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Do anarchists agree with compulsory education?

+2 votes
asked Apr 18, 2013 by anonymous

1 Answer

+6 votes
No.
answered Apr 19, 2013 by AutumnLeavesCascade (8,970 points)
If I may play devil's advocate to expand upon this a wee bit...

It seems privileged to attack a system that has provided many opportunities for people, especially people who may not have realized it at the time. It is many of our own compulsory educations that make us articulate enough to voice these opinions. And today thousands of people all over the world risked their life for their own education or their child's. Education is power and if it were not compulsory, the people who would be the most oppressed by it (more than they already are) would be the poor and minorities.

Edited for typos
it doesn't "seem privileged" at all. wtf is the point of bringing "privilege" (as a word and as a concept) into this conversation? ugh.

however, to your point - many people have fought for all kinds of things, and thought all kinds of things were going to help them or their children. we are not bound by their mistakes, or by the differences in analysis between them and us.
also, the whole point is that education is NOT power, at least, not a kind of power that will make a new world (at least, not the kind of education that one gets in a school...).
?
VV:
1. "It seems privileged to attack a system that has provided many opportunities for people"
No more critiques of property & policing then either. Colonialist apparatus must not be questioned. And your statement assumes coercive hierarchical education is privilege? That's just one opinion, doesn't speak for most anarchists or have much to do with anarchism at all.

2. "It is many of our own compulsory educations that make us articulate enough to voice these opinions"
It is many of our own experiences of oppression that make us so articulate in analyzing and confronting oppression. So what? Do you think we couldn't have learning without the Western or Eastern formal schooling practices? That's a hell of an ethnocentric assumption.

3. "And today thousands of people all over the world risked their life for their own education or their child's"
People also sacrifice their entire lives for careers doing things they hate to buy things they don't need to plug up a gaping hole of meaninglessness in side them. People sacrifice their lives in pointless wars for politicians they hate for a country that never served them. We are all deluded by the hegemonic ideology of the reigning system.

4. You're drawing a false binary of compulsory education and some sort of idle apathy. People are drawn to learning until it's crushed out of them as children, or squeezed back into them in ways that don't fit. People are curious and desire meaningful participation in their own lives, not coercive indoctrination.

5. Compulsory education as it exists in all nation-states is one of the primary tools of indoctrination into the ideology of power. It's an assembly line for drones that conditions people into submission, snitching, hierarchy, punishment, competition, alienation, and apathy. Any circumstantial freedom, conviviality, mutual aid, critical thinking, or personal growth will be discarded for the sake of order if it threatens the institution. We can live intentional lives full of analytical prowess, emotional skills, and contemporary and historical knowledge, without compulsory education. Many cultures on Earth have done so, and we can too. I've seen it in many unschooled children among autonomous communities in real life and I'm convinced.
upvote to alc's comment above!

just 2 quick comments:

- compulsory *anything* goes against everything i think of as "anarchist".

- "It seems privileged to attack a system that has provided many opportunities for people".  this thought is drowning in its own myopically defined context.  the "opportunities" you speak of can only be seen as such in the context of modern human society. unless your desire is to perpetuate this society, those opportunities look more like coercive impositions.
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