- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Some parents want advantages for children -- what's that supposed to justify?

Posted by: Samuel Day Fassbinder ( Citizens for Mustard Greens, USA ) on June 29, 1999 at 16:45:17:

In Reply to: education posted by Gee on June 29, 1999 at 11:46:14:

: : SDF: This appears to be a play-on-words on the word "care". Child care is of course a service provided by adult supervisors of children for parents who must earn wages under capitalism. Caring, on the other hand, is a sentiment. I don't see how "caring" can be quantified as an economic force -- can we say the rich care more for their children because they have a lot more money and care-hours to care with?

: The point was that parents care more for their own children than other peoples children and thus do not feel guilty over gaining any advantage

SDF: People do not love children for the sake of any advantage. Motherly love is not a capitalist investment policy.


: : SDF: Are you concerned that self-esteem, like proper socialization, be rationed?

: Self esteem, by my understanding, is the feeling of self value occuring because a person knows themself, is comfortable and competent dealing with reality, not cowering from life. It is not subject to rationing, but the current public schools seem to think self esteem is a precious baby thing which mustn be upset by suggesting you could work on your math a little.

SDF: Concrete examples please.

: : SDF: Nope, public and private schools are constrained by the ideology of the people AS A WHOLE.

: There a people in America who want to seperate state from school, who want only Christian schools, who want black only schools, who want military only schools. There is no 'as a whole'. Its a hotchpotch compromise pleasing no one.

SDF: There are blacks, Christians, military drones, etc. who believe in what Paulo Freire called the "banking model" of education, that students are mere empty containers and that knowledge is to be poured into these containers, who are to wait silently and passively for the onset of this knowledge. So this is a generally-accepted bit of folklore about education. On the other hand, there are educators who understand that students have to be taught how to become active seekers, constructors, and producers of knowledge in their own right.

: : SDF: It certainly won't change some offhand remarks by the First Lady into ACTUAL POLICY, although laughing out loud might clear my head about those who think they are the same thing.

: It demonstrates the way in which solutions are considered, and it mounts to political rearing of other peoples children.

SDF: If you want to find out about the real direction of American policymaking you'll have to follow the money.

: A hitler youth is still a hitler youth even if the content of such a programme is supposedly benign.

SDF: By this definition all education not directly coming from parents is "hitler youth," since it "mounts to political rearing of other people's children." Teaching eight-year-olds their multiplication tables -- don't do it, Gee thinks it's "hitler youth," leave it to the parents.

: : SDF: You keep babbling about how people will lose "comparative advantages" if everyone in society is appropriately socialized. Why? One of the worst examples (IMHO) of inappropriate socialization in today's society, for both mothers and children, is when mothers abandon their babies at a very early age. Who gains a "comparative advantage" from this practice, and why should I care if they do?

: If you believed it to be babble you would be unable to answer. Comparative advantage is held onto by those who have it. A state system of 'rescuing' potentially abandoned children may reduce resources for otehr parents - oops, there goes the a little bit of comparative advantage. Nasty, the way parents want more for their children.

SDF: Parents are not asking that other parents allow their children to die so that their children can have a "comparative advantage." Parenting is not a capitalist investment strategy, and if it does turn out that way with the older children, such children should file for divorce from their parents. Being someone else's commodity is slavery.

: : SDF: I'm not blaming anyone, I'm outlining the necessary social policies that should compensate for the fact that capitalism throws away people like trash when they are no longer useful to the profit motives of others.

: Capitalism doesnt do it, people do it. Throwing people out who are not perceived as useful is not an action wholly determined by free market capitalism

SDF: Yes it is. I have a business to run, and you are no longer contributing to my assets column when my liabilities column is sky high. I cannot afford bankruptcy merely for you. You are a liability. I throw you out, that's the bottom line.

: - there are many reasons why people might be considered useless in many differerent political - societal structures.

SDF: Incl. capitalism.

: : And children who suckle at their mothers' breasts "will at some point" become murderers. Would that say anything about breast-feeding? Diverting a conversation about opportunities for socialization into a discussion of who's talented is the insertion of a non-sequitur.

: Its addressing your dichotomoy between 'innocent children' and changing the system which would necessitate a lowering for some of those children

SDF: You keep talking about "lowering" without giving a concrete example. I don't believe you. In a healthy society all boats rise when everyone is properly socialized, crime goes down, happiness increases.

: which you must consider appropriate and which those very many parents would not.

SDF: Nope, there are far more resources in today's society than are needed for the proper socialization of all its members. Enormous good is done, for instance, putting people to work in educating children, as is evidenced by the work of the Americorps volunteers at one of the schools I work with.

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