GCAS Celebrates 4 Years Creating an Alternative Education Front
When people hear the word, “education” the standard response is to register this word as harmless—after all it’s a requirement that society imposes on children so they can be properly trained to reproduce the social norms well into the future—for themselves, for their children and for their children’s children etc. In fact, the word education comes from the Latin root word that means breeding, rearing. In this sense, education is a social form of breeding society’s generations over time.
If so, then the act of breeding (i.e., education) is a social practice drawing on traditions that reveal what the future of a society will look like. If everything is measured by objective multiple choice exams, well imagine what that society’s “breeding” practices tells you about what kinds of fruits it will produce. Perhaps in a multiple choice world, the creation of passive responders is what we can and should expect: non thinking people who obey.
In the United States, the act of being educated especially but not exclusively in higher education is almost entirely bound-up with the banking industry through student loans. It is significant that student loans, which were virtually non-existent before the 1970, are now starting to impact basic life decision making such as getting married, having children, starting a business.
Student debt in the USA is now over 1.5 trillion dollars. And now even the economy is slowed down significantly because of how we are breeding our children in the education process.
Again, the how of doing education tells you about what that society prioritizes. In the US, the priority in education isn’t to make our democracy stronger and safer as a whole. No it’s about the creation of new forms of “legal” enslavement systems and oppressive structures not just in the literal student loan debt, but also in the content of what we teach in the classrooms.
It was for this primary reason why we started GCAS. We not only believe that education most fundamentally is about freeing one up from the dogmas that oppress us as individuals as well as collectively, but also about meeting the challenges that confront us as a human species such as clean water, healthy food, safe shelter, and basic protections for every human being no matter who they are. Force-breeding our youth into student debt doesn’t help solve the most pressing issues of our future together. On the contrary, it actually intensifies our vulnerabilities and in this way education in the US in general is systematically functioning in the opposite way than it should.
Four years later we continue struggling on this front and will as long as we exist. As we embark on our fifth year together we know we have formed bonds in the learning process itself with amazing people from over 120 countries worldwide and no one can take that away from us; indeed these bonds are already part of the architecture of a new and different world slowly being stitched together. It is a world we are creating and in that act of creation we become more than just ourselves--we breed different futures.