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RE: [xmca] Jones on 'value' of Learning and intensified/enhanced labour under capitalism


Exactly - so we are in Gramscian territory: there is a struggle over values in education that has its roots in class struggle, but is 'refracted' by layers of cultural-ideological-political mediation, in which ultimately the State (and the political field) plays a key role. 

A key question then for education seems to be - how is it possible for the technocracy to stay 'uncritical' about social questions while exercising 'problem solving skills' in their 'labour' of evaluation, design and development, e.g. of: software; traffic systems; hospital management systems that don't kill people unnecessarily often; and derivatives etc that don't meltdown the financial system...? Especially at the present (Greece, Occupations, etc) ... 

I venture several factors that seem relevant, especially to the orderly middle classes: fear (many have still a long way down to go), compartmentalisation (I can be critical on weekends...), alienation from others in trouble (I don't feel like the sort of person who 'riots' or strikes), etc.


-----Original Message-----
From: xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu [mailto:xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu] On Behalf Of Andy Blunden
Sent: 04 November 2011 10:35
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Cc: P.E.Jones@shu.ac.uk
Subject: Re: [xmca] Jones on 'value' of Learning and intensified/enhanced labour under capitalism

I think this is a contradiction of development for capitalism, Julian, 
one of those instances where capitalism acts as a brake on the 
development of the forces of production. In general the contradiction is 
solved by differentiation in the schooling system. In the Olden Days the 
sons of the ruling class were Educated at Eton and Harrow, while the 
sons and daughters of the workign class were beaten into shape in 
Bethnal Green Primary School. As I recall, even the post-WW2 Labour 
government took care to maintain a differentiated system of public 
schooling. Nowadays, maintaining that differentiation becomes more and 
more contested and difficult, with the kind of moving goal posts that 
Bourdiueu describes so well.

But one thing that capitalism does not want in its education system is 
*critique*, so the training of artists, software dewsignes and managers 
is a delicate matter, the arena for much struggle.


Julian Williams wrote: ...
> But I also had in mind that labourers skills and knowledge might be enhanced for other purposes than merely the exchange value of their labour in the labour market /wages... in particular that of 'literacy' and the power of critique. This raises other dimension of 'the values' of labour power more widely: now the issue becomes largely ideological, and the educational field becomes a site for contesting educational values of 'compliance' versus 'critique'.  There seems to be a contradiction here: while the State would like to ensure 'compliance' in general (for the majority) still there is a (perhaps growing?) role for 'creatives', critical thinkers and problem solvers in production....?
> What does anyone think?
> Julian__________________________________________
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*Andy Blunden*
Joint Editor MCA: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/hmca20/18/1
Home Page: http://home.mira.net/~andy/
Book: http://www.brill.nl/default.aspx?partid=227&pid=34857

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