Towards a Critical Pedagogy of Becoming
Chapter 4. The “Cynical Recklessness” of Capital: Machinery, Becoming, and Revolutionary Marxist Social Studies Education
THE “CYNICAL RECKLESSNESS” OF CAPITAL: MACHINERY, BECOMING, AND REVOLUTIONARY MARXIST SOCIAL STUDIES EDUCATION
In this chapter, we draw out an example of the process of becoming through negation by turning to the transition from industry to manufacture. We examine the birth of modern “education” as a result of this transition. The development of modern education is connected to contemporary right-wing education “reforms,” and in this area, we pay particular attention to the form and content of such reforms, as well as their effect on labor-power. Then, in order to make our critical pedagogy of becoming even more concrete, we sketch what a Revolutionary Marxist Social Studies education might look like and how it can harness the negation of the negation to push forward the transition to communism.
In particular, we show how the emergence of the industrial era of capitalism developed out of the manufacturing era through the invention of machines that would radically displace human muscle power with non human power, such as coal, wind, and electricity. In other words, the manufacturing era would produce the machine that would then destroy the very manufacturing era to which it gave birth. This revolution in production would lead to a legislative mandate for compulsory education as a result of the machine ← 93 | 94 → displacing human power, making possible the employment of young children and the subsequent intellectual degradation of the child and society in general. In other words, the capitalist state attempted, however feebly,...
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