Under the neoliberal accumulation regime, a shift takes place in the internal dynamics of the educational system. Insofar as public education is either privatized or forced to operate along competitive lines through budgetary cuts, not only does the labour power of those who are the products of the education system remain a commodity, but also the knowledge itself that goes into the production of this commodity becomes a commodity. Education becomes, in other words, a process for the production of a commodity (the labour-power of those who receive education) by means of a commodity (the knowledge they receive).
Under neoliberal capitalism, the commodification of education has accelerated. Before the establishment of the current accumulation regime, the educational sector was predominantly controlled by an interventionist state, committed to countercyclical macroeconomic management. The labour process of teaching within a state-owned domain followed the general pattern of any other production process. According to Michael Heinrich, such a general form – which is independent of any social determinations – comprises a distinction “among functional activity (labour), the object of labour (which is modified by labour), and the means of labour (the tools with which this process of modification is made possible) as elements of the labour process.”
If you think elementary, middle, and high school students know too little history, geography, and government, try asking them about the corporations that command so many hours of their day, their attention, what they consume, and their personal horizons.
On the show this week, Chris Hedges talks to Cornell University Professor, Noliwe Rooks about how America’s public education system, under successive administrations, continues to be segregated along racial lines, and what is taught often shaped by business goals and ideas.
We say we want change. So every few years, we elect new officials, and they continue to churn out more of the same policies, legislation, and rhetoric. The rich continue to get richer. The poor slide deeper into poverty. Corporations and the wealthy see pet projects and sweet deals passed through Congress. The People receive yet another bitter slap in the face.
The student debt problem is exploding, growing three times as fast as any other kind of debt, yet the Trump administration is making it more difficult for students to seek debt relief. Ellen Brown of the Public Banking Institute outlines the implications.