people can do it. Simply because money is quantifiable, people will always have more than other people. Education is thus used as a tool to get more money in an "arena for zero-sum competition filled with self-interested actors seeking opportunities for gaining educational distinctions at the expense of each other." (Labaree 56) Because there is only a certain amount of money in the world, that limit prevents people from doing certain things. Every dollar is valuable in itself because of what that dollar gives you: access to anything. With more dollars, people can do more things. Because everyone wants to do more things, people want more money. Because there is only so much money, people fight against each other to get a majority of that money in order to do more things.
The Flaw is money. Because of the limit on potential it imposes, we have to make sure every dollar is used as effectively as possible. Since the beginning of Educational Reform, education has been subjected to the failing System that recreates itself through law and guiding policies. The ironic thing is, these policies have been written as a direct response to address the inequalities that manifest itself in the System. Because each law, tax, or policy created adheres to the a priori judgement that money is at the foundation of our society, no imposed reform can address the problem head on. This is how we can see that Educational Reform has done its best to adapt to a failing system over the years, by coming up with new ways to address issues by trimming the excess off of the Educational System as it gets smaller and smaller, until it resembles what it looks like today.
At first, the Education System deemed Democratic Equality as the most important issue which schools should address. In 1892, The Report of the Committee of Ten introduced standardization as the tool that would be used to promote democratic equality. This notion of citizen training, equal treatment, and equal access was implicit in Charles Elliott's earlier ideas concerning a uniform approach in establishing a general education to promote thinking skills and is reiterated in Labaree- "A high level of shared education is essential to a free democratic society and to the fostering of a common culture. Curriculum in American schools expresses this concern, both through specific courses that are designed to instill in students a commitment to the American political system, and more broadly through a continuing strong emphasis on liberal arts over narrowly specialized education." (Labaree 44) This becomes evident when we realize that members of a free society need to be capable of participating intelligently in order to shape their society.
However, to create a more socially efficient system, differentiation was introduced to organize society by making sure students would learn things relevant to society. In this way, a general education paved the way for a more specific education, in the hopes that the individual would be better equipped to provide for society. This was the primary objective of the Cardinal Principles of Secondary Education: "The purpose of democracy is so to organize society that each member may develop his personality primarily through activities designed for the well-being of his fellow members and of society as a whole." (Reader 186) This shift of focus from the individual's need to those of society marked the transition between the earliest Education Reforms.
Up until this time, Federal Education Legislation was used to set up public land grants and establish new military and coast guard academies and agricultural and mechanical colleges. After 1916, a huge number of vocational programs sprang up. The promotion of specification through vocational education, along with the provision of food for schools lasted until 1958, when, in response to the Soviet threat of intellectual dominance through the launch of Sputnik, the United States passed the National Defense Education Act, in which schools were finally given the assistance needed to strengthen
"instruction in science, mathematics, modern foreign languages, and other critical subjects; improvement of state statistical services; guidance, counseling, and testing services and training institutes; higher education student loans and fellowships; foreign language study and training provided by colleges and universities; experimentation and dissemination of information on more effective utilization of television, motion pictures, and related media for educational purposes; and vocational education for technical occupations necessary to the national defense." (Reader 134)
Vocational schooling had been called on to make the economy more efficient, but it didn't help make the country smarter by any means. It took an act of war to make the country reassess its needs and provide its Educational System with the tools it needed to have to focus on educational goals rather than on vocational.
The reaction that was provoked by the theme of war was resurrected later by Reagan and the Commission who created the Nation at Risk document less than 25 years after Sputnik. The Neoconservative group that Reagan advocated for believed that the nation should adopt certain guidelines: namely, large tax breaks to promote economic growth, smaller government, the use of that government to promote traditional moral values, and an expansionist foreign policy. By using specific rhetoric aimed at instilling the fear induced at the time of the launch, the commission was able to generate wide support for the reforms they called for.
The years surrounding this new policy was also when the Federal Education Legislation seemed to be very conscientious of money. Education and loan consolidations (1981, 1983) were approved and grants aimed as incentives for institutions to find alternatives to funding were implemented. The Education for Economic Security Act added new science and math programs as well. As Ronald Reagan dismantled welfare, cut social programs, and promoted unregulated free market capitalism, he also advocated that Education be used to promote Social Efficiency above all other goals. Students were now seen as commodities for the advancement of the economic machine, meant to maintain a competitive edge over the rest of the world.
