[OPE-L:5890] Re: Re: communism

jurriaan bendien (Jbendien@globalxs.nl)
Tue, 23 Dec 1997 15:00:34 +0100

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Concerning "islands of communism" such as free schooling in capitalist

Surely the nature of the education system will reflect the nature of the
society in which it occurs, and whether it can be said to be "capitalist"
or "communist" ought to be judged on that ? Or, to use the architectural
metaphor, surely developments in the superstructure reflect developments in
the economic base of society ? And isn't Marx's transitional demand for
free education in the Communist Manifesto a bit out of date these days in
most Western countries ? I recall reading a book by Samuel Bowles and
Herbert Gintis called Schooling in Capitalist America (1976), in which they
showed that the US education system faithfully corresponded to the
requirements of American corporations and American class society,
instilling the norms, habits, ideals and behaviours thought desirable and
necessary in that society. As a rule of thumb, I would say that as long as
the characteristics of class society prevail among adults, schooling will
only confirm and reproduce them in their children. Whether this is done
for free (which is admittedly progressive) or not, is a separate issue, it
is not sufficient to characterise the provision of the education as