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12 Grades a Slave

According to Wayne Grady in his book, "Technology" the "mark of a slave is obligatory submission to a higher authority."

Thinking about Slavery and schools. I wonder if in some way our modern system doesn't have the same issues of freedom and exploitation. I don't mean whippings and the racist suppression of groups of people,-- though, it is interesting to look at the recent Canadian stats on which ethnicities go to prison, and which don't.-- I mean a more general truth; that in any system, freedom from the system demands that either the system change, or, that you leave the system. We could compare a slave to being a student who doesn't have a say in attending school but must conform to a system of education that is defined by a small group of men whom they will never meet. This is not a form as visceral or brutal or disgusting as it was (and is,) but, nonetheless a form of slavery in which the individual could be expected to desire, "freedom." Yet, having resented my schooling, I do not recall freedom to mean anything more to me than winning the lottery or having myself and all my friends surviving a plane crash on a tropical (utopian) island. Both these wishes, again, suggesting that "freedom" is either to rise to the top of the system, gaining control and authority, or requiring one to physically leave the system for some place that has a different system.

Perhaps this explains the rise in high school drop outs? Maybe they actually see the system as offering no real choice, themselves as having no real say, the grading as being synonymous with whippings and/or handouts. Seeing that the (educational) system can't change in any meaningful way, locked in the paternalist and bureaucratic miasma of reactionary politics, the only possible "freedom" is to leave. We, those of us who are part of the system, can suggest that the student should wait, high school is only three years long after all, and then they will have freedom then, but this line of reasoning suggests that we too recognize that they are slaves, equally failing to appreciate what "freedom" actually is, and the price it demands.

As powerful systems of technology enter the school room they transform the control of the student from the authority of the teacher to the authority of those who control the machine. If Apple and Google and Facebook design the controls of technology do they also become the new masters of our children's lives? Will twelve grades a slave give the machine a slave for life?