China Enters “Testing-free” Zone: The New Ten Commandments of Education Reform

No standardized tests, no written homework, no tracking. These are some of the new actions China is taking to lessen student academic burden. The Chinese Ministry of Education released Ten Regulations to Lessen Academic Burden for Primary School Students this week for public commentary. The Ten Regulations are introduced as one more significant measure to reform China’s education, in addition to further reduction of academic content, lowering the academic rigor of textbooks, expanding criteria for education quality, and improving teacher capacity.

 

The regulations included in the published draft are:

 

  1. Transparent admissions. Admission to a school cannot take into account any achievement certificates or examination results. Schools must admit all students based on their residency without considering any other factors.
  2. Balanced Grouping. Schools must place students into classes and assign teachers randomly. Schools are strictly forbidden to use any excuse to establish “fast-track” and “slow-track” classes. Συνέχεια

Ισχύς και εξουσία. Επανεπινοώντας την επανάσταση

cadena-humanaτου Amador Fernández-Savater

Πώς είναι δυνατόν πενήντα άνθρωποι να μπορούν να σταματήσουν μια βίαιη έξωση; Όχι μόνο μία φορά, αλλά ξανά και ξανά (μέχρι και εξακόσιες φορές). Αυτή την ερώτηση έχω στο μυαλό μου για ένα διάστημα. Κατά τη διάρκεια των διαδηλώσεων 25-S στη Μαδρίτη1, είδαμε ότι η αστυνομία μπορεί να εκδιώξει οποιοδήποτε αριθμό διαδηλωτών από οπουδήποτε. Έτσι, τι είδους ισχύς επιτρέπει σε αυτά τα πενήντα άτομα να σταματήσουν μια έξωση κατάσχεσης; Τι σημαίνει να έχουν ισχύ, αν δεν είναι ακριβώς το ίδιο με το να έχουν εξουσία (σωματική, ποσοτική, οικονομική, θεσμική, κλπ.); Το κείμενο αυτό είναι η δική μου απόπειρα απάντησης, που, σε καμία περίπτωση, δεν εξαντλεί πλήρως το ζήτημα. Υπάρχει χώρος για περισσότερες απαντήσεις και, πάνω απ “όλα, για να συνεχίσουμε να θέτουμε την ερώτηση – αυτό, πιστεύω, είναι το πιο σημαντικό. Συνέχεια

Eurocentric Anti-Eurocentrism — Ellen Meiksins Wood

 

 


THE QUESTION OF «Eurocentrism» is a vexing problem not only for academia but for the left. In the broadest sense, Eurocentrism can be understood as the implicit view that societies and cultures of European origin constitute the «natural» norm for assessing what goes on in the rest of the world.

Within this vast area of debate, one particular subtopic has been an object of intense scrutiny among scholars: the real-or-alleged centrality of Europe in preparing the explosion of economic development, science and technology, the Enlightenment and the expansion of the role of the individual-as well as intensified exploitation and colonial conquest-that heralded the modem world.

All these things, taken together, are commonly taken to be synonymous with capitalism.  It is precisely this identification that is challenged in this essay by Marxist historian Ellen Meiksins Wood, along with the notion that ascribing European agrarian origins to capitalism entails a view of Europe as a civilizing vanguard. Συνέχεια

Combative Unionism: Waging Class War within Labour featured image

 

featured image 

After putting much of our efforts in the cross Canada Speaking Tour on Combative Unionism, a debate on Combative unionism took place inside and outside of Prairie Struggle giving way to PSO’s first position paper. In this position paper we hope to contribute to the relevant work and theoretical development that has been done or is already underway. We salute our comrades within the revolutionary left that are active in undermining bureaucratic control over working class power.

