Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Private Education

"I agree about the challenges you all face but would you for a moment consider the fact that private education is getting quite a bit of momentum - that bother you?"

Private Ed is getting traction, because those in circles of power and wealth, and those who wish to climb to that, no longer value inclusiveness and equality. We will go back to Ed of 100 years ago where only the wealthy will have good schools for their kids to go to. The voucher system has done just that in the U.S. More institutions will be needed for the disadvantaged kids, parents will pay more to get them even a basic education. What we have in society, a gross inequality of wealth, will be mirrored in our education system. The point of compulsory public education was to create an equal basis for all kids and creating a less combative public space based on merit rather than wealth upon their graduation. This effort had inefficiencies and costs, it was known, anticipated and accepted. This has all been supplanted by the reawakening of classical liberal ideology. What was once accepted to make a better society, equality, has now been made to seem unacceptable and that inequality and the struggle to achieve more is what makes people stronger. This struggle between modern liberal collectivism, with public education seemingly its last bastion, and classical liberal individualism is now at play in our schools. Does the move to private education bother me? Not at all. A few generations of privileged wealthy cutthroat graduates getting into the economy creating an even greater class division in society will bring about a convulsion that Karl predicted in 1850, not ending the way he thought, but the event will occur. If anything I wouldn't mind private education, I don't have kids so my taxes will fall by 50% and who wouldn't want that!

What's wrong with philanthropy?

Having often thought there was something wrong with philanthropy, I couldn't ever put my finger on exactly why. I think I have it now. Capitalists use the notion of philanthropy as a justification for capitalism in the first place, 'see how wonderful the wealthy are as they donate huge sums to the poor, education and the arts - no government does that without raising taxes', or so goes the mantra of the haves. I stumbled on something that began to open that door, 'people should stop being good in the way they distribute their money, they should try being good in the way they're making it'. Carnagie, Gates, Haskayne, Werklund have all 'given back', but why? Was their 'share' too big to begin with? Are they feeling guilt at their success at the expense of others? If they are to give back, why not to the workers who actually made their fortunes? Why not give each employee their share rather than donating it to 'cultural' edifices and organizations that cater to the wealthy, such as grand music halls or whole faculty wings of universities. Having expropriated the surplus labour from the workers in the first place and amassed it, why not give it back to them? Why? Because of the basic need for inequality in the capitalism sandbox, labour simply should not get its fair share. But if that notion is true it is interesting the idea of sharing should still surface. There is something innate in us that looks askance at the outrageous accumulation of things, money included, and this seemingly rings throughout human history and regardless of culture. Somehow we know it's not morally correct. It's as though in the core of our being we are more sharers than hoarders. In the end philanthropy is to alleviate the embarrassment of riches, to forestall negative sentiment and to outwardly look good to the general public. I found this vid http://youtu.be/mTAE5m3ZO2E