But students still needed to get good jobs to make money. This however was impossible for many, simply because the reforms addressed the restructuring of schooling rather than addressing the deeper issues of teaching and learning. "Since there is only a small number of the most desirable jobs at the top of the occupational pyramid, education can only provide access to these jobs for a small number of students. Allowing a large number of students to attain the highest levels of education would be counterproductive in that it would put a crowd at the head of the labor queue, providing no one in that crowd with a selective advantage in the competition for the top jobs." (Labaree 65) Students were in a tough position, fighting each other for higher paying jobs while still maintaining the most efficient Economic System possible.
In summary, we can realize the following scenario. In a capitalist society, where there is only a certain amount of money and an endless amount of things to do, politicians have tried to implement plans to get the most out of each dollar. This leads to schools' autonomy being subverted and the federal government taking over the leading role in policy making. Schools are subjected to plans that promote economic and social efficiency at the expense of democratic equality and social mobility. Because schools are cutting "unnecessary" programs, students are exposed to less and less of those programs that provide them with the experiences aimed at making them effective democratic members of society. At the same time, students are competing with their peers to obtain the most desirable jobs in order to have more money. Social Efficiency thus becomes counterproductive to Democratic Equality and Social Mobility. Because these three components of the Educational System contradict each other, the Economic and Democratic Systems that are supported by it also become deficient. When these two Systems fail, the entire Social System fails as a result, leading to the ever-declining Educational System through reciprocation.
We have seen how individual student focus has shifted to a focus on the social economy as well as the problems that arise from that shift. We have followed the different reforms and traced their history in order to better understand how we have gotten to where we are. No Child Left Behind is simply another stab at correcting a problematic School System in a flawed Social System. None of these reforms are working because too much needs to be done to correct the Educational System and there is not enough money to do it. Our Education System is growing more and more deficient, leading to the destruction of our Economic, Political, and Social Systems. The question we must ask ourselves is how much longer will we allow this deterioration to occur, and perhaps more importantly, what can be done to fix it once and for all...
The Last Educational Reform
The point of the last paper was that money, though perhaps a medium of exchange, is also a form of slavery in that it allows necessities to be attained. Without money, one cannot have food, shelter, medicine, transportation, technology, energy, or even education. Because money is quantifiable, there is a limit to how much can be attained, and a limit to the potential work that can be achieved by a collective population. Moreover, because the majority of this money is controlled and hoarded by an elite few, these particular persons effectively dictate the flow of money through the legislation and policy they write for the world to follow. Through the manipulation of wealth and government, we can see the convergence of all nations as they head towards solidarity to be maintained by a single economic and political system. This is neither good nor bad, but rather the predictable flow of finances into the most efficient system possible. However, because the existence of a quantifiable currency simply reproduces an economic inequality that negates any political equality we believe democracy may have provided for us, this end-time economic system would be the equivalent of a total regression to slavery in that all people, places, and things would be controlled by the government to be verified and reallocated as seen fit.
Money then trivializes, marginalizes, and discriminates between labor, in that certain jobs are considered to be inherently inferior to others. A bus driver, for instance, is paid much less than a lawyer, because “anyone” can drive a bus, whereas it takes time and effort to become a lawyer. Yet the lawyer would not even be able to get to his office if it were not for the bus driver, who in turn perhaps owes his job to the company the lawyer works for. Here we can see that though the value of labor is differentiated by money, the interdependence of labor is entirely equal for a general production.
Those who have money are able to afford higher education to attain those “more valuable jobs,” perpetually consolidating a majority of wealth in the top tier of the labor force. Thus, the same families will maintain the same wealth, power, and influence for as long as their finances are stabilized. Credentials are bestowed to the members who have paid enough money to pass through any and all educational institutions, providing for a cyclical hierarchy of wealth and power.
