Fifth Estate Collective
(Page 3 of The South End insert)
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THE LIE. University education begins with Freedom, Democracy, Free Enterprise, the official MYTH which covers up the bureaucratic CORPORATE and MILITARY REALITY.
BUREAUCRACY. University education continues by teaching the students to accept authority and obey orders. They are taught to manipulate others without being conscious they are manipulated.
University education ADJUSTS the students for corporate jobs by giving them a FRAGMENTED VIEW OF THEIR SOCIAL SITUATION (Enough to make them produce and consume, but not enough to arouse revolutionary consciousness.
STUNTING. The students whose energy has not yet been killed by elementary and high school education will want to DECIDE, to ACT, to CREATE. The University STOPS THEM. They are taught that the social system is NATURAL and ETERNAL, and that they are IMPOTENT.
MAIMING. If living energy still remains, IT IS REMOVED. The students are reduced to SPECTATORS. They are not given THE ABILITY TO DEFINE THEMSELVES AS CONSCIOUS AGENTS WHOSE SOCIAL ACTIVITY CAN OVERTHROW THE CORPORATE--MILITARY SYSTEM.
HOUSEBREAKING. The students are stunted and maimed, BUT NOT DESTROYED; housebroken but not broken. Once they learn their place, they are TRAINED and PROGRAMMED to serve the system without questioning it.
INTIMIDATION. If the students are tempted to attack the bureaucracy or question the myth, they are intimidated by the ENORMITY of the institution and by the infinite mass of measured DETAILS poured on them by ‘objective’ and ‘neutral’ PROFESSORS.
AUTHORITY. Once they understand that decision and creative social action are ABOVE THEIR REACH, the students are ready for graduation. They understand the basic lesson of the University: SUBMISSION TO AUTHORITY.
CONTROL. University professors and administrators ENFORCE CORRECT LEARNING by means of TESTS and GRADES; they reinforce it with the threat of future ECONOMIC FAILURE. When this system breaks down, clubs, gas and DEATH are used.
LOST & FOUND
THE STUDENT QUESTIONS. To understand their situation, the students throw out the American MYTH as an explanation of their reality, and reject the GRADE as a limitation on their thought or action.
THE STUDENT ATTACKS. Freed from the carrots and sticks of the academic bureaucracy, THE STUDENTS no longer submit. THE END OF THE STUDENTS’ SUBMISSION IS THE END OF THE PROFESSOR’S AUTHORITY. The students no longer adjust, THEY ACT!
THE STUDENT EXPOSES. The students expose the SPECTACLE. They unveil the obvious: The Corporate-Military System is neither natural nor eternal; it is created by human practice and can be destroyed by revolutionary practice.
INDIVIDUAL ACTION. Rejecting the MYTH as well as the BUREAUCRACY, the students become CONSCIOUS OF THEIR SOCIAL POWER and thus DANGEROUS TO THE SYSTEM; if they let themselves be isolated, they’ll be destroyed.
SOCIAL ACTION. By exposing the ideological content of classroom lectures, by communicating with other students through posters on walls, through critical discussions and leaflets, STUDENTS BEGIN TO CHANGE THEIR SITUATION.
REVOLUTIONARY ACTION. When students cease to be passive observers, THE SPECTACLE IS SHATTERED. Students become CONSCIOUS SOCIAL AGENTS--REVOLUTIONARIES.
Conscious of their power, students begin to struggle--and are repressed, not by the University, but by the CONCENTRATED POWER OF THE CORPORATE-MILITARY SYSTEM.
The repressive power of the system rests on the sold labor of working populations. USED INTIMIDATED AND POWERLESS, REDUCED TO FACTORS, SPECTATORS AND OBJECTS, these populations are potential revolutionaries.
The power of CAPITAL will end WHEN WORKERS CEASE TO SELL THEIR LABOR. The students’ struggle cannot be limited to the University, because the liberation of the world’s working population is the condition for the liberation of students.