Monday, August 31, 2009

Monday Morning Musings

Actually, these thought came to me last night, but lets see if they sound right today. On NPR yesterday they interviewed several educational pundits. These people spoke of various changes to our educational system in order to fulfill it's mission statement. Curiously, it seems that the purpose of American education is to produce good, happy workers. Not CEOs, not entrepreneurs, not Nobel prize winners, just happy workers who know that everything has a price and nothing is free, even knowledge. It costs more and more to obtain knowledge. This discourages people, poor people especially, from trying to obtain deep educations. You remain undereducated and happily playing with trinkets, like Blackberries, PSP and the like. It sounds very good, to the CEOs, but it emphasizes that everything has a price and this cuts into profits. Things like wages and health care for the workers, for instance, are costs to the CEOs. So they move to cheaper labor camps and fire their American workers who need lots of money to replace their 2 year old car, their last years model game machine etc. This satisfies their need for more profits, but by firing workers you reduce their incomes and fewer products can be purchased. The solution is to make cheaper trinkets for the Americans, who after all are valued for their ability to spend. Since they aren't very educated their tastes are crude. Violence and sex is all it takes to interest them for hours. When they get bored with these trinkets and games the CEOs can simply release old products with new names and new commercials. All this maintains the level of profit the CEOs expect.

Profits represent labor, past and future, in the form of money. Money can be used in a Ponzi scheme or a hostile takeover. This works as long as people accept that numbers on paper really represent something. Once they don't, the jig is up. Witness 1930's Germany with their wheelbarrows of marks representing one potato. If people are unemployed, undereducated and unaware, money becomes next to worthless since it is part of an economy which produces inferior products by uneducated workers. Market Law kicks in and either somebody steps in from the outside to manage resources or somebody steps up from the inside to control the resources, or the resources are largely ignored while labor remains primitive, agricultural and stagnant.

What do you do with stupid, ignorant workers who produce shoddy products which can only be sold back to the ignorant workers? If you educate them they expect to climb the ladder to success, to replace the ruling class. Can't have that! If you replace them with robots to make better products they can't afford to buy them. The difficulty only exists because the intent of the ruling class is not to "raise all boats" but to ram the small ones. They call it social evolution", a testament to their own ignorance. If the little fish can't compete we'll eat them. Of course if the food chain is broken then even the big fish go down. How to maintain control over the workers, keep them ignorant and happy, and maintain the royal lifestyle to which the big fish have become accustomed? Lotteries start up, advertising millions for free! But as any gambler knows, gambling only serves the house, that is the Ruling Class. You can try to gain their trust by starting easy to finish wars and declare "Mission Accomplished!" when in fact nothing is further from the truth. You could buy up the media and control it, serving up pap and bullshit and propaganda. "We are the best in the world!" Food is imported, clothing is imported, vehicles are imported, clean water and entertainment. America watches British sitcoms re-formatted to sound American. American children watch cartoons made in South Korea, a military dictatorship under our protection.

Every single President in modern times, upon finding themselves Commander in Chief, has sought a war in order to try out the new toys. Our undereducated children wage the wars, bringing home bent and broken bodies, brains bruised and dysfunctional. They get low paying jobs and gradually go insane, remembering the faces of the children they have killed and raped. But even insane people buy trinkets, so the President is happy because the CEOs are happy. This is why we bail out banks instead of hospitals or schools. When a bank does badly and is failing at it's purpose the government gives it billions. When a school in the ghetto goes badly, failing it's students, the government comes in and closes it, giving the task of education to for-profit corporations to move the money up to the CEO level. Recall that every member of the past administration and the current one came from business to protect business even at the cost of the lives of thousands of workers and children.

This is mostly how it goes. I could explain how to free us of this constant control, manipulation and destruction, but you can't explain to an Angus how that ramp is not the way to go. Well, you can but they won't listen. See, we have to be educated in social history. This has to accurate and as devoid of propaganda as possible. It must include all our mistakes and deviations from the Law so we can avoid those traps. Then we have to be active in local politics, we have to either go to town hall meetings or watch them on cable. Everybody should have access to information via the web so they can learn not just what the government wants to them to hear, but what the world says is happening. We have to place role models up who deserve it. Not skinny alcoholic strip-tease dancing "entertainers". Not lying political hacks, nor partisan news sources like Faux News. Sen. Byrd is one of the most eloquent speakers in Congress but his speeches get buried because they often say unpopular things, like "War against Iraq is a crime and a huge mistake!" just before we invaded that poor country. Dennis Kucinich was also a truth teller who was ignored. I honestly think the news people didn't like trying to pronounce his name. In other words, we need an educated population who knows history, rhetoric, logic, and the Law of the land, the Constitution.

That's what we need, alright, but we won't get it. Just like my boy needs constant stimulation and therapies in order to heal enough to communicate America needs democratic processes and education to survive. So, just like my son, my country is doomed to die a pitiful, unnecessary death. Oh the houses will still stand and many of the tall buildings will be filled with businesses, but mostly we will move numbers around and quietly, obediently, march up that ramp towards the man with the gun.

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