The Capitalist Education System

What a time we live in. Just when the Capitalists thought they had triumphed once and for all, their doomed system has yet again shown its true colours. And yet again, the necessary actions are being largely undertaken by young people. Only this time, the situation is much more dire; on top of what their revolutionary predecessors faced, young people today are facing literal worldwide destruction in the form of climate change, which world leaders continue to deny despite decades of scientific evidence.

As we see frequently on our various media platforms, young people are no longer willing to settle for the bright colours of a flag or the grandeur of a politician, and are mobilising in spite of the cowardly missiles thrown by people much older (but far less mature) than them, with one of the major themes of this action being strike action during school time. In light of this, I, as an high school student myself, think it prudent to offer some kind of discussion of just how much of an enemy the school system really can be to a young person, and how these material conditions have helped create an environment in which revolutionary activity is necessary for the Adolescentry’s wellbeing.

From the start, the youth are herded into enclosed facilities and dealt the lot of the worker. Very young children, far too young to be subjected to forced training or work procedures, are pulled from their delicate accustoming to life, and their breaking-in is begun. Their humanities and malleable mentalities are degraded and destroyed on a daily basis under the education system – taught to obey and sit still, and what they should be and do with no reason other than the ‘authority’ of teachers and staff. This is not even considering the barbaric emotional cruelty suffered by these children – though the ruling classes may attempt to garner a more progressive image through the outlawing of medieval practices such as corporal punishment – which, it must sadly be mentioned, is not even illegal in all of Australia. Returning to what was previously said, despite the stripping away of some anachronisms, the result is always the same for younger generations – years of emotional abuse, ritual humiliation, stress levels that no-one (least of all such young people) should ever have to experience in a just society – all conducted by people they are ordered to trust (an horrendous concept in itself) usually while they are forcibly seperated from those whom most young people need most – any parents, carers and/or community they may have at home. This is only the beginning of the lifelong process by which the employee of capitalism is created, and it is so often glossed over by those responsible for youth. Too often these people focus on how to help their young charges “cope” in school, rather than realising that this in fact a vastly unreasonable demand of anyone and that the problem lies in the system itself, modelled after and serving the demonstrably damaging capitalist society. Instead, it must be the goal of all who are concerned with the welfare of school students to recognise said students as the oppressed rather than the problem to be fixed, and to devote their energy that they would have otherwise spent trying to rectify the problems they see from the latter viewpoint, to the abolition of the entirety of the school system.

Circumstances are no better for young people in high school. Although teacher-student relationships may be slightly less parental, the teenager nonetheless suffers as much under the system as they did in the primary stage. The student is now less willing to accept the school system, finally recognising it as the cause of their lifelong predicament rather than themselves (if they have not already come to this conclusion since the primary years). However, the teenager is still hardly more able to preserve themself under the system than they were in their previous years, having known nothing else for the majority of their life. This new awareness, combined with the actual actions of the school system at this stage of a young person’s life, amounts to untold detriment. The teenager, already undergoing both physical and mental redevelopment, suffers as their minds, emotions and chemical compositions are whipped up by stress and fear into a frothy mess, causing all manner of mental and physical maladies, all the while being ignored as ever by decieved and/or beneficiary adults.

Kids heading to high school? Here’s when to take control ...
Capitalists control education, what could go wrong? Here we have a nice stock photo of students who are probably suffering mental health issues due to the rigidity of a school experience based on factory work.

The education system is a paradoxial breaking wheel to which the young person is strapped. They are denied both rights and resistance, not having those freedoms considered basic when applied to adults, yet know no other way of life and thus all their conceptions of resistance are confined to this model. Thus the youth grow up with consciousness cast into the capitalist model, and are hindered in their ability to express or carry out resistance. And when they attempt to speak out, those in power are unfazed no matter what science says. And science roundly demonstrates the young people’s case.

Does this remind you of the capitalist model’s organisation of society into classes, and of class consciousness and struggle? It should – the entirety of the capitalist society is reproduced in the education system, except the latter is much more successful in its deception of its masses.

Thus the young person resists in the only way they know – by attempting to take their mentality into their own hands. They may confine themselves to their bedrooms or wherever they feel comfortable, or they may spend as much time as they may outside of the home, away from their daily ordeal. These actions are often objected to by parents and carers, who see only their own sufferings. Habits and beliefs are adopted – something that is often percieved by adults as “finding oneself” “teenage rebellion”, “lack of understanding/experience” etc., and these views are certainly championed by the ruling classes as causes of the many issues faced by young people, despite the fact that the way in which these young people are dealt with by those same ruling classes is often itself a large part of said issues.

Police make 11 arrests as students march for free ...
Students protesting capitalist education. Incidentally, 11 of them were arrested at this peaceful protest. Credit: The Independent (UK)/ Johnny Tam

Having said that, it must be said that I do not consider myself qualified to speak on all issues faced by young people, given my privileged placement in society. I apologise for any entitlement displayed in my statements, or even by my very presence here. I also understand that many families and young people rely on schools for many things, and that individual students’ circumstances may lead them to take up views and practices irrespective of their school experiences.

But I write from personal experience, as someone who attends an Australian public high school, and am thoroughly convinced of the downright inability of the prevailing school system in most Western nations to be of any benefit whatsoever to the young people it purports to educate. So what is the solution, you may ask? In fact, it appears a great many young people have already hit upon the solution, speaking out and taking to the streets in large numbers to protest their common enemy. This is but the start of the revolution which must surely follow, as the younger generation sheds the propagandic blinkers put upon their parents and grandparents during the Cold War, and begins to see Communism as the hope of improving their future.

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