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(en) Australia, It's Time To De-School - In Leaflet Format

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Fri, 24 Sep 2004 14:26:53 +0200 (CEST)

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The recently composed "It's Time to De-School - An Anarchist Perspective
of Australian High School Life (For those who suffer it)" is now
available in a stylish leaflet for you to download and disseminate.
Visit www.geocities.com/smashthespectacle and begin fomenting
anti-authoritarian rage amongst your favourite teenagers.

An Anarchist Perspective of Australian High School Life For Those Who Suffer It
Let us analyse our school days. Let us dissect the pre-
determined routine that is imposed upon us, regardless of
our needs and desires. The unsolicited schedules and
activities that we are forced to comply with. Though
were we consulted? Were we asked if authority and obedience
are beneficial to our pursuit of knowledge?
Has anyone asked how you feel about being prepared for
wage slavery ­ that is, exchanging hours of your life
in return for humiliation, a greedy boss and a few dollars?
Have you ever asked yourself if anyone has the right
to dictate your life? Be it during school, work or the
remainder of daily life where someone or something ­ be it
armed police thugs or multinational corporations ­ decide
your choices for you. What if we controlled our own
destinies and lived in freedom and equality, in a society
where we don't have to sell our lives to survive. What if
we learnt all the wonderful and enticing things there are
to learn without coercion and compulsion,
competition or punishment? Free from standardised exams
and syllabuses. What if we said no to the alienation
and poverty of coercive and compulsory education? What
if we demanded self-managed schools, that is,
schools operated by students and teachers together
where hierarchy, oppression and uniformity cease to
We are oppressed by the education system (and by authoritarian
society, as authoritarian schooling is an expression of this but
more on that later) from the minute we wake up. Did you decide to
awake in the dark at six thirty in the morning, or were your options
already prescribed for you? From that very instant, your life is not
your own. We wake, we shower, and we eat and then dress our
selves in a uniform. That's when the explicit humiliation begins. One
of the single most degrading and enervating miseries anyone can
suffer is being forced to wear a uniform. Uniforms are worn by
prisoners, office workers, police and military personal - not by
freethinking beings in a free environment. Despite what some
apologists might say, a uniform is not a "tool for equity" that
prevents children from being harassed - we can overcome trivial
taunting and bullying ourselves. (Though how can we
expect to eliminate authoritarian behaviour amidst a
hierarchical institution that sanctions authoritarian
relationships and teaching methods) A material uniform
exists to repress our individuality, teach us discipline
and preserve our docility ­ the very same thing we are to
experience in the workplace and greater consumer society.
Upon arrival at school we are subject to rules, regulations
and an institution that we exercise no control over.
And they wonder why we don't want to attend! It's because
this lack of control engenders a severe feeling of
alienation. The feeling that school would continue to
function and imprison with or without you there. The
same alienation we will feel upon entering the
market or by having demagogic leaders and unknown
technocrats organise our society. When we sit down in
class and are ordered (as it is an order disguised as a
friendly request) to complete activities 1 to 9 we
experience alienation. We did not participate in the decision
to purchase these textbooks, textbooks that we are
supposed to learn from. We were not even involved in
deciding which activities to do, what subject to study
or when and how to study it. Not only are we alienated
from the schooling apparatus, but from each other and
teachers alike. We rarely even know the first name of
the teachers with whom we interact (albeit submissively)
with for several hours a day. We rush past each other
in the corridors, evading eye contact at all costs. This
is alienation and we need not tolerate it.

Out side of and during school, we are taught to be
submissive, to submit - by the family, by police, by
teachers, (who are only submitting to an even higher
authority) by employers and by the state. At times this
enforced submission is discreet. Like when addressing
a teacher by their last name, or - even more inhumanly
­ with Sir or Miss. At other times our subordination is
as patent as possible, such as having to request permission
to urinate. Our movement is also restricted, with
permits being necessary to exit the classroom while being
categorically prohibited from leaving school grounds.
How are we to learn in an elaborate cage, decorated
with sordid colours and government propaganda, seemingly
controlled by wage slave masters (teachers)
who are as impoverished and wretched as us. This is
slavery and imprisonment. What's that you say? We don't
have to be here; ultimately we're free to leave and get
a job. Splendid. The world of forced labour. The world
of servitude. Where we follow orders, where our productivity
is appropriated, where our lives are stolen and
where we are rewarded with identical commodities. That
doesn't sound like much of choice to me. In fact,
that sounds like it's just around the corner.
The part of ourselves that is possibly most mutilated
by current schooling is our lust to learn. When we're young,
we rejoice at the opportunity to learn, to experience
new and unique things. We would explore the bush for
hours on end, talking to each other, learning free from
constraints and the annoyance of bells. But somewhere
along the way we began to recoil at the thought of
learning, at the thought of knowledge and even at the
thought of books. Is this an innate tendency or a natural
progression? Or is it the consequence of years of
authoritarian schooling, where we are punished and
disadvantaged for failing to regurgitate textbook
information. Is it the result of a system that fails
to consider our unique and preferred modes of expression?
Is our disinterest in learning due to a conditioning
university places, rather than support each other in the pursuit of
balanced, self-motivated and healthy learning. There is an
alternative. Modern Schools ­ schools free from authoritarian
methods and relations that are managed by students, teachers
and parents. These schools exist and have existed for more than
a hundred years. Modern Schools have been an integral part of
the international Anarchist movement since the beginning of the
20th century. We can refuse to be indoctrinated by state and/or
private institutions. We can create an environment that can assist
our self-realisation, an environment that can help us reach our
desires. We can create a "school" where classes are not only
conducted by teachers and where we aren't filed into grades
according to our age. A school where we can read our own
books or play actively without being reproached by teachers. A
school that we control, not through false student governments
(like the SRC) that replicate the fake democracies of larger
society, but through exciting and colourful student assemblies
where we all enjoy equal power, not over each other, but over
our own educational experience and lives.
If we want to build these kinds of schools, schools
that we voluntarily come to and enjoy being at, we must
understand that the current educational system is an
essential component of our capitalist and authoritarian
society. It is here that we are regimented and reified
(turned into objects), while being taught to obey
authority and submit to the demands of others. It is
here that we are instructed on the virtues of either working
for somebody else or having somebody work for us. It is
here, right now, that we are being prepared for a life
of passivity and mediocrity. We are being prepared to accept
willingly a life that is not our own, a life that is
always controlled by someone or something else. In fact,
we are being prepared for complete survival ­ life
reduced to work and consumption. So the time for refusal
is now, before we can be successfully assimilated
into a society organised by capitalists and state and
into a culture that portrays everything as something else.
If we want to de-school, transform our lives and redefine
the meaning of happiness and excitement, then we
must destroy all forms of oppression and authority. We
must destroy the civilisation that gives birth to and
reproduces the schools we are forced to attend and the
lives we are forced to lead.
Written & Produced by The Ministry of Subjectivity
Anti-Copyright (Though recognition would be cool)
Email: smashthespectacle@yahoo.com
To learn more about anti-authoritarianism and the construction of daily
life, visit www.infoshop.org and start our revolution today!

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