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Public Education and the End of Capitalism

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Message Paul Moore
Something the valiant but outgunned defenders of public education in the United States must now consider is the changed face of the enemy. The oligarchs; Bill Gates, Eli Broad, the Walton Family, the Bush Family, Michael Bloomberg and the CEO's represented in the Business Roundtable, have directed the assault on public schools for the past two decades. They were supremely confident they could bring to fruition Milton Friedman's dream of education turned into a highly profitable industry. As it turned out though, they were cursed with an Achilles Heel. Their plan was inextricably bound to the fate of a global capitalist economy.

That global capitalist economy is over now. Why? For one, because globalization was so successful in its brief heyday. It penetrated every market on the planet. It stomped out the Soviet Union and took control of the Russian economy. And who ever imagined China, closed off to the West not thirty years ago, could become the largest market for a big-ticket consumer good like automobiles in 2009? For another, globalization found the absolute lowest wage possible in the undeveloped world. The profit addicts bumped right up against outright slavery and where possible went over the edge. Today more human beings are in bondage than anytime in human history.

But the system's success exhausted the possibilities for growth. And growth is its lifeblood. Growth kept it healthy and dynamic. When that growth became impossible capitalism turned inward. It began feeding on itself. That's when Wall Street turned Bear Sterns and Lehman Brothers and the other investment banks into casinos. That's when M.I.T. trained mathematicians were summoned to make investment vehicles into computer generated logarithms beyond human comprehension. Since no more real wealth was being created the bankers were forced to resort to alchemy, in the form of derivatives, to give the appearance of wealth creation. Meanwhile, the truly productive corporate entities, even the largest of them, began being interned. R.I.P General Motors!

The other thing a global economy had to have if it was going to work was a plentiful and cheap supply of oil. If the world is not now on the downside of the Peak Oil curve, its close enough for government work in the US, China, India, Russia, the EU. Rulers in these developed and developing countries have begun to act along those lines. For instance, the US won't be getting out of the Middle East anytime soon because it is a major source of a dwindling world oil supply. US military presence there has nothing to do with politician's silly bleatings over "underwear bombers" or terrorism. And for another instance, economic nationalism, in the form of US tariffs on Chinese steel to give one example, is the wave of the future. Globalization cannot withstand the end of free trade or oil driven trade but it faces both simultaneously. It will crash and burn as a result.

A US soldier or two, away from the harrowing places they have been sent to secure oil, given time to consider, has probably wondered why their government has contracted with Blackwater now Xe-type mercenaries at ten times the price to pull duties once assigned to them. It is completely absurd on its face. The product of a hidden agenda is always absurdity. Globalization, which seeks privatization of all things, is that agenda.

Teachers across this country have come to live everyday with this absurdity. Incessant testing with no relation to the real world, the mindless collection of trivia classified as data, forcing a "business model" like Enron or Lehman Brothers or General Motors on the public schools, driving the arts and the social sciences out of the curriculum, and watching every Chancellor, Superintendent, Commissioner, and Secretary of Education promote charter schools over their own public schools at every turn. Absurd! But again the product of a hidden agenda is always absurdity.

Because we are bombarded with it by the corporate media, there is the temptation to believe the global economy will enjoy a "recovery" and the US will visit even greater heights of material prosperity. This is a delusion that is being foisted on the American people. It's part of a scam. There is no rational reason for this system to be revived and there are oligarchs, and people at Goldman Sachs, and people in the US government and military that know this. They have left behind some functionaries in the public schools, "dead-enders" like Michelle Rhee in Washington D.C. and Joel Klein in NYC to soldier on with the corporate catechism. They have not bothered to demobilize the cults created to undermine the public schools; Teach For America, Green Dot and KIPP charter schools, but the true believers and their cults are no longer a credible threat.

The new danger appears in the rise of the seamless melding of the corporation and the state in the US. The corporate-state was certified as constitutional by the US Supreme Court in its recent decision on corporate campaign financing. The new reality is reflected in the unprecedented amount of money Secretary of Education Arne Duncan suddenly has at his disposal to undermine the public schools. Duncan has put the 50 states in a competition he calls the Race To The Top, to become the most effective at destroying public education and advancing the charter school movement. Duncan will spread over $4-billion among the "winning" states. The denial of funds is expected to finish off public education in the "losing" states.

Some people are confused as to why President Obama's education policy is indistinguishable from that of George W. Bush. Well both are either willing servants or hostages of the same masters. In the transition from one administration to the next the bankers takeover of the US treasury never missed a beat. The military, one of the pillars of the corporate-state, allowed President Obama the public perception of choice on Afghanistan. But Gen. Stanley McCrystal was ordering not requesting more troops. Another pillar of the corporate-state, the insurance companies and pharmaceuticals, have humored Obama with the idea they would allow national health care reform. They've tired of the theatrics and ordered up Scott Brown in Massachusetts the other day to bring the curtain down on it.

In regards to the public schools and every other vestige of democracy in US society the corporate-state is the last stage where fighting back will be possible. Next comes the national curriculum from Winston Smith's world. It's resistance now or never.

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