Saturday, October 29, 2011
The first victim of education
By Denis G. Rancourt
The First World education complex is responsible to create the professional managerial force that advances and maintains the global North-South exploitative flux of human and natural resources; and, therefore, is responsible for a deeply-racist planetary-scale genocidal pillaging using continuous war in conjunction with financial predation.
It also is responsible for the indoctrination to maintain a vicious class hierarchy at home without which manning Empire would be impossible.
Yes, but that is too easy. As long as we only write about it we contribute to it. As long as we advance that education is the answer to education, we strengthen it. We must instead recognize that the first-line of defence lies in our own bodies, as we -- students and teachers -- are the first-line victims of education.
The first-line of defence against global madness, the only line that we are part-of, is our own personal rebellion against our own oppression. And overwhelmingly the dominant first-tier oppression against privileged-sector First World individuals is education, from pre-school to professional school. 
The first victim of education is the student. 
This is evident to graduate school and professional school students because the myth until then is to prepare for "real learning" up ahead. But the "real learning" never materializes. Professional schools must brainwash students to believe they have learned something and to accept to function as con artists (doctors, lawyers, bankers, scientists, etc.) in society. 
It is so difficult for many to accept that this is all the learning to be had that they willingly participate in their own brainwashing to believe they have acquired competence and knowledge, as part of self-preservation. The brainwashing is the major tour de force in the finishing of graduates. Often it is only accomplished in the internship, residency, or post-doctoral phase.
Here, the first victim is the new graduate who realizes that he/she knows nothing after some 25 or more years of grueling institutionalization, a large financial debt, and despite all the high grades and diplomas.
I once challenged a graduating top-of-her-class MD about her ignorance and she willingly admitted that in fact she knew nothing, absolutely nothing. Two years of residency later it was impossible to have that conversation. She still knew nothing.
My own experience was similar as a physicist-in-training. I was torn between the self-knowledge of my ignorance, despite the small pieces I came to have an impression of grasping, and my stellar professional advancement in terms of published papers, scholarships, high grades, and conference invitations. Everything pushed me to act-as-if and to assume a professional stance.
Next, in the classroom, my ignorance needed to be the most remote in appearance of all, whereas it would have been the most formidable pedagogic tool. Only after more than a decade of teaching would I start to discover critical pedagogy, largely by accident and thanks to a stubborn desire to be true, and only as rebellion against the oppression of conventional teaching.
Then I would learn of the establishment's false critical pedagogy sector and the side industry that it is...
As Paulo Freire would say, you can only fight your own oppression and that is the most you can do. The real front of resistance is in the body of the first-tier victim. The intensity of the victim's rebellion is the magnitude of the resistance. The rest, outside of praxis, is academic blah blah which only strengthens the oppressor's grip.
If you are not suffering significant backlash then that is evidence that you are contributing to the oppression and if you have been integrated (buried) it's a sign you are dead. Enjoy your shallow "life" and may your children be just like you.