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(en) France, CNT-AIT: Anarchosyndicalisme #185 - DO WITH THE SCHOOL FOR OUR ANARCHIST PROJECT (ca, de, fr, it, pt, tr)[machine translation]

Date Thu, 4 Apr 2024 08:17:15 +0300

During the last school year, on the CNT-AIT website and in issue 183 of Anarchosyndicalisme!, comrades severely condemned the School (understood as the state institution claiming to educate young people from kindergarten to high school ) considering it solely as a place of formatting, indoctrination and social reproduction. Even if I share the ideal of libertarian education in a society without schools as formulated in particular by Ivan Illichii, I think that today's School (and in particular the workers who act within it) do not deserve such a vehement charge...

1) First of all, for the sake of truth and without excusing or ignoring its other shortcomings, we must recognize that School has become "democratized" since it now offers education for all young people of each age group, of all origins (including minors without a residence permit), of all social categories and of all educational potential, no longer up to 13 years old (law of 18/3/1882 known as the Jules Ferry law), 14 years (law of 9/8/1936) or 16 years (the legal age of compulsory education today since an order of 6/1/1959) but in fact up to 18 years, or even more since On the one hand, it has the obligation to train each young person until they reach the age of majority and, on the other hand, higher education is open to all high school graduates.

As a result, we note in particular that, from now on, almost 80% of the members of an age group obtain the Baccalaureate and that today half of 25-34 year olds have higher education qualifications, all things which, on the one hand, now place us very far from the elitist school of the 19th century and a large part of the 20th century, which reserved the pursuit of studies beyond compulsory education, with some exceptions, to young people from the wealthiest families, and, on the other hand, must make us admit that social reproduction no longer takes place within the School, but essentially outside it: choice of wealthy families to educate their children in elitist private middle and high schools promoting social interaction and instilling the desire to achieve and "succeed" in capitalist and consumer society (through the eager quest for first places, diplomas, power, having and appearing through access to so-called prestigious professions); majority enrollment of the wealthiest young people in preparatory classes, business schools, engineering schools and large private post-baccalaureate schools with expensive and discriminatory tuition fees; network of mutual aid and co-optation within the oligarchy to "place" its children professionally within it, at the end of their higher education.

2) We should also recognize that the vast majority of members of educational teams in public schools (technical and administrative staff, teachers, health and surveillance staff, etc.) have no other goals than to help education (transmission of knowledge, know-how - including a taste for learning and discovery, critical thinking and freedom of thought - and humanist values), the development, emancipation and human success of young people in school, acting in this sense with kindness, empathy and dedication in favor of their students, outside of any elitism, any discrimination and any desire for indoctrination to one cause or another.

We must think above all, as anarchosyndicalists, that all these personnel are not our class enemies, but our equals, workers like the others, many of whom share most of our ideals (and not only in terms of humanist pedagogy , even libertarian, but also in their aspiration for an egalitarian, mutually supportive, pacified, anti-authoritarian society, etc.), therefore potential comrades in the struggle, whom we will never rally to our anarchist project by insulting them with arguments unfair, unfounded or anachronistic.

3) As for the role of indoctrination and formatting attributed to the School (To make young people in school the future docile citizens of the French nation and of our fallacious democracy, because it is indirect, parliamentary and statist, just like the consenting slaves of the capitalist oligarchy and consumer society), I also believe that our traditional anarchist statement must be nuanced and updated. On the one hand, by reading the Official Instructions which came to replace Civil Instruction with Moral and Civic Education (EMC), this teaching a priori supposed to be the most capable of targeting the indoctrination and political formatting of youth, we can only admit that today's schools are far from subjecting students to any dehumanizing, nationalist, xenophobic, totalitarian brainwashing favorable to economic liberalism.

In fact, among the common values that the EMC wants to transmit to young schoolchildren, through active pedagogy and not in the form of a dogmatic catechism, what do we find? Dignity, freedom, equality, solidarity, secularism, the spirit of justice, respect for the person, equality between women and men, tolerance and the absence of any form of discrimination, moral sense, critical thinking, the aptitude for thoughtful behavior and the exercise of citizenship, individual and collective responsibility, to which media and ecology education will soon be added...

On the other hand, even if some of us judge that these official instructions still organize reprehensible formatting for the benefit of representative democracy and the 5th Republic, everyone should recognize the failure and harmlessness of this formatting.: more and more French people no longer vote and loathe the ruling political class; others, the majority of voters, support with their votes parties described as extremist and non-republican by the servants (self-proclaimed "government" or "republican" parties, conformist media and intellectuals) of the oligarchy; many demonstrate peacefully or otherwise to oppose the political and economic system; some are calling for the establishment of the citizen initiative referendum (RIC)... and as for us, the School did not prevent us from becoming anarchists, or even contributed greatly to our becoming one...

Frédéric B. (Lille)

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