"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Political Power + Corporate Power - Civic Power = Fascism

In a recent post to the listserv for Fairtest's Assessment Reform Network (ARN-L), Peter Majoy shared his insights on the the Pauline Lipman piece that has been reprinted by Substance, by Susan Ohanian, and elsewhere. Here is part of Peter's post:

Ms. Lipman (backed by research) paints a picture of the
intrusion of centralized power into local life, "globalization".
In her broad view, she describes the encroachment of the
centralized government and theeconomic sector, corporations,
into the cultural/civic life of schools, housing, and jobs. This
intrusion is marked by elitist classism, racism and sexism.
In essence, I agree with all she spoke of.

Without mentioning the word, what Ms. Lipman was
describing was theevolution of democracy into a
form of fascism. This trend of the marriage of the
state (political sphere) with corporate power
(economic sphere) is the classical definition of fascism.
In our case here in America, it is the wolf in sheep's clothing.

If anyone who reads this gets the chance to read
Shaping Globalization: Civic Society, Cultural Power and
Threefolding by Nicanor Perlas, it will be obvious to the
reader how Mr. Perlas has nailed down what is at the
heart of Ms. Lipman's speech. Without the third arena
called civic power, the gradual wittling away of political and
economic freedom will take placeand the elite few will rule
the overwhelming many. I have met Mr. Perlastwice. He is
one of the nicest people I have ever encountered: gracious,
listens attentively, and a man who does what he says. His
ascendance in Phillipino life came when he organized a
massive mobilisation of the civic sector against Ferdinand
Marcos and the unethical/unjust partnership of the
political and economic sector and prevented the Marcos
regime from building 12 nuclear power plants located near
active volcanoes and earthquake faultlines. In his speech
before Parliamnent where he received the 2003 Right
Livelihood Award, Mr. Perlas spoke of the "brave new world"
we are enteringwhich is "totally alien to history, totally alien
to our present experienceof the world." He goes on to say that
"This 'brave new world' will require more than ever our
harnessing of inner resources if we are not to plunge
ourselves into the abyss of destruction." His work and
movement is based onthree sectors working in harmony:
political, economic and civic. Currently,the partnership
of the political and economic spheres cast a wide global
net over the planet. Only when the civic sector rises to
share that powerwill the planet save itself. You can read
about Mr. Perlas and his work at www.globenet3.org as
well as at www.cadi.ph.

As for schooling, when the political and economic
interests overshadow the civic in the evolution of education,
we get NCLB. Only when the civic sector demands a seat at
the table will NCLB fade into oblivion and its
centerpieces of standardized testing, pressure to
privatize, and thecreeping presence of the military fade
away to take their balanced place inthe matrix of our
lives. Without this taking place, school will slowly but
surely succumb to the security state appearing deceitfully
in an Orwellian semantic of democracy in order to justify
the removal of our civil and personal liberties. In this context,
NCLB can be considered a branch of a fascist tendency now
on the rise in America.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous8:56 PM

    The "F" Word

    The dictionary definition of fascism is: a system of government marked by centralization of authority under a dictator, stringent socio-economic controls, suppression of the oppositon through terror and censorship, and typically a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism.

    The story of General Kevin P. Byrnes, being stripped of his stars and stripes, facing court-martial and the loss of retirement benefits because of a consensual affair despite an impeccable record is another example of facism at work.

    Although General Byrnes basically told the army to go "F" themselves, at what price to the nation in a time of war and when the army is hard pressed to find good people?

    If people don't speak out against this form of fascism that violates people's right to privacy and personal freedom, we will all be wearing burkas soon.