As anarchists, we at the Prairie Struggle Organization have dedicated much time and effort to agitation within the working class and its labour organizations. Despite our various efforts, wins, losses and relationships created we still find ourselves questioning the most effective method to agitate on the shop floors, within schools and in our communities.
Συνέχεια

The Confidential Memo at the Heart of the Global Financial Crisis By Greg Palast

 

5

 

When a little birdie dropped the End Game memo through my window, its content was so explosive, so sick and plain evil, I just couldn’t believe it.

The Memo confirmed every conspiracy freak’s fantasy: that in the late 1990s, the top US Treasury officials secretly conspired with a small cabal of banker big-shots to rip apart financial regulation across the planet. When you see 26.3 percent unemployment in Spain, desperation and hunger in Greece, riots in Indonesia and Detroit in bankruptcy, go back to this End Game memo, the genesis of the blood and tears.

The Treasury official playing the bankers’ secret End Game was Larry Summers. Today, Summers is Barack Obama’s leading choice for Chairman of the US Federal Reserve, the world’s central bank. If the confidential memo is authentic, then Summers shouldn’t be serving on the Fed, he should be serving hard time in some dungeon reserved for the criminally insane of the finance world. Συνέχεια

«Όροι και προϋποθέσεις» για έναν πετυχημένο αγώνα των εκπαιδευτικών που δεν μπορεί παρά να είναι ο ξεσηκωμός της κοινωνίας ;lgftdstr

;lgftdstr

Αποφάσισα να γράψω αυτό το κείμενο ως αναπληρωτής, ως αμετανόητος απεργός του 2006, ως εργαζόμενος που δεν ταυτίζεται με τις κλασσικές συνδικαλιστικές πρακτικές και νοοτροπίες της αντιπροσώπευσης, ως χρήστης «παράξενων εργαλείων» ταξικής ανάλυσης όπως η εργατική έρευνα και η ταξική σύνθεση που μας κληρονόμησε ο ιταλικός «αυτόνομος» μαρξισμός και τέλος, ως ένας άνθρωπος που προετοιμαζόταν για μια μεγάλη μάχη και άκουσε ότι «δεν υπήρχαν οι όροι και οι προϋποθέσεις»…

1.1   ΠολΥ γρΗγορα: Η γενικΗ κατΑσταση Συνέχεια

Why Are the Rich So Interested in Public-School Reform?

They want to remake America’s students in their own high-achieving image, but they’re overlooking socioeconomics

 

It was perhaps inevitable that the political moment that has given birth to the Occupy movement, pitting Main Street against Wall Street and the 99% against the financial elite, would eventually succeed in making some chinks in the armor of the 1%’s favorite feel-good hobby: the school reform movement. Συνέχεια

Michail Bakunin The Capitalist System

Is it necessary to repeat here the irrefutable arguments of Socialism which no bourgeois economist has yet succeeded in disproving? What is property, what is capital in their present form? For the capitalist and the property owner they mean the power and the right, guaranteed by the State, to live without working. And since neither property nor capital produces anything when not fertilized by labor — that means the power and the right to live by exploiting the work of someone else, the right to exploit the work of those who possess neither property nor capital and who thus are forced to sell their productive power to the lucky owners of both. Note that I have left out of account altogether the following question: In what way did property and capital ever fall into the hands of their present owners? This is a question which, when envisaged from the points of view of history, logic, and justice, cannot be answered in any other way but one which would serve as an indictment against the present owners. I shall therefore confine myself here to the statement that property owners and capitalists, inasmuch as they live not by their own productive labor but by getting land rent, house rent, interest upon their capital, or by speculation on land, buildings, and capital, or by the commercial and industrial exploitation of the manual labor of the proletariat, all live at the expense of the proletariat. (Speculation and exploitation no doubt also constitute a sort of labor, but altogether non-productive labor.) Συνέχεια

Samir Amin – Τα νέα κοινωνικά κινήματα: Οικοδομώντας τη σύγκλιση μέσα στη διαφορετικότητα

 

samir-amin

Τα κοινωνικά κινήματα μπορούν να γίνουν πολιτικά αποτελεσματικά μόνο στο μέτρο που προτείνουν και εργάζονται για την προώθηση εφικτών εναλλακτικών λύσεων έναντι της φιλελεύθερης παγκοσμιοποίησης. Ο Samir Amin περιγράφει τη δημοκρατία ως τη χωρίς τέλος διαδικασία ενός αγώνα όπου τα κοινωνικά κινήματα ενσωματώνουν συνεχώς τα αιτήματα και τις επιθυμίες του κόσμου.