Unfortunately, it is these members who also decide what our public school system will teach and what students will learn. Taxpayers may feel it is unnecessary to promote art, music, dance, philosophy, or athletics, opting instead to fund those vocational jobs which, though certainly necessary, are undoubtedly considered to be less worthy of a high pay grade. In this way, the potential for social mobility in the public schools is suppressed by the justification for social efficiency. Not everyone can be afforded the position of a doctor or lawyer; otherwise, there would be no mechanics. So then, the “desirable” jobs with desirable incomes are reserved for the wealthy and credentialed, while all others are provided with lower-class work:
“For taxpayers in general and for all the other constituencies of the social efficiency goal for education, the notion of education for social mobility is politically seductive but socially inefficient…From this pragmatic, fiscally conservative, and statist perspective, the primary goal of education is to produce the work force that is required by the occupational structure in its current form and that will provide measureable economic benefits to society as a whole.” (Labaree 63)
The ability for a community to dictate what will be learned leads to such controversial cases as the U.S. Supreme Court’s “Wisconsin v. Yoder,” in which an Amish community prevented their children from going to public schools in order to prepare them for an Amish lifestyle, assuming it was “contrary to the Amish religion and way of life and that they would endanger their own salvation and that of their children by complying with the law.” (Reader 58) Through the passage of time, as issues are examined by authorities to determine what should be taught, the education system is further deteriorated as legislation “trims the fat” to encompass the bare minimum of a learning process.
Power, content, and form are all reassessed by a government (funded by money), and so, a total agreement of all taxpayers is expected from whichever coalition supposedly represents them. This is an impossible way to conceive what should be learned, as millions of different ideas contradict and discredit each other. Moreover, financial interests dictate what is to be known, governing the future of education as well. For instance, A Nation At Risk was a document conceived of by the Reagan administration to fuel enough fear until the conditions for a new proposal regarding public schools could be realized. By using scare tactics and war imagery, a commission, including the chairman of Bell Telephone Laboratories (the creators of Project Nike- a line-to-sight missile program) and Kirk Associates (a service dedicated to value management) created policy in which “excellence” and “minimum requirements” were defined to serve the interests of a particular class.
This same rationale for governmental influence produced the Scans Report, Second to None document, and No Child Left Behind policy that essentially left the education system in the failing state we see today. With no room left for self-governance, schools were at the mercy of government for funding, displacing their autonomy and preventing market choice from ever truly being realized. Structural solutions replaced instructional guidance, as the investment of various outside sources came to determine how schools would be run: “We never ask how compatible the new approaches are with existing policies or anticipate the challenges of translating new policies into practice, given the residue of old policies and traditions that shape school and classroom activities.” (Fuhrman 22) The locus of control is maintained at the very highest level in hopes that authority will simply fix everything, reducing any independent agency the schools may enjoy. Teachers are thus rendered obsolete as they are required to teach what is established as “truth,” reducing them to mere puppets to be controlled in the organized failure of knowledge.
Technology has forever reconceptualized our sense of understanding, while affecting our ability to live in the world accordingly. Just as the printing press led to a massive book production to disseminate language (ultimately leading to the Protestant Reformation), the Internet is similar in its potential effects. Computers have the novel ability to copy and reproduce content at no extra costs: songs, television programs, and information in general can be put on the World Wide Web for any and all to see. Previous knowledge reserved to a few is now available for everyone, destroying any sense of “privileged information.” Similarly, online communities (facebook, myspace, ebay, blogspot…) have all created spaces to connect different people to each other in order to effectively communicate specific agendas. Thus, as more people are connected to one another, information and knowledge evolves as groups come together to speak on relevant topics.
By creating a community that brings together every single educational facility in the world, universally connecting each other to supply a platform for which to compare and contrast information and knowledge, all knowledge would potentially be available to the user. It would therefore not matter if you lived on the west coast and wanted to learn what Yale students were learning, because with the click of a button you could have access to all the lectures, notes, readings, discussions, materials, etc…it would take to understand the particular courses offered. Teachers would not have to worry about materials like books and pencils because all readings would be online, and all writing would be done on computers. In this instance, a universal synchronization would be established to effectively determine the knowledge that would be produced and distributed by a single online community (the totality of its constituent communities- the individual schools).
By making all knowledge virtually free (for the first time ever), a contradiction would then arise. If all members of a community have available to them the possibility to achieve any particular profession through education, without the hindrance of a lack of finances, they would then be able to choose any job desired. Because anyone could be a doctor, the scarcity of that profession would no longer exist as everyone has access to the same credentials, making the overall value of a doctor the exact same as a bus driver’s (since they are both equally needed and equally reachable careers). The resulting situation in which anyone can be anything completely negates the need for, and existence of, money, reflecting from cyberspace to real space a Free Society.
