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Topic: Why Make Reform So Complicated?
Replies: 5   Last Post: Jan 22, 2014 11:42 AM

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GS Chandy

Posts: 8,307
From: Hyderabad, Mumbai/Bangalore, India
Registered: 9/29/05
Re: Why Make Reform So Complicated?
Posted: Jan 21, 2014 3:14 AM
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Kirby Urner posted Jan 19, 2014 1:40 AM ( - GSC's remarks interspersed:
> On Sat, Jan 18, 2014 at 4:01 AM, GS Chandy
> <> wrote:
> << SNIP >>

> > *The stakeholders in the educational system are,
> broadly, as follows:
> >
> > Teachers; students; parents; administrators in the

> system; educational
> > experts; politicians; others interested in
> contributing to the 'reform
> > process'.
> >
> >

> I think a kind of "ghost shareholder" is the large
> US-based factory, such
> as reached a peak in the 1960s after WW2. US
> Americans were taught to
> think of themselves in terms of "blue collar" line
> workers or "white
> collar" management. The brick and mortar pre-college
> public schools of
> that era were designed to track junior, in theory
> according to his talents,
> in practice also according to his "race" and "gender"
> and "family means",
> either towards "the trades" (as in blue collar) or to
> tag him as
> college-bound, in which case more likely management
> and/or officer material.

Actually, the 'whole of society' is part and parcel of that 'ghost stakeholder', I believe - and this is true in all nations, not only in the USA. Of course, by virtue of its 'soft' and 'hard' power, the US has a special place in the whole sorry mess that is moving us towards the 'abyss' (of which I've written sometimes)!
> A lot of this same industrialist mentality of the
> mid-1900s still permeates
> North America, although much of the industry has left
> for sunnier climes,
> per Flint, Michigan (a paradigm case, oft used to
> stand for the "rust belt"
> more generally). This mentality underlines
> conformity and compliance as
> chief virtues. One learns to identify one's
> superiors and develop properly
> deferential behaviors. The Japanese culture found a
> lot to recognize as US
> managers took over interim administration of that
> economy just after the
> war.
> In an idyllic USA, one that championed democracy as
> the textbooks say it
> does, students would receive much more training in
> democratic institution
> models, not just model UN or model NATO. There would
> be frequent voting
> and polling, with the voting and polling process
> itself open to scrutiny
> and postmortem analysis. The statistics of
> representational versus direct
> democracy, and difference between parliamentary,
> bicameral and numeric
> versus non-numeric criteria for delegate and vote
> counting... there's much
> civics to study here, much statistics, much history.
> Let's agree this is
> *not* the USA that materialized and just describing
> it reminds us how
> alienated the USA has become from philosophies of
> democracy. Public school
> is still far more geared to serve the "giant factory"
> than "neighborhood
> and regional government", in terms of the reflexes it
> instills and rewards.
> However, all these pushes and pulls are in constant
> tension and a perpetual
> renegotiation goes on.

Alas, all of this "perpetual renegotiation" of the social contract has ONLY led us to 'more of the same'! How to break out of this vicious cycle?
> These days, with junior often having better access to
> educational resources
> *away* from the brick and mortar building, the
> influence of "ghost
> factories" is quite a bit less. Junior has more time
> to survey the big
> picture and "construct his own reality" should he
> have propensities in that
> direction. * The shape of education has changed a
> lot, thanks to the
> emergence of cyberspace as a kind of shared "Global
> U" (U = University).
> Kirby
> * I stick with "junior" being a "he" and write in a
> kind of male-dominated
> / patronizing style in part in tongue-in-cheek
> allusion to those more
> patriarchal chapters in US history, e.g. at the
> height of the so-called
> "imperial presidency", raised to that level by
> Kennedy and still waning in
> the shadow of Nixon as a result of the "Vietnam War"
> debacle, the end of an
> era in many ways.

Well, my fairly strong belief is that we're reaching the 'end-game' for the entire human endeavour, world-wide.

That is, assuming we've not already passed the point where ideas of 'democracy', 'voting' and 'negotiation of the social contract' will have no relevance at all). I must confess that I do not have sufficient background and knowledge to do a "Decline and Fall of the Human Empire". (I believe various thinkers have done much of this already).


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