This is a manifesto, a declaration, a statement, about the condition of education and the “educational system” in America today
- and what we should do about it.
1. What is Education?
There is a common misconception that education takes place in the classroom, or “online.”
There is the widespread belief that we get our educations in middle school, high school, college,
and perhaps even an advanced degree.
While it is true that these are “educational institutions,” this is not what education is.
What is high school? What is college?
These “educational institutions” are designed primarily to serve as incubators for the masses of adolescence and youth
that in the past would already be serving society as its laborers, it’s “men” and “women.”
Our “educational institutions” are “containers” that exist because we do not have the proper means to employ
all of our “young adults.”
The mandatory status of high school, and the aggressive societal push for “everyone” to go to college,
is not done for the sake that all these young men and women should learn,
but rather because it ensures their delay of entry into adulthood until at least their early 20s.
When a young man or woman decides to go to college, they come away owing a great “debt” to society.
Unfortunately, this is not the debt one owes to a kind benefactor, but rather one that is quite literal.
The tuition rates in our country are out of control, and as a consequence,
the “student’s” financial well-being is being sacrificed on the altar of “higher education.”
The greater “the degree,” the greater the debt.
We bow are heads and prostrate ourselves to the demigods of “Harvard,” “Yale,” “Dartmouth,” and “Stanford.”
We leave behind our families, after putting them through incredible strain, financially and otherwise,
so that we may have the “best education” we can get
- hoping that the name “Harvard” or “Yale” will propel forward our lives
ahead of those not “fortunate” enough to attend.
It is in this way that our society cultivates its “privileged class.”
By attending “Harvard” or “Yale,” one knows that they are the “best.”
They must be, since they have paid upwards of $200,000 (or at least someone has) to receive the “best education.”
Since we are paying so much for our “educations,” no wonder we don’t think of education as occurring outside the classroom.
This is the beginning of the stratification of our society into classes.
First, there are those who are “fortunate enough” to go to prestigious universities, the “ivy leagues.”
Second, there are the rest of us who take on the “noble burden” of getting our bachelor degrees at an
“accredited four year institution of higher education.”
Third, there is “everyone else,” including those with “lowly associates degrees,”
who must forever hang their heads for not having a “real one.”
Lastly, there are the “undesirables,” those who have no “education” at all
- the “dregs” of our society, which we allow to pump our gas, work in our meat packing plants, and die in our wars.
Let us take a look at India’s Caste system and see if our society is that much different.
True, we don’t have priests, for nothing is sacred, but we do have “professionals”
- those who hold “advanced degrees” in law and medicine, “business” and engineering.
It is these professionals who possess the majority of our nation’s wealth,
who live in the fanciest homes and drive the fanciest cars.
But what is the consequence of having a society and institutions which prop up an overpaid, elite “professional class?”
What we find is that in those areas where the “professionals” are in control of things, things are not going so well.
Our health care system, despite being populated by doctors, is actually quite destructive.
Our doctors have become “capitalist business men,”
while our hospitals are run by business administrators as profit-making machines.
We are plagued with epidemics of disease that are burgeoning out of control.
Indeed, it is not “health care,” but of “sick care.”
A third of all Americans born in the new millennium will develop diabetes, and half of all “minorities.”
Nearly half us will develop cancer in our lifetime, meanwhile the rates of obesity, Alzheimer’s and ADHD
are at an all time high and continue to rise.
This is what happens when we allow our professionals to become an “elite” overpaid class,
who think they are insulated from the causes they have created.
This is what happens when doctors become business men, hospitals become “corporate entities,”
and health care degenerates into expensive surgeries rather than prevention.
This is what happens when pharmaceutical companies are allowed to bribe doctors,
and pills are prescribed instead of proper nutrition and exercise.
This is what happens when our government feeds its children with pizza and french fries in its schools,
and the halls are lined with soda and candy machines.
This is what happens when our government does not make sure what we are eating is good for us,
but instead allows us to consume toxins in our air, water, and food,
all the while chemical companies grow rich.
What is the consequence of “advanced education” constantly producing new lawyers, ”businessmen,” accountants and engineers?
We have unprecedented levels of lawsuits in this country,
despite many law school graduates not being able to find good paying jobs
(while those that do are faced with the burden of paying off their massive student debts).
We have “businessmen” whose only concern is to make money, who work for corporations that only care about the “bottom line.”
We have men and women working in laboratories, and in our university research centers,
to develop and produce the chemicals that are killing us on a daily basis.
We have buildings and sky rises housing corruption and greed,
where accountants add up number showing the gain of a few at the expense of the many.
We have a wealth disparity where the top 10% of our country controls 90% of the wealth.
What we have is a pyramid – an “American Caste System,” created by our “educational system” from top to bottom.
Bellow the “professional elite,” there are the middle men, those with “normal” college degrees.
These are the people whose jobs pay them just enough to serve as our “middle class,”
and to fulfill the role of the “good American consumer.”
Our decisions having already been made for us, all that is left is to decide between candidate X and Y,
and whether to go with the iphone or the android.
These middle class “degree holders” will spend the next decade or two of their lives trying to pay off their student loans,
while at the same time being bombarded by our society’s consumer-driven “culture” of materialism and wealth-acquisition.
Our middle class “turns the wheels” so that they might also get a slice of the decadent pie
which the professional elite have claimed as their own.
The “lower classes” of our society, those not “fortunate enough” to receive a “full education,”
we use as our “manpower” – to do the jobs we don’t want to do,
to be our janitors, toll booth workers and “garbage men.”
Of course, our true “undesirables” are those who we do not even allow into our society or it’s institutions in the first place
- the “illegal” immigrants we use in our meat, dairy and poultry industries as slave labor,
underpaid and overworked, without rights, forced to do cruel and menial tasks
so that we may have our daily hamburger.
This is how we “educate” America. But what have we learned?
We use the “educational system” as a means of artificially stratifying our society into classes,
so that we may say that “some” are better than “others,”
so that our “professional elite” can justify their disproportional wealth,
as so that we may all justify why some should be in charge of “cleaning up our mess.”