Without the presence of money, there is no longer the need to make a profit, but rather to attain that which is necessary and desired. Due in part to a new understanding of environmental protectionism, we may better reassess and reallocate our human potential labor towards those jobs not environmentally damaging- a new system where art, agriculture, music, literature, science, theory, and pure knowledge flourish. This provides a new market structure for which schools may choose to strengthen a particular aspect to maintain an individual focus that differentiates them from any competing institution. “In a system where the burden of choice falls mainly on students, the choices students make are shaped by how they, and sometimes their parents and peers, want to use high school.” (Powell/Farrer/Cohen 42) In this way, schools and teachers regain their autonomy while asserting their locus of control to once more efficiently provide for their students.
How does this reform come about?
A theory of action states that for a reform (or reaction) to take place, it must be in response to a prior action: court cases re-examine laws when a complaint is made, while commissions are established to reassess and determine possible alternatives to failing policies. Just as the consequences of A Nation at Risk and No Child Left Behind manifest themselves as reactions to actions, a Moneyless society would come about as a reaction as well (to something more specific than the general failure of various institutionalized neglect). But to what?
The decline of education is due in part to a particular governing consciousness wherein knowledge is not given priority. War is maintained and promoted while teachers are fired and schools collapse, presenting the general public with a social milieu of general discontent. We fear overpopulation because there are not enough resources to go around, offering a rationale to exterminate any opposition that contradicts the affluence we revere.
Cigarettes, for example, represent a multi-billion dollar enterprise that kills more people per year than certain past wars, contextualizing the fact that we pay these companies to kill us while supporting the governments that maintain the economic circumstances in which they may flourish. Likewise, similar billions are given to pharmaceuticals who pump the population full of drugs that many times do more harm than good (think Heath Ledger), all in the name of making a profit. Oxycotin is legalized opiates which often times can debilitate a person to the extent of death, or permanent damage.
Marijuana, on the other hand, is medicine that has not resulted in a single documented death. Various diseases could be alleviated with the introduction of cannabis as an established and accepted treatment. Aside from medicinal purposes, its fun and can alter one’s consciousness, providing for new theoretical frameworks as alternatives to reality. That being said, the federal ban on marijuana (and drugs in general) is simply a front to maintain a manufactured market of prison systems and police forces, who throw millions of people in jail to be supported by billions of wasted tax dollars, and cannot be justified in its continued appropriation of human resources in any way.
By recognizing and alleviating this problem through the complete and total decriminalization of drugs, we create the social circumstances that can generate enough fear to finally make education a priority. By combating the war on drugs through education instead of violence, we can provide the rationale for funding our schools totally and without exception. Just as portions of the military are financed by a “black budget (an undisclosed budget in which every necessity is funded),” the education system would be similarly funded without limitation. Everything schools need are demanded (not begged), while government becomes the tool for which to provide (rather than an authority that decides what schools will get) for these necessary resources. In this way can we reverse the process from a top-down hierarchy of control to a bottom-up assertion of autonomy, essentially phasing out “money” from our realities while conditioning a new present through a better assessment of available potentialities:
“It is not the mind of Heretics that are deteriorated most, by the ban placed on all inquiry which does not end in orthodox conclusions. The greatest harm is done to those who are not heretics, and whose whole mental development is cramped, and their reason cowed, by the fear of heresy.” (Meier 16)
By providing a theory of action (from cause to reaction) can we better understand a problem and how to fix it. The decriminalization of marijuana, followed by the installation of a new educational reform would create the circumstances for a world without money to exist within, alleviating all problems maintained by economic inequality. In this way, a utopia is conceived of, described by, and conditioned on the premise of a complete revolution within an educational reform, leaving the world to decide for itself what should and must be learned. Have a great summer.
what is the purpose of education? to recap:
The intelligence of the world is being exterminated. School dropout rates are rising. Immigrant and working class families are turning not to education as a means of survival, but rather employers, simply because the benefits of higher education are either unattainable or unimaginable for most. Evangelical parents are homeschooling their children in order to teach them that the world was created eight thousand years ago by God. The War on Terror is a fully funded religious crusade of Christian fundamentalism against Islamic fundamentalism. The question is not whether or not civilization will triumph over barbarianism, but rather how much terror will be inflicted on which civilization.
Why have we slipped into such a dogmatic slumber? Why have we not risen up against those forces that plague our existence with such atrocities that have prevented us from our natural rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? Why do our children, when asked what they want to be when they grow up, change their answers from teachers, bus drivers, writers, and firefighters, to owners, CEO's, accountants, and litigators. It is because they have become educated. They understand the social inequality that permeates and recreates our very existence. The truth is that money dictates our lives. Without money, we can't eat, we can't shelter ourselves, we can't clothe ourselves, we can't get the things we need, nor can we get the things we want. Money grants us access to the essentials needed to survive. It is in this way that we can understand that money holds power over us. We are slaves to money.
