By Denis G. Rancourt
Adult university students are entrapped unpaid managerial-labourers, intellectual slave-workers in forced indoctrination camps.
The institutionally imposed "study" is unpaid forced labour done by adults and minors.
By virtue of entirely blocking a person's freedom of inquiry, and freedom to thus self-define within the unpartitioned community, schooling and university "education" are as dehumanizing as any regime of forced labour. Furthermore, university is not only unpaid but also imposes life-long personal debt and relative health deterioration.
The relative health deterioration comes from the well-known dominant individual-health determinant that is the particular stress inherent in a dominance hierarchy (see articles under the label "medical"; and reading below).
Schooling's ancillary benefit arising from social-interaction is strictly limited and codified, and otherwise only tolerated as a necessary management allowance. (Studies in the developing World have shown that the main benefits from classic schooling arise from the students from several villages meeting and comparing communicated experiences about home-life.)
The fact that university, by virtue of unavoidable spatiotemporality, allows a melting pot of meetings, including between students and the few non-student adults, does not diminish the inherent violence in the institution's systemic and willful attack against student freedom. The said meetings occur despite the structural cantonizations into year-groups, study programs, academic disciplines, schools of thought, professional doctrines, and so on, and despite the grueling impositions of mindless (uncreative) and constrained "intellectual" work.
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At the very least, students should be PAID a salary, and allowed to be unionize as workers. Those should be the demands from students. These demands are a rational imperative within the logic of a (hypothetical) capitalism that rejects all slavery except wage-slavery.
Anything less -- such as demanding "free" tuition, or "merit" scholarships, or interest-free loans -- condones unpaid child labour and professional-worker slavery.
Student loans, in particular, are exactly a buying-of-freedom system of slavery, which extends for decades beyond the actual schooling. The "schooling" itself is analogous to slave capture and breaking of the will, followed by forced behavioural and task training. Only fully integrated student-slaves and unconscious managers of student-slaves cannot recognize this obvious fact about student "loans" and "education funds".
Regarding public schooling, if the system is going to take children, hoard them into factories, and rob them of their natural developments, then it should at the very least pay money for the forced labour. This would make the dealing overt rather than covert, and would allow an evaluation of the arrangement, based on reality.
Likewise, home-schooling parents should be paid at least the same per-capita cost that the state pays for institutionalizing children, including any state salary to the institutionalized child. That should be the parents' negotiating position when home-schooling parents demand their due.
Note: In this post, I used the word "slavery" for the wage slavery of professional workers, including university students. It is completely predictable, in this age of "words that wound", that some readers will complain. I don't agree that my use of the word "slavery" trivialize the word. Quite to the contrary, my use of the word unifies struggles across social classes and historic periods. The human mind is more-than-able to discern violent and brutal physical enslavement from the violent psychological domination described by Paulo Freire, and explained in the context of the modern professional worker and graduate student by Jeff Schmidt.
Related reading and related links
Farber, Jerry, "The Student as Nigger", Canadian Union of Students, May 6, 1968.
Freire, Paulo, "Pedagogy of the Oppressed", 1970.
Rancourt, Denis G., "Hierarchy and Free Expression in the Fight Against Racism", Stairway Press, Mount Vernon, WA, 2013.
Rancourt, Denis G., Links to Denis Rancourt's essays about the student condition and student liberation
Schmidt, Jeff, "Disciplined Minds -- A Critical Look at Salaried Professionals and the Soul-Battering System that Shapes their Lives", Rowman & Littlefield, 2000.
Dr. Denis G. Rancourt is a former tenured and Full Professor of physics at the University of Ottawa, Canada. He is known for his applications of physics education research (TVO Interview). He has published over 100 articles in leading scientific journals, and has written several social commentary essays. He is the author of the book Hierarchy and Free Expression in the Fight Against Racism. While he was at the University of Ottawa, he supported student activism and opposed the influence of the Israel lobby on that institution, which fired him for a false pretext in 2009: LINK.
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