While You Still Have a Body: Rethinking Everything

Nursery or Laboratory?

The world dominated by humans operates outside of our frame of reference.  No matter how hard you try it’s hard to think about the muddle when you are surrounded by it.  It thinks you.

Forgive me if what follows is confused.  Too much disgusts me lately and it is all related and my responses are often frustrated blurts.  I’m having trouble maintaining focus.

In Indiana the legislature passes corporate totalitarian and theocratic laws one after another while introducing more: Vouchers to subsidize religious education; State “take-over” of public education to set up puppet charter schools via so-called education management organiztions; Anti-union legislation with the intentionally ironic name “Right-to-Work” meaning the right to employ unprotected wage slaves; Making Creationism a mandatory subject in public education; Drug-testing welfare recipients; and on and on.

These are the “philosophical” underpinnings of the state’s corporate lackey legates:

Rep. Jud McMillin, R-Brookville, said the bill comes down to philosophical issues. He sees the bill as helping people, rather than hurting them.
“Do you want to teach a man to fish or do you want to give a man a fish?” he asked. “Do you want to give a hand up or do you want to give a hand out?”

[Psst, Jud, a guy can’t fish in the desert that is your world-view.  And also, Jesus gave fish and hand-outs. But no matter.]

While this goes on under and in front of our noses: Academic philosophy is doing the work–similar to Yoo, Bybee and Addington in torture, detention and surveillance, continued by banal men in Obamaland–of making arguments to support the transhuman; to underpin the “ethical” use of robotics to annihilate all basic understanding what is (was?) human.  See this paper and ask yourself how it is that this is a question philosophers ask unless they have a motivation to ask it, “What makes killing wrong?”

Is this the “ride” we are along for?

Maybe it’s past time to consider what ride you want to take while you are still allowed to have a body?

Let me task you with one way to view the world you are given.  I do not ask this to create “cynicism” in you (though it should) but rather to offer a foundation from which you can identify the full field of landmines that have been planted by Business Man America.  See every suggestion, every law, every invention, every idea, in its worst case scenario.

You can do it backwards too.  I know, some will cry “conspiracist” of me, but if there is an arc of “progress” to be followed we can at least all reckon it has favored only one class of people, one race, and one gender.  As so many like to say, do the math (or did you fail that standardized test, you dolt?)

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Listen: schools, with one fell swoop protected industry and business practices by re-writing everything anyone had ever learned about being in a family and/or a community.  Think about it.  Buildings were created in cities to employ women and capture and subdue the rebellious energy of youth–but primarily unoccupied youth.  This was made compulsory.  No more home and hearth…direct instruction in obeying the ruling class.  Done and done.

Think about that, compulsory.  Most of our laws, to my narrow awareness, feign to protect personal freedoms in tension with their actual role of protecting property.  What is protected in compulsory capture for 8 hours a day in youth?  Myriad studies show that limited effort will lead one to recognize the symbols of communication if not prepare one to be literate in any depth.  Further, much has been written about the likely disabling effect institutional education has on developing minds.

Now, we are still in this world of industrial education where women are allowed to enter the workforce (aren’t they grateful?) that was still and will always be dominated by men (hierarchical superiors), and children are still imprisoned without legal option.  There is now such a desperate and constant push towards “4 more years (shudder)” of school that it is culturally mandatory as a mark not of achievement but as a black mark against you if you don’t pay for the privilege.  At this point more men are involved (as they are in secondary education and sports at lower levels) in education and directing what it is that universities prioritize in learning.  Now, too, we are forced to think of jobs because we are committed to debt.  And at this point too we are likely very close to beginning families and tethering our minds and expectations to the ways of living provided by the status quo in society.

You can tell this story differently for each class.  The mechanisms are in place for the paths that diverge from poverty and prison to middle class “management” and upper class ownership.

I’ll go further and offer a prediction regarding social engineering and education.  If Indiana (and Florida) is any indication the next step leads to further domination by white, male wealth hierarchy.

States, run by white wealthy men (or run to the benefit of white wealthy men by puppets), turn education into laboratories for human experimentation.  Just think about it in the worst imaginable way.  Why shouldn’t it go that way?  We are entering a new phase of Totalitarian Theocracy.

We are on the cusp of a real chaos regarding energy and climate.  Governments must find new ways to control the soon to be very desperate creatures called humans.  School capture is the best way to manipulate our expectations and direct our paths, or don’t you think so?

Photo Credit: Lokesh_Dhakar

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  1. Band Geek February 1, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    It’s difficult to think of school in these terms. I think most of us feel a deep nostalgia about our school experiences – the excitement of learning, frienships, great teachers. If we were lucky we had that one great teacher who encouraged something in us that we may or may not have been brave enough to explore on our own.

    I think schools can be good, even if they aren’t now. I guess I should take my optimism to Finland.

  2. focus February 1, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    focus on energy and climate is suffering from being labelled as left wing agenda items. They both affect EVERY person on this planet but are pigeon holed as the left wing pet projects.
    Mostly it is an attitude of fingers in the ears and an “I’m not listening” attitude when these issues rear their ugly heads. Education about these realities would help of course. But education, across the board, is radically different from the way it used to be. The ancient philosophers were educators–they taught by discourse. If they didn’t have an answer, they searched for it. Or hypothesized about it. Or worked out theorems for it.
    Education is becoming more and more test-taking skills.
    I treasure my memories of school but most of those memories have to do with specific teachers, a few learning experiences and frienships forged during those years.

  3. Douglas Storm February 1, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    It seems natural to many of us to treasure some of these life-moments. But they are easily replaceable with other life-moments of equal opportunity for pleasing experiences.

    I would argue that much of what passes for “education” in many urban areas is incredibly difficult and distressing and that few of those children will have nostalgia for it.


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