Μια συνέντευξη στον Fabio Petito για το Re-Public. Συνέχεια

Colonialism 101: The Several Faces Of Colonialism

This piece of writing is inspired in large part by Iris M. Young’s essay, The Five Faces Of Oppression, but is also intensively informed and inspired by several indigenous communities, elders, and radical grassroots on whose ancestral territories I have been living all my life. I have been privileged to learn from their collective knowledge, and they have continually and strongly advocated for the pursuit of self-knowledge as well. I am sharing a collaborative insight that I have assembled independently, and which draws upon both “sets” of knowledge here. This piece of writing is an effort to further promote dialogue about colonialism, all the associated oppressions that came along with it (which are interdependent and almost never exist in isolation from one another, and thus, self-perpetuate continually), as well as precisely where systems of Settler privilege originate from. I personally felt the need to adapt and expand Young’s prior work, on defining the shared nature of all oppressions, to the specific and complex nature of colonialism as a whole. This blog entry is an independent initiative of mine, and my own personal attempt to list and begin to discuss the several faces of colonial oppression. I write in the hopes that it may provide other people with a few basic points of unity, upon which I hope they can either start or continue their own conversations about colonialism. This is a long entry because it’s an utterly enormous idea to tackle in one piece of writing — you’ll probably want to bookmark it and come back to it several times, rather than take it all in in a single reading. Συνέχεια

The strategic importance of students Sandra Bloodworth

 

Socialist Alternative argues that we need a workers’ revolution to win human liberation. Yet we are very proud of our student clubs on university campuses. In fact, we would argue that students are of immense strategic importance for any revolutionary organisation, and especially critical while socialists do not have mass influence.

For one thing, youth will always be the most dynamic, energetic and creative force in any revolutionary movement. Eminent historian Eric Hobsbawm wrote that students in the 1960s, by their protests over cultural and political issues, “stimulated [workers who were more used to fighting around economic questions and less combustible] to discover that…they can ask for far more from the new society than they had imagined”. Συνέχεια

The 5 stages of «Anarcho»-Capitalist reaction.

.bless uS

Image unrelated by 27147 via Flickr

Every time I argue with Stateless (or minarchist) Propertarians of various degrees of vulgarity, I keep seeing a few types of reaction over and over. Not only are they common but they seem to follow in a very particular progression which made me think of the 5 stages of grief.

With the same lack of scientific accuracy then, I will now present you with the 5 stages of “Anarcho”-Capitalist reaction to Libertarian Socialists. For the lulz.

1. Surprise and Denial

“Libertarian Socialism? Isn’t that an oxymoron?”; “I can’t believe someone can support communism at this time and age.”; “You’re not a true Anarchist if you don’t support private property!”

Surprise usually occurs to those who have had a fairly sheltered political life and have only just began to radicalize recently by discovering Ayn Rand or Austrian Economics but have only the slightest experience with the wider libertarian movement or conceptions of Socialism outside of McCarthyian propaganda . It is quickly followed by denial as the position of LibSocs quickly assaults their recently acquired radicalism but disentangling the concept of liberty from the concept of property. For someone who has just recently embraced the NAP or the self-ownership principles as  true and inviolable, any direct challenge to those principles is likely to be dismissed out of hand.

2. Misunderstanding and Anger

“Stalin! Mao! Pol Pot!”; “Try to take over my house and I’ll shoot you!”; “You’re just a bunch of hippies dreaming of utopias. Get a job!”; “You’re just hate Capitalism because you’re lazy and jealous.”

