- Capitalism and Alternatives -


Posted by: Gee ( si ) on October 21, 1999 at 14:48:32:

In Reply to: Absolutely positive posted by Deep Dad Nine on October 21, 1999 at 00:21:19:

: : To explain capitalism in terms of private ownership and free trade would be a 'dictionary' explanation. Teachers, those employed by the state, would utterly contradict the validity of their own role in society if they were to agree with the above definition. They exist in an organisation specifically *not* privately owned and *not* subject to the free market.

: DDN: But said organization IS privately owned and highly SUBORDINATE to the "free" market.

What you have said here is not a criticism of capitalism as expressed in private ownership and free markets, but a criticism of *state* owned education - its funded by tax money, you dont actually choose to buy it. Compulsory attendance with state education content guidelines mean that even private schools and home schooling is within the legislative grasp of the state at all times.

This is not private ownership nor is it free, as you recognised by placing "free" in inverted commas.

: Gee, did you ever attend public school in the states? The History books are written almost exclusively from the elite capitalist perspective.

Then why do history books portray FDR as heroic when he was devoutly anti-capitalist? Again I think youre confusing the two.

In summary - state education is not selected by parents or children, its a massive institution paid for via taxes which parents cannot choose not to pay without being arrested, the content is decided by a political process not by the 'voting with feet' which would occur were it an actual free market. To your last point...

: A US public school teacher's "role in society" is to mold little would-be anti-capitalists and free thinkers into complacent little automatons

The same is a typical libertarian accusation - with some words changed it reads

A US public school teacher's "role in society" is to mold little would-be capitalists and free thinkers into complacent little automatons utterly dependant upon political institutions.

Because your arguments against 'capitalism' are actually arguments against coercive state power (overseen by a ruling 'class') then a school turning out actual capitalist, ie people who support private property and free trade would present as much of a threat to the current set up as any stateless-socialist school.

Can you follow what I mean here - this isnt an attempt at catching you out, i think were agreeing, but using very different meanings for various terms/words

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