Nate's interesting question

From: Mike Cole (
Date: Sun Mar 06 2005 - 14:18:23 PST

Nate-- I found your post re schooling interesting but cryptic. Can you expand?

You wrote:

If not schooling, then what?

Schooling for the workingclass (the upper classes do as they always do)
was largely a replacment for child labor (slavery).

1) Two sets of questions here. First, in what senses and under what
conditions is child labor equivalent to slavery? Second, how is it
distinguished from adult labor under what conditions vis a vis slavery
and for whom?

We also know of various examples in Africa where schooling has been
child slavery has come back in full force.

2) Help me out with some examples here. I spent a good deal of time
working in West Africa where three centuries ago Africans enslaved
each other before schooling ever arrived, then Europeans enslaved
Africans, then Europeans brought schooling (some of it to some
Africans in some parts of Africa). Is it genocidal civil war that is
the deconstructing agent you are referring to? AIDS? I saw more child
labor than schooling where I worked when schooling was at its apex, so
I am having difficulty finding the historical narrative you are
indicating. There is a huge amount of slavery taking place,
quite literally, in the US today and we have formal education stuffed
into every kid's available orifices. I am simply confused by the
causal connections you are indicating.

So after the post modern critique is finished, what kind of activities
are offered as its replacement? All I know is there are those
salivating at such talk.

3) This last segment left me plain puzzled. The first question is in
urgent need of consideration. What form of life can be organized such
that we do not consume ourselves through gluttony and coveting our
neighbors' resources to the point of extinction? Given our species'
special proclivity to create and deploy new tools as a mode of
"transforming nature while transforming ourselves" combined with the
devestating socio-ecological consequences of our cleverness at
destroying each other and our biosphere, what new visions of life can
we create as thought experiments, reify as new practices, that might
perhaps help us to find a way to slim down enough to get through the
needles eye? That the US is a major danger in this regard seems to me
uncontestable. But only because the Chinese will take a decade or so
to take over our leading position.

Who is salivating for what reason over what when confronting future of
humanity's grandchildren?


This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Fri Apr 01 2005 - 01:00:05 PST