I’ve made no secret of the fact that I despise Betsy DeVos, the completely unqualified head of the Department of Education in the United States. Having her in that position OFFICIALLY makes the department an Orwellian institution, LABELED as an agency promoting education but having the OPPOSITE agenda in practice. Having worked in education (at the university level) for nearly a decade, I have a pretty good conception of what it takes to TEACH students, many of whom are uninterested in learning—but DeVos, who knows NOTHING about educating, is somehow supposed to be the BEST person for the job??? To be fair, she isn’t actually interested in educating the public at all, and the clearest sign of this is the proposed merger of the Department of Education with the Department of Labor. This makes sense if you understand what the ultimate GOAL truly is: CLASS SEGREGATION.
DeVos doesn’t want intelligent citizens (and nor does Trump), she wants to TRAIN WORKERS. The “lower” classes, who can’t afford “private” or “charter” schools, will be funneled into MENIAL LABOR / VOCATIONAL schools, stripped of most of their funding, cutting art and literature and drama programs, and not expected to EDUCATE a fucking soul. The products of this training will be “WORKING CLASS” proles, who can do all the dirty work and who are taught not to expect much from their lives. (They will learn to DO, not to THINK.)
Meanwhile, she’s pushing even penny she can towards private charter schools, most of which are based on teaching Christian ideological programs. This will create a WEALTHY / PRIEST CLASS (like the Brahmin class in Indian culture), who have most of the money and power in society (unlike how things are NOW, of course…but if all the EDUCATION is taken from the “lower” classes, they won’t be able to RISE or even IMAGINE THE POSSIBILITY that their lives can be anything but what they’ve been programmed to be. It’s all in 1984, and it’s been used in numerous cultures for thousands of years to keep those on top insulated from those who they are exploiting. (Lords and serfs…) Then, if you can convince the masses through RELIGIOUS INDOCTRINATION that this is all part of GOD’S PLAN, you’ve got it MADE! It will be SINFUL to even QUESTION the status quo.)
This is all so fucking BLEAK that I can’t believe people are letting it happen. BUT maybe it’s because they can’t spot the steps in the process? I don’t know.
SO WHAT CAN WE DO ABOUT IT???
Believe it not, we CAN do something to stop this slide into a THEOCRATIC CASTE SYSTEM here in the United States:
—VOTE!!!! Get these ideologues, the ones who APPROVED DeVos despite her absolute INCOMPETENCE in the field she is now supposedly the HEAD of, OUT. (They have repeatedly proven their lack of interest in “the people,” but the DeVos thing bugs me because it’s something I actually know and understand.) In my personal opinion, these people SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO MAKE DECISIONS that affect the rest of the population, and here’s why. 1. If they voted for DeVos to protect their “party line” then they are more interested in IDEOLOGY than the CITIZENS they are meant to be working for, and therefore should be voted out. 2. If they voted for DeVos because she (or someone associated with her) PAID THEM (and this is not debatable) then they are CORRUPT and need to be removed from office AND tried as CRIMINALS who profited while the citizens of the country suffered. (I’m thinking of the dismantling of health care for the poor and elderly, here, as well.) 3. If they voted for DeVos because they actually believed she was qualified to do the job, then they are INCOMPETENT, as the confirmation hearings proved beyond the shadow of ANY doubt that she did not even know the LANGUAGE of the position she was being put in charge of. Education is difficult, and it requires a number of skills (from child psychology to business and accounting skills.) DeVos is in no way qualified for the job she was given: OVERSEEING THE EDUCTION OF EVERY CHILD IN THIS COUNTRY—not just the rich, white, Christian children. And any senator who voted to CONFIRM DeVos for the position of Head of the Department of Education needs to be voted out as soon as possible—before they make any more DEVASTATING MISTAKES. (This includes any other policies that makes THEM richer while TAKING from the average citizen. The government isn’t THEIR piggy-bank, it’s the system put in place to make certain the CITIZENS are taken care of. “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness…” Hard to pursue those things when you’re too poor to eat or get medical care.)
