A recent Truthout.org article speaks to our living in an impoverished age. The issue with our impoverishment arises from not comprehending how the “plutocracy” is a conceptual weapon, not only against the 99% but against themselves as well.
One thing addressed in the article is how getting an education no longer “guarantees” better circumstances.
The rising number of impoverished graduate degree holders further demonstrates that the ‘education is necessarily the solution to poverty’ mantra is a fallacious oversimplification that distorts reality. As ABC News reported in May 2012, the number of people possessing a PhD who received some kind of public assistance increased more than three-fold between 2007 and 2010, and nearly the same for those with master’s degrees.
I am fully of the opinion that this should be scaled out now to include BAs–maybe even High School Diplomas–all seen by Boomers & at least the first wave Gen-Xers as providing more socio-economic guarantees than such accredited instruction can actually do.
As we shifted from national industrial capitalism to global corporate capitalism over the last century, universities and colleges have been slow to keep apace. Institutions of higher learning which began shifting toward providing owners, managers, and skilled workers for manufacturing and production are now assembly lines themselves… but assembly lines for what?
And for whom are the “products” being created? There is no longer an American economy per se… there is an extremely well trafficked NODE within the global economic ether-network that we can refer to for old time’s sake as “the American economy.”
BAs, BSs, MAs, MFAs, MBAs, EMBAs, PhDs, JDs, MDs, DDivs… the proliferation continues under the guise of the Educational Industrial Complex… but just as the medieval foundation is a fossilized remnant within which the modern disciplinized project has squatted like a hermit crab taking up residence in something it did not generate, the “respectable” cloak of “Industrial” complexity/productivity is retro-fashion which pulls the eye away from the gaudy bursar wallet of the Global Educational Meta-Network. And the purpose of the latter is not the good of the student or even of the researcher and certainly not of “society.” Rather, such is the good of the metanetwork which links together all teaching/research solutions throughout the world. But again, for what?
I sometimes call the Global Educational Meta-Network the Harvard Network, sometimes the Ivy-Techno League Meta-Network… not because all feeds through the Ivies or the great TechnoScience schools like MIT. Rather because in global corporate capitalism, all of the modulating interconnectives are branded solution processes–all consumer provision solutions are part of the Wal Mart Meta-Network; all caffeine delivery solutions are part of the Starbucks Meta-Network, all fast food-like substance solutions are part of McDonald’s Meta-Network, etc etc.
The concern of such a “complex”, of course, is not to mold better citizens who are prudent professionals for the greater good . Nor is it to produce innovative engineers and well trained workers for the economic good . The ultimate concern buried beneath these sovereign and disciplinary ends is the concern of control.
But wait… not control in the sense of we have made a bunch of automatons who will now do the bidding of their overlords. Hardly something so naively modern.
Rather, I speak of control as the contra-rota: the checking of accounts between what we actually do have and what we believe ourselves as having. Control must be understood as the translation of every aspect of life into a metric code and the placing of same code into the proper account ledger, let us call it “the Book of Life”.
The person/place/thing metamorphed into code becomes accountable in this “Book of Life”, We are then able to look at our accounts: in one column, there is the reality of things. In the other, the virtual reality of the encoded-things. Among these encoded things are BAs, BSs, MAs, MFAs, MBAs, EMBAs, PhDs, JDs, MDs, DDivs who are very interesting aspects of the open networking Book of LIfe, for they are encoded things which themselves are encoders.
They are metadata controls that are the controllers of metadata.
And this of course is what the Global Educational Meta-Network does: It offers a meta-data solution that can be utilized by all of the other Meta-Networks which make up the everyday virtual reality we call the Global Ether-Network or the Society of Control.
So in the respect that all of these degreed folk are being over-produced in terms of national industrial capitalism, we are missing the point of what they are vis. global corporate capitalism.
It is imperative that all who have taken on the role of being educators INFORM those in their charge about the new way of “things”.
Almost all Boomers and most Gen-Xers are lost in the first wave of translation. We have the duty to let the Millennials know where and how they can adjust themselves. They need not merely be little more than controlled code.
As they become part of the encoding project, they should learn how to hack back into the life-world from the Book of Life.
In many ways, this sounds like The Matrix, but I would avoid going there. The film is a good metaphor for trying to get Boomers and Gen-Xers to see this, but it is a tad over the top & melo-dramatic. This particular movie cycle goes too far, as Boomers are often wont, into the sad myth of the savior rebel. Let’s be honest with Millennials so they can save themselves from merely being code while also making use of the Ether for their own betterment. This means respecting their teachers & professors, hell even getting degrees, but also recognizing how meta-data information generation & manipulation offers far more than a job or a profession.
Comprehending this is the first step to getting a grip on a reality where the plutocracy & its conceptual weapons include continuing to think & talk in terms of enclosed industrial complexes when in fact all wealth is flowing through open corporate networks.
We need to use the encoded media to be MORE mindful of how we are increasing suffering in the polemical struggles brought about by not properly comprehending our situation.
- Welcoming Generation Y (keithwaynebrown.com)
- The Book of Life: Leave The Pages Blank… (ducttapeandbubblegum.com)