And, more realistically, we are slaves to those who own money. We are slaves to those who have more money. We are slaves to those who dictate how much money we are allowed to get; slaves to those who tell us how much money we are allowed to use; and slaves to those who dictate how much money we are allowed to keep. I do not use this word slavery to stir up imagery and imaginations of what it may have been like to be a slave. The thought of men, women, and children brutally exploited for the profit of an owner does not appeal to me. But whether I am talking about serfdom, pre-columbian Slavery, African slavery of the 1800s, Chinese railroad slavery, the industrial slavery described in The Jungle, the foreign middle eastern, african, or south american slavery, or the domestic immigrant and working class slavery we see in our country today, we realize that slavery is indistinguishable in itself. I use this term slavery, because it describes the present state of affairs we can see before us: a mode of production in which compulsory service constitutes the principle work force.
Today, we stand weary on a global and historical battlefield for equality. The American Revolution, the French Revolution and all of the resulting Revolutions were in honor of the ideals of political equality. Yet the ongoing battle for economic equality is still being waged. Unionized America is sending businesses packing for overseas in order to exploit workers in other countries to pursue the capitalist mentality--to capitalize and take advantage-- in order to make the biggest profit at the expense of the working class that they can. Why is this allowed to happen?
Owners own the private land and the mode of production. That is all they do. They own. Workers labor to produce a product. However, the profit is considered to all be the owner's because it is his PRIVATE PROPERTY. If the owner keeps 100% and gives the workers nothing, then we are talking about the slavery we abolished in 1865. What prevented a slave from running away to a better place in order to get what he wanted and needed was then called "law" and "a whip." If the owner keeps 90% or some other disproportionate earning to what the workers make, it is a less severe form of slavery, but a form nonetheless. Whether or not the owners exploit the labor of their workers is irrelevant. What prevents this worker from getting what he wants and needs is now called, "money," or a lack thereof.
The 13th amendment abolished slavery and involuntary servitude. Education, or a lack thereof, prevents people from attaining the credentials needed to access specific jobs. Because higher education is only afforded to those who can access it, only the rich become the ones who can do those jobs. This creates a scarcity in a specific job field and the rich pay themselves more because it takes more education to supply the demand of the job. It is in this way that a circle of prosperity perpetuates a circle of poverty. As those with money educate themselves to take on the better paying jobs, the poor are shaved off from the path of education through the unavailability of time and funds needed to continue.
Labaree tells us that "since there are only a small number of the most desirable jobs at the top of the occasional, education can only provide access to these jobs for a small number of students." To provide equal opportunity for education would "be counterproductive in that it would put a crowd at the head of the labor queue, providing no one in that crowd with a selective advantage in the competition for the top jobs." (Labaree 65) Money helps us to discriminate who will have what job by dictating who has the money to attain the credentials for each job available. Money stratifies our society and keeps those with money in jobs that make them wealthy, while simultaneously keeping those without money in jobs that keep them poor. Money promotes involuntary servitude.
Immigrants are our lowest form of servitude. We do not provide them with any sort of political or social welfare services. Or at least, we are not supposed to. The 14th amendment states that all persons born or naturalized in the United States are citizens. Children of immigrants are then considered to be citizens. However, there is no chance that any of these families will ever be able to supply the funds needed to pay for a private school. They rely on public schools, paid for by tax payers, to provide them with the education needed to exist and sustain themselves within society. However, tracking into vocational, special education, remedial education, and English learning education make sure that the child is so far behind his peers in educational training that only those low-skilled job opportunities are available, reinforcing them in their poverty levels.
The state of California is recorded as having 2,830,000 immigrants in 2006. Texas is recorded as having 1,640,000 immigrants residing in state boundaries at the same time. These are the two states that hold the most immigrants in the United States and it comes as no surprise then that their economies are the two best in the country. California has the seventh biggest economy in the world in fact. This is because everyone's labor contributes to the market place of a society.
we can think of labor relations like this:
The individual (tax payer, working class, immigrant) supplies society's demand (business, consumerism, agriculture) with his labor. In return for the Individual's labor, society "rewards" him with money so that he can supply his own demands with society (needs, clothes, food, house payments).