—LEARN CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS (AND TEACH THEM TO YOUR CHILDREN!) Since we can OBVIOUSLY no longer rely on the public education system to teach our kids, WE have to take that responsibility upon ourselves. However, before we can TEACH anyone, we must learn for ourselves how to evaluate evidence, how to counter perceptual and ideological biases, how to spot logical fallacies (not only in what we read or see on television, but also in our OWN thinking), and we need to learn to LISTEN and PAY ATTENTION. I don’t care what religion or ethnicity or sexual persuasion you are or what economic background you come from—you HAVE to learn how to think clearly and evaluate arguments and judge whether or not the information and “evidence” that you are presented with is RELIABLE and ACCURATE (even when what you WANT may be at odds with what you find…) There is an actual WAR against reality going on at the moment, and therefore it is ESSENTIAL that YOU learn how to tell what is REAL and TRUE and USEFUL from just plain DISTRACTION, so that you can make informed decisions that don’t cost you your freedoms, your life, or your planet! The stakes are high…
—READ A DAMN BOOK! This may seem too simple, even pointless, but it is NOT. Reading is how we engage with ideas DIRECTLY. Words, for most of us, are how we THINK, how we UNDERSTAND, and BOOKS are how these thoughts can be transferred DIRECTLY from one mind to another (without having to worry about vocal cues, body language, too much noise, distance, even DEATH… We can still read the words of Mark Twain, Emerson, Thoreau, Jung, Shakespeare…even though those people have been GONE for a long time.) Reading CHANGES us, expands our minds, gives us new language for contemplating complex topics, and allows us to imagine beyond what we’ve personally experienced. In 1984, the MINISTRY OF INFORMATION was constantly REMOVING words from the vocabulary of the citizens, because by taking away the ability to SAY certain things, you remove a citizen’s ability to even THINK ABOUT those things. The REVERSE of this is ALSO true: WHEN YOU READ, YOUR ABILITY TO THINK AND CONSIDER IS INCREASED. As you encounter more words, NEW CONCEPTS, this gives you new ways of thinking, and this in turn gives you more options for dealing with complex situations in REAL LIFE. The KEY to learning, to having a brighter future, is READING! (AND writing… because that’s the flip side of language-as-thought. After taking in OTHER PEOPLE’S words, you write to EXPLORE YOUR OWN THOUGHTS, even if it’s just in a journal that you don’t share with others… Again, in 1984, paper journals were OUTLAWED, and owning and using one would get you arrested and tortured by the Thought Police.) WORDS HAVE POWER. Written language CAN’T be allowed to die! (Remember that the next time you use an emoji instead of writing out a complete thought and sending it to someone!)
—LEARN TO LISTEN TO EVERYONE! Again, this seems simple, but it’s an incredibly powerful tool. Instead of BLASTING AWAY with canned aphorisms or razor sharp talking points, the next time you hear someone say something that you disagree with, don’t ENGAGE IN A DEBATE (OR SHOUTING MATCH), just listen to what they have to say. Watch that OTHER news channel for a bit, and see what they are thinking (or SAYING, if you don’t believe there’s any thought behind the rhetoric.) You have to be willing to hear (or watch or read) opinions that don’t match yours, or you end up in an ECHO CHAMBER, a repeating algorithm where all hear is what you have already heard. You can’t learn anything if you’re constantly bombarded by the same, exact phrases, thoughts, slogans. It’s HARD to sit through concepts that are fundamentally against our own ideologies, but you MUST if you are to understand why everything that’s happening is actually happening.
If we start with these things: critical thinking, listening to all viewpoints, reading (and expanding our minds), and VOTING for what we believe in, then we might be able to AVOID something like 1984 or The Handmaid’s Tale or Night (by Elie Wiesel…) We can’t just lay here and feel helpless, not when so much is at stake.
I also have this idea of starting a SCHOOL OF THOUGHT, (to COUNTER the governments lack of interest in education) with branches wherever people need to learn critical thinking skills…but I’m always trying to start a new school or religion or that type of thing…
—Richard F. Yates
(Primitive Thoughtician and Supreme Bunny Lord of The P.E.W.)
SUPPORT INDEPENDENT FOLKS WHO ARE JUST MAKING STUFF BECAUSE THEY LOVE IT!!!