Winners and Losers
In his Op-Ed in the Nation, Henry A. Giroux links Donald Trump to the plague of atomization in a neoliberal age. What was important to me, among other things in his Op-Ed was his reference to a 1946 essay by Leo Lowenthal, entitled “Terrors Atomization of Man, which was also reprinted in Lowenthal’s book, False Prophets: Studies in Authoritarianism.
The Twentieth Century had its share of authoritarians and totalitarians in Germany, Italy, the Soviet Union, and other countries.
We find ourselves in the midst of a competitive world, where there are clear winners and a lot of losers. Just ask Donald Trump.
For instance, Giroux in his Op-Ed says this about competition, and its unfortunate but predictable result:
Within neoliberal ideology, an emphasis on competition in every sphere of life promotes a winner-take-all ethos that finds its ultimate expression in the assertion that fairness has no place in a society dominated by winners and losers. As William Davies points out, competition in a market-driven social order allows a small group of winners to emerge while at the same time sorting out and condemning the vast majority of institutions, organizations and individuals “to the status of losers.”
Trump uses the terms “winners and losers” as a way of insulting anyone that is within his sphere–just ask the 17 men and women who were humiliated in the Republican battle to choose a presidential candidate.
But, our educational system is set up in a way in which winners and losers are cast as pawns in education’s élite and wealthy corporate people to corral and control public education by claiming the public schools are losers, and what is needed are charter schools and their management partners to not just win, but hoodwink parents into believing that they are giving them a choice in their children’s education.
This is a big fat lie.
We need to vote against policy that reinforces the idea that competition in the school environment will improve student’s lives in our schools. This policy leads to but heads like Nathan Deal to push down the throats of Georgia parents, especially those parents who send their students to public schools that have erroneously identified as “failing schools.”
And because the elites claim they are failing, what they need is a charter management company to come in and fire most of the teachers and replace them with neophytes or unlicensed teachers.
This fall, we need to fight against the “winner/loser” mentality, and vote no in November on the ballot measure State Intervention in Failing Public Schools Amendment.
If approved, then Senate Bill 133 will be enacted enabling Nathan Deal to create in central government school district, The Opportunity School District.
We need to fight the good fight on this.