The problem is that money trivializes, marginalizes, and reassesses which particular work is more important, when the truth is that everyone produces a 1:1 ratio in terms of supply relating to demand. An individual supplies the demands of society, which returns that individuals demands through its own supply. We can understand this when a family sends a child to a school to get taught by a teacher, who gets sick and goes to the doctor, who's house burns down and needs a firefighter, who's own house is dirty and needs a cleaning lady, who sends her child to get educated by a teacher. It is in this way that everyone contributes to the generation of society and the economy. A math problem can further explain.
California's economy produces 1.727 trillion dollars a year. Its income per capita is $38,956 per person. If we divide the product by the income, then we most likely get the population, right? Individual supplies to Society (labor) = Society supplies to Individual (money). Well, we end up close to the actual population, which if we divide the projected population by the actual population, our relation of 1 changes to get 1.18 instead, meaning everyone gets less than what they put forth through their labor.
The point is that everyone contributes equally to the economy. In McDonalds, the CEO is needed to operate the mental labor while the worker is needed to operate the manual labor. Without one, the other cannot produce:
manual labor (a) + mental labor (b) = productivity (c)
a does not equal c
b does not equal c
only a and b working together can equal c
The workers are dependent on the owners, and vice versa. This is not reality however, because not everyone can do the mental activities needed to be owners. Therefore those jobs are in higher demand. Therefore they pay higher. Therefore, the are privileged. This privilege and inequality is what every revolution fights to end.
Fortunately, I've created the final revolution to ensure both political and economic equality without so much as a single shot fired or drop of blood spilled:
The problem is money. Money is why there is such a discrepency between private schools and public schools. Tax Payers want the best education for their child so they send him or her to private schools, where everything you need is provided to you because you have money. Public schools are funded by tax dollars. This means that the poor students are being financed by the governmental redistribution of wealth that is taken from tax payers. This essentially makes the lower class dependent on the upper class. If the upper class cuts taxes, then there is no funding for public schools. Because tax payers want the most "efficient" education to benefit the economy, they cut liberal arts programs and extracurricular activities to make sure kids are studying reading, writing, and arithmetic. Standardized tests are issued to make sure kids know the "right things." No Child Left Behind dangles money in front of schools, saying that if they make the grade then they can get paid. Private schools and public schools in good communities have no problem making achievement levels, but the underfunded schools in bad neighborhoods slip further and further behind as they are unequipped to deal with their situations, and herd students into tracks that dictate the fate of the lives.
Even though the UC school system is public, it still costs quite a lot of money. I paid 200 dollars for my books in one class this quarter. I take 3 or 4 classes a quarter, 3 quarters a year, and 4 years to graduate. That is $7,200 to $9,600 total in books alone, not to mention the other "fees" that are not considered to be tuition because of the rhetoric they are carefully described in.
My plan is for the UC School system to get the support from other schools around the country and world together and, under the Freedom of Information act, put all of their educational property (journal articles, lectures, books, etc...) onto the internet. This will provide equal access to available knowledge for everybody in the world. Because everybody in the world has access to the same knowledge, everyone theoretically has access to the same jobs- the only difference is whether or not you have a little slip of paper that says so. Because everybody has the same access to knowledge, combined with our previous assertion that manual labor is equal to mental labor in its codependence to create production, and the fact that a scarcity of knowledge no longer exists (meaning anybody can do any job there is to do), all labor becomes inherently equal to itself, and *poof*, money becomes obsolete. This means that there is no reason for money. Because every job is necessary, the idea that an individual supplies society with his labor in return to have his demands supplied by society dissolves the concept of money accordingly.
Labor unions, who have been fighting since the dawn of time to establish equal rights and good working conditions for themselves, realize that this is the pinnacle of their demands and sign a petition supporting the abolition of money. If all the unions in California support this idea, then they effectively dictate the course of events or have a state wide strike until what they want is attained. The difference between this strike and every other strike, is that these workers keep working, but halt the flow of money entirely. If all of California, the biggest economy in the US and the seventh largest in the world, strikes with the aid of the other non-slave states, supported by the rest of the world, then really there is no way to fight against it.
Karl Marx wrote that the workers of the world had to unite in order to ensure their safety and survival. Up until recently, there has been no way to do that. With the rise of the internet however, people are more connected to each other, and information is a click away. The writer's strike was similar to the ban on pirated music, in that everything is being put on the internet because it is free. No one wants to pay for music or shows when they can watch them for free. It doesn't make sense. But the writers and musicians are losing money because they are losing sales. Their incomes are slashed. If we realized that society needs writers to supply a demand for TV shows and movies and in return for their labor supplies their demands, then we can also understand that money is a pretense for dictating value.
