Rebel Without a Clue: Autonomy and Authority in the American Public School

Cain, Susan; Mason, Mark

Publisher:  Dissident Voice
Date Written:  05/02/2018
Year Published:  2018  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX22479

The high school dropout is a revolutionary without having recovered the sense of dignity of failure, in a system of authoritarian control. Blaming the dropout is to blame the victim of institutional abuse of power exercised within youth indoctrination centers carrying the misnomer, school. Is it possible that the problem is mainly systemic and not due to the personal faults of the dropout? Is it possible that the education system itself contributes to young people dropping out of high school? Is it possible that capitalism is the root cause?



Everything in childhood is preparation for and achievement of mental enclosure, everything being not only the systems by which capitalism operates but also the cultural indoctrination, the countless messages conveyed to us through all forms of media and social interaction. Education in capitalist society is the closing down of the beautiful human experience characterized by the internally-shameless joy of being. It seeks to enclose the mind, making its capitalist desires and needs those of each person. The enclosure of the Commons is re-enacted through each child and every crushed longing for community, authenticity, and collective joy.

This brings us to the function of the state-mandated public school. "Everyone has a boss" must be imparted to children as early in cognitive development as possible. The few parents, who have not provided the desired suppression of the child's budding autonomy by age five, are required to place their children in schools under the control of the state for the time in which parents are under the control of corporations.
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