This often follows and complements denial when the discussions continue for a any length of time. Occasionally someone may start from this position when he’s had discussions with LibSocs in the recent past as well. The reasons for such a reaction is generally the persistent assault on AnCap principles and the opposition to some basic building blocks such a the “Free Markets”, an opposition which is misunderstood as expression of authoritarianism. Another common cause is the misunderstanding of LibSoc positions, assuming that they support involuntary societal organization, such as forced collectivization or forbidding of trade. In general, As such discussion grows longer, the probability of comparing the LibSocs to Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot or their corresponding regimes approaches 1. (Db0′s Law?)

3. Bargaining

“Why don’t we put aside our differences and focus on toppling the state?”; “We would never be opposed to communes and co-operatives within Anarcho-Capitalism.”; “We’re all Libertarian socialists at the end of the day.”

The bargaining phase of the AnCap reaction tends to come as one’s understanding of the Anarchist position increases and they realize that they too are suggesting voluntary rather than coerced relations and social organization. Missing the point of Anarchists not considering voluntarism to be enough, they reach the flawed conclusion that the two movements are close enough to ally in opposition to the state. It is at this point that the crucial differences in tactics start to be expanded which can lead the discussion to back into Anger as AnCaps interpret refusals of potential alliance as stubborness or given convincing argument on why Agorism or “Libertarian” Reformism is not good enough to crush the state, they may descend into…

4. Depression

“The state is too powerful to topple.”; “I want to smash the state as much as anyone else but we need to find a way to do it peacefully.”; “I’m only an Anarchist ideologically. Practically we can’t change the system without making things worse.”; “The free market/internet/cryptography will lead to the state’s demise naturally.”; “Vote Ron Paul!”

The end of the road for the “Anarcho”-Capitalism movement remains firmly within the current system. While they have truly numerous criticisms of the state and quite a bit of perfect-society theories and literature, they are sorely lacking in transitional ideas. In short, they have no idea how to get from here to there and as a result they are stuck. There’s a lot of rationalization for this predicament of course, from claiming that they would only support “peaceful revolutions”, to insisting that they are waiting for most humans to turn AnCap due to their superior arguments to my all-time favourite, waiting for the internet to revolutionize society towards the direction they expect.

This is of course nothing but a way of giving up, of raising up their hands in frustration and devolving into wishful thinking. Those who take a more practical approach either turn to Agorism or Reformism as a best-next-solution. Supporting Socialist Revolutions and then trying to convince people to voluntary turn to propertarianism is of course out the question. One guesses because they realize the futility of achieving the later. Silently consenting to the current system is apparently a better option.

5. Acceptance

“Fine. What do you suggest we do?”; “If you don’t want to force me into collectives I have no problem with you doing your own thing.”;

This last step is usually irreversible. At this advanced stage, LibSoc ideas have finally started making sense, usually when coupled with real-life experience of wage-slavery and hierarchical domination. The veteran AnCap now understands the perspective of the LibSocs and knows better than to make egregious strawmen as he’s been in the same discussions too many times already. Rather, he turns far more to lurking as he’s also too tired to try and correct his fellow AnCap’s misunderstandings and thus draw their online ire.

At this stage, one cannot help but see a character of wary tolerance to ideas of Anarchists. The whole “I don’t see it working in practice but I’m willing to be proven wrong and if I do, I’ll join you guys in a heartbeat.” mentality. This stage is characterized by attempts at constructive criticism and attempts to distance oneself from the more extreme elements of their own camp (Block, Kinsella etc).

Of course, Acceptance is not the end of the road. Fortunately quite a few AnCaps are eventually brought over by the very viral ideology they have to argue against and pass through the veil to the opposing site as more open minded mutualists. The Libertarian Socialist Pull claims one more “victim”.

http://dbzer0.com/blog/the-5-stages-of-anarcho-capitalist-reaction/

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