The only question to ask now is why does this need to happen. The problem with money is that it is power, in the same way that a slaveholder has power over his slave. It privileges some over others, much in the same way as African apartheid and other types of racial superiority have done in the past. The difference is that this is economic privilege instead of political. Free and equal access to all levels of education is necessary in creating a working social situation for everyone within it.
In our presidential debates, we can see the uneducated battle for political supremacy. 75% of all Evangelists are home schooled and believe in creationism. I could care less, but now one could possibly be my president and run my country. All the Republicans want to stop immigration because there is not enough money to provide services for these people, especially when they are not paying taxes themselves. Mitt Romney wants to purge the entire United States of illegal immigrants, have them get in line to work legally, and tax them accordingly. This would bankrupt California and most likely the nation. And besides, do you know what it would take to deport every illegal immigrant? It would take people with guns coming to your house and making you leave. We can see conservatives fighting for tax breaks so rich business owners can spend large sums of money that go into the economy through a "trickle down effect." Liberals want to tax the richest part of our country to provide for the services of the poor. Again this makes the poor dependent on the rich. Some candidates are trying to maintain their oil companies- they know that if we switch to alternative energy, they will stand to lose huge amounts of money. Others believe nuclear energy is the best way to go, although dealing in uranium is probably no better than dealing with oil when it comes to funding terrorism, except now, your dealing them Uranium at the risk of irrevocable environmental damage.
Basically, our country is full of uneducated people, who don't realize that the problems that capitalism is creating (greed for more money) on a global scale is also creating threats to our living conditions. War, global climate change, and poverty are very real threats to humanity and survival as a species. Billions of people are scheduled to die on the continental coasts as water levels increase. We are scheduled to run out of drinking water in fifty years. Imagine the great depression, when agriculture and stocks broke down. Now imagine you don't have water either. We have the technology to create desalinization tanks and we have the labor to run them, but because there is no economic gain, we have no motive to do it. We have to stop doing things because we can afford to do it or profit from it, but because they are things that have to get done. The economy can only produce what the supply of money allows us to produce. Because money is limited, supply is limited. People cannot get education, medicare, food, housing, or clothing, often because if we spend money on them, there is less money for others. At the same time, rappers wear necklaces that cost 50,000 dollars and buy 12 cars because they have never had money before and blow it on shit that doesn't matter. This puts the money right back in the pockets of the rich. In the 17th or 18th centuries, kings would have lavish gardens to display the kind of power that money afforded them. This was a slap in the face to the king's people and they had a revolution. Money and power are a slap in the face to the principles of equality that democracy was founded on.
Education creates democratically sound individuals, an efficient social system, and individual empowerment. If educational property is prohibited from some by others, then it is up to those oppressed to demand what is their natural right. If we do not, we make stagnant the historical struggle for the freedom from oppression that has kept the human race from ever even pursuing its unquenchable potential. This is unacceptable. In the last two terms, we have seen the power of money just beginning to rear its head. Will we wait until the divide between rich and poor has gotten to be so enormous and we cannot differentiate between the rich of today and the kings of the past? That there is no difference between the poor of today, and the powerless "freemen" of the feudal ages?
It is therefore that I implore our country to impeach President Bush and Vice President Cheney for their crimes against humanity, forgive them for being corrupted by the power that money has held over the human species for so long, and forgive every national atrocity and genocide we have invoked against other peoples in the name of the economic justification of "profit," in order to make final the abolition of power, slavery, and social inequality, so that our civilization can better understand its destiny to live free. California must hold itself to a higher standard than the rest of the world, in order to promote individual liberties, whether they be gay rights, gender rights, minority rights, immigration rights, slave rights, environmental rights, or global rights. If this proposal is not immediately met with its thorough and complete adoption, then I declare war on the federal government and cite my justification as the historical and global literature that has protected my individual rights from oppression, developing with and through the passage of time. Slavery will not be tolerated and I demand total human solidarity in order to combat the forces of power made relevant by the appropriation of money, and demand that all who shy from their responsibilities to international law to protect humanitarian concern and signed at the Geneva Convention be regarded as traitors to the advancement of the human species and its subsequent civilization. This is not a Joke.